The Rock of Cashel: 5 Things to Know About This Storied Irish Landmark
The Rock of Cashel is a historic landmark dating back to the 11th century. Multiple buildings are located on a limestone outcropping, which was the seat of the Kings of Munster for centuries.
It is also known as Cashel of the Kings, St. Patrick's Rock and Carraig Phádraig.
As the name suggests, the Rock is located in the small town of Cashel, found in County Tipperary. There is a bus that runs back and forth between Dublin and Cork, and Cashel is a stop in the middle.
If you're coming from Dublin by car, take the M7 and then the M8, and expect a journey of just under two hours.
Once you're in Cashel, you can easily get around on foot and walk straight up to the Rock of Cashel.
Things to Know About The Rock of Cashel
Here are some fun facts about this famous attraction. Hopefully they will entice you to pay a visit in person!
But if that is not possible, you can always use them to impress your friends with your knowledge of one of the most-visited landmarks in Ireland.
- Local legend has the Rock of Cashel originating in Devil's Bit, a mountain more than 20 miles away. The story says that when St. Patrick banished Satan from a cave, a rock from Satan's mouth landed all the way in Cashel.
- The word Cashel literally translates as circular stone fort. That's why so many locals call it by another name, often including St. Patrick in the title.
- Prior to the Norman Invasion in the 12th century, the Rock was home to the Kings of Munster. The Munster King Muirchertach Ua Briain eventually donated his fortress on the rock to the Church in the 11th century.
- When you arrive, look for the tall round tower. This is the oldest building on the site, and it dates back to the 11th century.
- Nearly as old as the round tower is Cormac's Chapel, which was the church of King Cormac Mac Carthaigh all the way back in the 12th century. It's an interesting combination of traditional building techniques and European influences, including a beautifully carved tympanum and a barrel-vaulted roof.
- Cormac's Chapel also boasts some of the oldest frescoes found in Ireland. Sadly, some of these works of art were painted over in reconstruction, but most have been revealed, restored and are once again visible to the public.
- Once the Rock of Cashel was in control of the church, it became a religious site. The people who lived on the rock had challenging lives, not least because the hill leading to the site was too steep for horses, so everything had to be carried up by hand.
- When you arrive, you'll enter through the Hall of the Vicars Choral. Built in the 15th century, this building was completely renovated in 1975. It is now home to a collection of artifacts from the site.
- There have been plenty of famous visitors to the Rock, but none made a splash quite like the Queen of England. When Queen Elizabeth II visited Cashel in 2011, it was a noteworthy event for the area.
- Round out your visit by visiting Bru Boro, a cultural village located at the foot of the hill. There is a folk theater, and you can see traditional Irish dress, song and dance.
For more information, you can visit this page from Heritage Ireland.com.
Want More Irish Landmarks?
Taking a virtual tour of beautiful Irish landmarks is one of our favorite ways to enjoy an Irish experience, wherever in the world we happen to be!
I Enjoyed That! Where Can I Learn More?
Great question! As you can see, exploring Ireland's amazing landmarks (either in person or online) is a fun way to enjoy an Irish experience and express your personal Irish side!
For more information of this kind, check out our section on Ireland sightseeing here!
In the meantime, if you enjoyed this page in particular, please take a moment to share your feedback about it, or any other part of our site. Simply send us an email using our contact form here.
And once again - thanks for visiting! We hope you will continue to share your Irish side with the growing community at Irish Expressions.com!
Want to Feel More Connected to Ireland? Here's How!
At Irish Expressions we believe everybody – well almost
everybody! - has an "Irish side." So - how
nice would it be to have access to a fun Irish experience, on demand, wherever you happen to be?
If you have enjoyed your experience with Irish Expressions so far, here is a simple, free way to stay in touch.
Never miss a post. Tell us where to send your updates, featuring the latest information from Irish Expressions - and we'll take it from there!
Meanwhile, thanks for visiting! I hope that we will meet someday, in person or online, and you can tell me about your own connection to the Emerald Isle.
Until then, best wishes -
PLEASE SHARE US WITH YOUR FRIENDS
YOU CAN FIND US ANYTIME ON ...