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The Rock of Cashel Co Tipperary.


The Rock of Cashel.

(Circular stone fort.)

This impressive limestone outcrop rising some 60 M (200 ft) above the surrounding Golden Vale of Cashel, it is the site of arguably the most impressive group of medieval buildings in Ireland. It became the seat of the Eóganacht kings of Munster probably early in the fifth century, when it was visited by St Patrick who is said to have baptized King Aengus in 450. When the Dál Cais of west Munster ousted the Eóganacht from the kingship, they continued to rule as kings of Cashel. The rock was the site of the coronation of Brian Boru.

In 1101 Muirchertach O'Brien handed Cashel over to the church, and in 1152 the rock became the seat of the archbishop of Cashel, the buildings you see today are therefore all ecclesiastical, they are described briefly below.

Cormac's Chapel was begun in 1127 by the order of King-Bishop Cormac MacCarthy the building was consecrated in 1134. This church consists of two chambers with steep roofs over each, a typically Irish feature, it is considered the finest example of Hiberno Romanesque architecture in Ireland. The nave is flanked by two square towers , the chancel is groin vaulted and the nave barrel vaulted. Within the church there are many fine carvings and moldings, especially around the entrances.

The cathedral is a cruciform aisle less church was begun around 1224 after Archbishop Marianus O'Brien was appointed to the see of Cashel, work was continued throughout the thirteenth century by Archbishop's David MacKelly and David MacCarvill.

The Rock of Cashel.

Co Tipperary
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Also on the rock is The Round Tower, this is the oldest building on the site probably dating to the twelfth century, it stands at the northwest corner of the cathedral. It is a fairly typical tower of the period.
See Round Towers in Ireland.