|The Rock of Cashel|
The Rock of Cashel is also known as Saint Patrick's Rock. The rock itself is an impressive prominent hill of karst limestone. This being Ireland, there is of course a far more imaginative description of what the rock is. Legend has it that the Devil took a bite out of the mountain opposite, and then dropped the rock from his jaws onto the plain. That's a lot more exciting then geology, but perhaps not quite as reliable.
It was a king of Munster, Muirchertach Ua Briain, who gifted the Rock to the church in 1101. No buildings survive from the reign of the kings. The magnificent buildings that still stand are ecclesiastical and were constructed in the medieval period.
|The Round Tower|
|Exterior of Cormac's Chapel|
|Interior of Cormac's Chapel|
|Ceiling of Cormac's Chapel|
|Carved Stone Sarcophagus|
The cathedral was built in the thirteenth century and added to over the centuries. Some sources claim that a cathedral was built here in 1169, and then replaced.
|Exterior of Cathedral's South Transept|
|The Hall of the Vicars Choral- Interior|
|Celtic Cross at Cashel|
All photos are copyright E.M. Powell 2015.
Duffy, Seán, Ireland in the Middle Ages: Palgrave/Macmillan (1997)
Flanagan, Marie Therese, The Transformation of the Irish Church in the Twelfth Century, Boydell Press (2010)
Manning, Conleth, Rock of Cashel, OPW- The Office of Public Works/Oifig na nOibreacha
Ó Cróinín, Dáibhí, Early Medieval Ireland: 400-1200, Longman (1995)
O'Keefe, Tadhg, Medieval Ireland: An Archaeology, Tempus Publishing Ltd. (2000)
Note: I originally posted a version of this article on English Historical Fiction Authors on June 15th 2015.
My medieval thrillers The Fifth Knight and The Blood of the Fifth Knight have been #1 Amazon bestsellers in the US, the UK and Australia. The next novel in the series, The Lord of Ireland, in which Sir Benedict Palmer is sent on the Lord John's disastrous 1185 campaign in Ireland, will be published by Thomas & Mercer in 2016.
Barnes & Noble