As the Rock of Cashel can be seen from the Abbey, there is a splendid view of Hore Abbey from the n-w side of the cemetery behind the walls of the Rock. Originally built by Benedictines in 1266, it was handed over to Cistercian monks 6 years later. Legend has it that the Bishop of Cashel had a bad dream about the Benedictines that wanted to kill him, that he threw them out.... Most of the ruins date from the XIIIth c although many changes were made 300 years later including the square tower that is still in pretty good codition except for the last floor and roof. Unfortunately there is nothing much left of the cloister.
Entrance is free.
There are many different sculptures and tombs to see, and perhaps the Cormac chapel will be finished. Just after the entrance is a St. Patricks cross, but it is not an original. The original from the 12th c is in the museum (5th pic).
Standing on a rocky promontory 60 metres high, you can see why the site was chosen, with a superb view across the Tipperary plains. Any marauders could be seen hours before they got anywhere near the place. The original fortress was built during the 4th c and called the "Castle of Kings". Important kings that reigned here included Aengus and above all, Brian Boru, probably the first king to try for a united Ireland. During 500 years different chapels and rooms were added to until finally in 1101 Murtagh O'Brien left the fortress to the church. It was around the same time that the round tower was built, its 28 metres being very well preserved. A further chapel named of Cormac was added in 1127 and has a lovely fresco. When we were there the Cormac chapel was under renovation and impossible to visit without a guide, and only at specific times of the day. You can admire the renovation work on the fresco though.
St Patricks cathedral was added a further 100 years later. There is a small museum within the walls to visit with a couple of St. Patrick's crosses dating from the 1100's. Here is a link to a PDF file with info on the site :http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/media/NEW%20Rock%20of%20Cashel_3.pdf
The site is open daily but you need to check with the site as times vary wildly over the year. Entrance is 6€ for adults with 50% concessions for seniors and groups, and only 2€ for students and children. It is very well worth it.
The Cathedral on John's Street was built to replace the church at The Rock of Cashel. The foundation stones were laid in 1749 on the site of the medieval church of St. John the Baptist which had previously been located at the site. The church is built in the georgian style.
The tower and spire were added at the turn of the century.
A depiction of Cashel Cathedral on Archbishop Agar's tomb in Westminister Abbey. THe lane alongside the Cathedral grounds also takes it's name from Archbishop Agar. Agar's lane is a narrow high walled lane that links John Street to Friar Street.
The Rock of Cashel really is an amazing site. It sits right outside the center of Cashel on a large mound of limestone. Large stone walls encircle a complete round tower, a roofless abbey, a 12th century Romanesque chapel, and numerous other buildings and high crosses. It is composed of four structures which are the Hall of the Vicars Choral, the cathedral, the round tower, and Cormac's Chapel. Hore Abbey (also worth visiting) is about one kilometer north at the base of the rock.
At the beginning of the hill going up to the Rock, turn left and you will find a lovely little path that will lead you into the countryside surrounding the village and the rock. It is a lovely and easy walk to do to just get the blood flowing again if you have had a long journey.
Around the outside of the buildings on the Rock, there is a graveyard with a number of Celtic crosses which are crosses with a ring surrounding the intersection.
According to our guide, there are only a few more people that will be allowed to be buried here, you had to sign up by 1930
"This Market Cross has been erected by the citizens of Cashel and a few other friends to perpetuate the silver episcopal jubilee of his Grace the Most Reverand Thomas W Crowe DD Archbishop of Cashel and Emly. July 1895". This is the legend engraved on the pedestal of this magnificent example of an Irish Celtic Cross.
Holycross Abbey is a Cistercian monastery located in the small village of Holycross between Cashel and Thurles. The village and abbey are built on the banks of River Suir.
The name of the abbey and village derive from the abbey's possession of a relic of the True Cross. The relic was first brought to Ireland by Queen Isabella of Angouleme, in 1233. After this the abbey was renamed Holy Cross Abbey.
After the Cromwellian war, Holy Cross Abbey fell into ruins and wasn't used as a place of worship for the next two centuries. However, in 1969, the Dail passed a motion allowing Holy Cross Abbey to be restored and the Abbey has been a a public place of worship since then.
The relic of the Cross is located to the left of the altar.
The Vee is a twisting mountain route leading from Clogheen, Co. Tipperary through the Knockmealdown Mountains into Co. Waterford. The area offers stunning views over the Plains of Tipperary and beyond especially on a clear day.
Hikers and Hill walkers flock to the area to enjoy the undless miles of unspoilt nature through woodland and mountain trails.
The focal point of the Vee is probably Bay Lough. This is a small corrie lake surrounded by steep rocky hills. The gloomy depths of the lake are reputed to hold the half mythical, half real 'Petticoat Loose', a woman of loose morals who was banished to this spot after casting her spell over many a man.
You will also pass an old roadside stone hut just after the lake known as the Bianconi Hut. This hut was originally a stagepost on a nationwide transport system developed by Carlo Bianconi (1786-1875), an Italian emmigrant.
Cashel, like a lot of other Irish towns, had a wall surrounding it to protect the population from attack.
The medieval walls of Cashel were built under the Charter of Murnage from Edward II between the years 1319-1324 and enclosed an area just over 28 acres.
In time they came to mark the boundries of the town and so helped in the levying of tolls and fees on traders. Canopy gates controlled access from the North-East. At the other end of the Main Street was Lower Gate, while Moor Gate stood near the Dominican Friary and John's Gate and Friar's Gate guarded the southern approaches. (The names of these gates still echo in the present street names - Lower Gate, John's Street, Moor Lane, and Friar's Street.
Considerable parts of the wall remain, the most important being those behind the Hospital, along the south and east borders of the Cathedral on John's Street and behind the Court House.
St John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church was built on the site of the former Franciscan Friary and dates from 1795.
In 1932 mosaics were added to the facade to comemorate the Eucharistic Congress.
The facade and interior of the church have some unusual characteristics. The facade with it's colourful mosaic is very striking. The interior of the church contains sculptures along both sides of the main ailse, sponsored by local families in remberance of deceased family members. Another unusual feature of the church, are the two public galleries. These galleries are supported by columns and stretch the lenght of the church on both sides of the Main aisle, with side aisles on the ground floor, underneath the galleries.
The church celebrated it's bi-centenary in 1995 and a mojor restoration project was undertaken to revive the interior of the church.
The church yard contains a grotto to the Virgin Mary.
The Bolton Library which was originally the chapter house of the adjacent Cathedral, contains a unique collection of antiquarian books and is the finest collection outside of Dublin. The books were collected by Archbishop Theophilis Bolton, Archbishop of Cashel from 1730 to 1744 and the collection numbers approx. 12000 books. The collection contains a wide range of subjects and includes a 12th century manuscript, the Nuremnberg Chronicle and works by Dante, Swift, Calvin, Erasmus and Machiavelli. Also on display are maps and church silver.
Cashel folk village on Dominic's Street is good attraction for adults and children alike. The Folk Village consists of a series of reconstructions of various traditional thatched village shops, a forge, and other businesses, together with a penal Chapel situated in a confined area within the town of Cashel, near to the famous Rock Of Cashel.
An extensive display of signs and other commercial memorabilia add to the appeal of this pleasant display of local history.
There is also an old IRA museum and audio-visual presentation on the War of Independence(1916 -1923).
Brú Ború (Lair of Boru) is a cultural heritage centre at the foot of the Rock of Cashel. This cultural village is designed around a village green and is a home to the study and celebration of native Irish music, song, dance, theatre and Celtic studies. It has a folk theatre, genealogy centre, restaurant and other amenities.
The Brú Ború traditional group have performed worldwide. They represented Ireland at Expo 90 in Japan and Expo 92 in Spain. They perform for conferences and other events. They have performed on many television networks worldwide. Brú Ború performed in China in Autumn 1998 having received an official invitation from the Chinese government.
The group perform shows during the summer season and tickets can be booked by phone for the show. Tickets are also available for the show complete with a Pre-Show three course meal.
The centre also houses an underground exhibition area entitled the Sounds of History.
The Sounds of History exhibition tells the story of Irish music, song and dance through the ages and has various artefacts including broze Irish horns and bells as well as an Irish Harp. The exhibition has interactive exhibitions and an audio visual presentation as well as an audio visual exhibition on The Rock of Cashel.