|The Rock of Cashel|
WHAT IS THE ROCK OF CASHEL? - Well, I thought it was a big rock. It isn't. It's a site with a castle and a cathedral. The Rock of Cashel, also known as Cashel of the Kings and St. Patrick's Rock, is a historic site located at Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland. The word "Cashel" means "Fortress." According to our tour guide Seamus (A good Irish name), this site was a fortress to kings from 300 AD to 1100 AD (when it was presented to the church). By the 1730s, though, this site was abandoned and fell into disrepair (missing part of a roof, etc.). However, it was re-discovered and made into a National Monument.
|Sign about St. Patrick's Rock|
ST. PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL & THE MURDEROUS EARL - The "Rock of Cashel" included St. Patrick's Cathedral (now roofless) which was built in the 13th century and used until 1748.
|"The murderous Earl"|
Failing to make a breach with his guns, Inchiquin piled up turf against the wall of the enclosure and set fire to it. About thirty priests and friars died. According to Ludlow three thousand were slaughtered, "the priests being taken even from under the altar."
|The High Cross|
"HIGH CROSS" STONE "CHOP" - After going through the entrance, we walked back outside in a small courtyard where we met our tour group. They gathered around a stone piece called "The High Cross." It's actually supposed to be a figure that represents a Bishop. Apparently whomever the Bishop was fell out of favor with the people because the head was cut off!
FOLKLORE OF THE HIGH CROSS - Seamus told us that if you can put your arms around the "High Cross" and touch hands, legend says that you won't have a toothache for a year." Apparently, when it was erected a lot of people had tooth problems (since there were no dentists), so that weird folklore got started.
TROPHY MODEL - Despite the fact that the "High Cross" is supposed to be a now headless Bishop, it became a model for a trophy of the Gaelic games, according to our tour guide.
NEXT: CASHEL'S HAUNTED HALL OF VICARS