Thursday, August 20, 2015

Ireland Trip #62: Arrival at the Rock of Cashel: and High Cross "Chop"!

The Rock of Cashel
This is blog #62 of our Ireland trip and we're nearing the end of the 9 day vacation here. In fact, after visiting this castle we returned to Dublin for a night before leaving for home. However, there's still a lot of interesting stuff to cover. This will be the first of a couple of blogs about the Rock of Cashel! ... and there's a lot of history here, so come along!

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"
   On September 12, 1647, Murrough McDermod O'Brien, 1st Earl of Inchiquin massacred hundreds of people here. (O'Brien studied war in the Spanish service. He would not convert to Anglicanism and fought against the confederate Catholics on the outbreak of the Irish Rebellion of 1641).
    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.


Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next