A visit to the Rock of Cashel is part of our Cork and Blarney Castle tour and as with all our tours entrance into the attraction is covered.
The Rock of Cashel is a collection of medieval buildings surrounded by a defensive wall built on raised ground. There are features from the 12th century including a round tower, high crosses and a Romanesque chapel. There is also a 13th century Gothic cathedral, the 15th century castle and the Hall of Vicars Choral which has been extensively restored.
The Rock of Cashel was originally a fortress but in 1101 Muirchertach O’Brien, the then king of Munster, handed it over to the church. A round tower which is a major feature of the rock of Cashel was constructed at this time and still stands today. The Rock of Cashel soon after became the seat of one of the Archbishops of Ireland.
Cormac’s Chapel which is a fabulous Romanesque church was built in 1134 and is still in very good condition today; unfortunately minus the roof which was removed in 1749 by Arthur Price, the Anglican Archbishop of Cashel. Cormac’s Chapel was also the site of a massacre by the Cromwellian Army in 1649. Opposition soldiers, clergymen and local people took refuge in the cathedral believing they would be safe but the castle was surrounded with mounds of turf and set alight, tragically killing all the occupants inside.
The Hall of the Vicars Choral was built in the 15th century and was extensively restored and refurbished in 1975. It now houses some impressive ancient tapestries and artefacts.