About 10 years ago Mr. Ed and I went “across the pond” to the British Isles for a month and among the places we visited was The Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary, Ireland. The “rock” is a marvelous place and “must see” for anyone traveling in Ireland. We had decided to do our trip by bus and train rather than renting a car and possibly running someone off the road by driving on the wrong side. The reason I mention this is that we stayed in Tipperary Town and took the bus to Cashel which was very handy, and we were deposited near enough to our destination to walk up the road to visit the ruins. When I say walk up, what I mean is that the ruins sit about 200 feet above the surrounding plains… so quite literally you walk “up.”
The Rock of Cashel (Carraig Phadraig in Irish) is also known as Cashel of the Kings and St. Patrick’s Rock. Legend has it that St. Patrick visited the rock in 432 and during his stay baptized King Aengus who became the first Christian ruler in Ireland.
The ruins of several buildings are atop the rock, among them St. Patrick’s Cathedral which was build in the 13th century but burned in 1495. The Cathedral was rebuilt only to be destroyed again by Cromwell’s forces during the English siege. The townspeople of Cashel had taken refuge in the Cathedral and were burned to death during the destruction.
Around the buildings is an extensive graveyard with many examples of Celtic Crosses. These crosses are usually highly decorated and include a stone circle where the cross intersects. Here’s an example:
Celtic Cross at The Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary Ireland, 1999
Writing this makes me long for another visit to Ireland…..
March 6, 2009 Susan J. Edminster, Granite Falls, Washington, All rights reserved. Photograph is the sole property of Susan J. Edminster