Part 24: Rock of Cashel


Navigation Links
 Trip Home Page     


The Trip

Our time in Ireland was done and we had to start moving toward Dublin and our plane flight home.  Our schedule called for a full day to get us from Glasha to Dublin, but the trip was only a couple of hours.  So, having some time to burn, we chose an attraction that was close to our travel path and set out.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

Olive, our host at Glasha, was nice enough to take a photo of us at our last breakfast.

Along the M8 highway we spotted a helicopter that was being used for power line inspection.  It was flying only a few feet above the power lines.

A big portion of the Rock of Cashel was undergoing conservation.  The original structures were started in the 9th century and were improved for the next 500 years.

This is a big structure positioned on the largest rock outcropping in the area.

From the lower portion of the castle yard we could see nearby structures that were decaying.

The castle grounds provided a majestic view of the surrounding Irish farm lands.

Big portions of the castle had collapsed.

The portions of the walls that had collapsed had been removed except for the large chunk in the foreground.

This chunk was displaced by a very large storm that hit the area in the early 1900s.  It must have been a hell of a storm to have winds strong enough to dislodge this much rock.

Portions of the older arches were not made of cut stone but with rubble.

The inner arches were quite grand.  The castle was co-opted by the church and was later enhanced with chapels and other religious rooms.

The original tower was built solely for defensive purposes.

The buttresses on this wall were huge.

This portion of the castle was clearly part of a church.

Note the internal rubble filling of these upper walls.

This wall was hollow as it had passageways as part of the defensive design.

Most churches of this era had graveyards associated with them.  This was no exception.

Many of the headstones were large, and some were in very good repair.

Other monuments had badly suffered under the passage of time and weather.

In an inner portion of one of the chapels it was possible to still see some of the frescoes on the ceilings.

This chapel is being conserved and is in a sealed room.  Note the heads on the ceiling.

These carved heads are somewhat odd, but may have been images of the craftsmen who built the chapel.

These heads are more like gargoyles.  Note the reptile head on the right.

The opposite side was dissimilar in style, but also had a reptile head; perhaps an alligator but they are not native to Ireland. 

The tower building was visible from the high arch.

The roof of the high arch had brick as part of the construction.

The roof had collapsed here but when it was intact it must have been a grand sight.

Side chapels had crude carvings.

One of the other buildings had been converted into a museum and held some of the more precious artifacts and carvings.  This is a tapestry from this period, but surely not original from Rock of Cashel.

This carving is a recreation.

This is the original Celtic Cross that was on this site, now inside a protected area.  The cross has weathered badly and major portions have fallen off or eroded.

Another original carving rescued from the elements.

This was cut from one of the interior walls of the castle, now housed in the musem.

Note the date on the bottom of the crest: 1639.

The Rock of Cashel was interesting, but not as well preserved as perhaps I would have imagined.  But decay notwithstanding, it is a historic site and worth a visit if you are in the area.  Our path took us down the M8 motorway to the M7 and then into Dublin.  We returned our rental car and then got a taxi to our hotel for the night.  Kathleen had arranged for a room on the ocean north of Dublin.

The hotel was a nice place catering mainly to golfers since there is a golf course on site.  We chose it because it was on the water and within a close drive to the airport.

We went for a walk on the beach and discovered this interesting monument.

Looking south we could see a small island off the shore as well as a coastal part of Dublin in the distance at the base of the hills.

The tide was way out and it exposed a wide shallow beach.

Tomorrow morning we fly back to San Diego via Heathrow.  It will be a long flight but there is really no other way to do it.

We enjoyed the UK and Ireland and would surely come back if the opportunity presented itself.  For me, the high point of the trip was our stay at the castle at Glengorm on the Isle of Mull.  The scenery in the highlands of Scotland is really magnificent and reminded me of the upper portions of Alaska.

Overall, despite the norovirus incident, it  was a great trip.  Many thanks to Kathleen for her meticulous planning and dogged determination in getting arrangements for us: they were flawless.

Navigation Links
Previous Adventure
Top of this Page
  Next Adventure
Trip Home Page  
Bill Caid's Home Page

Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2015, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.