The Rock of Cashel, one of the most visited monuments in Ireland, is not a long way from Tipperary, the city of musical fame. In fact, the famous rock is a twenty-five minute scenic drive from Tipperary Town making it possible to visit both sites in one day.
Tipperary owes much of its fame to the World War I music hall song, “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary“. The song was written by Jack Judge whose grandparents came from Tipperary. It became popular among soldiers and soon found its way into the hearts of people all over the world. Signs on the way to Tipperary read “You’ve come a long way…” in reference to the popularity of the song.
The Rock of Cashel situated in the medieval village of Cashel is also known as St. Patrick’s Rock because it is there that St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, converted and baptized Irish King Aengus in the 5th century. Born in Britain, St. Patrick was captured and enslaved for six years by Irish raiders when he was sixteen. He escaped to Britain but returned to Ireland and journeyed across the land baptizing chiefs and kings and converting whole clans. One popular legend says that he explained the notion of the Holy Trinity using the shamrock, now the national flower of Ireland. He is also said to have rid Ireland of snakes. The somewhat pragmatic St. Patrick managed to convert the matriarchal Celts by emphasizing the importance of the Virgin Mary.
The Rock of Cashel is a collection of Medieval buildings set on an outcrop of limestone. It consists of different structures including the Hall of the Vicars Choral, the 13th century Gothic cathedral, the Romanesque Cormac’s Chapel, a 15th century Castle and the round tower. Round towers were free-standing bell towers built between the late 10th and the mid-12th centuries and are unique in shape and form to Ireland.
There is also a museum. You can learn the history of the site through an audio-visual show. The museum houses a superb collection of Medieval exhibits. Forty-five minute guided Tours are available.
So, hop on Bus Éireann from Tipperary Town and visit Cashel. The Rock of Cashel is not a long way from Tipperary.
More Travel Tips: