Monday, October 3, 2016

Rock of Cashel

View on our drive through the mountains.

Hore Abbey ruins below the Rock of Cashel

We began our Irish road trip today.  We drove a total of about 3 hours today from our cottage in Enniskerry to just outside a town called Sixmilebridge.  We pulled into Cashel about noon so we went to the old Abbey ruins and enjoyed our lunch there.  For a bit we were only people there and the kids loved running around the ruins.  It was fun to explore on our own and see what observations we could make.  The kids are getting pretty good at noticing things like where the facade has broken away from the rough rock or different parts of churches now that they have been to a few.  Today we were looking at an arch and noticed some iron fittings on one side of it.  Jonathan asked what those were for and we had no answers, I guess it's time for some research.

The Rock of Cashel

The wind was really blowing especially at the Rock of Cashel.  After lunch, we drove up the hill from the Abbey and, after parking, made our way to the walled fortress there.  It has been a castle, chapel, and cathedral.  Today you can wander through a gothic cathedral, medieval chapel, look at the round tower and see the restored Hall of Vicars Choral where the choristers who sang in the cathedral choir lived.

Woodwork in the Hall of Vicars Choral--I love these roofs and the carvings.

The views from the hill were amazing. I have no idea how far we could see but it was beautiful.  The countryside spread out before us.  We watched a short video about the Rock of Cashel and some of the Irish history that contributed to it's existence.  Apparently, at one point in time, things were so bad in Ireland that any lord who had enough money built tower house to protect their assets.  They were basically just a large tower with different things on each level.  There were very few windows and one contemporary of these structures said they were little better than a prison.  The video mentioned thousands scattered around Ireland and sure enough on our drive we saw at least 4 or five through the day.  There were several places to where we would see ruins of a building in the middle of a pasture.  It's really neat to learn more about these people and the Irish culture.

Window at the Dominican Friary in the town of Cashel.
There were three different orders of monks living in this area through the centuries.

View from the Rock of Cashel

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