We took a bit of a side trip on our way to the Hook Peninsula. No, it wasn't the Blarney Stone because...eeeew. I've heard some nasty stories about what local teenagers do to that stone at night! No, we went past that tourist place to another. The Rock of Cashel was something I knew CH would enjoy seeing, so we took a detour to drive north of Cork to visit. During the drive, CH pointed out this cross on a hill:
As we entered the parking lot, we noticed that the bar allowing entrance was taken down and there was a man who appeared to be fixing it. Hooray for not having to pay to park! We parked and took in the sight of the castle on top of a hill:
The Rock of Cashel (or St. Patrick's Rock) is quite impressive as it's on top of a hill, towering over the town of Cashel:
|View of the Rock of Cashel|
After much digging, I found out that this is called Scully's cross. It was built in 1867 and in 1976 it was struck by lightning.
The left side of this building is a "tower house". Part of the stone was shipped to Watertown, WI, and was used in the cornerstone at St. Bernard's. the right side of the building is the cathedral. The round tower is the oldest part of the castle still standing. It was built in the 12th century.
Apparently, we missed part of the cathedral. There are more frescos than what we saw. I came to this one and didn't go any further because it looked dark and I thought that was the end of the building.
The frescoes are weathered by time and weather; the ceiling was taken off of the building in 1749.
|A Sarcophagus with intricate detail|
|A cross against a wall|
|16th-century example of the Crucifixion|
The view of the countryside from the graveyard was just amazing. This is the near-perfect picture of Ireland with a Celtic Cross and white dots of sheep in the field:
|This grave marker caught my eye|
|Stunning views of the countryside with Mary & Celtic Crosses in the foreground|
|The outside of Cormac's Chapel|
|The Cistercian Abbey was established in 1270|
|Hore Abbey was disestablished in 1540|
Before we left Ireland we had the news on the tv and we discovered why we didn't have to pay to get into the Rock of Cashel: Prince Charles & Camilla were there a couple of days after we visited. I'd like to go back and pay closer attention to the details of the buildings. I'd also like to find St. Patrick's well, which is where St. Patrick is said to have baptized King Aengus in 432 AD. The Hall of the Vicars Choral was closed because of the royal visit, so I'd definitely like to stroll through the museum and see the real St. Patrick's Cross.
After our detour, we headed to our next destination. The next campground is on a working dairy farm on Bannow Bay. It was a gorgeous site and not too far from a village where we were able to drive in, grab a bite to eat as well as some groceries.