The Rock of Cashel, Cashel, County Tipperary

The Rock of Cashel is one of the most striking monuments in Ireland and has some of the finest collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture in Europe. It was previously known as St Patrick’s Rock as it was reputed to be the site where St Patrick converted the King of Munster to Christianity in the 5th century. The site includes St Cormac’s beautiful Romanesque chapel (1134), The Round Tower (1100), St Patrick’s High Cross (1150), St Dominick’s Abbey (1270), a 13th century Cathedral and a 12th century tomb. Tradition says that the Kings of Munster, including Brian Boru, were inaugurated here at the base of the High Cross. In the 12th century King Murtough O’Brien gave Cashel to the church in a move to prevent his enemies retaking it. In 1647 Cashel was sacked and burned by a Cromwellian army under the command of Lord Inchiquin and was last used as a place of worship in the 18th century when the Protestant church took control it for 20 years. The Rock of Cashel was also one of the few sites that Queen Elizabeth II paid into during her back packing tour of Ireland in 2011!