The Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary is one of the finest historical sites in Ireland. It was once the seat of the Kings of Munster. The medieval buildings include a 12thCcentury round tower, High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, 13th century Gothic cathedral, 15th century Castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral. The monument is in the care of the Office of Public Works.
One of the most interesting parts of the site is Cormac’s chapel, (the chapel of King Cormac Mac Carthaigh), which was begun in 1127 and consecrated in 1134. It is undergoing major restoration work as the scaffolding in the picture shows and contains one of the only examples of frescoes in Ireland from this period.
It was one of the sites seen by Queen Elizabeth II during her first state visit to Ireland in May 2011. The visitor book she signed along with Prince Philip is on display, along with the pen she used. It was interesting to note that in the small cemetery beside the ruins of the Cathedral, there are at least four graves of local men who served in the British Army during the First World War, with gravestones provided by the Commonwealth Graves Commission. I have some photographs of them here and at some stage might do some more research into the stories of these soldiers. One was a veteran of the Second World War, it seems, Sergeant Martin O’Brien MM, who served in the 2nd Royal Irish Regiment and died in 1965, aged 84.