Once the seat of the Kings of Munsters, the Rock of Cashel (Carraig Phádraig), also known as St. Patrick’s Rock and the Cashel of the Kings, is one of Ireland’s most famous historical sites. Sat atop a 200-foot limestone mound, the Rock has within its walls a castle, chapel, round tower, high crosses and other historical structures that have all been constructed hundreds of years ago.
The Rock was originally the royal seat of the Eoghanachta clan, a Welsh clan that reigned over Munster in fourth century AD. Then, in fifth century AD, the Rock was said to be the location where St. Patrick converted and baptised King Aengus, chief of the Eoghanachta clan.
The Eoghanachta clan reigned over the Rock of Cashel for over five centuries until it was taken over by Brian Boru, the former High King of Ireland. Later, in 1697, the Rock of Cashel was won by the Cromwellian army, led by Lord Inchiquin, who destroyed much of the site at the time.
According to local legend, the Rock of Cashel originated in the mountains near Cashel after St. Patrick reportedly banished Satan from a cave in the mountains, resulting in the rocks landing in the town of Cashel. This mountain is known as the Devil’s Bit due to this mythical story in which the devil took a bite out of the mountain, and with this, the Rock of Cashel was born.
Today, the Rock of Cashel is one of the most iconic landmarks in Tipperary, and indeed Ireland, attracting thousands of visitors across the year. Discover more about the ancient story of the Rock of Cashel by joining a guided tour of the grounds. The heritage town of Cashel is a great spot to relax with some food and a drink after exploring this famous historic area.