|Cathedral at Rock of Cashel|
I participated in a guided tour as part of my visit the Rock of Cashel. The tour guide was very knowledgeable about the site and did a good job of contextualizing the numerous structures with the political and social movements of the period. She also did a good job of interjecting humor into the tour through Irish folk stories and jokes.
Cormac's Chapel is one of the larger ruins on the site and was completed in 1134. The Chapel was undergoing exterior preservation work during the time of my visit as the sandstone which makes up the majority of the building has been susceptible to water damage. Despite this exterior work visitors are still able to enter the chapel and see the vaulted ceiling and the small pieces of Irish frescoes which survive on the ceiling. The interior of the Chapel has a musty damp smell which makes sense given the water damage of the stone.
|View of Hore Abbey from Rock of Cashel|
After the guided tour and exploring the site I visited the ruins of Hore Abbey which is located within walking distance of the Rock of Cashel. Like the Rock, the Abbey is maintained by the Office of Public Works. However, the Abbey is not staffed and is located in the middle of a farmers field. The Abbey dates from the 1200s and I found it interesting that the Rock of Cashel gains so much attention when the Abbey sits looking somewhat abandoned. Granted, the Rock of Cashel does look more imposing but the character and history behind the Abbey is just as interesting.
Photographs by Andrew Mackay