Rock of Cashel

From A Smaller Social History of Ancient Ireland 1906

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CHAPTER XVI....continued

Cashel was one of the most renowned seats of the North Munster kings, though not the oldest as a royal residence. Its chief feature is the well-known lofty isolated Rock overlooking the surrounding plain—the magnificent Golden Vale, as it is called, from its fertility. Just before the arrival of St. Patrick, Corc, king of Munster, took possession of the whole place, and on the summit of the rock built a stronghold, which then became the chief residence of the Munster kings, and continued so till the beginning of the twelfth century. In 1101 King Murkertagh O'Brien dedicated the whole place to the church, and handed it over to the ecclesiastical authorities, since which time it figures chiefly in ecclesiastical history. Then began to be erected those splendid buildings which remain to this day; so that the "Rock of Cashel" is now well known as containing the most imposing group of ecclesiastical ruins in the United Kingdom.

Rock of Cashel

FIG. 103. Rock of Cashel (From Brewer's Beauties of Ireland. Drawn by Petrie).

Grianan Lachtna.—One of the ancestral residences of the Dalcassian kings of Thomond or North Munster was Greenan-Lachtna, the fine old fort of which is still to be seen occupying a noble site on the south slope of Craglea in Clare, over the western shore of Lough Derg, two miles north of Killaloe.

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