"Cashel, a royal town" Top 5 Page for this destination Cashel by Ruai

Cashel Travel Guide: 86 reviews and 282 photos


Cashel is a small town (<3000 pop) in the middle of Ireland that was once the capital of the old Irish kingdom of Munster and later one of the most important ecclesiastical centres in Ireland. The view of the "Rock", with its various buildings perched on top, is spectacular and makes it well worth taking the time to come here, even if its not on the direct route to where you're going.

Of Saint Patrick, Kings and ArchBishops

Cashel has for at least 1500 years been a centre for the province of Munster. In 450, St Patrick is said to have preached here and converted the King of the day to Christianity. The power of its kings waxed and waned but one, Brian Boru, gained the High Kingship of Ireland for a time before his death at the battle of Clontarf in 1016. He is also credited with fortifying the Rock in 990.

In 1101 the then King of Cashel, Murtagh O'Brien, granted the rock and surrounding territories to the senior Bishop of Munster. In 1152, Cashel became the official seat of the ArchBishops of Munster. In 1539 the then ArchBishop Edmund Butler swore fealty to the King and abjured the Popes authority. From that time on there were two ArchBishops of Cashel, with one being appointed by King or Queen while the other was appointed by the Pope.

While the reformation in Ireland never gained the acceptance of the bulk of the people, the state religion was able to levy taxes from the whole population and also had possession of much land. Accordingly it was wealthy and in Cashel this is shown by the magnificent house built for ArchBishop Bolton in 1730, now the Cashel Palace Hotel. ArchBishop Bolton was an antiquarian of some note and collected a wonderful library, which has also been conserved and can be visited in the town.

The Town

While Cashel has often seen dramatic events unfold nad has seen more than one army march by, it also has a proud civic tradition, which you can see by visiting the towns heritage centre, where are kept the various charters granted the twon by different kings. Cashel was an important trading centre in maedievel times and indeed right up until the 18th century. A few signs of this can still be seen in the town . . .

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Spectacular maedievel site
  • Cons:Its a pretty small place
  • In a nutshell:Its got the WOW factor :-)
  • Last visit to Cashel: Aug 2006
  • Intro Updated Oct 22, 2006
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