We were on the way to sunny Cork (this time it was more rainy than usual though) when we reached Cashel. We decided to take a break at the Rock of Cashel. Currently, on-going conservation works are being conducted on Cormacs Chapel.
The Rock of Cashel contains a spectacular group of Medieval buildings which are set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale. The buildings include the 12th century round tower, High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, 13th century Gothic cathedral, 15th century Castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral. The Vicars Hall has been nicely restored and has an amazing ceiling.
Scully's cross , which is the largest of the high crosses was originally constructed in 1867 to commemorate the Scully family. It was destroyed in 1976 when lightning struck a metal rod that ran the length of the cross. The remains of the top of the cross now lie at the base of the cross adjacent to the rock wall.
We were lucky on the day , the current conservation works being carried out on Cormacs Chapel result in it being periodically closed during 2016. But on the day we visited, it was open to the public. The chapel contains the oldest and most important Romanesque wall paintings in Ireland. Unfortunately, a lot of these wall paintings have been affected by microorganisms which are the result of the damp conditions. The wall paintings were painted on plaster, and it is this plaster which is affected by these damp conditions. Conservation works are currently ongoing to stop further deterioration .
When we left the Rock of Cashel, we ended up in the small tourist shop at the bottom of the rock. Not worth the visit. The car park pay machine seemed to cause a lot of confusion with the many tourist, many looking to pay the €4 fee with a visa card - although the machine doesn't accept VISA cards.