Graveyard, Rock of Cashel, Caiseal, Éire
This is the Carraig Phádraig, or the Rock of Cashel, also known as St. Patrick’s Rock, located in the town of Cashel in County Tipperary, Éire. Originally the site of a hilltop fort, home to the kings of Munster for many centuries, the Rock was donated to the church in 1101 by King Muirchertach Ua Briain. However, few 12th Century structures survive, with the round tower, 90 feet (28 meters) tall, and Cormac’s Chapel, a Romanesque-style sandstone Building, was constructed atop the rock between 1127 and 1134, being the only buildings left from this time period. The largest of the structures atop the rock is The Cathedral, which was built between 1235 and 1270, which abuts against a residential structure for the clergy, known as the castle, constructed in the 15th Century. Both of these buildings are now in ruins. The other building on the site is the Vicars Choral, constructed in the 15th Century, which today has been fully restored, and houses several Celtic and medieval artworks. The rock remained intact and in use for major religious functions until 1647, when it was sacked during the Irish Confederate Wars, after Irish Confederate troops sought refuge on the rock, and were massacred by the opposing English Parliamentarian troops, along with the Catholic clergy, whom the English Parliamentarian troops saw as aiding the enemy. The buildings were sacked and vandalized. The buildings remained intact, however, though in a state of partial ruin, until 1749, when the main cathedral roof was removed by the Anglican Archbishop of Cashel, showing how little regard or respect the English had for the Irish people. The rock became home to a cemetery during the 18th and 19th Centuries, with many impressive grave markers. The most notable feature of this is a large tomb built for the Scully Family in 1867, once topped by a large cross, destroyed in 1976 by lighting, which sits in pieces on the ground nearby. The buildings on the rock have had conservation work carried out on them in recent decades, and the rock is considered a National Monument of Ireland, owing to its historical importance, cultural significance, and significant artistic works.