According to legend, the Rock first rose to political prominence in the fourth or fifth century AD, when a major fortress was established by the descendants of Eógan Mór who went on to establish a dynasty of kings-cum-bishops reigning over this part of Munster. The Eóganacht were ousted from Cashel in 978 by the Dál Cais line from Killaloe in County Clare, Brian Boru becoming the overlord of Cashel, and subsequently achieving dominance over Ireland in 1002. His descendant, Murtagh, granted the Rock to the Church in 1101 and, some fifty years later, when the papacy established four archbishoprics in Ireland, one of which was at Cashel, an early medieval cathedral was built here. By then, however, the Eóganacht had regained control under Cormac Mac Cárthaigh, who built the adjoining Cormac’s Chapel, finished in 1134. The whole site was sacked by Cromwell’s forces in 1647, but was still used by the Church of Ireland until 1749 when cathedral status was granted to St John’s Church on John Street.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Ireland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Spring equinox at Loughcrew: waking up to Ireland’s secret rock art

Spring equinox at Loughcrew: waking up to Ireland’s secret rock art

The Loughcrew hills near the centre of Ireland are little-known – but at the spring equinox they take on a special magic. On this spring bank holiday, Paul C…

01 May 2017 • Paul Clements local_activity Special feature
6 of the best road trips in the UK

6 of the best road trips in the UK

There is something about a road trip that creates an endless state of heightened excitement. It comes with a heart-in-mouth, funfair-like thrill. And no matter …

11 Apr 2017 • Mike MacEacheran insert_drive_file Article
In pictures: 12 reasons why you should visit Ireland

In pictures: 12 reasons why you should visit Ireland

With its remote beauty, rugged landscapes and windswept coastlines, Ireland is a photographer's dream. Philip Joyce shares some of his favourite pictures of…

17 Mar 2017 • Philip Joyce insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month