Pictured here is a view of the Rock of Cashel in Co Tipperary, without doubt one of the most iconic Irish landmarks and one which stands proud on a rocky outcrop 300 feet in the air. It is visible for miles around, and it is easy to see why this location was chosen for this historic stronghold.
Ancient legends associate the site with Saint Patrick, and archeological excavations show traces of a church dating back to the 9th century but most of what we see today came into being in the early 11th century. Its name comes from the Irish word Caiseal which means stone fort. The 12th century saw the Rock become a major Christian center. Despite what we know the Rock as today, it has been known as a fortified position in the country since the fourth century.
It is recorded that St Patrick converted the King of Munster Aengus MacMutfraich to Christianity here in around 450 AD. After this, the site became the seat of power of the Kings of Munster, the most famous of whom was the legendary Brian Boru.
Boru was crowned here in 990 and he went on to become the only king who was able to unify the whole of Ireland under one ruler. In the days of Brian Boru, Ireland was very much a feudal society with very few towns, and certainly no cities.
After his crowning, Bran Boru ruled from here for 24 years and his position was instrumental in bringing a sense of law and order, and with that a new prosperity to the country. He fought off Viking invasions including the best known battle of Clontarf where he defeated their hoards. After the Vikings were defeated at Clontarf, they remained content to stay within the confines of their cities in Dublin, Waterford, Cork and others. Of course, they reached outside sporadically to fight epic battles around the country but in time the Vikings became as Irish as the Irish themselves.
In 1101, the King of Munster, Muirchertach Ui Briain, donated his fortress on the Rock to the Church. Although the site itself is much older, most of the buildings here today are from the 12th and 13th centuries. The oldest and tallest structure is the round tower (pictured here on the left) which is 90 feet tall and dates from app 1100.
In 1647, during the Irish Confederate Wars, Cashel was sacked by English Parliamentarian troops. The Irish confederate troops stationed there were massacred as were all of the Roman Catholic clergy. The English troops looted or destroyed many important religious artifacts. Fearing a slaughter at the hands of Cromwells troops similar to that of Drogheda which saw 3500 men, women and children butchered, the townspeople of Cashel flooded into the cathedral believing they would be safe under the Medieval law of Sanctuary. Despite this centuries old custom, Cromwells troops stacked huge piles of turf around the building, set it alight and watched as everybody inside burned to death.
After this, the cathedral began to be used by the Church of Ireland Protestant faith, but they abandoned it in the mid 1700s' As they left, Arthur Price, the Anglican Archbishop of Cashel ordered the roof to be removed from the structure so that he could use the valuable lead which made up a large part of it. This left the site exposed to the elements and it began to decay. Price's decision to remove the roof on what had been the jewel among Irish church buildings was criticized before and since.
For decades now, renovations and archeological digs have been ongoing at the site, with the famous Cormacs Chapel being under scaffold for at least 4 years now. Of course, its worth it for the amazing finds they have made here, and for the ongoing protection of the site.
Today, it is open to tourists who can view the story of this place in the multimedia room (built into one of the old walled fortifications) and at their leisure stroll around the grounds of this place which has seen such an incredible mix of those people who influenced Irish history. From St Patrick to Brian Boru to Cromwell, the Rock of Cashel is a wonderful piece of Irish history.
The picturesque complex has a character all of its own and is one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe.
Critiques | Translate
Fis2 (82668) 2014-04-21 9:29
Interesting POV and composition.
I like building.
Good frame and super colours.
Have a nice evening
SNOOP_Chan (3841) 2014-04-21 9:34
Hello Noel, very nice image here. I like the cloudy sky, typical for Ireland i guess. Nice mood of the composition with the castle that looks untouched at least from this angle. Good take.
cornejo (28760) 2014-04-21 11:44
Hi Noel, great view of this interesting castle silhouetted against the gray sky, well captured with a great pov, pretty good in this picture. Interesting picture with good sharpness, depth, light, color and quality. A great job well done, congratulations my friend. Thanks for sharing this beautiful work.
Good evening and happy start to the week.
Warm greetings from southern Spain.
npecanhuk (61818) 2014-04-21 12:14
That's a very attractive picture that I truly enjoyed!
Special regards to the management of light, chosen pov and composition!
TFS - congrats,
photographer_sg (3255) 2014-04-21 12:46
excellent composition with superb framing and contrast with the background sky. Great management of the exposure in what appears to be difficult light. The historic castle perfectly focused and the inclusion of the two trees in the fg is a lovely touch.
Thanks for sharing and have a great new week ahead.
photoray (10605) 2014-04-21 15:22
The stormy clouds add to the impressions of your view of the Rock of Cashel - the steep hill leading upwards, the large rock wall surrounding, then the towers jutting heavenwards.
Would truly enjoy visiting someday.
Thanks for sharing,
PS: Viking and Irish interbreeding continued in the Colonies. My Father primarily of Swedish descent married an Irish descendent.
carlo62 (28719) 2014-04-21 15:22
piacevole diagonale a suddividere il prato dal cielo, le mura sono un confine perfetto.
In effetti il cielo che ho fotografato io č difficile da vedere nelle tue foto, ma questa č la bellezza del mondo, ognuno ha le sue particolaritŕ e i suoi splendori.
elenimavrandoni (14241) 2014-04-21 21:39
Noel, a legendary note to accompany a majestic image!! The combination is more than interesting and intriguing, is simply beautiful!
I would love to visit and enjoy the Celtic and medieval remains of rare architecture!!
a priceless jewel to your gallery!
fabbs99 (16141) 2014-04-21 23:52
Great shot of the castle and the hilly slope.Very well done,TFS.
kathryn_weir (2056) 2014-04-22 3:21
Good evening Noel,
That is a wonderfully informative note. After reading the notes I guess it would be easy to spend an entire day photographing here with a wealth of subject matter.
I like your distant shot and composition with the sloping foreground allowing the imposing fortress to dominate the skyline.
Well seen and captured
snunney (79973) 2014-04-22 4:20
The composition is very successful using the contours of the land and the outline of the castle to good effect. The sky is interesting despite being overcast to such a degree. I like the subdued light and understated colours.
Romano46 (16582) 2014-04-22 4:39
il soggetto č l'ambiente che lo circonda sembrano vivere in perfetta simbiosi, perchč al grigio della pietra si accoppia perfettamente il verde del prato.
Anche il cielo si č predisposto per collaborare alla riuscita della fotografia con il suo grigio regala il colore adatto all'ambiente.
La composizione č impeccabile con la diagonale leggermente curva della collina che contrappone molto bene cielo e terra.
Molto delicati i colori e dosato molto bene anche il contrasto.
Complimenti anche per questa tua ultima proposta alla quale unisci anche delle note straordinariamente dettagliate.
Ciao e buona giornata
timecapturer (45931) 2014-04-22 4:50
super shot this it shows us the domineering placement of this amazing old fortress. Looks impressive set against a moody Irish sky too. Fascinating and bloody history with extensive notes that are both thought provoking and also add to the impact of this image.
Regards - B.
jhm (136014) 2014-04-22 4:57
Thank you very much for your interesting notes, I learn almost everyday on TE.
You took these picture out of the depth with a big grass slope to the ruin of this castle.
Perspective and depth care for a good picture.
Excellent composition, with a good sharpness and clarity.
Very well done, TFS.
Royaldevon (27023) 2014-04-22 13:07
It must have been pretty scary living here centuries ago, with the ever present threat of Vikings or other ambitious kings! No wonder such a strong position was chosen! The view from here must vast, whilst the accent is anything but easy!
I like how you have achieved a good, angled line with your composition and the building is strongly placed on the thirds line. Though the light level is quite low, the cloudy sky creates a great, moody atmosphere.
My warm regards,
batalay (34883) 2014-04-22 18:24
I like your notes as much as the photos. The composition here could not be better with the fortress crowning the hilltop. The sky is an appropriate distressed sky. Can you imagine having to look at that hillside and having to carry out orders to lay siege.
pajaran (49171) 2014-04-22 22:31
Interesantan i dobar tekst o staroj tvrdjavi, sa istorijom i opisom ...
Dobar trenutak snimka i kontrast, lepo pokazano mesto sa tvrdjavom i trenutak sa oblacima koji donose kisu, lepe boje.
Dobar rad i kompozicija, lepo uhvacen trenutak.
Ostala je rusevina i secanje na vreme ratovanja.
Imajte lep i uspesan dan, sve najbolje.
An interesting and good article on the old fortress, with a history and description of ...
Good time recording and contrast nicely demonstrated place with the castle and the moment the clouds that bring rain, beautiful colors.
Good work and composition, well captured moment.
Remained a ruin, and the memory of the time of war.
Have a nice and successful day, all the best.
Kamilutka (8095) 2014-04-23 2:28
very good POV for this picture. It influenced the composition making it more simple and lighter. I like the elegance of just few elements in here, but very well placed. The slope bends gently at the very right angle and the ruins of the castle create strong focal point in the upper part of the image. Moody colors and light enhance the character of the picture.
Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day
rogerl (1544) 2014-04-23 13:59
Noel, I've been here, but I didn't climb down the hill to see what it looked like from below. Glad someone else did it for me! This is a very nicely framed shot, with the castle itself well-positioned and the wall curving away through the image. I like the somewhat dark, moody exposure. And I'm glad to see that you finally have a cloudy day there.
macjake (53268) 2014-04-24 2:25
if i could envision Irealand in my mind, I think I would see scene's similar to this one.
looks like a place to film movies too :)
so much history here its hard to even imagine the stories.
its a fine split of greens and blues, excellent subject and note.
Tigerlily (3033) 2014-04-24 11:03
Wonderful shot. Simple and strong image. I like the way of using the wall to divide the image.
BTW, if you use Photoshop, you could have a check CA.
delpeoples (52765) 2014-04-24 23:45
Now this is a completely new outlook on this most famous Irish icon. I love it. The curves are beautiful, guiding the eye nicely throughout the frame. Excellent colours and the sky is dramatic and helps with the perspective. Excellent work.
Greetings from 30 degrees 100% humidity stormy tropical Queensland
danos (83767) 2014-04-25 0:28
fascnating the view as the presentation of the castle with its exterior walls to are placed perfect in the frame.The dark and grey sky enhance even more the beauty of the construction.
mesutilgim (80842) 2014-04-25 11:03
Hello dear Noel,
Another perfect entry from Ireland ! Not only photographycally but also informative, perfect job done.
TFS and have a nice weekend
omid266 (3547) 2014-04-25 21:07
very very beautiful result, from another old and giant Castle in Ireland, wonderful place,
very nice POV, Good frame, all the Best and Thanks for sharing ,
Good luck friend
dekanski (2612) 2014-05-11 5:19
very nice, great POV. Worth to visit! TFS
adores (34740) 2014-05-31 12:09
So much history within those walls! It's impressive and in a fabulous location. I believe it must be really interesting inside. Very good light and pov. The cloudy sky makes it much more mysterious.
I see you have posted other photos of it, need to go back and check them:)!