The Rock of Cashel, also known as Cashel of the Kings and St. Patrick’s Rock, is a historic site located at Cashel in County Tipperary.
It is one of the most spectacular attractions in Ireland. So if you are looking for a complete guide for your Rock of Cashel tour, here are tips and guide for first-time visitors.
Things you'll find in this article
- What is Cashel?
- When was the Rock of Cashel built?
- Why is the Rock of Cashel famous?
- How many people visit the Rock of Cashel?
- How to go to Rock of Cashel Tour by public transportation
- Rock of Cashel Tours From Major Cities
What is Cashel?
Cashel means stone fort. It is said that there’s a big stone at the top of the fort that played a significant role for rituals and ceremonies.
When was the Rock of Cashel built?
This iconic landmark was the seat of the High Kings of Munster and was built between the 12th to the 13th century.
Why is the Rock of Cashel famous?
Aside from its beautiful structure and scenic spot, the Rock of Cashel is also known for its important play in history and religion. The Cashel is associated with two famous legendary people in Ireland. It was said that St. Patrick arrived in Cashel and baptized the King Aengus in AD 432. These days, Rock of Cashel is one of the must-see castles in Ireland.
The Rock of Cashel also played a significant part on the historical inauguration and ceremonials of the royals before including the inauguration of Brian Boru, the King of Munster at 978. He was the first King of Munster to become the High King of Ireland at 1002 and the only Irish ruler to unite all of Ireland for a significant period.
After the Battle of Clontarf, there weren’t any buildings left in the fort except for the remnants of the residential castle and the fort itself. The reconstruction began at 1100 and added more structures in the area that includes a cathedral, a chapel, a graveyard, and the round tower.
The round tower is the tallest building in the fort at 28 meters high and the oldest building that dates back at 1100.
The Cormac’s Chapel, the chapel built for King Cormac Mac Carthaigh begun in 1127 and finished at 1134. Upon the permission of the Vatican to set up four archbishoprics in Ireland, the cathedral was built between 1235 to 1270 and the tower house castle to house the archbishop of Cashel.
From then on, the Rock of Cashel didn’t only become a historically significant but also played an important role in the religion. Brian Boru’s grandson, Muircheartach Ua Briain, gifted the Rock of Cashel to the church as a way to win the heart of the people as the McCarthys, a political rival, were gaining power and was also interested to the symbolic Cashel.
Also with the church’s rising power and influence, the McCarthys won’t be able to possess the Cashel as the public would favor the church.
One of the most significant events in the history of Cashel is the Sack of Cashel that happened in 1647. During the Irish Confederate Wars, Oliver Cromwell commanded Murrough O’Brien and his English Protestant Parliamentarian army to attack the town of Cashel.
The residents took refuge at the Cathedral in Rock of Cashel but they were followed by the army and killed all of them including the Irish Confederate troops and the Catholic clergy.
The massacre resulted in roughly 1000 lost lives. Murrough O’Brien’s troops destroyed several important artifacts and it resulted in the slow decline of the Rock of Cashel.
How many people visit the Rock of Cashel?
Now, the Rock of Cashel is an important landmark in Ireland and it is also one of the most visited attractions in the country with almost 400,000 annual visitors.
9 am to 4:30 pm during winter and 9 am to 7 pm during the summer.
Adult : €8.00, Group / Senior : €6.00, Child / Student : €4.00, Family : €20.00
Location: Rock of Cashel, Moor, Cashel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
Phone: 062 61437
How to go to Rock of Cashel Tour by public transportation
How to get to Rock of Cashel from Dublin
Rock of Cashel is over 167 kilometers from Dublin. If you don’t have a car, you can take the Bus Eireann (#X8) from Busaras Bus Station to Main St. This takes about 2 hours for €24-29 a trip or €48-58 for a round trip. The bus leaves every 4 hours.
Then from the bus stop, just walk about 10 minutes to get to the entrance of Rock of Cashel. The Rock of Cashel is one of the best day trips from Dublin.
Or you can also get this Rock of Cashel tour from Dublin includes a tour to Blarney Castle, Cahir Castle, and the Rock of Cashel for €60.
How to get to Rock of Cashel from Galway
Rock of Cashel is over 160 kilometers from Galway. If you don’t have a car, you can take a train to Limerick Junction for €57-78. This takes almost 3 hours and trains only run twice a day. Then take a taxi from Limerick Junction to the Rock of Cashel.
This takes about half an hour for €30-40 a trip or €60-80 for a round trip.
How to get to Rock of Cashel from Cork
Rock of Cashel is over 93 kilometers from Cork. If you don’t have a car, you can take the Bus Eireann (#X8) from Cork Bus Station, Cork Parnell to Main St. This takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes for €16-20 a trip or €32-40 for a round trip. The bus leaves every 4 hours.
Then from the bus stop, just walk about 10 minutes to get to the entrance of Rock of Cashel.
Or you can also take this Rock of Cashel tour from Dublin includes a tour to Kilkenny and Rock of Cashel for just €45. It is also one of the best day trips from Cork.
How to get to Rock of Cashel tour from Shannon
Rock of Cashel is over 83 kilometers from Shannon City. If you don’t have a car, taking 3 connecting buses from Shannon to Rock of Cashel is the cheapest option for public transport. From Drumgeely Road, you can take a Bus Eireann (#343) to Glentworth.
This takes almost 40 minutes for €7-9 one way or €14-18 round trip.
And then from Glentworth, take a bus (#55) to Tipperary and get off at Abbey St which takes about 35 minutes for €5-7 a trip or €10-14 for a round trip.
Then from Abbey St, take another bus (#T41) to Cashel which takes 30 minutes for €4-6 a trip or €8-12 for a round trip.
How to get to Rock of Cashel from Limerick
Rock of Cashel is over 61 kilometers from Limerick. If you don’t have a car, you can take a train to Limerick Junction for €7-11. This takes almost 30 minutes and the train runs hourly. Then take a taxi from Limerick Junction to the Rock of Cashel.
This takes about half an hour for €30-40 a trip or €60-80 for a round trip.
Rock of Cashel Tours From Major Cities
Rock of Cashel Day Tours From Dublin
If you want to see more sights from Dublin, this 2-day tour includes a trip to the top tourist spots in Ireland: Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle, the Burren, Braveheart battlefields, the city of Cork and the Rock of Cashel. And it is only €149.
Rock of Cashel Day Trips From Cork
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Hi, I’m Christine – a full-time traveler and career woman. Although I’m from the Philippines, my location independent career took me to over 40 countries for the past 8 years. I also lived in 3 continents – from the Caribbean, South East Asia to Africa. But despite living in several countries, my love for Ireland remains the same. A country that had been a part of my life since I was 14 because of my love for Irish music and bands. Ireland Travel Guides was born because of this passion and hopefully, in some little ways, this website will be able to help you on your next trip to Ireland.