The Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary.
I loved visiting this ancient mount in the gorgeous village of Cashel. In my book, Honor's Debt, my
hero and heroine - Bryan and Honor - take a walk around the rock. Here's a small extract:
They walked along Moor Lane in silence. When they reached the intersection with Rock Lane she saw the imposing edifice of the Rock of Cashel, surrounded by high rock walls, ahead of her, high on a hill, and stopped to take in the view.
“Oh, it’s fabulous!” She let go of his hand and reached into her bag for her phone and took some photos.
“The round tower is ninety feet tall. All constructed without mortar. The craftsmen of the time fitted the stones perfectly together.”
“What was the tower for? It looks like a grain silo.”
“Wait till you get to the top of the hill and you’ll see. From up there, you get a 360 panoramic view of all of Tipperary. Back in 1101, they built this tower because of the invading Vikings.”
“Gosh 1101. For an Aussie, that seems incredibly old.”
“The rock was originally built on, way back in the fourth century, but there’s nothing left of that. Everything you see now was built around the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Apart from the round tower, and Cormac’s Chapel, which you can’t see from here—they’re older.”
They continued along the narrow lane, passing quaint little houses with slate tiled roofs splotched here and there with bright green moss. The early morning air was still brisk, making the steep walk up to the Rock exhilarating. The chill made her cheeks sting and the light breeze blew her hair gently.
She sighed, sensing that Bryan was going to be all right now. Yes, he seemed content to put their…awkward…moment from last night behind him.
They reached the entry to the Brian Boru Heritage Center and went inside, spending an hour or two exploring the fascinating history of the man who ruled Ireland as the High King of Munster from this very spot for twenty-four years, when he was crowned here in 990. ...
When they emerged into the grounds within the walls, the sun was shining brightly, making the already bright green grass dazzle, residual drops of dew causing it to sparkle. They wandered slowly through the ancient, grey headstones and Irish high crosses, unable to read the long ago worn-off epitaphs of those whose remains lay buried there.
Bryan proved to be a knowledgeable guide, his interesting commentary better than any guide book.
“What was it you called it last night? Something about Saint Patrick?”
“Yes, Carraig Phádraig. It’s said that this was the place that—way back in 450—Saint Patrick himself converted one of the pagan Kings of Munster. Apparently it was a big deal at the time.”
They explored Cormac’s Chapel and the grounds at length. The most stunning thing for Honor, was the magnificent view from the wall. As far as the eye could see, green fields, dotted here and there with houses, ruins of old churches, stone walls, and small villages, spread out before her like a painting. It was a surreal place, full of history and beauty.
Honor's Debt ::: Book 1 of the Robinhill Farm Series
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