The Rock of Cashel rises dramatically out of the plains of Tipperary, Ireland, and was, for 1,000 years, a symbol of royal and priestly power. It flourished until the year 1647 when a Cromwellian army massacred its 3,000 inhabitants. Ultimately the cathedral was abandoned in the 18th century.
We spent part of an early spring day in 2011 exploring the site of this ancient Gothic edifice. Between intermittent showers we wandered its roofless transepts and imagined, as one does in such places of antiquity, how life might have been for those — the pious; the powerful; the penitent and, perhaps, the perverse — who’d frequented its halls so long ago.
Though renovations are underway this impressive structure is little more than a ruin now. Yet, it’s possible to sense the sacred song and terrible secrets contained within these decrepit walls, the whispers of which we will never hear.
Nevertheless, the remnant of one secret is perfectly visible to the naked eye.
If you look closely at this image, you’ll see what used to be a secret passage emerging at the base of the windows. The cathedral’s thick walls are riddled with them. One can only imagine the volume of adrenalin that pulsed through these narrow corridors as inhabitants secreted themselves away from prying eyes, whatever the reason.
And now our curious eyes can marvel at what no longer remains secret.
Remember to look up …
Copyright Aimwell Enterprises 2012
2 thoughts on “Rock of Cashel — If these walls could talk …”
The ruins of western Europe are always inspiring; they make me wonder about all the ordinary things that have gone on before.
We truly are just further links in the chain of life.
Reminds me of this … one of my favourite quotes:
“I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing,
therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow human
being let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not
pass this way again.”
Stephen Grellet, 1773-1855
French-born Quaker Minister