#JackieAbroad – A Medieval Tour of Ireland

By: Jackie James

Hi! My name is Jackie, and I am a junior at the University of South Carolina and studying Marketing and Management. Currently, I am abroad in Limerick, Ireland as an Exchange student. Throughout the semester I will be sharing my personal experiences with academics in a new setting, the amazing sights Ireland offers, cultural differences between Americans and the Irish, and my travels to other countries throughout Europe.

Last Saturday, my 2 roommates and I took a “Medieval Tour around County Tippery.” One of my favorite things to do is to breathe in the fresh air of the Irish countryside (and to get out of the city), and that’s exactly what we did!

Our first stop was to the ruins of Athassel Priory (a 12th century monastery.) It is Ireland’s largest medieval priory – its courts covering 4 acres and church spanning over 200ft. We only spent a little time there, but there were many amazing ruins to explore and climb on (which was quite dangerous because it was raining!)

Athassel Priory 1
Athassel Priory
Athassel Priory 2
Athassel Priory
Athassel Priory 3
Athassel Priory
Athassel Priory 4
Athassel Priory

The next place we explored was the Rock of Cashel, in the town of Cashel. The Rock of Cashel was the traditional seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years. The Rock is the staging ground to a spectacular group of medieval buildings set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale including the 12th century round tower, High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, 13th century Gothic cathedral, 15th century Castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral. The “rock” of Rock of Cashel is actually the hill that the buildings are on. The hill was up so high, the location was perfect for defense from attackers.

Rock of Cashel
Rock of Cashel
Standing on the Rock of Cashel, which had gorgeous veiws
Standing on the Rock of Cashel, with its gorgeous veiws
Rock of Cashel 2
Rock of Cashel
Rock of Cashel 3
Rock of Cashel

 

We then made our way to my favorite part of the trip – Castle Cary. We hiked about 10 minutes to get to ruins of the ancient castle. There was a rushing river and the trees were covered with neon green moss; it looked like something out of a fairy tale.

Castle Cary
Castle Cary
Castle Cary Grounds
Castle Cary Grounds

Lastly, we made our way to the medieval town of Clonmel – Tipperary’s largest town. I wish that I could say we did something exciting, but we only ate at a restaurant and looked around. It was a long day; all we wanted to do was sit and relax. Besides, in Ireland, all of the shops close at 5 o’clock so the only places open were pubs!

Views from our bus of Ireland
Views from our bus of Ireland
Sights of Clonmenl
Sights of Clonmenl
Sights of Clonmenl 2
(One of my favorite pictures) Sights of Clonmenl

 

What an amazing day in Ireland! Next week, my friends and I are going to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day! Éirinn go Brách! (Ireland Forever!)

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