Tourist’s guide to Rock Cough – former residence of the Kings of Ireland

Cough Rock is one of Ireland’s most visited attractions, also known as St. Patrick’s Rock. This place is also called the rock of kings. The ancient Celtic cathedral is located in the Irish county of Tipperary. The castle, built in the 4th century, was the monarch’s residence of the provinces of southern Ireland, after 100 years, St. Patrick settled in it. After the attack of Cromwell’s army, the castle complex became a symbol of steadfastness and courage of the Irish inhabitants. The castle has preserved residential buildings, household structures and the ruins of the cathedral.

Rock Cough

General information and historical facts

Rock Cough in Ireland is on the list of the most popular and most visited tourist destinations in the country. Of course, today there is not much left of the former grandeur of the castle, but the attraction attracts with its complicated history, rich in various events. There is an old Celtic cathedral in the county of Tipperary, before there was a castle, which the locals called the “stone fortress”, hence the name of the rock.

Interesting fact! The name Cough is an English version of the word of Irish origin – caiseal, in translation it means – fortress or fortification.

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Town of Cough

The town of Cough is an interesting historical place in Ireland, with which many myths and legends are associated. About 3 thousand people live here. The settlement has preserved a touch of antiquity, a special flavor, this is a great example of a traditional Irish city. The population is small and the area is rather modest, however, in Cashel every tourist will find interesting sights.

You can visit the cemetery

The ruins of the castle are located on a plateau, where you can also visit the cemetery, where crosses are set on many graves. The oldest and largest is the Scully Cross, established in 1867. In the middle of the last century, lightning struck the base, the cross was destroyed. Today its ruins are kept at its base.

Historical facts

The history of the castle dates back to the 4th century BC, – the representative of the Eoganacht family – Conall Cork founded the fortress, which became the royal residence of the Irish rulers.

Stained Glass Window
Saint Patrick

In 450, Saint Patrick appeared in the Irish lands, converting the ruling monarch to Christianity. After 15 years, the rock and fortifications were captured by the supreme king of the country, Brian Bor, and 13 years later it was crowned in the castle.

At the beginning of the 12th century, the castle was granted to the church by the decision of the ruling king, after which it turned into a powerful, large religious center. Later, a chapel of Cormac was built on the territory of the castle complex and the cross of St. Patrick was erected. By the middle of the 12th century, Cough acquired the status of the residence of bishops, in the middle of the 12th century, a cathedral began to be erected near the castle. Construction work continued for more than 60 years and was completed in 1234. In the middle of the 17th century, the whole territory of Ireland was covered by military operations, tragic events were not spared, then the troops of the Irish Parliament destroyed the rock of Cashel.

During the period of hostilities, many clergymen were killed, and shrines stored on a rock were stolen. According to historical data, the death toll is about 3 thousand people, the surviving people sought protection in the cathedral. Cromwell’s army burned people alive. After these events, the castle is an Irish symbol of the heartlessness of the British, as well as the courage of the Irish.

Scheme of buildings on the Rock of Cough with the date of construction

Interesting fact! During archaeological excavations, traces of burials and religious buildings dating from the 9-10th century were discovered.

The legend of the appearance of the rock

Many myths are associated with the rock, the most popular one tells about the appearance of St. Patrick, as well as the baptismal rite of King Eogan. During the religious rite, the devil circled over Ireland, trying to prevent the rite. Having reached the mountains, he bit off a large stone and spat it out over the place where the baptism took place, so the rock of Cough appeared.

Good to know! King Eogan, baptized by St. Patrick, became the first Christian monarch in Ireland.

The architecture and structure of the castle

The entrance to the castle complex is equipped through the Vicar Hall. In 1975, this hall was included in the list of European heritage, in connection with this, the attraction was restored and restored. Also, the Museum of artifacts was built on the rock of Cachel, exhibits are displayed here, which were discovered in different years in the settlement.

On a tour of the Cough Rock in Ireland

Interesting fact! In the museum, tourists are shown a documentary about the history of the attraction. Museum halls can be walked on your own or with a guide, but keep in mind that there are no Russian-speaking guides.

In the chapel of Cormac
Cormac Chapel

Of course, the most valuable and well-preserved building on the rock is the Cormac Chapel. The construction has a complex structure – this is the main difference from most Romanesque churches, which differ in the simplest architecture and concise design. Two towers were built in the eastern part of the nave, which appeared in the project under the influence of German architecture. The front part is richly decorated with details characteristic of the Romanesque style – arches, carvings, animal figures. Inside the walls of the chapel are decorated with ancient Romanesque paintings. Until the end of the last century, a layer of plaster hid them. In the western part of the chapel there is a sarcophagus where Kormak was buried.

The Cathedral on Kashel has a cruciform shape and an annex of a round shape. The tower, 28 meters high, is the highest and oldest part of the religious building. At the top of the tower there is an observation deck from where you can admire the beautiful landscapes.

Ruins of Choir Abbey
Abbey Choir

At the foot of the cliff are the ruins of the Dominican men’s temple, built in the 13th century. There are other interesting sights in this part of Ireland: Zyach Dyachkov and Choir Abbey.

Interesting fact! In Ireland there is a legend telling about the appearance of a shamrock – a symbol of Ireland. According to one legend, during a religious ceremony, St. Patrick tore off a shamrock, thereby explaining the mystery and significance of the Trinity. Shamrock is believed to be Christian Irish symbolism.

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How to get there

Bus "Bus Eireann"

About 15 buses from different points come to Cough every day. Most often, regular buses from Dublin and Cork depart in the direction of the attraction. Trips are organized by Bus Eireann. Buses depart every two hours.

Interesting to know! When booking a ticket online you can get a 10% discount.

In addition, Bus Eireann buses depart from Waterford and Limerick. As a rule, about 6 flights depart from each settlement.

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Useful information

  • Address: Moore, Cough, Co. Tipperary.
  • Schedule of the castle – the castle welcomes guests all year round, from June to mid-September – from 9-00 to 19-00, in other months the doors of the castle complex are closed at 16-30 and at 17-30. The exact timetable is indicated on the official site of Cashel Castle (
Info plate Cough Rocks

Ticket price Castle:

  • adult – 8 euros;
  • for pensioners – 6 euros;
  • children and students – 4 euros.

All useful information is available on the official website:

Good to know! The castle complex has toilets, and parking is equipped. Payment by credit card is provided.

Bolton Library, Cough
Bolton Library

After a visit to the castle on the Cachel Rock, go to the Bolton Library, which contains an amazing collection of old books, recognized as the best after the collection in Dublin. It is also interesting to visit the national cultural center of Bru Boru, located on the cliff of Koshel, where you can plunge into national music, theater, songs, dances, explore the culture of the Celts.

Rock Cough – an amazing, magical place, shrouded in legends and myths. After the tour, be sure to walk to the town, the walk will take 10-15 minutes, treat yourself to pacifying views of meadows, grazing lambs and stone fences.

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