Rock of Cashel
Rainy gloom descends over the Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary. The round tower dates from c.1100 while the cathedral was built between 1235 and 1270. The rock was sacked in 1647 during the Irish Confederate Wars by forces aligned with Cromwell. Close to 1,000 were killed during the sacking of Cashel, as many of the locals had sought protection in the church, with the bodies in the churchyard being described as being five or six deep. In the final stand numerous ladders were laid against the church windows and soldiers swarmed the building. For another half an hour the massacre raged on inside the church, until a depleted few retreated up the bell tower. Only sixty defending soldiers remained at this point, and accepted a final call to surrender. However, after they had descended the tower and thrown their swords away, all were killed. The atrocity at Cashel caused a deep impact in Ireland, as it was the worst single atrocity committed in Ireland since the start of fighting in 1641. The Rock of Cashel was finally abandoned completely in 1749 with the removal of the cathedral roof.