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    • Rock of Cashel:

      Wikipedia page

      According to local legends, the Rock of Cashel originated in the Devil's Bit, a mountain 20 miles (30 km) north of Cashel when St. Patrick banished Satanfrom a cave, resulting in the Rock's landing in Cashel.[1] Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century.

      The Rock of Cashel was the traditional seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years prior to the Norman invasion. In 1101, the King of Munster, Muirchertach Ua Briain, donated his fortress on the Rock to the Church. The picturesque complex has a character of its own and is one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe.[2] Few remnants of the early structures survive; the majority of buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries.

    • Photo of internal stairs from Cahir castle:

      The stairs are deliberatly built with steps of different heights and climbing in a clockwise direction so a right handed attacker's sword is close to the right hand side and is less effective.

    • I recently watched a BBC documentary on the Norman conquest of England / Ireland. They built castles across Britain and Ireland. It's worth a look:

    • I founds this series very interesting and informative. How did I not know that Normans derived from Viking raiders in the 8th and 9th centuries??

    • Probably because the Norse migration into the lands now known as France is not emphasized in American schools as much as the later invasion of England by the descendants of those Norse who settled in what was called Normandie: The land of the Northern Men. Norse-Man plus the suffix "die."

      It's my opinion that the history of western Europe from the time of the fall of Rome till the "renaissance" is poorly taught. AND, many children's history books leave the children with the impression that places like Spain and France were single countries hundreds of years ago. France was for about 200 years but was split up in the mid-800s.

      In many places, the idea of a "country" as we use the term today didn't really exist and instead loyalty was given to a family and its head. Thus many of the fuedal wars were not seen as treason against a land but rather as the result of the death or imprisonment of a liege lord.

      But my point is that much of what is taught to children is "simplified" to make it easier for them to grasp. While the reality of the time periods was often much more complex.

    • I love your Eileen Donan image with the nice blue fluffy sky.
      I have been there three times, always with overcast and rain.

      Argh, it is Scotland, after all.