Cashel 700: ‘Within and Without the Walls’
Cashel 700: ‘Within and Without the Walls’ – Dates for your Diary!
700 years ago construction of the medieval walls of Cashel began in earnest, with a newly built circuit of masonry enclosing about 30 acres of land around the town. Medieval Cashel town had been laid-out according to Anglo-Norman principles; those medieval street patterns and plot boundaries remain largely in place in the modern town to the present day. The wall (complete with 5 gates, turrets and towers, wall-walks and sally-ports) were designed to safeguard the privileged and often wealthy settlers living ‘within’ the town, and to protect against attack from ‘without’. Those living ‘without’ were often identified as being the native Irish living in the suburbs and wilds beyond the town limits. Paid for through taxation, tolls and murage grants, money for the construction, care and upkeep of the walls was collected in Cashel until as recently as the 1950s. Although now much altered and fragmented, there is still considerable investment in the medieval town walls of Cashel to the present day.
A lecture series to mark the 700th anniversary of the building of the town walls and trace its story from initial construction to the present day has been organized by Cashel Heritage Forum. Kicking off the lecture series on 31st January 2019 will be Dr. Dagmar O’Riain with a talk entitled ‘You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hidden (Matthew 5, 14): The beginnings of Cashel’ which promises to provide an insightful look at the early Cashel and ecclesiastic influence on the town’s development.
Later in the year there will be further lectures on aspects of the topic by Dr. Susan Lyons, Dr. Tracy Collins, Dr. Paul McCotter, Dr. Ann-Julie Lefaye, Clare Lee, Prof. Tadhg O’Keeffe amongst others – details will be published in advance of each lecture.
Lectures will take place in the Parish Centre on Friar Street at 7.30pm on the last Thursday of each month from January to November 2019. It is intended that these lectures will be published as a monograph on the medieval town walls of Cashel in 2020. Admission is free and tea and coffee are provided after each lecture.