Cormack’s Chapel, on the South Side of the Cathedral of Cashel, County of Tipperary

Artist(s) : George Holmes (Draughtsman)

View of the southern side of the Cathedral of Cashel, and of Cormack’s Chapel. Some gravestones are in the foreground, on the right-hand side of the image, and two figures are visible immediately to the left of the building, silhouetted against the sky.

Inscribed in Image

  • Signature – Geo. Holmes Delt. / Alken Sculp.
  • Caption outside of boundaries of image – Cormack’s Chapel, on the South Side of the Cathedral of Cashel, County of Tipperary.
    Published by Vernor & Hood, Poultry, March 1, 1801.
  • Instructions to binder – To face page 24.

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Technique Aquatints
Subject(s) Antiquities and archaeological sites, Architecture
Geographical Location
  • Rock of Cashel - Named locality
  • Cashel - Town or city
  • Tipperary - County
  • Munster - Province
Keywords(s) Archaeological sites, Cemeteries, Churches, People, Ruins
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 10.4 cm x 16.8 cm
Published / created 1801

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Sketches of some of the Southern Counties of Ireland
Note George Holmes
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy opp. p. 24
Source copy National Library of Ireland THOM 91414
Alternative source

This is a link to a digital copy hosted by an external website.
Rights Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Related text from travel account

Adjoining the south cross is Cormac's chapel and hall of audience; a relick of our ancient architecture, well worthy the antiquarian's close observation. The first room is about 53 feet by 19; the sides decorated by rows of slender columns one above the other, supporting semicircular arches richly ornamented. In the east end is a large niche, which formerly, they tell us, contained the regal throne, // but I think more probably an altar; the roof is vaulted; and, over the niche, is enriched with skulls of various animals, whimsically delineated, but boldly sculptured. I observed the remains of some bass reliefs and painted plaster, probably a species of fresco; for, notwithstanding there is not any mention made of the art of painting being in use in the earlier ages, yet the silence of history is by no means a proof of its non-existence. Fresco, of all the branches of the art, is most perishable; depending not only on heat and dryness, but on the firmness and durability of the surface on which it is laid: and when we consider the constant succession of miseries brought on this country by ceaseless warfare, in which our ancient buildings always suffered by burning and plundering, &c. we need not wonder at finding few or no vestiges of the art surviving the general wreck: and where an excellent skill in architecture existed, as is demonstrable in the present in- // stance, why should we discourage the idea of the sister art having an infantine existence at the same period? From the hall, a small staircase leads to an apartment over it of the same length and breadth, but not so high; the roof, composed of one semicircular arch, admirably built, and perfect as the first day, having resisted the tooth of time now nearly 900 years, being built by Cormac M'Culenan, anno 901, and is the only original part of the great building; the church being rebuilt by Donald O'Brien, King of Limerick, about the year 1167. [pp. 24-26]
Cormack’s Chapel, on the South Side of the Cathedral of Cashel, County of Tipperary