On a bleak and rainy day we approached the romantically scenic Irish ruins of the Rock of Dunamase. Looming over the surrounding area, it stands 150 feet above the plain. Not only is it a largely forgotten and far less visited site than Blarney Castle or The Rock of Cashel, it is also far more important to Irish history. Its lack of attention hides its savage history of conflict and deep importance in playing a key part in sparking the English invasion of Ireland by Norman knights that would set off 700 years of conflict.
Now abandoned but open to visit you would not know this, as you'd be lucky to see another soul. While the main keep and its two layers of walls were built around 1200, the main hall remains in better shape having been partly rebuilt as a medieval dining hall in the 1700s. Other than a trail up and a guard rail here and there it is untouched since this time. Underscoring its neglected nature, shortly after we visited a man was tortured, murdered and buried at the site and has yet to be found due to the plant growth and rough terrain. It remains to this day a forlorn reminder of ambition gone wrong, seeped in the sadness of its story and its rule under the O'Moore clan who were forcibly relocated from it in 1609.