The famous Rock of Cashel rises from the Plain of Tipperary, forming a striking landmark which can be seen from all roads leading to the town, and carries a complex of buildings of enormous historical significance. From the 4th century until the 12th century the Rock was the principal stronghold of the Kings of Munster. In the 5th century, after being visited by St. Patrick, it acquired a religious significance which was soon to outshine its political importance. A number of the early Kings were also bishops, and in 1101 the Rock became a foundation of entirely ecclesiastical purposes.
According to J.H. Roget, History of the Old Watercolour Society, London, 1891, I, p. 289, Nicholson exhibited two Irish subjects at the Old Watercolour Society in 1812 and 1813, after sketches by Sir Thomas Gage (for whom see lot 144). For further information on Nicholson in Ireland see Anne Crookshank and the Knight of Glin, The Watercolours of Ireland, London, 1995, pp. 94-5.