From the 1856 Slater's Directory
Cashel is an ancient episcopal city and parliamentary borough, in the barony of Middlethird, county of Tipperary, 96 miles S.W. from Dublin, 15 N.W. from Clonmel, and 11 N.W. from Tipperary; eligibly situated at the diverge of several main roads leading into the circumjacent counties and many important towns, and at Goold's cross, six miles distant, there is a station on the Great Southern and Western Railway. The see of Cashel, now united with those of Emly, Waterford, and Lismore, was either founded or restored at the beginning of the tenth century. The first Bishop of Cashel, of whom any authentic notice occurs, is Cormac Mac-Cullinan, King of Munster, who, as was not uncommon at that period, exercised also spiritual jurisdiction over his subjects. The city consists chiefly of five streets, with some diverging lanes and outlets, Main-street (so called) being the principal thorough-fare of business, which is strictly of a local and retail nature. The city is well supplied with pure water from springs two miles distant, and conveyed into a large stone reservoir in the town by means of a pipe supposed to have been laid down by the monks of St. Francis Abbey in the reign of the Edwards. It is also well lighted with gas. In 1216 Cashel was erected into a borough by Archbishop DONAT and in 1220 Archbishop MARIAN extended the privileges of the burgesses. Richard II, Elizabeth, Charles I, James II, and Charles II confirmed preceding charters, or granted new ones, until, in the 9th of George IV, the property of the corporation was vested in commissioners, together with the municipal affairs of the city. General sessions for the county are held in January and July, and petty sessions for the division every Wednesday. The tholsel court is still in existence; but there are now very few causes referred to its decision. The city returned two members to the Irish parliament until the Union, since which it has sent one to the Imperial legislature; the present representative is Sir Timothy O'BRIEN. A branch of the National Bank of England is established here. The principal hotels are Ryall's, in Bank-place, and the Railway Hotel in Main-street, conducted by Mr. Wm. CORCORAN. Cashel is the head quarters of a constabulary district comprising six stations.
The old cathedral of St. Patrick, the ruins of which testify its extent and former magnificence, boldly towers on the celebrated rock of Cashel; and adjoining are the remains of Cormac's Chapel, erected by Cashel's first bishop, and who it is conjectured, erected also the round tower which crowns the summit of the rock. Archbishop PRICE, in the present century, ruthlessly unroofed the ancient and venerable cathedral, and thereby hastened its decay. The cathedral and parochial church of St. John, erected on the site of the former edifice, was first opened for divine service in December, 1783; it is a handsome and spacious stone structure, with a lofty spire of good proportions. The Roman Catholic chapel of St. John, in Friar-street, is a spacious and elegant edifice; behind it is a convent for nuns of the Presentation order. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists, a handsome building in Main-street. The bishop's palace, now the Deanery House, a spacious mansion with gardens, in the centre of the town, were purchased by the dean and chapter, as a residence for the dean, and minster officiating at the cathedral. The diocesan library, consisting of eight thousand volumes, is deposited in a handsome stone building in the cathedral yard; the Rev. Newport Benjamin WHITE is the librarian. The South Tipperary library contains about six hundred volumes. There are besides reading and news rooms in the market-hall. The charitable institutions comprise some valuable endowed schools, both for Protestant and Roman Catholic children of either sex; a handsome national school, a dispensary, &c. Races are held several times a year, but the principal meeting is on the 29th of September. A subscription pack of hounds are hunted in the season. The market days are Wednesday and Saturday, and the chartered fairs March 26th and April 7th. Customary fairs are also held on the third Tuesday in every month, unless the dates should interfere with those of the chartered fairs.
The population of Cashel, in 1851 was 4,798.