The site itself is, according to local legend, the result of the devil being cast from a nearby cave and the sacred location where Saint Patrick (he of 'banishing the snakes' fame) converted the King of Munster around the 5th Century. Certainly was you wander through the echoing halls, the wind shrieking outside and the crows gliding upon its current, you can believe almost anything about the place.
I was fortunate that it was mid-week and mid-winter, for the place was mine to explore. It's undergoing some amazing restoration, I'll be back to see it when this is done, but there was plenty to illustrate what was being done to preserve the site, especially the amazing decorating and painting that had once existed within and now remains as mere etchings of colour on stone walls and ceilings.
There is a beautiful little one room museum attached to the site (which includes some detail about when the Queen visited. As an Australian republican I admit that I hoped she was uncomfortable walking up the steep hill, however there were also amazing artefacts of benefit to the study of medieval history. Many NSW history teachers will bemoan the fact that there is little to no scope for the middle ages in the senior curriculum and I am forced to admit I agree. With an amazing site like this, one of so many, why is it not an area of focus or an option for study?
As a location there was potential for the study of restoration, historical preservation and the middle ages for grades 7-8, however before I ramble too much- I'll direct you to the resources tab here, where you can find my musings and report on the Rock.