Blarney Castle

Everybody has heard of “kissing the Blarney Stone” but how many have actually done it? We figured it was an iconic stop and couldn’t pass up on the legendary site. Just outside of the town of Cork, the castle has been around for since the 15th century.

 

Blarney Castle

This is the third structure on the site and was built in 1446 by Cormac MacCarthy. It was his residence and was besieged four times, and taken once by the legendary Cromwell. But where does the legend of kissing the stone come from? According to the signs posted on the grounds it is shrouded in mystery, but the possible explanations seem to have been written by someone who has been bestowed the gift of gab by kissing the stone.

Stone of Eloquence

I doubt it was Jacob’s pillow and carried all around the United Kingdom, but this one seems like it could be closer to the truth:

Queen Elizabeth I is credited with introducing the word “blarney” to the English language. Her emissary, Sir George Carew, was charged with persuading the MacCarthy chieftain to abandon his ancient rights and accept the authority of the English throne. Every time he tried, he was met with long and eloquent protestations of loyalty and honeyed flattery of the Queen – but also with no agreement. In frustration, Elizabeth exclaimed “this is all Blarney. What he says he never means.” And a new word was born.

Blarney Castle
Blarney Stone

The Stone can be seen from the ground. It’s above the small rectangle of sky that can be seen in the photo above.

Blarney Stone

The actual site of the stone kissing is approached by climbing a number of narrow stairs to reach the parapet. Then you have to lean backwards, hold onto the rails, and kiss the stone while upside down with your head hanging out over the long drop to the ground. It sounds scary, but the attendant won’t let you fall. There is a camera there to take your photo from the most perfect angle (to be sold later at the gift shop) but it wasn’t too busy so I was able to get this one:

Kissing the Blarney Stone
Manor
View through archer’s slit
Blarney Castle
Shamrocks

After the fun of kissing the Blarney Stone, we drove back towards Dublin and stopped for a few photos of the Rock of Cashel.

Rock of Cashel
Rock of Cashel

I don’t think the Blarney Stone had any effect on me, but I think Bella was born to it.

~ Freddy

Freddy

I'm an engineer, a veteran, and an avid traveler. I agree with Robert Louis Stevenson - "I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move."

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