Ireland is a country of myths and legends, and nowhere is that more true than at Blarney Castle. The Blarney Stone has a history that combines Celtic mythology with facts from the Middle Ages.
You most likely know that Blarney Castle was built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland's greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy and that the current castle is the third castle to be built here.
You may also know that to reach the legendary stone you must climb approximately 120 steps to get to the top of Blarney Castle. Once you are on the narrow walkway, the only way to reach the stone is to lean back over the edge while holding on to the iron bars of the surrounding wall.
But did you know that the legend says that the Blarney stone powers were thanks to a witch? She cast a spell on the stone to thank a king who saved her from drowning. Kissing the Blarney Stone is said to give “The Gift of Gab” and that the word Blarney was introduced into the English language by Queen Elizabeth I described as pleasant talk, intended to deceive without offending.
In 2014 geologists confirmed that the stone was sourced from 330 million-year-old limestone native to southern Ireland.
Visitors who come to Blarney should also be sure to visit the lovely gardens as well as the beautiful Blarney House that you see in this picture. Blarney House was built in 1874 by the Colthurst family, who continues to live there. During the tourist season they open it up for tourists while they stay at their farm.
Another "fun fact" is that Blarney Castle has a “murder room,” located just above the castle’s main entrance. This proved crucial in warding off potential intruders. Anytime an unwanted visitor showed up, sentry would drop rocks, hot oil, or whatever weapons they could get their hands on, through a square hole in the floor.
Should you decide that you would like to visit this Irish treasure please contact me at Lene@PerfectlyPlannedJourneys.com or 703-927-0588
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Lene H. Minyard