Join world statesmen, literary giants and legends of the silver screen by kissing the Blarney Stone.
Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold in Blarney near Cork. Though earlier fortifications were built on the same spot, the current keep was built by the MacCarthy of Muskerry dynasty, a cadet branch of the Kings of Desmond, and dates from 1446.
The castle originally dates from before 1200, when a timber house was believed to have been built on the site, although no evidence remains of this. Around 1210 this was replaced by a stone fortification. It was destroyed in 1446 but subsequently rebuilt by Cormac Láidir MacCarthy, Lord of Muscry, who also built castles at Kilcrea and Carrignamuck. The castle was besieged during the Irish Confederate Wars and was seized in 1646 by Parliamentarian forces under Lord Broghill. However, after the Restoration, the castle was restored to Donough MacCarty, who was made 1st Earl of Clancarty. During the Williamite War in Ireland in the 1690s, the 4th Earl of Clancarty (also named Donough MacCarty) was captured, and his lands (including Blarney Castle) were confiscated by the Williamites.
The castle was sold and changed hands several times – Sir Richard Pyne, the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, owned it briefly – before being purchased in the early 18th century by Sir James St John Jefferyes, governor of Cork City. Members of the Jefferyes family built a mansion near the keep. This house was destroyed by fire, and in 1874 a replacement Scottish baronial-style mansion, known as Blarney House, was built overlooking the nearby lake. In the mid 19th century, the Jefferyes and Colthurst families were joined by marriage, and the Colthurst family still occupies the demesne.
The Blarney Stone
Some say it was Jacob’s Pillow, brought to Ireland by the prophet Jeremiah. Here it became the Lia Fail or ‘Fatal Stone’, used as an oracular throne of Irish kings – a kind of Harry Potter-like ‘sorting hat’ for kings. It was also said to be the deathbed pillow of St Columba on the island of Iona. Legend says it was then removed to mainland Scotland, where it served as the prophetic power of royal succession, the Stone of Destiny. When Cormac MacCarthy, King of Munster, sent five thousand men to support Robert the Bruce in his defeat of the English at Bannockburn in 1314, a portion of the historic Stone was given by the Scots in gratitude – and returned to Ireland. Others say it may be a stone brought back to Ireland from the Crusades – the ‘Stone of Ezel’ behind which David hid on Jonathan’s advice when he fled from his enemy, Saul. A few claim it was the stone that gushed water when struck by Moses. Whatever the truth of its origin, we believe a witch saved from drowning revealed its power to the MacCarthys.https://blarneycastle.ie/pages/kiss-the-blarney-stone
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 00 353 21 438 5252
Good To Know
- Check the website for a virtual tour.
- Check website for opening times.
- Kiss the Blarney Stone.
- See the Castle gardens.
Blarney, Cork, Ireland
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