Essential Architecture-  Ireland

Blarney Castle




Ireland > County Cork > Cork








Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold in Blarney, near Cork, Ireland. It is near the River Martin.

The castle originally dates from before AD 1200. It was destroyed in 1446, but subsequently rebuilt by Dermot McCarthy, the King of Munster. It is currently a partial ruin with some accessible rooms and the battlements. At the top of the castle lies the Stone of Eloquence, also called the Blarney Stone. Tourists visiting Blarney Castle may be positioned upside-down and kiss the stone, which is said to give the gift of eloquence. Photographs are taken of the "magic moment". There are many legends as to the origin of the stone, but some say that was the "Lia Fail" or the magical stone Irish kings were crowned upon.

Surrounding the castle are beautiful and quite extensive gardens. There are paths touring the grounds with signs pointing out the various attractions such as several natural rock formations which have been given fanciful names, a Druid's Circle, a Witch's Cave and the Wishing Steps. A newer mansion in the park, Blarney House which was built in Scottish baronial style in 1874, is also open to the public.