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Where in Ireland is the Blarney Stone?

If you’ve heard of various Irish myths and legends then the chances are you’ve heard of famous Blarney Stone!

However, even though the Blarney Stone is famous (and quite rightly so, after all which country wouldn’t want a famous stone?) and well known throughout the world, there are always a few commonly asked questions which we thought we’d answer for you.

So, if you’re planning a trip or just have a curious mind, read on.

Where is the Blarney Stone?

The Blarney Stone can be found built into the battlements of Blarney Castle which is approximately 5 miles (8km) from Cork, County Cork, and 3 hours drive from Dublin city centre. 

The stone, castle and surrounding gardens all sit near the banks of the River Martin and have done since the castle was first built in 1446!

A settlement is reported to have existed on the site since 1200 but the castle and fortifications still standing today were erected by the McCarthy’s, Lords of Muscry. Since then it has witnessed countless wars and skirmishes, multiple different owners and more importantly, in this case, millions of hopeful Blarney Stone kissers! 

What is the Blarney Stone?

The Blarney Stone is a piece of solid carboniferous limestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle in County Cork. 

Those of us lucky enough to kiss the stone are said to receive the gift of eloquence or, in more colloquial terms, “the gift of the gab”.

The origins of the Blarney Stone have been debated for years and multiple stories abound proclaiming its true birthplace and history. Some claim the stone was blessed by the Irish Goddess Cliodhna after Cormac Ladir McCarthy prayed for help during a 15th century lawsuit!

Other stories claim the stone was a present given to Cormac McCarthy in 1314 by Scotland’s very own Robert the Bruce after McCarthy provided soldiers and support in a battle against the English. 

Another legend suggests Cormac Teige McCarthy was made aware of a blessed stone within his castle, by an old woman at the side of the road, whilst journeying towards Queen Elizabeth I for a battle of land agreement rights.

Whatever the reason and origin, it’s clear to see that the stone holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Irish storytellers and mythologisers.

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What Can You Do at the Blarney Stone?

Put simply, you can kiss the Blarney Stone and receive the famous gift of eloquence. In other words you’ll have the gift of the gab and the ability to tell people something they won’t like in agreeable terms… A handy skill to have, we think you’ll agree! 

That is the reward but the practicalities are a little more peculiar…

In order to kiss the Blarney Stone you must journey to the top of the castle, standing 27 meters high, lie down and lean over the parapets edge backwards! Thankfully there are trained staff beside you and metal guards below to ensure you won’t plummet to your death!

Incredibly, at one point none of the safety protocols existed! Was it worth the risk? We’ll leave you to decide on that..

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