Ireland is rich in castles. So rich that the castle of the 15th century, which was kept by influential nobles of Ireland, surrounded by artfully created gardens, is not always able to stand out from dozens of others. Blarney Castle is believed to be incredibly lucky; it has a Stone: a magical, legendary stone of eloquence, to which there is a line of tourists.
Blarney is also known for bearing not the generic name of the owners or locality, but a pseudonym, a nickname. The English word “blarney” is translated as “flattery”, but there is also a verb that means “influence or convince with the help of charm and pleasant flattery”.
Blarney Castle was built in 1446 on the site of the disused old castle built in 1200. Experts believe that miscalculations were made during the construction of the first stone castle, so the building collapsed. Before him there was a wooden structure around the beginning of the XI century.
The castle was built in the 15th century by the local ruler Dermot McCarthy, a cunning politician and a brave warrior who swore allegiance to the English king. At the moment, some ceilings have collapsed near the building, but the main walls have survived, and the general view of the medieval castle has remained the same. The master’s tower - the dungeon - located nearby, the treasured stone is inserted into the wall, has survived.
Blarney got his name in the 16th century thanks to the envoy of the English Queen Elizabeth I, Earl of Leicester. The count was supposed to negotiate the transfer of the castle to the queen. Lester negotiated for a long time, participating in constant feasts and fun, and the Queen wrote long convincing letters. As a result, the castle remained in the possession of the McCarthy clan for a long time. It is possible that Leicester used the energy of the Stone of Eloquence.
In the XVII century, the fortress was besieged by Cromwell’s troops. Having destroyed the walls, they broke into the castle, but found no one there: all the inhabitants left through the underground passages, which they called Badger Holes, and took away all the valuables. Later, McCarthy returned to the fortress, but not by the rulers, but simply by the counts. And only the 4th Earl put an end to centuries of ownership, making a political mistake. These lands today are the private property of an aristocratic family.
This family owns Blarney House, a 19th-century house that looks like a castle from fairy tales, with a large number of round and rectangular turrets. There are stables and a pub on site. Behind the Blarney House lies a picturesque lake - underground passages under the castle lead precisely to it.
Blarney Stone: the famous Stone of Eloquence
Those wishing to receive the gift of captivating with words after meeting with the Stone of Eloquence must prepare for waiting in a long line. The stone is mounted in the wall of the tower at a considerable height, you need to reach for it and kiss it. This is not easy to do, because there is a gap between the site and the wall.
Now there are grilles and metal handrails installed for safety, but it’s still difficult to reach the stone. The only opportunity is to lie on your back and kiss the stone with your head back. A minister is on duty there, who will show the right place and hold so that there are no injuries. Those who don’t like such a ritual should find out that at the beginning of the 20th century Winston Churchill came here, one of the best speakers of all time.
Legend has it that Blarney Stone is part of the sacred stone on which the ancient Scottish kings were crowned. In 1314, Cormack McCarthy provided serious military assistance to the Scottish King Robert I, who decided the outcome of the battle in the war for independence from England. In gratitude, Robert I Bruce chopped off a piece of the royal sacred stone (Skuns stone) and presented it to Cormac. The stone was stored by the McCarthy clan, and later, during the construction of the tower, was built into the wall. Legend has it that a person who finds and kisses a stone will find the gift to influence people with a word.
Blarney is famous for its parks and gardens - walking through these gardens, tourists seem to travel to different worlds. There are many of them, and they differ from each other, like mosaic elements:
- Poison garden
- Fern garden
- Grassy border
- Swamp Garden
- Seven sisters
- Himalayan walk
- Forest, river and lake.
From the Poisonous Garden, where hundreds of poisonous plants are planted with signs of information about them, go to the garden of huge ferns, and then to a peat bog with unique marsh plants, such as, for example, giant rhubarb. The Seven Sisters Garden is another local legend. For the ruler, who had 7 daughters and 2 sons, the Druids created a rock garden. After winning the next battle, where he lost his sons, the lord ordered 2 stones to be removed, and the seven stone sisters around which flowers and herbs grow are still pleasing to the eye.
The grassy border will delight with an 80-meter pergola with white and pink roses, many flowering plants. The Himalayan walk and the Jungle will demonstrate the skill of gardeners who managed to grow exotic flora from seeds of wild plants in Ireland.
Medieval castle, old mansion, parks