Last Updated: 7th Jun 2012
by – Clarie Hanney, Tour Manager, Europe
Blarney Castle (just outside of Cork) is one of Ireland’s oldest and most historic castles as well as being one of the strongest fortresses in the country.
Blarney Castle is famous for the Blarney Stone – also known as ‘The Stone of Eloquence’ – and it is believed that the stone can bestow the gift of eloquence on all those who kiss it. The stone is set in the wall below the battlements and to kiss it, you have to lean backwards while holding on to an iron railing.
The legends that surround the stone include that it was Jacob’s Pillow (from the Bible) and was supposed to have been brought to Ireland by Jeremiah the Prophet. It was also alleged to have been brought back during the Crusades and has legendary links to the Stone of Scone (aka the Stone of Destiny) in Edinburgh.
Another tale was that the king of the castle was given the story of the stone by an old woman whom he saved from drowning. This lady turned out to be a witch and as a reward she told him the secret of the stone.
Wherever the truth lies, thousands of people every year continue the tradition of kissing the Blarney Stone.