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Blarney Castle, Ireland

Go on, kiss the Blarney Stone...

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For over 200 years world statesmen, literary giants and legends of the silver screen have joined the millions in climbing the steps of Blarney Castle and given the old Blarney stone a big old snog...and we think you should give it a go!

The famous Blarney stone is located in Ireland’s Blarney Castle (situated just outside of Cork), which was built in 1446 and remains a pretty impressive sight today. The castle was the third to be erected on the site and over the years was home to several Kings, Lords, Earl’s and Princesses. The castle itself is pretty amazing and so are the surrounding 60 acres of magnificent parklands which includes one of Ireland’s few ‘Poison Gardens’ where you must enter at your own risk and not touch any of the plants! Ohhhh, how very Harry Potter!

The Blarney stone can be found set into the tower of the castle and is a block of bluestone. Its origin is a topic of much debate with some people saying it was Jacob’s Pillow, brought to Ireland by the prophet Jeremiah where it became the oracle throne of Irish kings, and other’s believing that it was the deathbed pillow of St Columba on the island of Iona and was moved to mainland Scotland where it served as the ‘Stone of Destiny’. Whatever the truth, the legend remains that if you kiss the stone you will gain the gift of eloquence or put more simply, you’ll have the gift of the gab.

‘There is never a stone that whoever kisses, Oh! He never misses to grow eloquent 'tis he may clamber to a lady's chamber, or become a member of parliament.’ - Francis Sylvester Mahony

Millions have kissed the stone including; Winston Churchill, Billy Connolly, Mick Jagger and Grandpa Simpson (remember guys?!) but truth be told, it’s not an easy feat. To achieve the kiss you must lean backwards over the side of the building and lower your head almost flat against the tower. Nowadays there are protective crossbars and wrought-iron guide rails to aid you though people used to genuinely put their life at risk to get a peck and would be dangled off the side whilst being held by the ankles.

To find about more about Blarney Castle visit; www.blarneycastle.ie. When in Ireland it’s most definitely worth a visit so be sure to get over there and check out the legendary Blarney Stone – one word of advice, don’t look down!

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