Blarney Castle Estate
Situated 8 km from Cork city, this historic castle is most famous for the Blarney Stone, which has the traditional power of conferring eloquence on all who kiss it.
Blarney Castle is the third structure to have been erected on this site. In the 10th century there was a wooden hunting lodge and in 1210 this was replaced by a stone structure. This building was demolished for the foundation of the third castle built by Cormac McCartney in 1446.
History of Blarney Castle
Cormac McCarthy, King of Munster
The lower walls are fifteen feet high, built with an angle tower by the McCarthy’s of Muskerry. It was subsequently occupied at one time by Cormac McCarthy, King of Munster, who is said to have supplied four thousand men from Munster to supplement the forces of Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
The Earl of Leicester was ordered by Queen Elizabeth to take possession of the castle. Whenever he endeavoured to negotiate, McCarthy always suggested a banquet or some other form of delay, so that when the queen asked for progress reports, a long missive was sent, at the end of which the castle remained untaken.
Cromwell’s General, Lord Broghill
The castle was eventually captured by Cromwell’s general, Lord Broghill. However, when his men entered the keep, he found only two old retainers, the main garrison having fled by the underground caves situated below the battlements known as the Badgers Caves. There are three passages, one to Cork, one to the lake and one seemingly to Kerry.
Sold to Sir James St. John Jefferyes in 1688
A subsequent owner of the estate spent a fortune in vain, endeavouring to drain the lake at the bottom of which the famous plate was supposed to have been thrown. The estate was forfeited by Donogh McCarthy, 4th Earl of Clancarthy, who supported James ll in the Williamite Wars, and was passed to the Hollow Sword Blade Company who subsequently sold it to Sir James St. John Jefferyes, Governor of Cork in 1688.
The Colthurst Baronet of Ardrum in the county of Cork is a title in the Baronetcy of Ireland. The current owner is Sir Charles Colthurst who lives in Blarney House, which was built in 1874.