Near Cork, Ireland
Home of the world famous Blarney Stone to gain the gift of eloquence. Enjoy
the beautiful gardens and surroundings followed by a refreshing break in the
Stable Yard Cafe or Castle Shop. Be sure to bring your camera along!
In 1446 the third castle was built by Dermot McCarthy, King of Munster of which the keep still remains standing. He 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. Legend has it that the latter king gave half of the Stone of Scone to McCarthy in gratitude. This, now known as the Blarney Stone, was incorporated in the battlements where it can now be kissed.
The Earl of Leicester was commanded by Queen Elizabeth I to take possession of the castle. Whenever he endeavoured to negotiate the matter 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. The queen was said to be so irritated that she remarked that the earl’s reports were all ‘Blarney’.
Read more about the gold plate at the bottom of the lake, the building of the Georgian gothic house ruined by fire and the present owners here
For over 200 years, world statesmen, literary giants, and legends of the silver screen have joined the millions of pilgrims climbing the steps to kiss the Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence. Its powers are unquestioned but its story still creates debate.
Once upon a time, visitors had to be held by the ankles and lowered head first over the battlements. Today, we are rather more cautious of the safety of our visitors. The Stone itself is still set in the wall below the battlements. To kiss it, one has to lean backwards (holding on to an iron railing) from the parapet walk. The prize is a real one as once kissed, the stone bestows the gift of eloquence.
Head gardener Adam Whitbourn designed the gardens. The 60 acres of 6 spectacular gardens are a joy to explore. Visit the prehistoric fern garden; a deadly poison garden and the magical rock close with its ancient yen trees and druidic stones Stroll by the lakeside and woodlands or in the beautiful arboretums. The wildlife includes red squirrels, foxes and rabbits while an historical village can also be visited close by.
After enjoying beautiful walks throughout our gardens why not sample some freshly made cakes and a cream tea or the Guinness stew, sausage rolls, pizza slices or large range of gluten free snacks?
Here you will find something for everyone – each item handpicked with the charm, quality and quirkiness you’d expect from Blarney Castle. From exclusive gifts for him and her, through to garments, paintings, souvenirs and mementos. All items are available to buy online.
Photography Awards to celebrate the famous castle plus the magical landscape and gardens to encourage tourists and the local community to take part. Photography courses are often held at the castle.
Please contact the estate directly for more information, questions or requests.