From My Heart To You



Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle was originally a timber hunting lodge built in the 10th century, which was replaced by a stone castle in 1210. The present day castle was completed by Dermot McCarthy, King of Munster in 1446.

Following the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, all Irish chiefs were stripped of their powers and the McCarthys were again forced to leave Blarney Castle. The Castle was sold to Sir James Jefferyes, Governor of Cork in 1703.

Kissing the stone is supposed to give the kisser the gift of winning persuasiveness (blarney).



It's tough to reach the stone -- it's between the main castle wall and the parapet. Kissers have to lie on their back and bend backward (and downward), holding iron bars for support. Can you imagine kissing something that has had people's lips all over it for 500 years? Yuck!

The Blarney Stone is a stone set in the wall of the Blarney Castle tower in the Irish village of Blarney. The walls of the castle are 18 feet thick. The stone is believed to be half of the Stone of Scone which originally belonged to Scotland. Scottish Kings were crowned over the stone, because it was believed to have special powers. One of the stories says that an old woman cast a spell on the stone to reward a king who had saved her from drowning. Kissing the stone while under the spell gave the king the ability to talk sweetly. He was able to talk anyone into doing things. The stone was given to Cormac McCarthy by Robert the Bruce in 1314 in return for his support in a battle.



Queen Elizabeth I wanted the Irish chiefs to agree to hold their own lands under title from her. Cormac Teige McCarthy, the Lord of Blarney, handled her every Royal wish with clever promises keeping loyalty to the Queen without "giving in". Elizabeth proclaimed that McCarthy was giving her "a lot of Blarney." This is how the story began that if you kiss the blarney stone you will also be able to make clever promises.

Blarney is celebrated the world over for a stone on the parapet that is said to endow whoever kisses it with the eternal gift of eloquence - the 'Gift of the Gab'. The origin of this custom is unknown, though the word "blarney", meaning to placate with soft talk or to deceive without offending, probably derives from the stream of unfulfilled promises of Cormac MacDermot MacCarthy to the Lord President of Munster in the late sixteenth century. Having seemingly agreed to deliver his castle to the Crown, he continuously delayed doing so with soft words, which came to be known as "Blarney talk".



Five miles north west of the small city of Cork is the village of Blarney - its name being derived from the Irish An blarna meaning 'the plain'. Near the village, standing almost 90 feet in height, is the solidly built castle of Blarney. Cormac MacCarthy erected the present castle, the third constructed at the site, in 1446. Built on a rock, above several caves, the tower originally had three storeys. On the top storey, just below the battlements on the parapet, is the world famous Blarney Stone, said to give the gift of eloquence to all who kiss it. Kissing the stone is for some people a difficult physical feat. In past times, to kiss the Stone people were hung by their heels over the edge of the parapet. One day a pilgrim broke from the grasp of his friends and went hurtling downward to certain death. Since that time the stone has been kissed by another method. First, you sit with your back towards the stone and then someone sits upon your legs or firmly holds your feet. Next, leaning far back and downward into the abyss while grasping the iron rails, you lower yourself until your head is even with the stone to be kissed.

Just how long this custom has been practiced or how it originated is not known. One local legend claims that an old women, saved from drowning by a king of Munster, rewarded him with a spell, that if he would kiss a stone on the castle's top, he would gain a speech that would win all to him. It is known, however, when and how the word Blarney entered the English language and the dictionary. During the time of Queen Elizabeth I, Dermot McCarthy, the ruler of the castle, was required to surrender his fortress to the Queen as proof of his loyalty. He said he would be delighted to do so, but something always happened at the last moment to prevent his surrender. His excuses became so frequent and indeed so plausible that the official who had been demanding the castle in the name of the Queen became a joke at the Court. Once, when the eloquent excuses of McCarthy were repeated to the Queen, she said "Odds bodikins, more Blarney talk!" The term Blarney has thus come to mean 'the ability to influence and coax with fair words and soft speech without giving offense'. Echoing the power of the stone, an Irish bard of the early nineteenth century, Francis Sylvester Mahony, wrote:

There is a stone there, 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.

Midi ~ The Blarney Pilgrim








Fill out your e-mail address
to receive our newsletter!
Your Mail Address:
Your Name:
 



Pictures and buttons made by Judy. Triple background is made by Emma.

TRIPLES with EMMA

The music, backgrounds, graphics, stories, poems, or anything on any of my site is not to be taken off. It is not public domain and all has a copyright. If you would like anything you see or hear please contact the person that it belongs to and get their permission. DO NOT cut, copy, redistribute, alter, or download anything without our consent. If you see anything on my site that belongs to you and is copyrighted and I have not given you credit, please send me an E-mail and the credit will be put on the page or the item removed, whichever you want after proof is received that it actually belongs to you. Thank you for understanding and please enjoy and pass my sites on to your friends and let them enjoy them also. Thank you.

Page owned and maintained by JNM