Blarney Castle and the Gift of Gab

4 Mar

Situated in southwestern Ireland, Blarney Castle has become a popular tourist attraction for thousands of visitors to Ireland every year. The castle was built in 1446 and is situated adjacent to the River Martin. It stands over 100 feet high and is still accessible today thanks to a winding staircase that must be precariously climbed. Though rustic and slightly treacherous in wet conditions it still provides a unique and insightful look into medieval Ireland. The majority of the rooms and walls within the castle are intact and a thorough self-guided tour can be taken around the castle grounds to fully grasp what life was truly like in medieval Ireland.  No medieval castle tour would be complete without a poison garden, filled with plants that can kill you as well as your children should they stray too far from watchful eyes.

However, the majority of visitors are there for one reason and that is to kiss the Blarney Stone.  The stone itself is a slab of blue stone situated in one of the castle’s exterior walls.  What a visitor, such as myself is not told beforehand is the unique and slightly dangerous way in which the stone is accessed. Lying on your back, one must slide partially off of the comfort of the stone wall and lower themselves to the stone.  In modern times, the kisser is accompanied by guard rails and the aid of an experienced guide who ensures that the person kissing the stone does not fall to their death below.

The stone itself is surrounded by folklore and is said to give the person who kisses the stone the “gift of gab” or eloquence. The legend can be dated back to coincide with myths about the Goddess Cliodhna in ancient Ireland or a slightly more recent tale involving Queen Elizabeth I and the Cormac McCarthy, the Lord of Blarney at the time of Queen Elizabeth’s rule. 

By: Ryan Waetjen

ImageImage

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: