Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold in Blarney, near Cork, Ireland, and the River Martin.

  • The castle originally dates from before 1200; a wooden structure. Around 1210 this was replaced by a stone fortification. It was destroyed in 1446 and rebuilt by Cormac Laidir MacCarthy, Lord of Muscry.
  • The current fortification was built by the MacCarthy of Muskerry dynasty, a cadet branch of the Kings of Desmond. Dates from 1446.
  • The castle was besieged during the Irish Confederate Wars and was seixed in 1646 by Parliamentarian forces under Lord Broghill.
  • After the restoration the castle was restored to Donough MacCarty, who was made 1st Earl of Clancarty.
  • During the Williamite War in Ireland in the 1690’s, the then 4th Earl of Clancarty (also named Donough MacCarty) was captured and his lands (including Blarney Castle) were confiscated by the Williamites.
  • The castle was sold and changed hands a number of times. Sir Richard Pyne, the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland owned it briefly before being purchased in the early 1700’s by Sir James St. John Jefferyes, then the Governor of Cork City.
  • Members of the Jefferyes family would later build a mansion neart the fortification. The house was destroyed by fire. In 1874 a replacement baronial mansion was built overlooking the nearby lake; Blarney House. A Scottish baronial-style mansion.
  • Blarney House is not currently open for visitors due to restoration and renovation efforts.
  • Blarney Castle is now a partial ruin with some accessible rooms and battlements and the Blarney Stone.

Kissing The Blarney Stone

aka the Stone of Eloquence. Tourists visiting Blarney Castle may hang upside down over a sheer drop to kiss the stone. Kissing the stone will give you the gift of eloquence.

Be in for a climb to the Blarney Stone – a narrow, spiral staircase leads you to the top of the castle where the stone lies in wait for you to kiss it!

Outside Blarney Castle

Inside Blarney Castle

Kissing of the Blarney Stone


Keeping Watch Over the Blarney Stone

The Blarney House


Keeping Watch Over the Blarney House

On the Grounds of Blarney Castle


(Photos by RSheridan)


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