The famous Blarney Castle in Ireland was built in 1446. Over the years, it has become a world landmark and one of Ireland’s most popular attractions. Many travelers believe that a trip to the medieval Blarney Castle can’t be missed; it’s on par with the Guinness Brewery and other attractions as an intrinsic symbol of Ireland and Irish heritage. It is located in Blarney Village, about 5 km northwest from Cork City in southern Ireland.
The Blarney Stone is without a doubt the most famous part of Blarney Castle. Also called the legendary Stone of Eloquence, it is located at the top of the castle’s tower. Legend has it that if you kiss it, you’ll be struck with eternal eloquence and you will never be at a loss for words.
Blarney Castle history is an intriguing one. It was the third structure to be built on this site. The first one was a wooden structure built in the 10th century, and a stone structure replaced it in 1210 A.D. This building was torn down because of foundation problems, and the final, medieval Blarney Castle was built by Dermot McCarthy in 1446. At one time, the castle was occupied by Cormac McCarthy, King of Munster, who allegedly sent 4,000 Munster men to held Robert the Bruce at the battle of Bannockburn. According to legend, Robert the Bruce gave half of the Stone of Scone to McCarthy in gratitude, which was incorporated into the structure of the castle, becoming the Blarney Stone. The Blarney Castle history includes stories about Cromwell, Queen Elizabeth, and other famous figures, which visitors can read about during their tour of the castle.
Besides the fabulous medieval Blarney Castle in Ireland, visitors can check out the Blarney House. It was built at the beginning of the 18th century by St. James St. John Jefferyes. It is a Georgian gothic house located against the keep of the castle. The Rock Close, a landscape garden, was created at the same time. In 1820, the house was destroyed by fire, but the wings remain. In 1874, the family decided to build the new house in Scottish baronial style, south of the present keep. It has been the family home ever since.
The Cork and Muskerry Light Railway, locally known as The Muskerry Tram, was a narrow-gauged steam railway that ran from the Western Road (where the River Lee Hotel is now) in Cork, to Blarney, Coachford and Donoughmore. The Blarney terminal opened in 1887 and the last train ran on December 29th, 1934.
The route of the tram ran through the centre of the Muskerry Golf Course, which is perhaps why the 10 a.m. Sunday train out of Western Road was known as the “Golfers” Special.