Blarney Castle and Blarney Stone
near the Imperial Hotel in Cork
Situated 8km from Cork City, this historic castle is most famous for its stone, which has the traditional power of conferring eloquence on all who kiss it. The word Blarney was introduced into the English language by Queen Elizabeth I and is described as pleasant talk, intended to deceive without offending. The stone is set in the wall below the battlements, and to kiss it, one has to lean backwards (grasping an iron railing) from the parapet walk.
In the grounds of the castle the Rock Close and its surroundings is a curious place of ancient trees and far more ancient stones, by legend a garden of druidic origin and a centre of worship in pre-Christian days. The place has an aura of magic and mystique with Wishing Steps, Witch’s Kitchen, Druids’ Circle and many other delights such as Lake Walk, Waterfall, Fern Garden, Ice-house and Lime Kiln, all telling a story of centuries past.