Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle lies in an estate south of the small town of the same name, in County Cork in Ireland.

The first castle at this site, a rock near the confluence of the Martin and Blarney rivers, was a wooden fortification dating back to around 1200, which was replaced by a stone fortification in 1210. It was destroyed in 1446. A new castle was then built by Cormac Laidir MacCarthy, lord of Muskerry, who also built Kilcrea Castle.

In the 1590's Blarney Castle was remodelled by Donal MacCarthy. During the Irish Confederate Wars the castle was taken by Parliamentarian forces under Lord Broghill in 1646 and again in 1649 by Oliver Cromwell. However, after the Restoration of the Stuart monarchy it was restored to the MacCarthy's. During the Williamite War in Ireland, in the 1690's, the castle was confiscated by the Williamites.

After going through the hands of several owners it was bought by Sir James St. John Jefferyes, governor of Cork around 1700. He then built a Georgian gothic house up against the keep. In 1874, one of his descendants abandoned the old medieval castle after a fire for a new house south of the castle.

Blarney Castle at first was a square tower house, with a bawn and flankers, from the 15th century, which is now the slightly lower wing projecting from the west corner of the present main rectangular tower, from the early 16th century. The small, slender tower ruin before the castle is a remnant of the 18th century block built by the Jefferyes.

The main tower also houses the famous 'Blarney Stone', which is said to give the gift of eloquence to anyone who kisses it. It is situated in the underside of the parapet of the tower, some 22.5 m above the ground.

Blarney Castle now serves as a museum, so it can be visited for a fee. And even though it might be overrun by tourists, it still is a great castle. Recommended!


Gallery

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle lies in an estate south of the small town of the same name, in County Cork in Ireland.

The first castle at this site, a rock near the confluence of the Martin and Blarney rivers, was a wooden fortification dating back to around 1200, which was replaced by a stone fortification in 1210. It was destroyed in 1446. A new castle was then built by Cormac Laidir MacCarthy, lord of Muskerry, who also built Kilcrea Castle.

In the 1590's Blarney Castle was remodelled by Donal MacCarthy. During the Irish Confederate Wars the castle was taken by Parliamentarian forces under Lord Broghill in 1646 and again in 1649 by Oliver Cromwell. However, after the Restoration of the Stuart monarchy it was restored to the MacCarthy's. During the Williamite War in Ireland, in the 1690's, the castle was confiscated by the Williamites.

After going through the hands of several owners it was bought by Sir James St. John Jefferyes, governor of Cork around 1700. He then built a Georgian gothic house up against the keep. In 1874, one of his descendants abandoned the old medieval castle after a fire for a new house south of the castle.

Blarney Castle at first was a square tower house, with a bawn and flankers, from the 15th century, which is now the slightly lower wing projecting from the west corner of the present main rectangular tower, from the early 16th century. The small, slender tower ruin before the castle is a remnant of the 18th century block built by the Jefferyes.

The main tower also houses the famous 'Blarney Stone', which is said to give the gift of eloquence to anyone who kisses it. It is situated in the underside of the parapet of the tower, some 22.5 m above the ground.

Blarney Castle now serves as a museum, so it can be visited for a fee. And even though it might be overrun by tourists, it still is a great castle. Recommended!


Gallery