Thursday, March 1, 2018

Myths and Mysteries of Blarney Castle

Towering roughly 90 feet above its eponymous village, Blarney Castle is quintessential postcard Ireland: A large crenelated stone cuboid skirted by a landscape of velvet green, punctuated by white sheep, babbling brooks, and legend.

The first iteration of the castle dates to around 1210 CE, but this was destroyed in 1446. Shortly thereafter, a new structure was erected.  This rebuilt stronghold is what stands today.
River Martin

Perhaps the most famous aspect of the castle is the Blarney Stone, also known as The Stone of Eloquence. It is said that to kiss the stone will give one the gift of eloquence and persuasion.

The River Martin which winds its way through the property is said to be haunted by, of all things, ghostly salmon.

Witch's Kitchen
Very near the castle lies a copse of wizened old trees beneath which lie peculiar rock formations. Like something from fairy realms or ancient druidic rites, The Rock Close is filled with ancient stone formations like the Witch's Kitchen, the Dolmen, and the Druid's Cave. Just off the slippery, tight passage of the Wishing Steps lies a narrow shelter of rock with something of a crude chimney and fireplace. The freestanding stone nearby is said to be the eternal prison for the witch's spirit. It is said that she must grant wishes to those who walk backwards down the Wishing Steps. At night, she can emerge from the stone and work her craft at the stone hearth. Some claim you can still see the faint, dying embers if you arrive early enough in the morning. One legend of the Blarney Stone says it is she who enchanted the famous rock. Fairies are claimed to dwell within these woods, too.

In 2010, ghost hunters spotted a man peering from a window in the castle. A quick inspection of the tower revealed that there were no stairs leading to where that window was.
Me kissing the Blarney Stone

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