Blarney Castle to kiss the stone – Ireland
Blarney Castle to kiss the stone.
On a semi-rainy day I hopped on a bus from Cork, Ireland heading to Blarney Castle to kiss a stone. Yes, a stone.
“There is a Stone that Whoever Kisses, Oh! He never Misses to Grow Eloquent ‘Tis he may Clamber to a Lady’s Chamber, Or become a Member of Parliamnet” – Francis Sylvester Mahony
Blarney Castle was built nearly 600 years ago by one of Ireland’s greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy. You go to Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone – the legendary Stone of Eloquence. You kiss the Blarney Stone to gain the gift of eloquence. Now, who couldn’t use a little more eloquence? Or even any at all in my case.
Originally, visitors were held upside down by their ankles and hung over the edge of the battlements, head first, to kiss the stone. Not the safest of quests. Now, there are bars, and you lay on your back, hold the bars, and lean back to give the stone a good ol kiss. You are forever rewarded with eloquence, it is worth kissing the slippery, slimey, stone.
The truth of the stone’s origin is questioned. Some of the theories are:
- It was Jacob’s Pillow, brought to Ireland by the prophet Jeremiah where it became the ‘Fatal Stone’, used as an oracular throne of Irish kings.
- It was the deathbed pillow of St Columba on the island of Iona where legend says it was then removed to the mainland of Scotland, where it was the prophetic power of royal succession, the Stone of Destiny.
- It was a stone brought back to Ireland from the Crusades – the ‘Stone of Ezel’ behind which David hid on Jonathan’s advice when he fled from his enemy, Saul.
- It was the stone that gushed water when struck by Moses.
Getting There: Take the 224 bus from the Bus Station at Parnell Place, in Cork. It leaves every hour and takes 20 minutes to get to Blarney. Walk to the castle.
Will You Kiss the Blarney Stone?