Blarney Stone – The Kiss for Eloquence

Ramya Ramalingam

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Blarney Stoner, Photo credit - Francesco Crippa, Flickr
Blarney Stone, Photo credit – Francesco Crippa, Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/fcrippa/3987929515/in/photolist

The story of the Blarney stone is one of bemusement and fascination. This legendary stone is situated on the walls of the Blarney’s Castle in Cork County Ireland a fortress built in the 13th century by Dermot McCarthy the King of Munster.

Origin

Interestingly there are many folklore’s regarding the origins of this stone. One such legend is that the stone itself is a token of appreciation from King Robert the Bruce of Scotland to Cormac McCarthy the descendant of the McCarthy clan who had sent in a troop of 4000 Irish soldiers to help King Robert in his quest to defeat the English in the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. However, in as recent has 2014 a team of geologists from the University of Glasgow has concluded that the fabled stone is in fact made of Limestone some 300 million odd years old.

Myth

The legend goes that a witch had cast a spell that would anoint anybody who kissed the stone with deftness of speech to show her appreciation after being saved from drowning by Cormac McCarthy.

Blarney Castle, Photo credit - Marianne Southall,Flickr
Blarney Castle, Photo credit –
Marianne Southall,Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/132463933@N05/18512239973/in/photolist

Apparently, years later one of the descendants of King McCarthy had successfully thwarted efforts of the Queen of England to seize the Castle grounds by employing tactical methods and his speech prowess supposedly gained after kissing the fabled stone. The queen evidently displeased had dismissed reports regarding the failure to capture has “Blarney”. Hence forth the stone came to be known has the “Blarney Stone”.

Blarney’s Stone today

Nearly hundreds of people from across the globe visit the famed castle and line up in queues to kiss this legendary stone, some in hopes of gaining articulate speech.  Others to experience the sheer thrill that comes from ascending a narrow winding staircase of 128 steps to reach the tower of the castle bend over backwards whilst holding the railing and kiss the stone upside down situated at an altitude of approximately 120 feet.

Now, whether kissing the Blarney’s stone bestows one an eloquence in speech is debatable but one thing that can be rest assured to anybody who wishes to explore the castle which is housed on sprawling acres of land laden with a beautiful garden, a lake and a mansion among other things is a promise of adventure that allows you a peak through a curtain into medieval life. The Blarney stone is just the icing on the cake.

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Ramya Ramalingam