You may visit the castle, view the grounds, and kiss the Blarney Stone for roughly $15 USD. But be prepared to wait in line; this is one of Ireland's most popular tourist attractions. To get to the stone, ascend a small spiral staircase to the castle's roof. From there you can enjoy views of the town and surrounding area.
The Blarney Castle Hotel, where you can stay while visiting the site, charges $80 per night for a room with a private bathroom. However, the hotel will offer discounted rates if you don't want to stay there.
You can also kiss the Blarney Stone during one of its free public appearances each year on March 8th, American History Month, or September 5th, National Heritage Day.
These are just some of the many ways you can spend your money while in Blarney, Ireland. Remember that the best way to experience something is by doing it, so set aside a few hours from your busy schedule to view the castle and town. You won't regret it!
The castle needs entry, but once inside, visitors may see some of the historic halls and stroll around the lovely gardens that along the River Martin. The majority of visitors come to see the Blarney Stone and place their lips on the famed rock. A small fee is charged for this pleasure.
The original stone is on display in the Castle Museum. It was brought from its home near Cork City in Ireland by Sir Walter Raleigh who took it as a gift for King James I of England. However, not long after, Raleigh was executed for treason so the stone was returned to Ireland.
In 1795, a new stone was placed in its current location by the Duke of Blarney. The original Irish inscription on the stone has been lost over time, but it is known that it contained a phrase written by the king of England at the time, George III. The current inscription on the new stone reads: "The President of the United States of America will be pleased to receive the English Ambassador or Envoy Extraordinary from Her Majesty's Government in London at this place."
The ambassador at the time was from Massachusetts so the statement makes sense since Washington was first in the nation system. Today, the stone receives its annual quota of tourists so expect large crowds if you plan to go during one of these periods.
The Blarney Stone may be located atop Blarney Castle's tower. Cork, Ireland's second-largest city, lies five miles away from the castle. The stone can be seen by visitors to the top of the tower.
Blarney Castle was built between 1170 and 1220 by the De Burgo family. The first Blarney stone was laid in 1172 by Richard de Burgo, who also constructed Chichester Cathedral in West Sussex, England. The original rock upon which the stone is built is said to have come from the Holy Land and to have been brought back by St. Patrick himself.
In 1679, Charles II of England visited Cork during his escape to France after being overthrown by his cousin King James II at the Battle of Worcester. The king is reported to have given a royal charter to establish an annual festival in honor of the Blarney Stone on April 8. This date is now known as "Blarney Day."
The last official visitor to the stone was President Ronald Reagan in March 1984. He gave a speech at the castle before climbing the 228 steps up to the top of the tower where the stone is kept under lock and key.
There are several myths surrounding the Blarney Stone.
The Blarney Stone (Irish: Cloch na Blarnan) is a carboniferous limestone slab placed into the battlements of Blarney Castle in Blarney, Ireland, approximately 8 kilometers (5 miles) from Cork. Kissing the stone, according to folklore, bestows the kisser with the gift of gab (great eloquence or skill at flattery).
Although it is believed by many that kissing the stone will give one's tongue the ability to speak, this is not true. The kiss is thought to have magical powers because it is said that those who kiss the stone will be granted their wish when they say "I love you" for 100 times.
There are several other well-known stories about the stone. It is said that if you put your hand in the hole where the rock has been worn away by centuries of kisses, it will be healed if it is injured. Also, it is believed that if you write your name on a piece of paper and hide it under the stone, it will come back after you leave home.
It was originally set up as a boundary marker between lands held by the Irish kings and those held by the English rulers. Over the years, the stone has become something of a symbol for Ireland itself. Many Irish people will kiss the stone each time they enter or leave Ireland as a gesture of patriotism.
During the 16th century, the stone was brought from its original location near Cashel City to its present site outside the castle walls.