The Blarney Castle is the most popular castle in Ireland, which attracts thousands of tourist each year. Even though it is neither the oldest nor the biggest castle in the country, the history surrounding it is a course for attraction. Here are eight secrets of Blarney Castle.
The Word Blarney
It will interest you to know that the Blarney castle existed before the word “Blarney” was added to the dictionary. Blarney entered the Oxford English dictionary in the 1700s due to the popularity of the stone. Blarney in the dictionary means “talk which aims to charm.”
The Murder Room
The murder room is located in the upper part of the main entrance of the castle. The murder room was to prevent any intrusion by strangers. So anytime there was a stranger who poses threat, guards in the castle would drop hot oil or rocks on the person through a square hole in the room.
Stones Used for the Castle
In 2014, geologists were able to prove that the stone is a 330 million-year-old limestone. They proved that the stone was not sourced from England but from southern Ireland as per molecular samples.
First Person to Kiss the Stone
The stone was a gifted to the then owner King Cormac McCarthy by King Robert the Bruce of Scotland in 1314. It was a way to thank you to the King for providing military help during the Battle of Bannockburn. King McCarthy was the first to kiss the stone after a witch in Druid rock garden told him the stone had had a special gift of eloquence.
Another Account to Blarney
According to history, Queen Elizabeth I is the brain behind the charm of the Blarney Stone and not the witch. According to the accounts, Elizabeth I tried to capture the castle many times but failed due to the soft talking Dermot McCarthy who always convinced the troops. Out of frustration, the Queen termed the failure as blarney.
Kissing the Stone is a Real Job
Getting to the stone to kiss it is not easy as it seems. One has to climb 128 narrow stone steps to the 85 feet wall. When you reach the top, you would have to lay down on your back and with the assistance of a guard, you can tilt your head back to kiss the stone.
The Poison Garden
Also cited in the Blarney castle is the poison garden. While entering the garden there is a post, which reads “Do not touch, smell, or eat any plant!” the garden was opened in 2010.
Aside from the castle, there are other attractions like the Bog Garden. In the garden are three 600-year old Yew trees alongside the waterfall.