Ireland is a nation rich with history and culture. No other icon represents Irish heritage quite as well as the famed Blarney Stone. In 1314, the stone was presented to Cormac McCarthy in support of the Battle of Bannockburn, the most significant Scottish victory in the Wars of Scottish Independence. The stone was housed within his castle, and moved in 1446, when Dermot McCarthy had a new castle built. The legend of the Blarney Stone has been passed down for hundreds of years, and other rumors surround its actual origins.
Blarney Stone Traditions
Perhaps the most interesting fact about the Blarney Stone is the tradition of kissing it. Millions of people have come to Blarney Castle to plant a kiss on the stone, including famous actors, writers, and even world government leaders. But laying a smooch on the Blarney Stone is not as simple as walking up to it and kissing it. One must climb to the highest peak of the castle, and then lean backwards over the edge to where it lies on the adjacent wall. It is not known when the tradition of kissing the stone actually began, but it is said to be around the late 18th century. Today, thousands come to the famous castle to visit and kiss the Blarney Stone.
Some legends say that anyone who kisses the Blarney Stone will be famous, come into great wealth or find true love. Perhaps that is part of its appeal. Since 1939, Texas Tech has boasted that it has a portion of the Blarney Stone there on display, but no one can absolutely confirm or deny this fact. The stone also has some pop culture references, including a Sherlock Holmes radio reading from 1946, and several Irish folk songs. The Blarney Stone has no doubt become one of the more famous and widely recognizable landmarks of all time.
For additional resources on the Blarney Stone, refer to the following links: