The Blarney Stone forms part of the walls of Blarney Castle, and legend has it that those groups who kiss the stone will be bestowed with the ‘gift of the gab’.
For centuries Irish folklore maintained that kissing the Blarney Stone will give the kisser a gift of eloquence and the ability to deceive without offence. The stone is located in one of the walls of the battlements at the top of the Blarney Castle – a beautiful attraction in itself.
There are numerous possibilities surrounding the origin of Blarney Stone legend. Some accounts tell of Cormac McCarthy smooth-talking Queen Elizabeth of England in order to let him keep his land, others mention how Robert the Bruce in Scotland returned the stone to Ireland as thanks for assistance in the Battle of Bannockburn.
While the origin of the legend is unsure, the power of the gift of the gab is certain. It derives from various Irish figures turning a lost cause on its head through their persuasive arguments after having kissed the stone.
In years gone by, people would have to be dangled by their ankles over the battlement walls of the castle in order to kiss the stone. Nowadays the process is a little more straightforward with the addition of a parapet, iron railings and a helping hand from a castle custodian.