Blarney Castle and Gardens

The Square, Blarney, IE

+353 21 438 5252

Status: Historical and Legendary Castle; Partially Ruined



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All Photos Courtesy of CR Mitton


The original structure on the site the castle now occupies was a house built by wood constructed in the 12th century. This house was replaced by a small stone castle which was destroyed in 1446.

Cormac MacCarthy – whose family owned the castle and surrounding area – rebuilt the castle. This version of the castle was the beginning of the structure which stands there today. Cormac is said to have sent 4,000 Irish soldiers to help Robert the Bruce fight the English and it was Robert who gifted Cormac with what is known as the Blarney Stone.

The castle held against 2 sieges but in 1646, during the Irish Confederate War (11 Years War), Roger Boyle (Lord Broghill) captured the castle for the Parliamentary Forces in the English Civil War. When the English Royalty were returned to the throne the castle was returned to the MacCarthy family.

While it was in Parliamentarian hands under Boyle the extensive tunnel system – one of which went all the way to Cork – were built under the castle and into the surrounding areas.

In the late 17th century the castle was captured by the Williamites when the Glorious Revolution spread to Ireland and the MacCarthy family lost the castle for good.

There have been numerous owners since the 18th century.

The Colthurst family are the present owners of the castle and grounds. They live in the Blarney House on the grounds.

The castle and the extensive grounds - which include a Fairy Garden, a Druid Circle as well as a small garden with some of the deadliest plants in the world – and are open to the public.


Legends and Paranormal Activity

The Blarney Stone

There are numerous legends as to the origins of this stone including the aforementioned gift from Robert the Bruce, a piece of the magical stone once used to crown Irish Kings as well as that it is part of the stones used to construct Stonehenge.

In 2014 it was finally proven through scientific tests that the stone is native to Ireland.

Should you choose to climb the steep staircase to the top of the tower you too can kiss the Blarney Stone. This is done by hanging upside down over a long drop – in modern times there is a staff member to help you do this – the stone can be kissed. It is said to give the gift of eloquence gaining you the ability to talk your way into or out of pretty much anything.

This legend dates back to Cormac MacCarthy being told by a Celtic Goddess to kiss the stone to gain him an advantage when facing a representative of the English Queen Elizabeth I. MacCarthy was so eloquent in his negotiations the representative went back to England advising the Queen she would never own Blarney Castle.

The Blarney Witch

There is said to be a witch at the castle. She is imprisoned in her cave during the daylight hours but is free to walk the grounds and the castle during the night.

Other Paranormal Activity

Faries are said to populate the Fairy Garden. They can be very mischievous and are known to use illusions and magic to trick mortals.

Tremendous energy is reported around, and especially inside, the Druid’s Circle.

Phantom footsteps, unexplained noises, shadow figures and feelings of being watched are reported inside the castle itself.

In a unique form of haunting the ghosts of salmon are seen jumping the river that crosses through the grounds.


Team Experiences

Two members of Our Paranormal World did a daytime investigation in 2023 in the castle and on it’s grounds.

Activity Experienced

Feelings of being watched, movement in the corner of our eyes and unexplained giggles in the Fairy Garden. This activity decreased considerably when we made a gift at the fountain in the garden just as the legends say it will.

Feelings of being watched just outside of the entrance to the castle.

Empathic feelings of absolute dismay, sadness and loss in the part of the tunnels that can still be accessed. Unexplained noises and moving shadows were also witnessed here (see photos below).

Massive amounts of universal source energy within the Druid’s Circle.

A feeling of preternatural calmness and healing covers most of the grounds. It is absent near the castle, in the tunnels beneath and in the Fairy Garden.

All Photos Courtesy of CR Mitton