Blarney Castle is a thousand acre park with magnificent lakes, gardens and woodland. The castle houses the famous Blarney stone in its battlements. It is said that those who kiss the stone will receive the gift of eloquence. Chieftain MacCarthy, the owner of Blarney Castle, being pressurised by Queen Elizabeth I to pledge allegiance to the crown, managed to circumvent her demands with flattery and eloquence forcing her to eventually protest in frustration “Odds bodkins, more Blarney talk.” and so a new phrase entered the English language.
The current castle was built in 1446 by Cormac Laidir MacCarthy, the ninth Lord of Muskerry. Blarney was the most important of the MacCarthy castles and became the main dwelling place of future MacCarthy chiefs. It was captured during Elizabethan and Cromwellian times, confiscated and sold in 1688 to Sir James St. John Jefferyes from whom the present owners are descended.