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The Blarney Stone and Stone of Destiny

Blarney Stone, The Stone of Scone

The Blarney Stone is a block of bluestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle, Blarney about 8 km from Cork, Ireland. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of gab (great eloquence or skill at flattery). The stone was set into a tower of the castle in 1446. The castle is a popular tourist site in Ireland, attracting visitors from all over the world to kiss the Stone and tour the castle and its charming gardens.

The word blarney has come to mean clever, flattering, or coaxing talk. Over 200,000 people visit Blarney Castle each year. The castle is situated in over a thousand acres of magnificent woodland, making it the ideal place to take walks to enjoy the clean fresh environment of Blarney.

How to Kiss the Blarney Stone

Visit the Blarney Castle and ascend to the top. The Blarney Stone is on the top story, just below the battlements.

The Blarney Stone must be kissed in a certain way for its powers to be effective.
Sit on the railing facing away from the Blarney Stone. Grasp the railing firmly. Sit so the backs of your knees are hooked over the top railing.

Blarney Stone, The Stone of Scone

Ask someone to hold your knees or ankles. It is not advisable to attempt to kiss the Blarney Stone unassisted.

Lean backward until you are hanging on the railing from the backs of your knees, facing the Blarney Stone. Make sure your head is even with the Stone.

Pucker up and give the Blarney Stone a kiss. You will now, as legend has it, be blessed with the ability to speak eloquently and never again be at a loss for words.

The Blarney Stone is a stone set in the wall of the Blarney Castle tower in the Irish village of Blarney. The walls of the castle are 18 feet thick.


Once visitors had to be held by the ankles and lowered head first over the battlements. Today, more cautious of the safety of our visitors. The Stone itself is still set in the wall below the battlements. To kiss it, one has to lean backwards (holding on to an iron railing) from the parapet walk. The prize is a real one as once kissed the stone bestows the gift of eloquence. The Blarney Stone is a stone set in the wall of the Blarney Castle tower in the Irish village of Blarney. The walls of the castle are 18 feet thick.

Story By Myles Ferguson,


The stone, which is believed by some to be half of the original Stone of Scone, was presented to Cormac McCarthy by Robert the Bruce in 1314 in recognition of his support in the Battle of Bannockburn.

Many Paranormal investigators over the centuries have studied the Blarney Stone.Some recent Ghost Hunters even swear to witnessing strange EVP's and ghost photos at the stones location. I too have kissed the stone and and have to say the expeience is truly magical.Kissers have to lie on their back and bend backward (and downward), holding iron bars for support. Kiss it and you’ll never again be lost for words.

also see: www.blarneycastle.ie/pages/stone

The proprietors of Blarney Castle list several alternative explanations for the origins of the Stone and its supposed powers, all of which suppose that the Stone had previously been in Ireland but was then taken to Scotland and returned to Ireland in 1314. The stories they list include:

the Stone was the stone that Jacob used as a pillow, and was brought to Ireland by the prophet Jeremiah
the Stone was the pillow used by St. Columba of Iona on his deathbed
the Stone was the Stone of Ezel, which David hid behind on Jonathan's advice, while fleeing from King Saul, and may have been brought back to Ireland during the Crusades
the Stone was the rock that Moses struck with his staff to produce water for the Israelites, during their flight from Egypt
in Ireland, the Stone was known as the Lia Fáil or "Stone of Destiny", part of the king's throne, with mysterious powers
the stone's powers were revealed to the McCarthys by a witch who had been saved from drowning
It is claimed that the synonymy of "Blarney" with "empty flattery" derives from a circumstance in which Queen Elizabeth I, while requesting an oath of loyalty to retain occupancy of land, received responses from Cormac Teige McCarthy, the Lord of Blarney, which amounted to subtle diplomacy, and promised loyalty to the Queen without "giving in". Elizabeth proclaimed that McCarthy was giving her "a lot of Blarney", thus apparently giving rise to the legend.

According to tradition at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, a stone fragment displayed outside the old Electrical Engineering Building on the university's campus since 1939 is a missing piece of the Blarney Stone.

On St. Patrick's Day in 1939 Texas Tech University unveiled that they had discovered a piece of the Blarney Stone. According to the legend the stone was discovered by a group of petroleum engineers while they were on a field trip. After doing tests it was discovered that the stone was a piece of the original Blarney Stone. The stone now lies on a stand in front of the old Electrical Engineering Building. It is said that seniors that kiss the Blarney Stone upon graduation will receive the gift of eloquent speech.

Blarney Stone, The Stone of Scone

According to tradition at Texas Tech, seniors who kiss the stone upon graduating will receive the gift of eloquent speech. While only seniors are allowed to kiss the stone, underclassmen are expected to pay it the greatest of respect.

Source: The Blarney Stone...At Texas Tech

Echoing the supposed power of the stone, an Irish bard of the early nineteenth century, Francis Sylvester Mahony, wrote:

“ There is a stone there,
That whoever kisses,
Oh, he never misses
To grow eloquent.
'Tis he may clamber
To a lady's chamber,
Or become a member
Of Parliament.

The Westminster Stone theory is the belief held by some historians and scholars that the stone which traditionally rests under the Coronation Chair is not the true Stone of Destiny but a thirteenth century substitute. Since the chair has been located in Westminster Abbey since that time, adherents to this theory have created the title 'Westminster Stone' to avoid confusion with the 'real' stone (sometimes referred to as the Stone of Scone).


The Stone of Scone

The Stone of Scone (pronounced, 'skoon'), also commonly known as the Stone of Destiny or the Coronation Stone (though "Stone of Destiny" sometimes refers to Lia Fáil) is an oblong block of red sandstone, about 26 inches (660 mm) by 16 inches (410 mm) by 10.5 inches (270 mm) in size and weighing approximately 336 pounds (152 kg). The top bears chisel-marks. At each end of the stone is an iron ring, apparently intended to make transport easier. Historically, the artifact was kept at the now-ruined abbey in Scone, near Perth, Scotland. It was used for centuries in the coronation of the monarchs of Scotland, the monarchs of England, and, more recently, British monarchs. Other names by which it has sometimes been known include Jacob's Pillow Stone and the Tanist Stone, and in Scottish Gaelic, clach-na-cinneamhain, clach Sgàin, and Lia(th) Fàil.


The castle, originally built sometime before AD 1200, was destroyed in 1446 and subsequently rebuilt by the then King of Munster, Dermot MacCarthy. One of its most famous occupants, however, was one of his predecessors Cormac MacCarthy who sent five thousand men to support Robert the Bruce in his defeat of the English at Bannockburn in 1314. As a reward for their help, so it is said, Bruce gave him a piece of the Stone of Scone or Stone of Destiny, the stone on which the Kings of Scotland were crowned. This was to become the famous Blarney Stone or Stone of Eloquence.

The Stone of Scone in the Coronation Chair at Westminster Abbey. Published in A History of England (1855). In the event of a future coronation of a British monarch, the Stone of Destiny is to be temporarily replaced under the Coronation Throne at Westminster Abbey.

The Stone of Scone in the Coronation Chair at Westminster Abbey. Published in A History of England (1855).

Traditionally, it is supposed to be the pillow stone said to have been used by the Biblical Jacob. According to one legend, it was the Coronation Stone of the early Dál Riata Gaels when they lived in Ireland, which they brought with them when settling Caledonia. Another legend holds that the stone was actually the traveling altar used by St Columba in his missionary activities throughout what is now Scotland. Certainly, since the time of Kenneth Mac Alpin, the first King of Scots, at around 847, Scottish monarchs were seated upon the stone during their coronation ceremony. At this time the stone was situated at Scone, a few miles north of Perth.

Another tradition holds that, in gratitude for Irish support at the battle of Bannockburn , Robert the Bruce gave a portion of the stone to Cormac McCarthy, king of Munster. Installed at McCarthy's stronghold, Blarney Castle, it became the Blarney Stone.

A contemporary account by a Walter Hemingford, a canon of Guisborough Priory in Yorkshire says:

Apud Monasterium de Scone positus eat lapis pergrandis in ecclesia Dei, juxta manum altare, concavus quidam ad modum rotundae catherdeaie confectus, in quo future reges loco quasi coronatis.

In the monastery of Scone, in the church of God, near to the high altar, is kept a large stone, hollowed out/concave as a round chair, on which their kings were placed for their ordination, according to custom.

In 1296 the Stone was captured by Edward I as spoils of war and taken to Westminster Abbey, where it was fitted into a wooden chair, known as St. Edward's Chair, on which all subsequent English sovereigns except Queen Mary II have been crowned. Doubtless by this he intended to symbolize his claim to be "Lord Paramount" of Scotland with right to oversee its King.

Some doubt exists over the stone captured by Edward I. The Westminster Stone theory posits that the monks at Scone Palace hid the real stone in the River Tay or buried it on Dunsinane Hill, and that the English troops were fooled into taking a substitute. Some proponents of the theory claim that historic descriptions of the stone do not match the present stone. If the monks did hide the stone, they hid it well; no other stone fitting its description has ever been found.

In 1328, in the peace talks between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England, Edward III is said to have agreed to return the captured Stone to Scotland. However, this did not form part of the Treaty of Northampton. The Stone was to remain in England for another six centuries. In course of time James VI of Scotland came to the English throne as James I of England but the stone remained in London; for the next century, the Stuart Kings and Queens of Scotland once again sat on the stone — but at their coronation as Kings and Queens of England. Since the Act of Union 1707, the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey has applied to the whole of Great Britain, and since the Act of Union 1801 to the United Kingdom, so the stone may be said to have returned, once again, to its ancient use.

The stone finally came back to Scotland on St Andrew's Day, 30 November 1996, and is housed beside the other Honours of Scotland in Edinburgh Castle. Historic Scotland examined the stone on its arrival and pronounced that it was "probably" the original stone from Dalriada.

In the event of a future coronation of a British monarch, the Stone of Destiny is to be temporarily replaced under the Coronation Throne at Westminster Abbey.

On Christmas Day 1950, a group of four Scottish students (Ian Hamilton, Gavin Vernon, Kay Matheson and Alan Stuart) took the Stone from Westminster Abbey for return to Scotland.

In the process of removing it from the Abbey, they broke it into two pieces. After hiding the greater part of the stone in Kent for a few weeks, they risked the road blocks on the border and returned to Scotland with this piece, which they had hidden in the back of a borrowed car, along with a new accomplice Johnny Josselyn. The smaller piece was similarly brought north a little while later. This journey involved a break in Leeds, where a group of sympathetic students and graduates took the fragment to Ilkley Moor for an overnight stay, accompanied by renditions of "On Ilkley Moor baht 'tat."

The Stone was then passed to a senior Glasgow politician who arranged for it to be professionally repaired by Glasgow stonemason Robert Gray.

A major search for the stone had been ordered by the British Government, but this proved unsuccessful. Perhaps assuming that the Church would not return it to England, the stone's custodians left it on the altar of Arbroath Abbey, on 11 April 1951, in the safekeeping of the Church of Scotland. Once the London police were informed of its whereabouts, the Stone was returned to Westminster. Afterwards, rumours circulated that copies had been made of the Stone, and that the returned Stone was not in fact the original.

The Stone of Destiny was the traditional Coronation Stone of the Kings of Scotland and, before that, the Kings of Dalriada. Legends associate it with Saint Columba, who might have brought it from Ireland as a portable altar. In AD 574, the Stone was used as a coronation chair when Columba anointed and crowned Aedan King of Dalriada.

The Stone of Destiny was kept by the monks of Iona, the traditional headquarters of the Scottish Celtic church, until Viking raiding caused them to move to the mainland, first to Dunkeld, Atholl, and then to Scone. Here it continued to be used in coronations, as a symbol of Scottish Kingship.

In 1996 the British Government decided that the Stone should be kept in Scotland when not in use at coronations, and on 15 November 1996, after a handover ceremony at the border between representatives of the Home Office and of the Scottish Office, it was returned to Scotland and transported to Edinburgh Castle where it remains. Provision has been made to transport the stone to Westminster Abbey when it is required there for future coronation ceremonies.





Ghost hunting is nothing new, it just takes a deep interest in specters, spooks and shades to get the ball rolling. The search for ghosts to many die hard's is more of a proving ground for those that wish to see if there is more to life then just our daily existence. Others now a days seem to do it for the kick of just getting scared.


GHOST STORIES: folktales and urban legends of America, as told by the region's most celebrated storytellers.



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