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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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 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
the stone's powers were revealed to the
McCarthys by a witch who had been saved
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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