Archive for the ‘Medieval Ireland’ Category

Kissing the Blarney Stone in Ireland for Luck and the Gift of Gab

There are two versions of how Ireland’s Blarney Stone came to have its power, and two versions of its true location.

Now, here we are, at the present:  Sir Charles Colthurst, current owner of the County Cork Blarney Castle, says the oft-smooched rock is in the exact place it has always been, and that it is the real-deal.  To the archaeologists who say it is in a different part of County Cork, he says, “That’s plain Blarney!”  We believe him.

There are also two legends about the Blarney Stone’s gift of power.  The first pertains to Cormac McCarthy, the castle’s owner during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.  He never gave her what she requested, and all her requests from him were met with long-winded distractions and terrific (elusive) oratory.  One day, in a fine dither over him, the Queen said, “This is all Blarney! (referring to the castle.)  He never says what he means!”

The second version is more spooky.  Some believe that a magic stone was built into the castle in the 1400s, but no one knew its exact spot.  Then, the castle owner found a witch drowning in the river and saved her.  She told him where the magic stone was, and that anyone who kissed it would be given great powers of persuasion.

In fact, both stories could be true. McCarthy did persuade the queen, although it was in utter frustration, to expect nothing from him and nothing was what she got!

Your Dedicated Authentic Ireland writers:  Meredith and Win Blevins


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Lough Gur, an Irish Treasure of Time Older than the Pyramids.

Drive on any motorway or back road in Ireland.  It won’t be long before you come upon an ancient site.

You may see a Norman round tower, trees settled comfortably in a mystic fairy ring, a medieval castle tumbling in upon itself or a beautifully restored castle.  Perhaps you’ll happen upon the shadowed monastery where St. Kiernan slept between mountain peaks on the shores of a soft lake.  Look in the fields, especially if you’re in the west, or in the heartland, of Ireland.  You’ll likely see a dolmen.  Older than ancient, these huge stone tables often sit alone, skylining the horizon.

Stone circles, mounds, cairns and Celtic crosses.  Carvings on blinding-white quartzite and the inscriptions of an ancient language.  Many ancient relics are perfectly preserved and come complete with a visitor’s center.  Others are content to live amiably with grazing sheep.

Every illusive or majestic remnant of Ancient Ireland gives pause. Coming upon such a site leaves you speechless, for it’s a stronger experience than words can convey.

Come home to the past in Ireland.

Authentic Ireland’s dedicated writers: Meredith and Win Blevins

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Adare Manor, a Rare Calendar House Complete with Gargoyles

Mysterious Adare Manor is a rare example of a Calendar House, with 365 stained-glass windows and 52 chimneys. There are also gargoyles and carvings throughout that are quite extraordinary. (And a little spooky.)

Background?  The Quins were one of the few families of true Gaelic origin in the Irish peerage. Thady Quin, born in 1645, first settled in Adare.  In 1720, Valentine Quin built the first Adare Manor by the River Maigue.

In 1832, with Ireland ravaged by the potato famine, the family went to work, turning their home into a huge Tudor manor. Their work provided labor for all the surrounding villagers. The new house was built around the existing one, which was taken down when the present manor reached its final stage.

Set on 840 acres of formal gardens and rolling grasses, Adare Manor was voted the Number One European Resort by the Conde Nast Readers Choice Awards.

But the true story of Adare is its unique presence among all other places to stay in Ireland. Situated in the heart of lovely Adare Village in County Limerick, Adare Manor is steeped in history and surrounded by medieval ruins. It is the best combination of mystery, history and comfort.

Meander through stonewalled gardens and winding woodland paths. Discover the colorful history of Adare Manor and the centuries of stories throbbing in her walls.

There is no better place to celebrate life than in Ireland.  Adare Manor is one of those remarkable places that embraces you with cozy warmth.  Watch the moonlight skim off the river as you wind down the halls.  Voices?  Oh, yes, you may hear them–all of them friendly.

Authentic Ireland’s dedicated writers:  Meredith and Win Blevins

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