Blarney Castle

View of Blarney Castle across the River Martin. The castle stands on a rocky base, in the right-hand side of the image. A path bends before it, with a grassy field beyond, circled by woods. A figure on horseback and one on foot are crossing a bridge on the left-hand side of the image, approaching the grounds of the castle. The pointy roof of a turret emerges from the trees behind the bridge.

Inscribed in Image

  • Caption outside of boundaries of image – Blarney Castle.

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Technique Aquatints
Subject(s) Antiquities and archaeological sites, Architecture, Forts and fortifications
Geographical Location
  • Blarney Castle - Castle
  • Cork - County
  • Munster - Province
Keywords(s) Archaeological sites, Bridges, Buildings, Castles, Estates, Horses, Lands, Mansions, People, Rivers, Towers, Trees
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 17.8 cm x 25.2 cm
Published / created 1816

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Narrative of a Residence in Ireland
Print or manuscript Print
Location of image in copy opp. p. 239
Alternative source

This is a link to a digital copy hosted by an external website.
Rights Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Related text from travel account

To Blarney then we went. This was formerly a very strong castle, the seat of the Earls of Clancarty, but forfeited by them, with a great deal of other property, for their adherence to James the Second. It was afterwards purchased of the crown by Sir James Jefferys, in whose family it still remains, though the present possessor was at this time endeavouring to dispose of the estate. It is described in old writings as having been in Queen Elizabeth's time one of the strongest fortresses in Munster, being composed of four large piles joined in one. Of the ancient building only one tower remains, a square of perhaps twenty or five-and-twenty feet. To this a modern building has been added as a dwelling-house; but the place has been entirely deserted for many years, and is falling miserably to decay; indeed, the more modern part seems very likely to fall before the ancient. Readers, beware! I did not find the Blarney stone by any means inaccessible, but perfectly easy of access. It is at the highest pinnacle of the old tower, with a very good winding stone staircase up to it. I ascended and kissed it; I have warned you of the consequence, and again I say, Readers, beware! In the house is a fine original whole-length picture of Charles the Twelfth King of Sweden, brought over by James Jefferys, Esq., son to Sir William Jefterys, the purchaser of the estate, who was envoy at the court of Sweden. This extraordinary character appears exactly such as he is described by Voltaire in his most entertaining Life of him; the countenance full of fire, but extremely wild, truly characteristic of the man. Alas! this valuable picture is suffering with every thing else from damp and neglect.No place has greater capabilities of being rendered one of the most enchanting spots in the world. Were the old castle fitted up, and it has walls of a thickness which Time itself would with difficulty destroy; between that and what has been added, an excellent house might be made; and such are the natural advantages of the grounds, that very little would be wanting to render them truly beautiful. There have been delightful shrubberies, which might easily be restored. The castle stands on a rock, not very high, and below are fine meadows, with an ample stream flowing through them: there is plenty of wood, and a considerable lake at a short distance from the house, which fur- // nishes excellent trout:—in short, Nature has left little for Art to supply; and yet this charming spot is deserted, abandoned, looking wholly neglected and forlorn. Though I kissed the Blarney stone, I am not here exaggerating. The country beyond the immediate precincts of the castle is not very good; the slopes are pretty, but they are destitute of the greatest ornament to them,—wood. This place lies to the north-west of Cork. [pp. 239-240]
Blarney Castle