Blarney Castle is a tower house, a type of fortification built by Gaelic lords and the Anglo-Irish between the 15th and 17th centuries. Tower houses are typically four or five storeys tall with one or two main chambers, plus several ancillary chambers on each floor.
Blarney Castle is an unusually large tower house, and it comprises at least two towers – the second one was added in the 1500s. You can see the point the two phases meet as a vertical line in the masonry on the north elevation.
The walls are 18 feet thick at the base, gradually sloping inwards as they rise. This makes the building more stable but would also have helped with defence: when an object was dropped from the top it would bounce off the wall on the way down and fly outwards into the enemy.
Explore Blarney Castle
- Chapel, Banqueting Hall & Family Room
- Entering the Castle
- The Dungeon
- The Great Hall
- The Kitchen
- Walls and Bawn
- Young Ladies Bedroom – Priests Room