Blarney House

Park or garden open Open to pre-booked groups (minimum 6) Open to individuals

Blarney House, Blarney Castle Estate, Blarney , Cork, Ireland

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f: +353 21 4381518

The House

The Blarney estate in County Cork is an ancient seat of the MacCarthys of Muskerry. It is world famous for its castle, an unusually large tower-house of 1446 which incorporates the famous Blarney Stone, high up beneath the battlements. The 4th Earl of Clancarty had supported King James II, with the result that his forfeited estate was granted to the Hollow Swords Company at the end of the Williamite wars.

In 1704 the mayor of Cork, Sir James St John Jefferyes, purchased the estate and built a new house attached to the original castle. This was greatly enlarged by his descendants and developed into large Georgian Gothic building with a central bow, rows of lancet windows and pinnacled battlements. In 1820 this house was destroyed by fire and not rebuilt, though its remains can still be seen today.

In 1846 Louisa Jane, the Jefferyes heiress, married a neighbour, Sir George Colthurst of Ardrum near Inniscarra. He was a man of property, with another large estate at Ballyvourney near the border with County Kerry, along with Lucan House in Co. Dublin. He also inherited Blarney on his father-in-law’s death.

When her first children died, Lady Colthurst demanded a new house at Blarney on an elevated site. This was built in the Scots Baronial style, to the designs of Sir Thomas Lanyon of Belfast who, rather surprisingly, incorporated a number of classical details from Ardrum into the design. Their high quality shows that this must have been an important building.

Otherwise, the new Blarney House is typical of its type, with pinnacles, crow-stepped gables and a profusion of turrets with conical roofs. The interior has a double height inner hall, lit from above, a pair of interconnecting drawing rooms and a massive oak staircase. The style varies from faux Jacobean to Adam Revival, and the rooms have tall plate-glass windows which overlook the lake.

Nearby, the Jefferyes family created the unique Rock Close, an early 18th century druidic garden layout of large rocks, boulders and yew trees; with dolmens, a stone circle and a druid’s altar.

Today Blarney House is the home of Sir Charles Colthurst, Bt.


Park or garden open

Open to pre-booked groups (minimum 6)

Open to individuals

Opening Hours

Open during the Summer season.

Monday to Saturday

Tours from 10am to 2pm.