He or she who kisses the Blarney Stone is filled with eloquence and has a way with words or, as many would say, has the gift of the gab or is full of the blarney. The RamblingWombat has kissed the Blarney stone, not once, but twice!
“The” Blarney Stone is high up and set into the battlements of Blarney Castle in Ireland and to kiss it used to involve being dangled, by the legs, over the edge of the Castle wall – at some significant distance from the ground. I understand a somewhat less risky method is now employed.
Why am I telling you this in an entry on Sydney? Let me explain.
This is one of those instances where it pays to keep your eyes peeled to your surroundings. One of the best known buildings in Sydney is the Queen Victoria Building and tis somewhat of a tourist magnet. A lesser number of people stop to have a look at a statue of Queen Victoria just outside the building (City Hall side), an even smaller number have a look at a nearby (10 metres) wishing well and few take note of a stone stuck to the lip of the wishing well.
This stone – about 10-15cm square and the subject of this entry – is, as the plaque states a stone from the Battlements of Blarney Castle. It is not, and I repeat, it is not part of the Blarney Stone. Alas, my dear friends, kiss it you may and many do, but if you want the gift of eloquence you really do have to go to Ireland.
Why this stone is in Sydney and why it is attached to a wishing well related to Queen Victoria – not the most revered of British monarchs in Ireland – is somewhat of a mystery. The statue, wishing well and stone all went on display in Sydney in 1987.
From the plaque accompanying the stone, one can ascertain that it was a gift to the people of Sydney from the Lord Mayor of Cork, through the courtesy of Sir Richard Colthurst. The Colthurst family own Blarney Castle and Sir Richard, being short of funds like many of the landed gentry in the seventies and the eighties, opened Blarney Castle to the public. Perhaps having a bit of it on display in Sydney was a form of advertising. I really don’t know.
Do have a look but its no substitute for going to Ireland.
Address: Outside Queen Victoria Building
Directions: Intersection of George and Druitt Street, Sydney