To be honest, I've had this plate on my table so often that I don't give it much of a second thought. But on closer examination, I realize it does not look a lot like a castle.
It looks like a lovely British home, but not a castle. In fact, it looks very little like Blarney Castle as it stands today.
It turns out that Blarney Castle had a hunting lodge attached to the castle, which has since burned down, so I don't have that many details to compare against my china pattern. But I did come across some interesting facts about the Blarney Castle. There is, of course, the Blarney Stone there. As far as I can tell, in order to kiss the stone and gain the gift of gab, you have to lie on your back, hold onto a pair of metal bars and bend backwards to actually get to the stone. I have a creeping suspicion that this sacred rock may be a seething nest of bacteria from the number of people who have puckered up to it.
But there are extensive grounds to keep you occupied, should the Blarney Stone or the Castle not appeal. They have a bog and a Fairy Glen, and most intriguingly, a Poison Garden.
This garden features wolfbane, opium, and mandrake plants, and has the added thrill of skulls put on all of the plant signs. Don't say the Irish don't have a knack for theatrical flourish. Maybe they've been kissing the Blarney Stone a little too often!