Shamrock Blarney Stone – Shamrock, Texas - Atlas Obscura

Shamrock Blarney Stone

Get your gift of the gab on Route 66. 


Shamrock, Texas, is a town filled with Irish symbolism. Its high school football team is known as the Fighting Irish, and one can find depictions of clovers and leprechauns all over the town. But of all of Shamrock’s Irish trappings, the prize jewel is a slab of rock set into a green concrete pillar. This is a piece of the famous Irish Blarney Stone—or at least, that’s what many here in Shamrock believe.

It is said that in the late 1950s, a piece of the Blarney Stone fell off of the original rock in an accident. Shamrock officials requested that it be brought to their little town in Texas, making promises to help promote American tourism to Ireland. To protect this precious stone, it was escorted by armored trucks and armed guards, and set into a concrete pillar to prevent future theft. As with many legends associated with Ireland, it is hard to determine which parts of this story are true. What is known is that it was dedicated on Saint Patrick’s Day in 1959, with Texas’s own Secretary of State in attendance.

Just a block away is another so-called Blarney stone, this one flat and shaped a bit like a rough tombstone. Featuring a cheerful, pipe-smoking leprechaun, it wishes you a hearty “top of the morning” and asks you to kiss it for ever-lasting good luck. It features a horseshoe embedded in the base, presumably to give it even more powerful luck magic. Despite its festive stylings, the type of rock makes it quite obvious this alternate stone didn’t come from Ireland at all.

The original Blarney stone in Ireland was set into the walls of Blarney Castle in 1446. It is said to grant the “gift of the gab,” or the ability to speak eloquently, persuasively, and especially in a flattering manner. As doubtful as this claim might be, it must be even more dubious for the Texas stone, which many claim is from an entirely separate piece of the castle. Still, it is a nice blend of Irish folklore and American roadside kitsch that makes for a worthy visit.

In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web