High on Bodmin Moor lies Dozmary Pool, a source of the Fowey River. A sheet of sweet water dripping to Colliford, dripping to the Fowey River; dripping to our taps. It’s fed by all the rain that falls on Bodmin Moor. Some say it's bottomless, some say it's 9 feet deep. Around its bleak shores piskies frisk, and long ago Arthur travelled here, to this place with the magic of all water.
Arthur stood by the shore, the lake ruffled, grey and chill.The water’s surface turned to glass, suffused by all colours. Smashing glass, a hand appeared, a hand grasping a shining sword, a sword to save a kingdom. The sword Excalibur, a gift from the lady of the lake. A sword for a king, a sword to win many battles and to stay by his side as Arthur ruled Britain.
Then Arthur fought his last battle at Slaughterbridge, against his treacherous nephew Mordred who had tried to steal his kingdom. As he lay mortally wounded he asked Sir Bedivere to take the sword back to Dozmary. Bevidere threw it high, slicing the mist above the water. A hand shot up, a lake lady’s hand. It caught the shining sword and dragged it down to the murky lake depths – where it lies still, magic beneath the still water, no rust to dull its blade, waiting for a strong prince to claim it.
retold by Anna Chorlton
Idylls of the King Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Malory Morte D'Arthur
Dozemare Pool booklet, CRO
- Bodmin Moor - Moor Stories