Cornwall is a county filled with many myths and legends, from little people to giants. However, there is no doubt that Cornwall’s most famous legend is that of King Arthur Pendragon and his knights of the round table. The tales of the heroic king have stood the test of time, and even today there are still numerous locations in Cornwall that have strong link with Arthurian legend.
The Legend tells how the wizard Merlin aided Uther Pendragon in changing Uther’s appearance so that he could spend a night with the beautiful Ygerna at Tintagel Castle on the North Coast of Cornwall. That night Arthur was conceived and Tintagel remains famous as the king’s birthplace. Along with the ruins of Tintagel Castle, Merlin’s Cave can also be found at the foot of the cliffs, many even believe that the wizard still haunts the area.
Arthur became king at 15 following the death of his father. There are many stories of him defeating the Saxons, the Picts and the Irish. He is said to have conquered Norway and France, and impressively defeated a giant at Mont-Saint-Michel.
One of the most well-known aspects of the legend is the round table that Arthur and his knights would sit at, so that they all would appear equal. Many say that the round table is buried under Bossiney Mound, situated between Bossiney and Launceston. Legend tells that the round table will rise from under the ground one midsummer’s night to call upon King Arthur and his knights to return.
Arthur’s final battle was with his nephew Mordred, who had taken Arthur’s wife as his mistress. The battle took place at Camlan in Cornwall. The aptly named ‘Slaughterbridge’ between Camelford and Tintagel is home to a Sxth Century stone known as ‘King Arthur’s Stone, marking the place where Arthur met Mordred for battle.
Mordred was defeated but Arthur was fatally wounded by his enemy’s poisoned sword. Arthur’s body was moved to the Ilse of Avalon to be healed, but he hero was never to be seen again. Many believe Avalon to be the Scilly Isles.
Before his death, Arthur commanded one of his loyal knights, Sir Bedivere to throw his mystical sword Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake in Dozmary Pool, on Bodmin Moor.
Perhaps the most famous part of Arthur’s story is the tale of how he pulled a sword from a stone to prove that he was the true king. Here at Pirate’s Quest we have our very own Sword in the Stone within of Land of Legend area. Visit this Half Term and you may be chosen to try to retrieve the weapon, as well as see Arthur, Guinevere, Merlin, and a whole host of other Cornish Legends.
Book a Pirate’s Quest experience and learn all about Arthurian legends and the Cornwall’s mythical mysteries.