Excalibur – The medieval period was certainly stuff of legend. The English had King Harold with the arrow in his eye, the French had Joan of Arc who helped them in battle, and the Vikings were also running riot across Northern Europe.
Perhaps the most famous of all legends is that of King Arthur. Whether it’s his round table or plucking a sword from the stone, he’s certainly got a good tale behind him – the sort of bloke you’d hear rambling down the local boozer.
Well, after losing his last fight at the Battle of Camlann and being fatally wounded, Arthur supposedly threw his sword, Excalibur, into Dozmary Pool, Cornwall.
What happened to the sword after is a little mystery, with many believing it was accepted by the Lady of the Lake, whose arm mysteriously rose from the water to receive the blade.
But, one schoolgirl has now reclaimed the sword… or at least stumbled on a four-foot sword whilst on holiday in the south west county.
Matilda Jones was wading through waist-deep water at Dozmary Pool when she stumbled across the blade.
Maybe the Lady of the Lake heard her father’s words, as Paul Jones, 51, was recalling the tale to his two daughters just moments before the discovery.
Paul, from Doncaster, said: “It was a blistering hot day and Matilda asked if we could go for a paddle.
“She was only waist deep when she said she could see a sword.
“I told her not to be silly and it was probably a bit of fencing, but when I looked down I realised that it was a sword. It was just there lying flat at the bottom of the lake.
“The sword is 4ft long – exactly Matilda’s height.
Legend has it that King Arthur first received Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake in Dozmary Pool after rowing out to retrieve it.
Once he had been fatally wounded, he asked to be taken back to the spot to return the sword.
The pool for centuries was believed to be bottomless until the droughts of 1859 and 1976 dried it out completely and revealed it is, instead, nothing more than a shallow pond.
Matilda, just like the legend she may have uncovered, shares her name with another legendary character from the start of the second millennium.
Empress Matilda was the name of King Henry I’s daughter and was heir to the throne in the 12th century.
Sadly, Arthur lived some time before Matilda. The legendary British leader led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries AD.
Her father, real to the core, isn’t having any of it though, and added: “I don’t think it’s particularly old. It’s probably an old film prop.”
Nothing like bringing a kid crashing down to Earth, eh Paul?
Featured Image Credit: SWNS