One of the most famous events in the legend is arguably the retrieval of Arthur’s sword Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake. The Lady of the Lake is said to be a fairy, one that raised Sir Lancelot. After Arthur’s sword was damaged he was advised by Merlin to head out on a lake in order to claim a new sword, it was here that he met the Lady of the Lake who gave him a new one, the incredibly powerful Excalibur in order to destroy his foes and save the land from the Saxons.
Later, after the Battle of Camlann Arthur was fatally wounded, it was then that he asked one of his trusted Knights of the Round Table, Sir Bedivere to return his sword to the lake. Bedivere was dubious about the task, it seemed to him to be a waste of such a fine weapon. He attempted to follow his orders but couldn’t bare to, he did this a second time but still he could not bring himself to be rid of it. By the third time he knew he must obey his Kings dying wish and launched the sword into the lake, as he did a hand rose out of the water, catching the blade, clasping the hilt and pulling it back beneath the surface.
Many lakes are said to be the home of the Lady herself, one of those such places is Dozmary Pool located at the centre of the Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. Today you can visit this area and see it’s natural beauty, complete with copious plant and wildlife. There have been examples of pagan worship and even some Neolithic artifacts found here, though still no sword yet.
Tintagel Castle, also residing in Cornwall, has become forever tied to the legend of King Arthur. It was first mentioned as the site of his conception in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s book Historia Regum Britanniae, though in later stories it was said to be where he was born and has even been named by some as the grounds of Camelot itself.
Geoffrey of Monmouth tells the story of Arthur’s father Uther Pendragon, who was at war with the Duke of Cornwall named Gorlois. Uther’s forces make their attack at the fort in Dimilioc, in an attempt to keep his wife Igraine safe from the invasion he sends her to Tintagel castle. Uther however is madly in love with her and wishes to take her for his own. Tintagel however is too great a defence, there is only one entrance to the fortress, the rest is surrounded by sea so Uther sends for Merlin in a hope he will solve his problem. Merlin uses his magic to disguise Uther as his enemy Gorlois, he then disguises himself and Uther’s most trusted knight as his companions and they infiltrate the castle. It is then that he has his way with Igraine and Arthur’s story is set in motion.