We know surprisingly little about the truth behind the legends of King Arthur. Many historians believe a version of him really existed, but you have to look behind the myths to find the man. Arthur was probably a Roman-British leader who fought in defense of Briton during the late 5th and early 6th century. Most don't believe his sword glowed with the power of lightning, of course, and he only gained a mystical counselor named Merlin when Geoffrey of Monmouth merged some legends in the 12th century!
But myth has just merged with reality in the most entertaining way. You see, a British schoolgirl might just have found Excalibur!
The Fate Of The Sword
According to Arthurian legend, the story of King Arthur ended in tragedy. Fatally wounded, the King commanded the loyal knight Sir Bedivere to take his blade to Dozmary Pool in Cornwall. Arthur had been given the sword by the Lady of the Lake, and now — as he lay dying — the sword would be returned to her. Sir Bedivere did as asked, and flung Excalibur into the depths of Bozmary Pool.
And there, so the legend goes, the sword had laid ever since... at least, until today.
Schoolgirl Matilda Jones was on holiday in the south west of England, visiting Dozmary Pool with her family. In fact her father, Paul, had just been reading Matilda tales from the legends of King Arthur. That's when Matilda decided it was getting a bit warm, and asked Paul if she could go into the pool.
Her father told the tale like this:
"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 realized that it was a sword. It was just there lying flat at the bottom of the lake."
The beautiful sword is 4ft long (as tall as Matilda herself). Unfortunately, the sad truth is that this blade is unlikely to be the real Excalibur. For one thing, Dozmary Pool was thought to be bottomless until the droughts of 1859 and 1976 dried it out completely — and no sword was found during either of those two droughts. Paul, for his part, dismisses this as a bit of fun. "It's probably just an old film prop," he notes.
While every legend has a bit of truth in it, it appears that the story didn't come true for the little girl in this case. Still, one thing's for sure; Matila Jones just enjoyed a family holiday that she'll never forget! After all, imagine what it must have been like for the child to sit through the legends of King Arthur, only to then find a similar blade in real life...
Do you think there's any truth to the legends of King Arthur?