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Mysterious Dozmary Pool is a grim expanse of still, leaden water on bleak and brooding Bodmin Moor
The pool lies near to Colliford Lake, 2 kilometres south of Bolventor and but a mile from the famous Jamaica Inn, imortalised in Daphne du Maurier's book of the same name. Spelled as'Dozmaré' at the end of the nineteenth century, the Pool's existence is an enigma, as no stream flows into it nor does it drain any part of the moor. Dozmary was first used by Neolithic man- and many artefacts relating to their habitation have been found at the site.
The pool possesses a strange, unearthly beauty and is said to be bottomless and to possess a tunnel which connects to the sea, the name itself means drop of sea. The pool dried up in the year 1869 disproving the legend. The outflow from the pool is into Colliford Lake and it is therefore one of the sources of the River Fowey.
The site is also linked with local legends of the ghost of Jan Tregeagle, an unpopular seventeenth century local magistrate, who's spirit was said to have attemped to empty the pool with a broken limpet shell.
Dozmary Poolcan be reached from a minor road from the A30 near the Jamaica Inn from Bolventor.
Dozmary Pool and Arthurian Legend
The mist of legend continues to cling to desolate Dozmary Pool, it must have the most persistent of the claims to be the residence of the mysterious Lady of the Lake of Arthurian legend.
After Arthur's final battle at Camlann (possibly near Camelford) the mortally wounded king asks to be taken to the Pool so he can return his sword to the Lady of the Lake. Dozmary Pool is reputed to be the spot where the dying Arthur was carried with the great sword, Excalibur, and to where it was thrown into the still waters of the lake by Bedevere, after being commanded to do so three times by King Arthur, who was mortally wounded at the Battle of Camlann.
The sword was received by the mysterious hand and arm of the Lady of the Lake, which rose from the still waters. The Lady of the Lake had first given Excalibur to Arthur in his youth.
The legend appears to have pagan elements intertwined. Archaeological evidence confirms the practice of swords being thrown into lakes and rivers as sacred offerings to the gods, which was a common custom among the Celts, especially on the death of a noble . The gods and godesses of ancient Celtic mythology were believed to frequent watery places, where offerings were commonly made to them.
One of the candidates for the site of the Battle of Camlann is at Slaughter Bridge which lies but ten miles away from Dozmary Pool.