One grey and misty day, long, long ago – at least three months ago – I convinced himself that we should revisit Tintagel Castle, the site of the legend of King Arthur. Since our first visit ten years ago it has lived on in my over-active imagination as a land of mystery and magic.
Centuries before King Arthur was a twinkle in a movie producer’s eye a tale emerged through Celtic lore and French medieval poetry of the adulterous love of a knight and a princess.
On a windswept strategic promontory with a history dating back 1700 years to the dark ages I felt the presence of King Arthur – a myth that has been perpetuated for 900 years.
The castle once stretched over a narrow isthmus of land but wild Atlantic weather has swept the isthmus away leaving half of the castle isolated on a jagged island. All that is left of the castle are foundation stones outlining rooms but enough to lure a stream of tourists since the end of the 1600’s. And me. Twice now. The guide book will direct to you to Merlin’s Cave and Excalibur rests in the lake not far from the cafe and the ticket booth.
As I stood on the windy promontory, taking in lungfuls of salty Atlantic air, legs astride, arms akimbo I could see the Knights at the Round Table. I could hear Guinevere. I could picture myself holding Excalibur aloft, the plastic replicas on sale in town firing my imagination. I felt touched by the presence of King Arthur.
Himself would tell you that I am just touched.
Do you believe in the legend of King Arthur?