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Dozmary Pool

dozmary pool

Discover the Magic and Myths of Dozmary Pool

Surrounded by Bodmin Moor’s wild landscape, Dozmary Pool is a place cloaked in myths and legends. This charming countryside site consists of a serene wooded lake backed by rolling hills stretching across the Cornish moors. Though small in size, Dozmary Pool holds an air of magic that means a visit promises a special day out amidst nature for families.

Steeped in tales of King Arthur and the Lady in the Lake, Dozmary offers pretty woodland walks or leisurely picnics surrounded by wildlife. Read on for essential information for a visit to soak up Dozmary Pool’s history and enjoy its relaxed pace.

dozmary pool house

Getting There

Dozmary Pool is situated around halfway between Bodmin and Jamaica Inn, well signed just off the A30 near Altarnun village. Its countryside location means travelling by car is easiest.

While access is possible by foot or bicycle along minor lanes and trails, the remote setting has no direct public transport connections.

Opening Times and Prices

As an unspoilt area of natural beauty, Dozmary Pool can be explored freely year-round during daylight hours. A small parking area is available which charges £2-3 per car.

No manned facilities exist on site but public paths give easy access around the pool. Be sure to stick to the waymarked trails to conserve wildlife habitats and vegetation.

The History and Legends

Though just a humble pond nowadays, Dozmary has an intriguing history and links to British lore. Geological evidence indicates it originally held over ten times today’s water volume as an ancient lake back in the last Ice Age.

However, it’s the Celtic legends of warriors like King Arthur casting sacred Excalibur swords into its depths plus tales of a mystical Lady of the Lake inhabiting Dozmary that spark imaginations today. Ghostly sightings even continue into modern times…

arthur

Dozmary Pool History and Myth

Though serene in appearance, this pool is the subject of an Arthurian legend with darker origins.

According to the myth, after Arthur was mortally wounded at the Battle of Camlann, he was taken to the island of Avalon by Morgan le Fay and her eight sisters. As he lay dying, Arthur asked his kinsman Sir Bedivere to return his powerful sword Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake. Sir Bedivere took the sword and a boat to the middle of Dozmary Pool, which the locals called the Lady’s Lake or Lady’s Mirror. However, when he went to throw the sword into the water, he hesitated, entranced by Excalibur’s beauty and value.

Seeing this hesitation, Arthur stirred and asked Sir Bedivere why he had not yet thrown the sword. Ashamed, Sir Bedivere rowed back into the pool and finally cast Excalibur into the water. A pale arm rose from the depths to catch the sword, then submerged with it. The lake supposedly conceals a treasure trove of Arthurian artifacts to this day, only to be revealed when the next rightful king sits on the throne.

The lore around Dozmary Pool’s connection to King Arthur likely developed out of older Celtic myths about the area. Geological evidence shows the pool was created through tin mining, and its location may have contributed to its air of mystery. Regardless of the uncertain origins, the tranquil Dozmary Pool remains a fascinating spot for reflection on the legends of Britain’s most renowned monarch.

Today, Dozmary Pool is surrounded by rich Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeological history. Visitors continue to feel entranced by the area’s connection to the enduring myths of Arthur’s last days. While no one has yet laid claim to Excalibur’s watery resting place, Dozmary Pool itself holds enduring magic and beauty.

lady in the lake

Things to See and Do

Though small in scale, Dozmary invites lazy countryside pursuits like:

  • Pack a picnic and chomp sandwiches while admiring the glistening mere reflecting gnarled oak trees and moorland hills.
  • Follow the easy 45 minute woodland trail around the pool trying to spot elusive wildlife residents like kingfishers, heron and otters.
  • Paddle or skim stones into Dozmary’s dark waters while contemplating Arthurian characters who may have once trod these shores.
  • Let kids weave their own stories imagining fairies, knights and wise old wizards wandering through the oaks and abandoned mineral workings.
  • Seek out Secret Garden Tea Room in Altarnun village 3 miles away for delicious cakes after exploring Dozmary’s myths and magic.
dozmary pool

Wildlife and Ecology of Dozmary Pool

The Pool and its surroundings harbour a unique and fragile ecology. This shallow lake is classified as a maar – a wetland environment formed thousands of years ago after a violent, explosive steam eruption.

Today, Dozmary Pool supports several rare plant species, including fennel pondweed, six-stamened waterwort, and western spiked speedwell. Below the water’s tranquil surface teems diverse aquatic life, from dragonfly larvae clinging to reed beds, to the endangered European eel slinking through shallow waters. Birdlife also thrives in this secluded habitat; little grebes and moorhens nest in the lake’s margin, while red grouse and meadow pipits share its shoreline with grazing Exmoor ponies.

However, threats from modern industry loom over Dozmary Pool’s delicate ecosystem. The maar’s catchment area shows lasting impacts from Cornwall’s mining heritage through subsurface mineral pollution. In recent years conservation efforts have aimed to restore the site’s habitats and improve water quality. In 2021, the pool was declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest to protect its rare aquatic flora.

Though mercurial in mood, reflected in nicknames like Lady’s Lake and Lady’s Mirror, the glassy face of Dozmary Pool conceals unexpected ecological riches beneath its surface. As legends of Excalibur’s watery resting place continue to draw visitors, conservation initiatives work to safeguard the diverse wildlife sustained by these storied waters. If further protected, Dozmary Pool will persist as an oasis for rare species amid the windswept expanse of Cornwall’s craggy moorland.

dozmary pool bodmin

Tales of King Arthur

usbourne illustrated tales of king arthur

Bringing the legends of Camelot to life through lavish illustrations, this compiled storybook immerses young readers in tales of wizards, swords, and quests surrounding the iconic King Arthur. All the enchantment and adventure of Arthur’s court springs from these pages, inspiring imagination and highlighting valor, courage and justice from the fabled knights of the Round Table.

Buy Now

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you swim in Dozmary Pool? – Yes, swimming is allowed, but it is very cold most of the year, so dress accordingly!

How deep is Dozmary Pool? – It is about 12-18 feet deep and is about 1 mile in circumference

Nearby Attractions

Combine a laidback visit to Dozmary Pool with nearby family days out like:

  • Golitha Falls – walk through historic woodlands to natural cascades.
  • Launceston Steam Railways – ride vintage locomotives.
  • Eden Project – Massive educational botanical gardens housed in biomes containing thousands of fascinating plant species from around the world.
  • Jamaica Inn – Historic smugglers inn on windswept Bodmin Moor made famous by Daphne du Maurier’s novel. Museum and accommodation available.
  • Bodmin Jail – Imposing former prison transformed into an immersive museum offering tours showcasing tales of notorious inmates along with Cornish history.
  • Restormel Castle – Picturesque medieval castle ruins set above the River Fowey showcasing Norman architecture. Interesting to explore for history fans.
  • Lanhydrock House – Impressive Victorian country house with expansive gardens, scenic trails and rooms to explore. National Trust property.
  • Camel Valley Vineyard – Scenic vineyard near Bodmin offering educational tours explaining the winemaking process and tutored tastings of their quality sparkling wines.
  • Cardinham Woods – Secluded haven with pretty woodland trails, forest activities and peaceful walking spots surrounded by nature.
  • Colliford Lake – Beautiful 500 acre reservoir nestled on Bodmin Moor, perfect for walking, cycling, fishing and watersports within its wooded tranquil surrounds.

Though one of Cornwall’s more intimate sites, Dozmary’s air of mystery and romantic legends promise a visit full of relaxed discovery, nature and opportunities to spark young imaginations about lakeside lore of bygone eras.

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