Earlier this week, on a trip to Cornwall, 7-year-old Matilda Jones noticed a sword lying on the bottom of Dozmary Pool while paddling with her father. They retrieved the sword — which was found in the same spot where the Arthurian legend says King Arthur’s sword was left after his death — and the story went viral.
While the legend might say the sword was put there by Arthur’s knight, Sir Bedivere, a man named Mark Wilkins claims it was in fact him.
“I threw it in the lake in the 1980s and wasn’t expecting to see it again,” Wilkins said. He said he threw it in the lake as an offering to the Celtic gods.
“Back in the 80s I was very into spiritualism and followed the Celtic religion,” he said. “It’s well known in Celtic belief that if you want to honor the Gods you can make a sacrifice or an offering.”
“I’m Cornish through and through so for me myths and legends are everything,” he added. “Cornwall is steeped in legend and because of the history of Dozmary Pool and King Arthur. I decided to make an offering and give the blade back.”
“I didn’t offer the sword for anything special, only to honour the legend,” he said.
The legend says that Excalibur was given to Arthur by the mysterious Lady of the Lake, to give him special powers in battle.
Wilkins said he bought his sword, the ‘Flambard Fantasy’ from ‘Battle Orders UK’ to use in battle reenactments for the local celebration of Heritage Day in Bodmin.
“The funniest thing is that I have people who can vouch I had the sword back then because I had a phase when I would have a few drinks and go around knighting the people of Bodmin when I lived there,” he said.
The legend claims that the sword could only be retrieved from the Dozmary Pool by the rightful Queen of Britain, and Wilkins says he’d like to believe that.
“Sir Bedivere threw the sword in the lake, as did I, and now the lake has given the sword back,” he said. “The lake decided to give it to somebody worthy.”
Wilkins said it was amusing how much press the story was given, as he’d almost forgotten about the sword after throwing it in the lake all those years ago.
“I loved the photos,” he said. “It was quite comical really because the sword is so much bigger than the little girl.”
He added that he’s not trying to steal the spotlight from Matilda, but that he’s simply shedding light on the swords true history.
“I love the legend,” he said. “I hope for her it’s a magical thing and that she gets strength from it.”