What was your greatest achievement as a child? Coming third place in the egg and spoon race at Sports Day? Building a Lego tower that was taller than you? Whilst both of those are noble accomplishments, they won’t quite compare to seven-year-old Mathilda Jones’ discovery, which is sending historians and archaeologists into a complete meltdown…
Mathilda Jones was enjoying a summer holiday with her family on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall when she made her startling find. Whilst wading through waist-deep water in Dozmary Pool, she stumbled upon a blade. But, this wasn’t any old discarded fishing penknife or camping knife – what she pulled from the water was quite extraordinary…
he 7-year-old had unwittingly discovered a 4ft sword. This find would have been incredible enough on it’s own, except that Dozmary Pool, according to legend, is where King Arthur’s Excalibur was thrown. Had Mathilda just found one of history’s most coveted pieces?
Or, is there more to this story than meets the eye?
Ironically, Mathilda’s dad, 51-year-old Paul Jones, had been explaining the story of King Arthur to his daughter and her four-year-old sister Lois just as the incredible find was made. “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 realised it was a sword. It was just there laying flat on the bottom of the lake,” Paul explains.
Famous folklore has brought treasure hunters from across the globe to the lake, all desperate to find the legendary Excalibur. Could it be possible that Mathilda had found it so easily?
King Arthur, who is believed to have led Britain during the late 5th and early 6th centuries AD, has been a prominent figure in folklore for centuries, and a key focus for Hollywood movies in modern times. The story of the Sword In The Stone is familiar to millions across the globe, meaning that the discovery of the Excalibur would the most monumental in history.
Legend has it that King Arthur first received the Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake in Dozmary Pool after rowing out to receive it. After being mortally wounded during the Battle of Camlann, he made it his final act to return the sword to the Lady of the Lake.
The pool was believed to be bottomless, until droughts in 1859 and 1976 emptied it of water, to reveal it is in fact a shallow pond. If the sword was deposited here by King Arthur, it would be centuries old and likely nestled deep under thick layers of mud in the bottom of the pool.
Mathilda’s dad believes that the sword is not King Arthur’s Excalibur: “I don’t think it’s particularly old,” he said. “It’s probably an old film prop.”
But, if this is indeed the actual Excalibur that was pulled from the stone, then legend states that whoever wields it shall be the true ruler of England. So… behold the new Queen of England, seven-year-old Mathilda Jones!
If you are not familiar with the story of King Arthur, or need to immerse yourself back into his world, then you are in luck. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword was released earlier this year. Directed by Guy Ritchie and (briefly) starring David Beckham, it is a not your traditional take on the iconic legend, but the infamous Excalibur is certainly centerstage!