Tintagell, Snowdonia, Cadbury Camp, Broceliande - So who really 'owns' Arthur & Merlin?
We're getting on with our exploration of Brittany (picking up again nicely thanks) in between renovating our modest money pit in the Cotes d'Armor... Well, we recently had a look at the forest of Broceliande... and the Brittany end of the Arthurian legend.
Having seen all that Paimpont seemed to have to offer we had lunch of Moules and Frites and headed off in search of evidence of Merlin. The low key approach that Breton local authorities attach to this kind of thing (OK there are road signs and we knew that all was to be found here within the Forest of Broceliande) is very low profile. After a few wrong turnings (I always blame it on the satnav) we saw, just ahead of us a lay-by with maybe 6 or so vehicles parked up... Across the lane was a dusty track leading into the woods. A sign board illustrated with a wizardly theme and multi lingual descriptions of what was to come... Excited? Expectant at least! Quite a few people (there must be another car park) were in front and behind us on the well trodden path... Stopping and politely waiting for each clutch of legend seekers to read the information board which might sit in front of what on a better day (today was parched in July with beige grass) had once been green and offered no trace of water in the culverts which might on other days have gushed, bubbling, toward the 'font' which we discovered further down the track... The actual 'Merlin's Tomb' consisted of three large rocks buried in the earth down a side track to the right and the only thing that distinguished them from other rocks that we could have seen just as easily in the same area was that people had laid flowers and small piles of stones on this the 'real' tomb. Further down the path on left and right were more tributes of piles of stones and just as identifiable... the places from where these stones had been prised, dug or kicked from the sides of the path. The Fountain and what might well have been a secret pool were dried up but dignified by more piles of stones.
But, why mess with true heritage? We had a great day out. We've actually got a cluster of rocks behind the barns in our own Brittany garden - behind the 'money pit' (I jest of course) that rival Merlin's tomb for their size and intricacy and so I'm picking up a sheet of 8x4 marine ply and a couple of timber posts next week and will be advertising (discreetly of course) the secrets of middle earth... "Bury that hose pipe in the ground here we're going to need a water feature... Here we go...Welcome to the Grotto!"
|Now this is a bit more like it - proper burial chamber as befits a wizard.|
btw - NOT in our garden!