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Dozmary Pool

Dozmary Pool has perhaps become more known for its place in legend and fable, rather than its place in reality.

Contrary to popular belief, Dozmary Pool is not bottomless. In reality, it is closer to the startling depth of around six feet, and has on occasion nearly drained itself, and in 1869 it drained completely dry. Apart from having no obvious streams feeding into it, it has no river flowing out of it, and together with the fact that it is clearly not stagnant, water must still drain both to and from it. When it drained in 1869, Neolithic arrow heads were found in the mud at its bottom. The lake is one of Cornwall's few, and indeed largest, of its natural lakes. Its mysterious features and location in the mists on top of Bodmin Moor have perhaps fed the legends associated with it. The most famous may be as the place where the Lady of the Lake dwells in the legends of King Arthur, and where Sir Bedevere cast King Arthur's sword Excalibur after the King fell in his last battle. The lake was also found in need of being emptied with a limpet shell by the giant Jan Tregeagle after he had sold his soul to the devil, and was given this task upon his death as penitence. Oh, and the limpet shell leaked. Tough work.

The lake has also - back to reality - been the site of an ice works, in the days when the lake froze over a little more often than it perhaps does today, and before the advent of the modern refrigerator. Dozmary Pool remains a beautiful place to visit, and has also in the past been the location of Sunday and annual picnics organised by local chapels. And by all accounts and old photographs, very popular they were too.

The name Dozmary Pool (or Dozmare or Dosmery Pool) has been postulated as meaning "drop of sea", or perhaps more likely, "a lake at the top of Tosmeri Hill" from the 1300s.

Dozmary Pool
Dozmary Pool as seen from the moorland road down from Bolventor and Jamaica Inn


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