#29 Cornish Mythology

December 02, 2018

#29 Cornish Mythology

Cornish mythology consists partly of folk traditions developed in Cornwall and mythology shared with the Breton and Welsh peoples. Many ancient tales of the Bards, such as the Arthurian Cycle and tales from the Mabinogion take place in the ancient kingdom of Cornubia (Cornwall). The original kingdom of Dumnonia was centred in Devon and also included Cornwall and parts of Somerset. Cornubia was a sub-kingdom created around 443CE.

Legendary creatures from Cornish folklore include: -

• The Bucca - a merman, connected with sea storms. It has suggested that originally Bucca was an ancient Celtic deity of the sea because fish food offerings were left on the beach by fisherman to appease him.
• Piskies (Pixies) - Piskies are concentrated in the high moorland areas around Devon and Cornwall and are believed to inhabit ancient underground ancestor sites such as stone circles and barrows.
• Giants – Many of the unusual features in Cornwall such as the granite rock on Bodmin Moor, the staggering sea cliffs seascape and St Michael's Mount are explained as the work of Giants. Eighteenth century tales such as Jack the Giant Killer were probably based on much older oral folk tales.

King Arthur has a very strong connection with Cornwall and a lot of events associated with Arthurian legend happened in Cornwall: -

• Tintagel – on North Cornish coast thought to be the birth place of Arthur. A ruined Norman castle on a steep, craggy hillside marks the original Celtic fortress where Uthyr’s famous son was born.
• Dozmary Pool - thought to be the lake in which Sir Bedivere threw Excalibur to The Lady of the Lake.
• The Tristan Stone - set beside the road leading to Fowey in Cornwall, marks the story of Arthur’s knight Tristan and his lover Iseult.

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