I have always been fascinated by the image of the sword in the stone “Excalibur”, the lady in the lake and the legend of King Arthur and his round table.
This was my flimsy excuse to go out and buy a proper sword on-line. I chose a replica Norman sword from the 12c, as I liked its lines. It was surprisingly cheap about 120 Euros and stainless steel too. It was not sharpened but if you were willing to “splash the cash”, the real thing could be yours !!!
If every lady wants to be a princess, every boy wants to be a knight of old. I thought it would be interesting to take some photos of the sword in scenic places around Ireland
I also hope not to be arrested as a sword in open places does tend to alarm people. You would think they had never seen a sword before in a dark lonely wood.
It did arrive without a scabbard and when I enquired on-line for a suitable leather covering, I found I had entered another world !!!. It seems there is a thriving business in re-enactment. You can literally buy period authentic armour from any era and any country. You can be a humble legionnaire, a gladiator, a knight, a musketeer, a RAF pilot even. Today you can be anybody you want to be !!!
However I knew I had found the right supplier when they described the leather scabbard I was interested in as, “ for the warrior who has lost their scabbard in battle”, clearly they know me well !!!
Perhaps it`s time to move on from my “super hero” phase, to mature and embrace this new found world. Could “Camelot” be the one for me now ???
Talking of warriors I decided to call in on a legend in the Irish film industry “Captain Jack Phelan”. “Jack” has had an impressive career in the film industry working as a producer and production manager on features and commercials.
I knew he had worked as the production manager on “John Boormans” epic “Excalibur”, and felt it would be a fitting start to my quest here.
I met “Jack” and his wife “Betty” at their home in “Foxrock” and was surprised and pleased, to be shown the helmet worn by “Lancelot” in “Excalibur”. It had been made by legendary armourer “Terry English”, who has made armour for many films such as “Gladiator, Alien” etc. I took a photo of “Jack” holding my “Excalibur” and “Lancelots” helmet.
“Jack” explained this helmet had been given to him by the kind permission of “John Boorman”, after filming had finished. As a knight in training I cannot repeat the stories “Jack” told me, but I think it was well deserved. “John Boorman” did an amazing job creating a cinema classic and I think was ably served by his “Lancelot” !!!
“Jack” told me the “lady in the lake” scene was shot with available daylight down at the “Luggala” estate. There was a mechanical arm used for that scene. It sunk at one point in 60 ft of water, requiring professional divers.
If I remember correctly the “shoot” was about 9 months. The main locations were “Wicklow”, “Luggala”, “Powerscourt waterfall”, “Lambes Head” in Kerry and the back lot in Ardmore studios.
It`s an unusual film in its cast, as so many of its names have gone on to great things “Liam Neeson”, “Gabriel Byrne”, “Helen Mirren”, “Patrick Stewart”, “Cherie Lunghi”, to name but a few.
I took this picture at “Powerscourt waterfall”. There is no question this sword has power, clearly the tourists could sense this for none felt worthy to approach me !!!
The original “Excalibur” was LAST SEEN by “Bill Pullover” the prop master and though I cannot be certain, may have been returned to the “Lady of the Lake” !!!!
I hope you stay tuned to further adventures of “Excalibur” !!!