Lyonesse, the lost land off Cornwall

There is a legend of the lost lands off the coast of Cornwall, between Land's End and the Scillies. The Land of Lyonesse

Many areas have such tales of land disappearing beneath the sea. Lyonesse has been variously identified with Lothian in Scotland, Leonais in Brittany, Cantref Gwaelod which once lay where Cardigan Bay now stretches, as well as in Cornwall where it was called Lethowstow.

In Cornwall the sixteenth-century antiquarian, William Camden, collected a number of folk tales from the local people in which they refer to the Seven Stones reef off Land's End as the City of Lions (Lyonesse). They also claimed that one could hear the bells of the drowned city of Lyonesse ringing out during rough seas. Today the remains of field boundaries show up at low tide along the sands of the Sampson Flats between the isles of Tresco and Sampson in the Scilly Isles.

According to legend Lyonesse was ruled by Tristan's father. On his death, Tristan became ruler of Lyonesse, but never took his throne as he was at his Uncle Mark's court in Cornwall. And it was apparently at this time that Lyonesse sank beneath the sea. Today various local folklore has stories of Lyonesse.

Cornwall sites with King Arthur connections