This article accompanies
Fowey in Cornwall has many literary associations going back to Joseph of Arimathea, of Holy Grail fame no less. Joseph, introduced in Luke 23, is known for burying the body of Jesus in the tomb, assisted by Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus. But there is a legend that when Jesus was a child, Joseph brought him to Fowey, while on the way to Glastonbury. There is a cross at the entrance to the river, on the left side of the photo below, to commemorate their landing. Known locally as “Punchy Cross,” this name is supposedly derived from Pontius Pilate. The legend also became the inspiration for William Blake’s patriotic hymn Jerusalem:
For Blake's paintings, see here, here, here and here.
On the road out of town is Tristan’s Stone, a 7-foot tall grave marker (below) that many associate with the legend of Tristan and Iseult and King Mark. Although the Latin lettering is faded, it reads DRUSTANS HIC IACIT CVNOWORI FILVS (“Here lies Drustanus, son of Cunomorus”) which has been interpreted as Tristan, son of King Mark. Archaeology and etymology to some extent support this – Mark was King of Cornwall and Tristan was said to be from Lyonesse, a land now under the sea to the southwest of Cornwall. There are Welsh, Breton and Irish strands to the story.