I had visions of turning up on my own, given the recent seasonal weather - but the indomitable TDs were once again out in force, with a dozen hardy souls up for a mainly-locals afternoon on the rugged north coast.
It turned out to be surprisingly warm in the Imbolc sunshine, and not-at-all surprisingly cold in the unforgiving shade. The view was that we should visit the Tintagel honey-pot out of season - and I am but a humble administrator . . . Minus the tourist hoards, the castle is a quietly impressive place - part magnificent natural outcrop, part romantic ruin. The views down the coast are breathtaking, the energies in the ether unsullied by the winter winds.
In every challenge lies an opportunity - and dowsing in gloves is a skill in itself. On one level you would not expect to be able to move the rods naturally without physical contact. Yet with just a little practice, it becomes apparent that the rods are capable of being operated successfully in a controlled manner - gloved dowsing is quite possible.
While I would not recommend it as a preferred alternative method, from the perspective of sensitivity, it is a patently practical option in an inclement climate. Not only can the energies themselves be felt and indicated, but the difference between the effect of the wind and the impact of more subtle forces can also be sensed.
The whole castle rock is a lattice of earth energies. Annie had map-dowsed a huge line crossing the entrance causeway, sweeping across the centre of the island and out to sea towards the north east. We could find it on the ground with ease, together with various other major lines of force. There were ley lines in abundance - at least six - linking the castle with other important natural and man-made locations.
A site that was easily defended could also be easily besieged. The presence of a deep well and springs, forcing groundwater up through the Cornish rock would have been of great importance. A debate took place amongst us as to the age and purpose of an underground tunnel on the summit plateau. Was it man-made or natural (seemingly both)? Was it a cold store, armoury or haven (apparently all of these at various times)? The consensus was that the man-made section dated from the fourth century.
The remaining ruins of medieval buildings displayed the tell-tale signs of incorporating the lines and spirals which underlay them in their architecture. There were interesting power foci in the chapel and other ancient buildings - and Larry discovered an energy anomaly by the beach café, which had presumably enjoyed a more illustrious role in times past.
Oh yes - just for the record I asked if a king of any kind had ever been born in this place. 'Yes'. And was this king named Arthur? - silence was the stern reply.
Many thanks to Annie for the maps and words, to Peter for the photos, to The Man in the English Heritage shop for stretching the rules to give us a good deal and to all those who turned up to enjoy some memorable and typically Cornish winter dowsing.