Chapelizod Road, Chapelizod, Dublin.
Dublin City Council
The story is that Tristan, the nephew of King Mark of Cornwall, was mortally wounded in a fight where he killed the brother of the Queen of Ireland. As he was expected to die, he was sent out to sea in a boat without sails. By chance, the boat reached the shores of Ireland, where he was nursed back to health by the beautiful Iseult, daughter of the King of Ireland.
Tristan could not stay in Ireland as he was responsible for the death of the Queen’s brother, so he returned to Cornwall. A little later, King Mark sent him back to Ireland to bring back Iseult who was to be his queen. On the way back, the couple accidentally drank a love potion intended for Mark and Iseult on their wedding night.
The young couple fell deeply in love and carried on an illicit affair even after she married. King Mark became suspicious and although Iseult managed to allay these suspicions, Tristan left the country. He married a Breton girl, who was also called Iseult, but he never stopped loving the Queen of Cornwall. When he was wounded in battle, he sent for her to heal his wounds and asked that a white sail be flown from the ship if she was on board when it returned. Tristan’s new wife heard he had sent for Iseult and flew into a jealous rage. Although she could see the ship with the white sails in the distance, she told Tristan the sails were black. Tristan thought that Iseult had refused to come to him, and in his despair, he succumbed to his wounds and died. When Iseult arrived, she realised she had been too late. She lay with Tristan weeping over her lost love and died there next to him of a broken heart. The two lovers were buried beside one another, supposedly in Chapelizod in Dublin. It is said that a bramble branch grew out of Tristan’s grave and a rose from Iseult’s. These two branches intertwined and although King Mark tried to cut the branch 3 times, just like their love it was too strong.
I am a teacher for children with special educational needs by day and an artist by night! I love bright and pastel colours and am particularly interested in folklore, and reimagining our hero’s in modern constructs. I am originally from Belfast.