Sunday, 11 September 2011

King Arthur's round table located in Scotland?

Long has the belief been held that King Arthur's legendary round table was situated near Stirling Castle in Scotland; more specifically the earthworks known as King's Knot.

However, since these earthworks were created in the 17th century for King Charles I as part of the royal geometrical gardens, it's been a mystery as to why the Knot is tied to such old folklore.

Now a recent archaeological investigation undertaken by Glasgow University and the Stirling Local History Society (SLHS) has possibly uncovered the answer to this mystery: an ancient, round ditch lying beneath the Knot.

SLHS chairman, John Harrison, explained: "The finds show that the present mound was created on an older site and throws new light on a tradition that King Arthur's Round Table was located in this vicinity."

"Of course, we cannot say that King Arthur was there, but the feature which surrounds the core of the Knot could explain the stories and beliefs that people held."

Many places throughout Great Britain lay claim to being the site of King Arthur's round table, such as Caerleon, Penrith and Winchester.

Interestingly, in Geoffrey of Monmouth's original writings there was no mention of the table and it was only with the French translation Roman de Brut by Robert Wace that the notable piece of furniture came into existence.

So was the round table located in Scotland? Probably not, mostly because there is no hard evidence for it or any Arthurian legend actually existing in the first place. However, that is not important in the study of folklore; what's important is the evidence we uncover for certain beliefs. This new finding is a great example of that.