Archives For March 2013

Uther Pendragon, by Howard Pyle (1903)

Uther Pendragon, by Howard Pyle (1903)

Personally, I love Arthurian Legends and there are a few places where the legends are particularly strong. Cornwall, Wales, the West Country generally and, of course, Glastonbury have a good slice of the pie in that respect and just the word ‘Tintagel’ brings visions of a dark stomy night and the strange events surrounding Arthur’s conception … There are, of course, many stories and variations on stories that claim Tintagel as the place where Arthur was either conceived, or sometimes, where he was born. The ruin that stands at Tintagel now is medieval in origin, a 13th century fortification and stronghold of the Earls of Cornwall. It perches perilously on a tiny island linked to the mainland by a narrow bridge – not for the fainthearted! Arthur is not medieval though (late 5th and 6th centuries), although most of the tales do date from these times (which is why we tend to imagine him in armour surrounded by Knights). It was Geoffrey of Monmouth who kicked the whole thing off by writing his fictional account of the ‘History of the Kings of Britain’ in the 12th century and he made up all kinds of wonderful characters and tales that are now well and truly embedded in our ‘mythical history’. Incidentally, the tales concerning the Knight Lancelot and the Holy Grail stories were created by French writer Chr├ętien de Troyes, also in the 12th century. The tales thrived in the middle ages and are still immensely popular today. Generally, we love the idea of a King that unites us, inspires us and rules in a wise and fair way. If only …… Continue Reading…