Arthurian Britain c. 5th-7th century CE


Map Code: Ax02109

Various historical figures have been considered as candidates for King Arthur; the legend may be a conflation of several historical figures, which would account for the far-flung nature of sites with Arthurian associations. Some of the potential attributions equate Arthur with a leader of the Anglo-Roman resistance to the first Saxon invasions in the middle of the 5th century CE. However, the sites that (however tenuously) bear his name tend to be clustered in the Celtic fringes of the West Country, Wales, Cumbria and the Scottish borders, suggesting a later provenance, when the Saxons had already occupied most of modern England. A number of sites have been proposed as Camelot, the seat of Arthur’s court. Tintagel has been linked to both King Arthur and King Mark, another legendary Dark Age figure. Glastonbury Tor is a plausible candidate for Arthur’s burial place, the Isle of Avalon as it used to be surrounded by marshland, while various Arthur’s Stones and Seats are often Neolithic sites so likely spurious.

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