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Camelot Castle

History & Legacy of King Arthur's Marvelous Camelot!
by

Mihir Arya

on 7 October 2015

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Transcript of Camelot Castle

Camelot
What is Camelot?
Camelot is the monumental, mythical castle serving as the capital of King Arthur's empire!
Etymology
How/When Built
-'Camelot' is first mentioned in French poet, Chrétien de Troyes' poem "Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart", in 1170s.
"Camelot" has been spelled as: Camaalot, Camalot, Chamalot, Camehelot, Camaaloth, Caamalot, Camahaloth, Camaelot, Kamaalot, Kamaaloth, Kaamalot, Kamahaloth, Kameloth, Kamaelot, Kamelot, Kaamelot, Cameloth, Camelot, Kamelot, Kaamelot, and Gamalaot in Arthurian literature!
Has multiple theorized etymologies:
1. Derived from 'Camlann' (site of Arthur's final battle.)
2. Derived from 'Cavalon', which itself came from 'Avalon'.
3. Derived from 'Camulodnum', capital of British under Romans.
Status Today
Archaeological Finds
Purpose/Location
Major Events/History
- Primary reason why Camelot castle was created was for the same as many other medieval castles: to serve as a central hold to manage nearby conquered territory.

-Camelot was also created to display the power all of the kings who ruled there, such as Uther or Arthur!
Believed Locations
There have been 4 four proposed locations of the castle of Camelot:
Caerleon, South Wales
Tintagel Castle, Tintagel
Cadbury Castle, South Cadbury, Yeovil
Winchester, Hampshire
Overview of Locations
Relative to England
21 different ways!
Cultural References Towards 'Camelot'
- Over 883 Broadways titled 'Camelot' been performed from 1960 to 1963. This play won a grand total of four Tony's!
- Broadway eventually adapted into musical starring Richard Harris (Dumbledore!), as King Arthur in 1967.
- Featured in the television series 'Merlin'.
- Morphed into 'Camelot Theme Park' located in England.
-'Kaamelott', French television series presenting a comedic version of the legend of King Arthur.
- Evidence
-JFK's administration/presidency nicknamed to be 'Camelot'. "there'll be great Presidents again, but there'll never be another Camelot again… It will never be that way again," affirmed Jacqueline Kennedy after her husband, JFK's assassination.

Fun Fact: During Arthur's reign, his half-sister Morgan Le Fay, is able to temporarily conquer Camelot with the assistance of the Greek Sun God, Helios!
-In 1999, a rock with the engraving 'Artognov' was excavated from the Tintagel Castle.

-'Artognov' (written in Latin), translates to the English name 'Arthnou' which highly resembles 'Arthur'.

-It is after this find that many people believe that King Arthur's main court may indeed have been located at Tintagel Castle.

-This suggests that Camelot was in fact located at Tintagel.
20 cm
35 cm
'Arthnou' in Latin
-As far as legend tells us, the first king of Camelot was Uther Pendragon.

-A few years after Uther's death, Arthur as a teenage boy is able to pull Excalibur out of the stone, instantaneously granting him the privilege of becoming King!

-It should be noted that when Arthur pulls Excalibur from the stone he has no idea that he inherently deserves the throne!
Owners/Rulers

Since Camelot is simply a mythical castle there is in fact no substantial evidence pointing to its location or existence!
Legends
The Round Table
: the famed table located at Camelot was inscribed in gold letters with the names of Arthur and his 24 knights. As indicated by its name, the table is round and thus suggests it has no head.
Holy Grail
: from Camelot, Sir Gallahad, Perceival and Bors' quest to find the Holy Grail commences. Camelot being the central hold of Arthur's kingdom, is the base camp for many of Arthur's knight's adventures.
Sword In The Stone
: 'The Sword In The Stone' legend, where Arthur pulls Excalibur out of a stone to become king, occurs within the Kingdom of Camelot.
Top View of Round Table
Holy Grail
Excalibur
Map of Camelot Kingdom based off of 'Merlin' television series.
(Camelot is also commonly referred to as Caerleon)
-Caerleon is believed to be the most likely location of Camelot based on evidence by Geoffrey of Monmouth.

-In one of his tales, Geoffrey wrote about the court Arthur held at 'The City of Legions', also known as Caerleon.

-Since Arthur was most likely to have held a court at his castle of Camelot, it is only logical to think that Camelot may indeed have been located at Caerleon.
Most Likely Location
Why Caerleon?
Caerleon would have been an ideal point to place Camelot as:

- There was an old iron age fort located on top of a hill which could have been easily fortified and upgraded to serve Arthur's needs.

-This fort may have contained important Roman defense equipment as they once used to live there.
Given that Camelot was most probably located at Caerleon:
- Camelot built off of an iron age fort located on a hilltop known as Lodge Hill. This particular site is known as Belinstocke.
-Iron ages refers to 1200-550 BCE.

- No indication of who may have built Camelot, though it may be someone in Arthur's lineage.
Aerial Shot of Overgrown Lodge Hill!
Bibliography
-Knight's worship center, St. Stephens, located next to Camelot.
Since Camelot is purely mythical, its legend has been passed down through:
- Geoffrey of Monmouth's 'Histoy of the Kings of Britain'.
- In his account, he writes primarily about the development of Arthur's Kingdom of Camelot. (written in 1138.)
- Wrote his account based on books written by two firsthand witnesses of Arthur's rule (5-6 Century), Bede and Gildas.
By Mihir Arya
Full transcript