The Sword of the King (The Glastonbury Chronicles Book 2)
We sat down to a huge, wholesome lunch served family-style, and dug into miso-glazed eggplants, piles of freshly picked greens, carrots and broccoli, a homely but luscious fish pie crowned with a cloud of buttery mash, and two puddings with custard. Our bellies full, Mr. Cox drove us to the Dartington estate. Dating to the 14th century, Dartington was bought in the s by Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst she, an American heiress; he, a landowning Yorkshireman who aimed to establish a new model of rural life, community and education. Today, the Dartington Hall Trust is an independent charity and social enterprise with a focus on arts and ecology, supported by a range of businesses shops, a restaurant, a pub whose profits are reinvested in the community.
Three Jack Russell terriers greeted me at the farm, barking like mad as they circled my feet. He spoke candidly of his challenges with depression and anxiety, and about how working with animals helps him cope. Perkin is developing his own kind of mindfulness practice — goats included. I pressed him about how goats might help ease anxiety and depression. That evening, I drank strong local cider, a Devon specialty, in the back garden of a Totnes pub and listened to locals talk about Dartington and art, therapy and community.
Lewis, and sells cool records, gifts, T-shirts and postcards. The connection abides, and the creator of the Timehouse, Julie Lafferty, an artist and designer, recognizes that it is a draw. Exit the shop, and the museum begins. You start below ground and work up to the top floor, through a series of rooms designed to evoke major eras in recent history; many also include Ms. Period furniture and artifacts and original paintings, also by Ms.
Lafferty, combine to tell a complex story about life and society, war and peace, art and music. Some sections — like the Moroccan tearoom, awash in rainbow light beaming through multicolored windowpanes — are achingly beautiful. Others, like a chamber next to the tearoom, loaded with imagery and memorabilia from World War II, are unsettling. The museum is essentially an art installation forged by a single creative spirit who might just be a genius.
A little dazed, I stepped out of the museum into blazing sunlight. Still, I walked up the long stone stairway that coils around the mound on top of which the ruins of Totnes Castle sit, and surveyed the Devon countryside from its heights, breathing it in, steadying myself after the dizzying effects of the museum and the sunshine.
Documentation of it goes back at least to the early 19th century, but it is likely much older. The music stops, the horses sink to the ground, the Teazer strokes them tenderly until they revive — and the whole thing is repeated all along the route. The action had kicked off the night before, in the low-ceilinged Golden Lion pub, whose stable houses the older of the two hobby horses. The pub was packed, steaming and sweaty and pulsating with anticipation.
8 things you (probably) didn’t know about King Arthur
It begins:. We kept at it as we poured into the narrow street outside the pub in a crush of collective effervescence, in which both a strong sense of community spirit and a faintly electric undercurrent of criminality came through, as though anything could happen. In the morning, the two osses are released from their stables, and process with their respective parties through the town, over and over. The weather was poor; I was told that normally the turnout is much higher. For a tourist to follow suit would be to playact as a Padstonian.
Uneasy Lies the Head by S.P. Hendrick
More than one Padstonian told me that, to them, May Day is bigger than Christmas. King Arthur is not the only subject of Geoffrey's history, but he is its focal point. Geoffrey's is the earliest written version to bring together much that is central in the Arthurian legend, for example the sword Excalibur and the characters Merlin and Guenevere. Furthermore, Geoffrey locates Arthur and his other characters not in fabled regions such as Lyonesse, nor in fictional castles such as Camelot, but in actual British settings--however fictively he may treat these actual places.
According to Geoffrey, for example, before the birth of Arthur, Aurelius, a fifth-century King of the Britons, commanded his brother Uther to accompany Merlin to Ireland to retrieve the so-called Giant's Ring of Mount Killaraus and bring it back to Britain, in order to set it up as a memorial to some Britons who had been ambushed and murdered by Anglo-Saxons. This stone circle was reerected by Merlin at Aurelius's command near Salisbury, and Aurelius and Uther themselves were eventually buried there. The stone circle is, of course, known today as Stonehenge.
During the earlier Middle Ages, large structures of unknown origin, even Roman works, were sometimes thought to be the work of giants.
It is now well known, however, that the origins of Stonehenge are in fact prehistoric and, as it happens, merely human. The remains of Stonehenge which are visible today date from approximately BC, in the early Bronze Age, some years before the legendary fall of Troy; but the site had begun to be developed as a ceremonial circle at least a thousand years before, during the late Neolithic period.
Perhaps John Aubrey, who suggested in the seventeenth century that the Druids had built Stonehenge, 8 envisioned Geoffrey's Merlin as a Druidic priest. In any case, the lure of Stonehenge remains strong, to everyday folk as well as to so-called neo-Druids or New Age Travellers. Indeed, access to the prehistoric monument has now been restricted, and there is at present serious discussion about removing nearby roads and concession stands to return the area of the Salisbury Plain around Stonehenge to an earlier, less developed state, It is hoped that only the hardy and the truly dedicated will hike the mile or more to stand near the stone circle.
Geoffrey also identifies Tintagel, on the coast of Cornwall, as the site of the fortress of Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall, whose wife Ygerna is there seduced by Uther Pendragon, disguised as Gorlois through Merlin's art. On the "island" of Tintagel in fact a peninsula joined to the Cornish mainland by a rocky, swooping strip of land about wide enough to support a walkway are the ruins of a Celtic Christian monastic community which flourished there in the fifth century.
There may have been an early "castle" on the island in this same "Arthurian" era, but such a castle would likely have been built of wood, and so would have left little evidence of its existence.
The ruins of stone walls now seen at Tintagel are the remains of later religious buildings and the castle built by Reginald, Duke of Cornwall, in the twelfth century, probably within the lifetime of Geoffrey of Monmouth himself. Away to the east of Cornwall, in south-central Britain not far east of Stonehenge, lies the city of Winchester, a center of power for the English king Alfred the Great in the late ninth century, and a city also associated by Geoffrey with King Arthur.
Geoffrey observes that Arthur's uncle, Aurelius, dies in Winchester, and that his successor, Uther Pendragon, gives to the congregation of Winchester Cathedral one of two golden dragons he causes to be made at the beginning of his reign as personal emblems.
Today Winchester remains a major center of Arthurian interest, primarily by virtue of the Round Table which is exhibited on the west wall of the interior of the early thirteenth-century Great Hall of Winchester Castle. The Round Table of Arthurian literature appears to have originated in the late twelfth century, in the pages of the Roman de Brut , by a Norman cleric, Wace. In , about a century after the initial discovery of the supposed tombs of Arthur and Guenevere at Glastonbury about which more will be said later , Edward I causes the royal "remains" to be moved to a place of honor in front of the high altar of Glastonbury Abbey.
At Windsor Castle, Edward Ill vows to reinstitute the brotherhood of the Round Table and within four years, he has founded the Knights of the Garter, 19 a foundation perhaps commemorated in the fourteenth-century alliterative poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Edward I and Edward Ill are not the last British monarchs to recognize the propaganda value of associating themselves with the fame of King Arthur.
Henry VII makes much of his Welsh roots, and names his firstborn son--and heir to the throne --Arthur. Approximately , Henry VIII causes the already well-known table to be painted, apparently for the first time, and he gives it the familiar image which it retains today: alternating green and white wedge-shaped spokes radiating from a central red and white Tudor Rose, atop which sits "Kyng Arthur"; in a circle of white around the central rose are printed the words, "This is the Round Table of King Arthur with 24 of his Named Knights"; 20 and the names of those 24 knights are printed on a white circle at the outer edge of the surface of the Table.
The image of the enthroned "Kyng Arthur" shown on the table is in fact a representation of Henry VIII himself, holding sword and orb and, significantly, wearing the double-arched imperial crown. The legendary Arthur claims imperial rights dating to his predecessor Constantine, and Henry VIII himself, late in the second decade of the sixteenth century, believes that he has a chance to become Holy Roman Emperor: Maximilian I had once dangled before Henry the prospect of making the young Englishman his heir.
In the event, the Spaniard Charles was chosen as the new emperor, and in A little over a mile to the southwest of Winchester's town center, in an idyllic country setting, is another ancient building with Arthurian connections.
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The Hospital of St. Cross features an "Almshouse of Noble Poverty," in continuous use since the twelfth century, and a Norman chapel of striking if severe beauty, noted for its so-called "bird-beak" rounded-arch window. Cross is founded in as a charitable institution for "thirteen poor men, feeble and so reduced in strength that they can hardly or with difficuity support themselves without another's aid," so that "the poor in Christ may there humbly dwell[,] and devoutly serve God. As has been noted, Mordred is said by Geoffrey of Monmouth to have escaped to Winchester after an unsuccessful encounter with Arthur's forces.
Later medieval writers--for example, the anonymous writer of the stanzaic poem Le Morte Arthur--say that Arthur's first military encounter with Mordred the beginning of the end for Mordred and Arthur took place at Dover Beach, 30 on England's southeast coast, where Mordred has assembled disloyal British troops together with Germanic troops to prevent Arthur's return from the continent. Among the casualties of this first encounter is Sir Gawain: following the battle, according to Malory, "the king caused him to be interred in a chapel within Dover Castle.
And there still, all men may see his skull, and see the same skull-wound that Sir Lancelot gave him in battle.
This skull is no longer to be found, although the Upper Chapel, in which Gawain might be supposed to have been buried, is still easily seen in the central tower or keep of the castle. Spisak and Mathews 52 locked up in this wretched tumulus , p.
Lothian , p. Lucius , p. Arthur refuses to pay tribute to Rome, and conquers Lucius along with the remnants of the Roman Empire. In Malory, he returns home as a hero. The lai is an early setting of the Arthurian chastity test, involving a drinking horn, made by a fay, which will spill its contents on cuckolds.