Monday, 15 September 2008

Bri Leith

Bri was a Tuatha De Danann princess/queen and the daughter of King Midhir and Queen Fuamnach. Bri and her sister Blathnat were and raised in Tir Tairngiri, the Land of Promise, but later relocated with their father to his crystal mansion in the fairyland burgh called Bri Leith [Grey Hill].

Bri was the eldest sister, so she inherited the throne when her father and mother abdicated, but she always shared the sovereignty of her kingdom with her baby sister Blathnat, who was one of the flower faes. She loved a Tuatha De Danann Prince named Liath, but they never married because her father's guards would not let him enter Bri Leith.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

A brief history of England

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Arthurian Folktales

According to folktales based in Onomastic Arthurian places Myrddin Fardd (writing in the nineteenth century), which is worth repeating for its illustration of the local folkloric traditions surrounding these stones wherever a multitude of tales are told about him "Arthur". Sometimes, he is portrayed as a king and mighty soldier, other times like a giant huge in size, and they are found the length and breadth of the land of stones, in tons in weight, and the tradition connects them with his name, a few of them have been in his shoes time after time, bothering him, and compelling him also to pull them, and to throw them some unbelievable distance. A cromlech recognized by the name ‘Coetan Arthur’ [Arthur's Quoits] is on the land of Trefgwm, in the parish of Myllteyrn; it consists of a great stone resting on three other stones.The tradition states that ‘Arthur the Giant’ threw this coetan from Carn Fadrun, a mountain several miles from Trefgwm, and his wife took three other stones in her apron and proppedthem up under the coetan. A double megalithic chambered tomb with capstone in Llanrhidian Lower on the Gower peninsula (SS49139055): ‘Legend has it that when Arthur was walking through Carmarthenshire on his way to Camlann, he felt a pebble in his shoe and tossed it away. It flew seven miles over Burry Inlet and landed in Gower, on top of the smaller stones of Maen Cetti.The 25 ton capstone of an ancient burial chamber near Reynoldston, north of Cefn Brynis, West Glamorgan (SS490905) is called Arthur’s stone and his ghost is occasionally said to emerge from underneath it – it is explained as a stone that was tossed from Arthur’s shoe.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Table turns for King Arthur

Monday, 14 February, 2000, 20:01 GMT
Table turns for King Arthur

Arthur held court in Scotland, says one historian.

King Arthur's legendary round table was based in Scotland - on a site which is now a back garden in Stenhousemuir, says a historian. Scholars have spent decades trying to pinpoint the original location of the famous table, where Arthur is said to have held court with his knights. Until now, the site has always believed to have been in the west country.
Archie McKerracher: Historian
But a Scottish historian says they are wrong - and the round table in fact used to stand in the town of Stenhousemuir, near Falkirk. Archie McKerracher, of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, has told how his research shows that King Arthur and his knights actually met on a long-forgotten spot which is now the back garden of an ordinary terraced house. Mr McKerracher says that far from being made of wood or even being a table, the "round table" was really a stone hut. He believes the remains of the hut have been used, one millennium later, as the foundations of a home now happily occupied by a structural consultant and his family. Translations confusion The garden of 40 Adam Crescent, home to Thomas and Charlotte Scott, is now the focus of intense speculation. According to tradition, Arthur was crowned King of Britain in AD 516, when he was only 15.

'All were seated within the circle and no-one was placed outside'
Robert Wace, historian, from 1155

Not long after coming to the throne, legend says he founded the Order of the Knights of the Round Table, choosing those knights whom he considered most brave and noble. Controversy surrounds the question of whether Arthur really existed and some historians have argued he is the personification of several people rolled into one. Mr McKerracher, a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, blames the confusion over the site of the round table on repeated translations of ancient texts. 'A table rotunda' He said: "The principal symbol of Arthurian tales is the legendary Round Table. "The first person to mention it was Robert Wace, who wrote a history of Britain in Norman French in 1155. "What the text actually says is 'Arthur built a table rotunda' - and there is only one building in Britain meriting that description - what is known as Arthur's O'on, or 'rotunda'.

The legend of King Arthur's Round Table has lived for centuries
"Wace added that 'all were seated within the circle and no-one was placed outside' which could hardly mean a circular table but rather a circular building." Mr McKerracher said research showed that Arthur's O'on - derived from the word "oven" - was a beehive-shaped building demolished in 1743 by Sir Michael Bruce of Stenhouse, who used the stones to repair a mill dam. According to Ordnance Survey maps, the site is the back garden of the Scotts' house. Mr Scott said: "I didn't realise it was here when we moved in 24 years ago - there's not really anything to see - but when I put a new wall in some years ago, I had to bend it around a large boulder which could have been a part of it." Middle Eastern mausoleum Mr McKerracher says tales of King Arthur were originally handed down orally in ancient Brittonic Gaelic, recorded in Latin in the early Middle Ages and then translated into the Norman French spoken by the nobility of England. He believes King Arthur built a mausoleum, similar to a type which were fashionable in the Middle East in the fifth century, after making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He said: "It seems probable Arthur built his own mauseleum, or 'martyrium', the O'on, to house a secret holy order dedicated to the popular religious cult of Mary Magdalene." Mr McKerracher says other evidence suggests Arthur's kingdom extended from Wales to Dumbarton in Scotland. He believes it was Geoffrey of Monmouth, who wrote the stories of Arthur in 1136, who first moved him to the English west country, in order to please his patron Robert, Earl of Gloucester.

Clue to King Arthur discovered

Thursday, August 6, 1998 Published at 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK UK

Clue to King Arthur discovered

The sixth century stone that bears the inscription Artognov An ancient stone bearing a sixth century inscription similar to the name Arthur has been unearthed at Tintagel Castle, the mythical birthplace of the legendary king.
The discovery could prove that King Arthur had his headquarters at the site of ruined castle on the coast of north Cornwall.

The stone is a 35cm by 20cm piece of slate inscribed with the name Artognov - Latin for the English name Arthnou.
A spokesman for English Heritage, the conservation organisation that announced the discovery, said the stone was "the find of a lifetime."
He said it added "a new dimension to the possibility of there having been a real Arthur on whom the mythical figure was based."
Stop-gap for a leaky drain
The stone was unearthed towards the end of the latest round of excavations at Tintagel, which is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall.
It had been broken in order to be used as a drain cover outside a sixth of seventh century building.
Arthur's stone, along with other recent finds, helps fill in some of the many gaps that still exist in Tintagel's history, despite extensive excavations in the area that first began in the 1930s.
The new discoveries provide further evidence for the existence of some kind of royal headquarters at Tintagel for a Dark Ages ruler of Cornwall.

Dr Geoffrey Wainwright, chief Archaeologist with English Heritage, said: "Despite the obvious temptation to link the Arthnou stone to either the historical or the legendary figure of Arthur, it must be stressed there is no evidence to make this connection.
"Nevertheless it proves for the first time that the name existed at that time and that the stone belonged to a person of status."
The undisputed Arthur
Tintagel expert Professor Charles Thomas said the inscription's informal Roman lettering could be translated as: "Artognou, father of a descendant of Coll, has had (this) constructed".
English Heritage said that as a historical figure Arthur almost certainly did exist as a successful soldier fighting battles across the country in the sixth century.
Long literary history
Literary references to Arthur can be found in the ninth century. The 12th century writer Geoffrey of Monmouth first wrote of him as a romantic hero and linked him with Tintagel.
The famous tales of Arthur and his round table were put together by the Norman writer Wace. These were followed in the 15th century by Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur chronicle.
The stories were taken further by the 19th century poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
Excavations at Tintagel over the years have provided clues that it was a high status - possibly royal - site of a Cornish chieftain.
The Arthur stone also shows that the inhabitants of Tintagel carried on living a Romanised life, and read and wrote Latin, long after the Romans left England in 410 AD.
A varied life
Tintagel relies heavily on its connection with King Arthur, and the new stone will enhance that link.
There are many variations in tales of the mythical king's life. Geoffrey of Monmouth's 12th century legend told how Arthur was born after his mother was seduced by a king, whom the wizard Merlin had transformed into her husband.
Another version says that Merlin found the baby Arthur was ashore in a cave below the castle.
As one guidebook for Tintagel says: "Fact hereabouts is tremendously hard to separate from fiction."

Tintagel facts
Occupation of the site at Tintagel castle dates back to Roman times.
Historians believe the castle was built in the early 13th century by Earl Richard of Cornwall.
By the late 15th century the castle was ruined and deserted.
A fire at the site in the early 1980s led to the discovery of the remains of around 50 buildings and some pottery.
Despite decades of investigation Tintagel remains a mystery, says English Heritage.