Court of King Arthur’s Round Table Discovered, Claims BBC Presenter
Nick Knowles is a British television celebrity best known for presenting DIY SOS, Who Dares Wins and National Lottery and he’s caused a stir by publicly claiming that the legendary King Arthur and his Knights Of The Round Table “were based in the West Country in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England.”
The BBC presenter Knowles, 55, made his outlandish claim during an appearance on The One Show, just as presenters Alex Jones and Matt Baker introduced a segment about the abandoned “Camelot” theme park. Knowles fessed up that he “knew the real location of the mythical court ” of King Arthur’s Round Table and added “Me and a professor at Bristol University reckon Camelot is in Cirencester – and we can prove it,” according to an article about the incident in The Daily Mail .
And this was no off the cuff claim because Knowles told the British public that he can 'prove' King Arthur’s round table was “placed at the centre of one of the largest Roman amphitheatres in Britain” and he claimed at least one historical expert agrees with him.
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Who Were King Arthur and the Knights Of The Round Table?
To some, King Arthur was a character from English mythology and folkloric systems who quested the Holy Grail and won many battles using his infamous sword, Excalibur. To others, like both the Historia Brittonum (History of the Britons) and Annales Cambriae (Welsh Annals), Arthur was a Romano-British leade r who fought against the Anglo-Saxons in the late 5th to early 6th century.
Arthur was said to have sat his knights around a circular table so that power was evenly dispersed among the knights, and according to Knowles, “the Roman amphitheatre in Cirencester is the most likely explanation” because it is “the only location that matches the claim in the legend that King Arthur was able to seat 5,000 knights without precedence.”
‘Piety: The Knights of the Round Table about to Depart in Quest of the Holy Grail’ (1849) by William Dyce. ( Public Domain )
The huge Roman amphitheater is one of the largest in Britain and could easily hold 8,000 spectators. It is believed to have fallen to the Saxons around 577 AD, but before it fell it was “second only to London in size and importance for Roman Britain” according to a report in Gloucestershire Live .
Following the Claims of a Camelot Historian
Although Nick Knowles is getting all the credit for this observation, he is by no means the first person to make it; that would be Camelot historian Chris Gidlow, who also believes Arthur would have “reinforced the 40-foot walls of a former Roman amphitheatre in Chester to create an imposing and well-fortified base” according to the Daily Mail article.
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The Roman amphitheater at Cirencester in Gloucestershire, England. (Chris McKenna/ CC BY SA 3.0 )
Speaking in a documentary about this theory in 2010, Gidlow said: 'The first accounts of the Round Table show that it was nothing like a dining table but was a venue for upwards of 1,000 people at a time.”
And long before any of these modern ideas, in 1191, monks at Glastonbury Abbey unearthed “the body of a gigantic man, wounded several times in the head.” The monks also discovered the bones and a tress of his wife’s golden hair inside the oak coffin.
Allegedly found in this burial was an ancient lead cross inscribed with the words in Latin: ’Here lies buried the famous king Arthur with Guinevere his second wife, in the Isle of Avalon’. The whereabouts of the cross, bones, and hair are no longer known.
Site of what was supposed to be the grave of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere on the grounds of former Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset, UK. (Tom Ordelman/ CC BY SA 3.0 )
Top Image: King Arthur and His Knights Of The Round Table see a vision of the Holy Grail. Source: Public Domain
By Ashley Cowie