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The CRYPT Mag

Could Arthur really be Scottish


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The legend of King Arthur, normally reffers to him as king of All England, However at this period in History England did not exist as we know it today.  England was named after the germanic tribe "the Angles" who invaded Brittian in the 5th centuary.  The Angles arrived with other germanic tribes ... namely the Saxons ..hense the Word Anglo-Saxon. the Angles and Saxons pushed out the true Britons .. forcing them both West into Wales and North towards Scotland (the home of the Picts).

The 5th and 6 th centuries saw the Angles settle in the south of the country.  We know King Arthur is supposed to have fought many battles against the Saxons.  As the Saxons were allied to the Angles, we should presume the Arthur was of Roman/Briton descent ... therefore the most likely places for him to fight against the Saxons and Angles would be either Wales or Scotland.

Bearing all this in mind, Wales is possibly the best guess for King Arthurs stance ... almost all the original Britons had retreated there and the Angles or the Saxons never conquered either Wales nor Scotland.  However The tradition of King Arthur is as strong in Scotland as it is in Wales.  Perhaps we will never find out, which country he came from, But it would appear it ws one or th other.




Arthur in Scotland

Arthur's Seat


This hill, near the East End of the Old Town in Edinburgh, is an extinct volcano.   Legend has it that Camelot was built on its crest and slopes, and that the Kings of Elfdom lived within the hill.   Certainly, it would have been a choice site for a court.  From the top, one gets a panoramic view of the whole of the River Forth estuary, and across to Fife, south across the hills and on towards the border with England, and west over the rich farmlands of southern Scotland.

One of the earliest Princes named Arthur known to have lived in Britain, was one in Scotland in the 6th Century, around the time of the earliest records of settlements around Edinburgh.




Merlin's Grave


According to legend, Merlin lies buried at the root of a thorn tree in a field beside the village of Drumelzier near the River Tweed, in the south of Scotland.  The story goes that during a battle he had a vision that he would die a triple death that day.

He asked St. Kentigern to give him the sacrament.  Later that day he was seized by his enemies who beat him with stones and clubs, threw him in the river and stabbed him with a wooden stake.   Hence the triple death by beating, drowning and stabbing.

One of Scotland's prophets, Thomas the Rhymer or Michael Scot  (it's not known who exactly)   made this prophecy about Merlin's grave:  When Tweed and Powsail meet at Merlin's grave Scotland and England, shall one Monarch have

This came true in 1603, when the river Tweed overflowed its banks and met the river Powsail at the site of Merlin's Grave -- on the very same day that the crowns of Scotland and England were first united under James VI of Scotland  (James I of England).




Tantallon Castle

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Now a picturesqe ruin on a craggy cliff overlooking the North Sea, Tantallon Castle, was once thought to be the original Camelot.  It lies within a day's horseback ride from Edinburgh, so it may well have been one of the important sites of Arthurian history.

This ruined castle sits on a cliff overlooking the North Sea, not many miles south of Edinburgh.  In the background you can see the Bass Rock, a bird sanctuary.  There are boat rides round the Bass rock for tourists, setting out from the harbour at Dunbar.

Some experts believe this to be the original Camelot, the castle of King Arthur.  Attempts were made in the 1960s to find evidence, treasure or even the Holy Grail in these ruins, but funding was insufficient to produce anything.

Travelling North West from the Castle you reach Falkirk. On the outskirts of Falkirk is an area still known today as Camelon.

Travel South from Tantallon Castle and you will reach the spectacular Bamburgh Castle (Just South of Berwick on Tweed) the fabled home of Sir Lancelot.


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Perth



Perth has long been known as the 'bonnie toun' on account of its lovely women.  This dates back to the time of King Arthur.   When he first ascended to his throne, he dispatched heralds to summon the most beautiful maidens in the land to Camelot to attend the first Tournament of his Knights of the Round Table.  The fairest of all the girls that he saw there was Lady Guinevere, from Perth.  It is said that he fell in love with her almost at first sight, and would not rest until she consented to become his bride.   But her father, Hamish, Laird of Mellin, set him a task to perform to prove his worthiness before he would consent to the marriage.

Arthur was asked to swim across Loch Linnie in the cold of December.  So on the appointed day, Arthur went to the shore of the loch, stripped off his tunic and hose, and waded into the icy water.  On Merlin's advice, he chose a part of the shore where the loch was narrow, and succeeded in reaching the other side in less than a minute, thus avoiding hypothermia.   There is a children's rhyme


"Frae Perth came Guinevere,
to make the King revere,
He saw her face in the Loch of the north,
and never went more forth"





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