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King Arthur's Hall

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Introduction to site

The date and purpose of the site remain obscure. The first reference to it is in a document dated 1584, at which time it had already enjoyed a long association with King Arthur who was reputed to have frequented the site, and hence gave his name both to the site itself and the area of moorland in which it lies. Many suggestions have been put forward for its origin and function, ranging from a Neolithic mortuary house or enclosure, a Bronze Age ceremonial or ritual monument to a mediæval animal pound serving the Hundred of Trigg (the name of the administrative area during the mediæval period).

Kingarthur5Access and Facilities

The site lies in open moorland with full open access via an east-west footpath, following the line of a medieval boundary bank between the manors of Blisland and Hamatethy. This footpath can be joined from the road leading out of St. Breward, signposted to Casehill and The Candras. The footpath is signposted and crosses a cattlegrid towards Palmers Farm. The site is approximately 3.3km along this footpath.

On-road parking is possible where permitted within St. Breward. There are refreshment facilities within the village of St. Breward.

There are bus services to St. Breward. Visit the Traveline website for customised sustainable transport options.

The National Cycle Network Route 3 passes through St. Breward towards Casehill and The Candras, and so passes the footpath that leads to the site mentioned above. 

The site is free to visit, and is open any reasonable time in daylight hours.

Location

View our interactive Access to Monuments map to find this and other nearby sites.

Kingarthur4 (1)More information

King Arthur’s Hall is situated in an area of open moorland that extends north towards the settlements and ritual monuments of Louden Hill, eastwards towards Garrow Tor and south to Hawkstor. The monument consists of fifty-six stones which originally stood upright forming the internal face of a steep sided rectangular bank. The stones, which may originally have numbered as many as 140, vary in height, the largest not exceeding 2m. The bank has slumped and may conceal other fallen stones. In the centre of the south side one of the stones has been set at right angles to the bank, obviously a deliberate choice and possibly marking some significant feature – the opposite position on the north bank is unfortunately disturbed. There is an entrance through the bank in the south-west corner – it is not stone lined and a rise in ground at this point may indicate that the bank was originally continuous, and the ‘entrance’ is a modern feature. The interior is slightly hollow with traces of rough paving in the north west corner. The interior fills with water during periods of heavy rain, and the contemporary ground level, if any traces survive, has not been identified.

The monument has suffered some damage by cattle in the past and a (gated) fence now surrounds the site to protect it from further disturbance.

Illustrations and Plans

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(Johnson and Rose 1994, 28)

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By Rosemarie Lewsey (in Payne & Lewsey 1999, 224)

Sources/Further Reading