The King's Knot
[Sunday - 05/02/99] Several earthworks and other formations have been dubbed 'the Round Table.' The name was given to the Roman amphitheater at Caerleon before its unveiling by excavation. Already covered with earth in the Middle Ages, it was an enormous oval mound with a central depression around which the knights would have sat. Another mound in Mayburgh, near Penrith, in Cumbria bears the name of 'Round Table.' But, the 'Round Table' incorporate into the 'King's Knot' in a field below the walls of Stirling Castle is the most interesting claimant.
The Knot is really a series of interlinked earthworks, embankments, and paths arranged for a royal garden in 1627. While the garden is long defunct, the layout is still excellently defined as we could see from both the Castle walls and when we drove around it. The Round Table is a mound at the center some 12 to 15 meters (40-50 ft) across at the center. Evidence supports the local tradition that this mound pre-dates the royal garden and it may well be a medieval construct. If this is true, it may have gained the moniker 'Round Table' while serving as the centerpiece for entertainments of a type called "Round Tables," which were popular with the royalty and nobility. Participants dressed up as Arthurian characters, feasted, and held tournaments. Hmmm, sound familiar?
The French writer Beroul, who wrote one of the earliest versions of the Tristan legend, mentions a stone slab kept at Stirling around which Arthur and his knights used to meet.
Last modified on Wednesday, November 26, 2008|
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