King Arthur

Aged unknown

King Arthur (Welsh: Brenin Arthur, Cornish: Arthur Gernow, Breton: Roue Arzhur) was a legendary Celtic Briton who, according to medieval histories and romances, was leader of the Celtic Britons in battles against Saxon invaders of Britain in the late 5th and early 6th centuries. Details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of Welsh mythology, English folklore and literary invention, and most historians who study the period do not think that he was a historical figure. Arthur is first recorded in sources which date to 300 years after he is supposed to have lived, the Annales Cambriae and the Historia Brittonum. His name also occurs in early poetic sources such as Y Gododdin. Arthur is a central figure in the legends making up the Matter of Britain. The legendary Arthur developed as a figure of international interest largely through the popularity of Geoffrey of Monmouth's fanciful and imaginative 12th-century Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain). In some Welsh and Breton tales and poems that date from before this work, Arthur appears either as a great warrior defending Britain from human and supernatural enemies or as a magical figure of folklore, sometimes associated with the Welsh otherworld Annwn. How much of Geoffrey's Historia (completed in 1138) was adapted from such earlier sources, rather than invented by Geoffrey himself, is unknown. Although the themes, events and characters of the Arthurian legend varied widely from text to text, and there is no one canonical version, Geoffrey's version of events often served as the starting point for later stories. Geoffrey depicted Arthur as a king of Britain who defeated the Saxons and established a vast empire. Many elements and incidents that are now an integral part of the Arthurian story appear in Geoffrey's Historia, including Arthur's father Uther Pendragon, the magician Merlin, Arthur's wife Guinevere, the sword Excalibur, Arthur's conception at Tintagel, his final battle against Mordred at Camlann, and final rest in Avalon. The 12th-century French writer Chr├ętien de Troyes, who added Lancelot and the Holy Grail to the story, began the genre of Arthurian romance that became a significant strand of medieval literature. In these French stories, the narrative focus often shifts from King Arthur himself to other characters, such as various Knights of the Round Table. Arthurian literature thrived during the Middle Ages but waned in the centuries that followed, until it experienced a major resurgence in the 19th century. In the 21st century, the legend continues to have prominence, not only in literature but also in adaptations for theatre, film, television, comics and other media.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Site of King Arthur's Tomb. In the year 1191 the bodies of King Arthur and his Queen were said to have been found on the south side of the lady chapel. On the 19th April 1278 their remains were removed in the presence of King Edward I and Queen Eleanor to a black marble tomb on this site. This tomb survived until the dissolution of the abbey in 1539

Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury, United Kingdom where they was found (1191-1278)