On a recent trip to Glastonbury, I noticed a couple of reports in the local newspaper about the sabotage of water management infrastructure on the Somerset Levels.
In my last post, I referred to Pomparles Bridge as ‘legendary’ — and so it is. But while that Pomparles Bridge was in the same location, give or take, as the present-day bridge, they are not the same thing. The visitor, misty-eyed and semi-delirious from the effects of Arthurian tales, nerves tingling with the notion of sighting the Lady of the Lake, will be crushingly disappointed with the reality.
Glastonbury Tor shifted from prehistory into the kind of history we now called legend when Caradoc of Llancarfan, a Welsh monk, published his Vita Glidae (‘Life of Gildas’) in the early twelfth century.
With a licence more than poetic, the website for Winchester’s Great Hall claims possession of ‘the iconic Round Table – famously linked to the ancient legends of King Arthur and his Knights.’ What the visitor actually sees, hung at the Hall’s western end, is a 13th century recreation, probably made for a tournament held by Edward I.