For centuries, people across the world have shared stories of King Arthur and his noble knights. Tales of magic and wonder, of monsters and fairies, of love, betrayal, and revenge – the legends surrounding Arthur and his court have evolved over time and also developed local variants. While scholars continue to debate whether a king called Arthur ever existed, there can be no doubt that the popularity of Arthurian legend has endured down the centuries.
Today it is possible to visit several places in Britain that are said to have witnessed the events of Arthur’s life. An ancient carved stone supposed to be the grave of Queen Guinevere can be found in Scotland, while at least three lakes in Wales claim to be the resting place of the famous sword, Excalibur. England has many Arthurian locations, from the ruins of Tintagel Castle, perched on a rock about Merlin’s Cave, to Cadbury Castle, a prehistoric hillfort said to be the site of Camelot. Glastonbury Tor has long been linked with the Isle of Avalon and for centuries pilgrims traveled from afar to visit Arthur’s tomb in the nearby Abbey.
Led by a historian with a fascination for British folklore, this interactive seminar will explore a selection of the country’s ancient monuments and natural features, discussing both their real history and the legends that have developed around them. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an insight into some of Britain’s most mysterious and enigmatic Arthurian landmarks.
Alan Montgomery was born and raised in Scotland but has spent most of his adult life in London. Having achieved an MA in Art History at Glasgow University, he worked for many years in the art world at both an international auction house and an antique dealer. In recent years he has returned to academia, achieving an MA in Classical Civilisation in 2011, and has recently completed a Ph.D. in which he analyzed eighteenth-century attitudes towards the ancient Roman world. In addition to his work for Context Travel, Alan also writes catalog essays on Contemporary Art for a leading auctioneer. Elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 2017, his first book, entitled 'Classical Caledonia', was published by Edinburgh University Press in August 2020.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.