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Cadbury Castle
Somerset, England

Cadbury has been associated with Arthur since at least the sixteenth century, when the distinguished antiquarian John Leland described it in his
Cadbury Castle
Trees now cloak the sides of Cadbury Camp, yet its imposing bank-and-ditch ramparts would have been a formidable obstacle.
account of ancient British history. He wrote: 'At the very south end of the church of South-Cadbyri standeth Camallate, sometime a famous town or castle... The people can tell nothing there but that they have heard say Arthur much resorted to Camalat... ' Camallate or Camalat is, of course, Camelot, the famed citadel of Arthur where the Round Table was housed and from where the Fellowship of Knights rode forth in search of adventure and wrongs to right.

Whether the association of Cadbury is a genuine one has been hotly disputed for a number of years. There are those who think that Leland invented the connection from the close-lying place-names of Queen Camel and West Camel; others would have us believe the identification a true one. Certainly, the archaeological investigation which took place there in the 1960's indicated that the hill, which is really an Iron-Age camp, was re-fortified with extensive earth and timber defences during the crucial period of the sixth century when Arthur is believed to have flourished. The foundations of an extensive timbered hall, and what appears to be the beginnings of an unfurnished church, add further to the speculation, as does the closeness of the site to Glastonbury Tor.

A causeway, known as King Arthur's Hunting Track, links the two sites, and a plethora of local legends support the Arthurian connection. As late as the nineteenth century, when a group of Victorian 'archaeologists' came to investigate the stories clustering about the hill, a local man asked if they had 'come to dig up the king'. Folklore still retains a memory of Arthur and his knights sleeping under the hill. It is said that if one leaves a silver coin with one's horse on Midsummer's Eve, the horse will be found to be re-shod in the morning.

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