English tradition says that Arthur sleeps in
a cave and when Britannia is in danger Arthur will rise again to engage
p 114 " Immemorial tradition has asserted that King Arthur, his queen Guenever, court of lords and ladies, and his hounds, were enchanted in some cave of the crags, or in a hall below the Castle of Sewingshields, and would continue entranced there till someone should first blow a bugle-horn that laid on a table near the entrance into the hall, and then with the "sword of the stone" cut a garter also placed there beside it. But none had ever heard where the entrance to this enchanted hall was, till the farmer at Sewingshields some fifty years since, was sitting knitting on the ruins of the Castle, and his clew fell and ran downwards through a rush of briars and nettles, as he supposed into a deep subterranean passage. Full in the faith that the entrance into King Arthur's hall was now discovered, he cleared the briary portal of its weeds and rubbish, and entering a vaulted passage, followed in his darkling way, the thread of his clew. The floor was infested with toads and lizards; and the dark wings of bats disturbed by his unhallowed intrusion, flitted fearfully around him.
At length his sinking faith was strengthened by a dim, distant light, which, as he advanced, grew gradually brighter, till all at once, he entered a vast and vaulted hall, in the centre of which a fire without fuel, from a broad crevice in the floor, blazed with a high and lambent flame, that showed all the carved walls, and fretted roof, and the monarch and his queen and court, reposing around in a theatre of thrones and costly couches.
On the floor, beyond the fire, lay the faithful and deep toned pack of thirty couple of hounds; and on a table before it, the spell dissolving horn, sword and garter. The shepherd reverently, but firmly, grasped the sword, and as he drew it leisurely from its rusty scabbard, the eyes of the monarch and his courtiers began to open, and they rose till they sat upright. He cut the garter; and, as the sword was being slowly sheathed, the spell assumed its ancient power, and they all gradually sunk to rest; but not before the monarch had lifted up his eyes and hands, and exclaimed,
"O woe betide that evil day,
On which this witless wight was born,
Who drew the sword- the garter cut,
but never blew the bugle-horn!"
........Terror brought on loss of memory, and he
was unable to give any correct account of his adventure, or the place
where it occurred". - a tradition collected by the Revd. J. Hodgson and
|image from http://www.getmapping.com
An aerial view of Birdoswald
P115 "Half a mile north-west of Sewingshields, beyond
the wall, two strata of sandstone crop out; the highest points of
each ledge are respectively called the King's and Queen's crag, from
the following legend:-
King Arthur seated on the farthest rock, was talking with his queen, who meanwhile was engaged in arranging her 'back hair.' Some expression of the queen's having offended his majesty, he seized a rock which lay near him, and with an exertion of strength for which the Picts were proverbial, threw it at her, a distance of about a quarter of a mile!
The queen with gret dexterity, caught it upon her comb, and thus warded off the blow; the stone fell about midway between them, where it lies to this very day, with the marks of the comb upon it, to attest the truth of the story. The stone probably weighs about twenty tons!" - This may be personally verified today by the traveller" (probably the results of quarrying for the wall)
p116 On the Military Way between Sewingshields and Carvoran: "The columnar rocks soon attract attention. There used to be one that was dignified by the name of Arthur's Chair, but it was purposely dislodged by a mischief-loving countryman."
p160 At Walltown Nick the Wall crosses the ditch"Close behind the Wall in the middle of the gap is a spring, now confined in a modern manhole, called the King's Well; the inhabitants name it King Arthur's Well. Other accounts are given of it. Hutchinson says* : 'Travellers are shown a well among the cliffs, where it is said Paulinus baptised King Egbert; but it is more probable it was Edwin, King of Northumberland.' But Edwin was christened at York, and this story at least is untrue"
CASTLESTEADS FORT ON CAM BECK - AN ALTERNATIVE CAMBOGLANNA?
In recent years, some question has arisen as the whether Birdoswald was the Roman fort of Camboglanna or more correctly, Banna. Banna was formerly identified with the forward castle of Bewcastle. The modern interpretation is that Birdoswald should now be identified with the Roman fort of Banna. After Camboglanna the Notitia Dignitatum names Petriana which is seen as being Stanwix, just outside Carlisle. It seems that 'after Birdoswald the Notitia no longer gives forts of the wall in geographical order. Thus the Roman naming of the forts has moved in domino fashion down from Bewcastle then west to Birdoswald, to Castlesteads to Stanwix.
|Modern Name||Formerly associated with the Roman:||New association|
The Rudge Cup [left] and the Amiens skillet, which name the important wall forts from the west to Birdoswald were believed to supply the name 'Uxellodunum' for Castlesteads. 5 However, Camboglanna might now be associated with the Roman fort at Castlesteads. Castlesteads fort is the only one not in contact with Hadrian's Wall lying within a deviation of the vallum to the south of the wall and south of Cam Beck in a highly defensive position. Certainly Cambeck Hill and the Cam Beck, which has partly eroded the fort site on its north side, could have gained their names from Camboglanna. Castlesteads fort is now labelled on Ordnance Survey maps as 'Camboglanna?' whilst Birdoswald could easily be derived from Banna [Oswald]. To the east of Castlesteads is Conqueror's Bank and further east still is Lanercost Priory where the great venerator of King Arthur and the round table often resided between bouts of hammering in Scotland. The only problem with making Castlesteads the site of Camlann is that to date excavations have not revealed any immediately post-Roman occupation. Castlesteads was occupied by the First cohort of Spaniards then perhaps in the 2nd century by the Fourth cohort of Gauls and later the 2nd cohort of Tungrians. Excavations were carried out in 1934 on a much reduced site which had been levelled for a garden in 1791 by the owners of Castlesteads House.
In the distance on the rise in House Wood is the location of Castlesteads, the recently identified Roman fort of Camboglanna, perhaps 'King Arthur's Camlann.
Map of the British kingdoms 300-400's and the Anglian invasion