King castle

The site of King Arthur’s legendary court in Camelot

This Cadbury has nothing to do with chocolate, but it’s surrounded by a rich medieval history – including the legendary court of King Arthur.

Cadbury is more than chocolate, it is the name of a castle in the English country of Somerset. Cadbury Castle has been associated with the legend of King Arthur and his legendary court in Camelot for 500 years. It is located in the beautiful county of Somerset, in the south of England, and is full of ancient history.

England has many historic sites worth a visit which are located near the ancient Roman Baths in the city of Bath – well worth a visit. Somerset is also the part of England where quaint English “farmer” accents are to be found – here and neighboring Cornwall are where the famous “pirate accent” comes from.


About Cadbury Castle

Cadbury Castle is a hill atop Cadbury Hill on a plateau. The site was used by the Romans while they occupied Great Britain and again from around 470 AD to sometime after 580 AD.

The suffix -bury of the name “Cadbury” comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word parrig meaning “strong” or “city”. The word is often used to refer to hill forts. While the first part of the name may come from the River Cam (as with the nearby village of West Camel).

There is evidence of war and destruction during the Roman period and it may be the site of the resistance of the native British tribes against the Roman legions which were under Vespasian’s command.


  • Roman fort: It is the site of a Roman fortification

As the Roman Empire weakened and began to implode, the Romans left Britain with most of their troops withdrawing from mainland Europe. There is evidence that the site was used after Roman rule when Britain split into many smaller kingdoms. Later between 1010 and 1020 it was reoccupied as a temporary Saxon currency.

  • Large hall: A large room was discovered here

A substantial “Great Hall” measuring 20 meters by 10 (66 ft × 33 ft) was found and the site appears to have been re-fortified.

  • What to see: Today a visit, but not much of the site to see except the best of the English countryside


Today anyone can visit Cadbury Castle, one can find out more about it and the area on the Visit the Sommerset website, and much more on the legends of King Author on The Knights of King Arthur.

Related: The Chic City of Chester Is Often overlooked, But Absolutely Worth Exploring

The Legend of King Arthur

Local tradition has it that Cadbury Castle was King Arthur’s Camelot. This was first written in the 1500s when John Leland wrote about it in his Account of Ancient British History. This association has been debated for the past 500 years, with some claiming the connection is real, while others saying it is not.

Arthur: How are you, good lady. I am Arthur, King of the British. Whose the castle is that it?Women: King of the ‘oo?Arthur: King of the Bretons.Women: “Oo are the British?Arthur: Well, we all are! We are all British! And I am your king.Women: I didn’t know we were announcing a king! I thought we were an autonomous collective.


Monty Python and the Holy Grail – 1975

King Arthur and his court in Camelot is one of the most famous British legends. He is remembered as a legendary British leader who led the defense of Britain against Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries through medieval history.

  • Arthur: Said to have defended the British

Arthur’s story is mostly made up of Welsh and English folklore and not all historians even think he was a real historical figure.

  • Ancient sources on Arthur: Annales Cambriae, Historia Brittonum, the writings of Gildas, and The poetry of Y Gododdin

In some tales he appears as a great warrior defending Great Britain or as a magical figure in folklore sometimes associated with the Welsh Otherworld of Annwn. There is no canonical version of Arthur’s many tales.


Related: Warwick Castle: What To Expect From The Living Castle Built By William The Conqueror

Later additions to the history of Geoffrey and the French

Much of the legend as we know it comes much later from writer Geoffrey in his Story. Geoffrey may have drawn on lost sources or invented some of them himself.

It was Geoffrey who portrayed Arthur as the King of Great Britain who defeated the Saxons and established a vast empire. Well-known characters in the legend come from Geoffrey’s book, including Arthur’s wife Guinevere, the Excalibur sword, and his final battle against Mordred in Camlann.

  • Lancelot: First appeared in 12th-century French novels
  • The description: The fantastic capital of Arthur’s kingdom


It was the French writer Chrétien de Troyes in the 12th century who added Lancelot and the Holy Grail to history. In the French stories, the narrative focused more on the Knights of the Round Table.

But why let obscure historical facts get in the way of a beautiful day and awe-inspiring legend? Visit what remains of Camalot with the X files slogan “I want to believe” in mind.

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