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Mediæval
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King Arthur's Hall
 
 
  King Arthur's Hall
St Breward

North Cornwall
NGR: SX 12980 77650
 
Aerial photo of King Arthur's Hall
 
King Arthur’s Hall is situated in an area of open moorland that extends north towards the settlements and ritual monuments of Louden Hill, eastwards towards Garrow Tor and south to Hawkstor. The monument consists of fifty-six stones which originally stood upright forming the internal face of a steep sided rectangular bank. The stones, which may originally have numbered as many as 140, vary in height, the largest not exceeding 2m. The bank has slumped and may conceal other fallen stones. In the centre of the south side one of the stones has been set at right angles to the bank, obviously a deliberate choice and possibly marking some significant feature – the opposite position on the north bank is unfortunately disturbed. There is an entrance through the bank in the south-west corner – it is not stone lined and a rise in ground at this point may indicate that the bank was originally continuous, and the ‘entrance’ is a modern feature. The interior is slightly hollow with traces of rough paving in the north west corner. The interior fills with water during periods of heavy rain, and the contemporary ground level, if any traces survive, has not been identified.

The date and purpose of the site remain obscure. The first reference to it is in a document dated 1584, at which time it had already enjoyed a long association with King Arthur who was reputed to have frequented the site, and hence gave his name both to the site itself and the area of moorland in which it lies. Many suggestions have been put forward for its origin and function, ranging from a Neolithic mortuary house or enclosure, a Bronze Age ceremonial or ritual monument to a mediæval animal pound serving the Hundred of Trigg (the name of the administrative area during the mediæval period).

The monument has suffered some damage by cattle in the past and a (gated) fence now surrounds the site to protect it from further disturbance.

The site lies in open moorland with full open access via an east-west footpath, following the line of a mediæval boundary bank between the manors of Blisland and Hamatethy.


Sources
Barnatt, J, 1980. Lesser Known Stone Circles in Cornwall. in Cornish Archaeology 19, pp.17-30.

Johnson, R. and Rose, P, 1994. Bodmin Moor: An Archaeological Survey. Vol.1: The human landscape to c1800. English Heritage. ISBN 0953 3796.

Payne, R, 1999. The Romance of the Stones: Cornwall's Pagan Past. Alexander Associates. ISBN 899526 66 8
 
 
 
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Map

The site lies in open moorland with full open access via an east-west footpath, following the line of a mediæval boundary bank between the manors of Blisland and Hamatethy.

Map link

Ground & Aerial photographs

 
     
Illustrations & Plans

 
Nearby sites

Fernacre Stone Circle
Helsbury Castle
Roughtor Enclosure
Roughtor Settlement (NW)
Roughtor Settlement (S)
Stannon Stone Circle
Trippets Stone Circle
 
supported by HLF and compiled by the Historic Environment Service of Cornwall County Council  
last updated: 14/09/2007