Cadbury Castle

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Two early antiquaries, John Leland (1542) and William Camden (1586), claimed that this site, a large Iron Age hill-fort about twelve miles from Glastonbury in Somerset, was the Camelot where King Arthur often held court; this contradicts Malory, who identified Camelot with Winchester. Local people had told Leland that Arthur ‘much resorted’ to Cadbury, and that Roman coins and a silver horseshoe had been found there. Stories current in the 1890s were fuller. It was then being said that the hill was hollow, with a golden gate that opened on Midsummer Eve to show the king and his court feasting inside; at every full moon Arthur and his men rode round the hill to water their silver-shod horses at a nearby well. Some antiquaries visiting the fort at this period were asked by a local man if they had come ‘to take the king away’.

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