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King Arthur

840 of 1157 nominations


King Arthur

Is this an icon?


King Arthur

The legends of King Arthur - the mythical English king who leads the Knights of the Round Table into battle assisted by the magical sword Excalibur and the wizard Merlin - have a long history. The stories may once have been based on a real warrior, perhaps a 5th century chief who fought the Saxons, but any factual basis to the stories has been lost in the mists of time. Historia Brittonum written around 830AD mentions Arthur, but the tales are by no means confined to England. Ireland, Wales and France all had versions, but many agree it was an Englishman, Geoffrey of Monmouth, who popularised the stories in his History of the Kings of Britain written in 1135AD. England is full of sites which have Arthurian connections, but some of the strongest claims come from Cornwall. Here are the ruins of Tintagel Castle, where Arthur and his knights are said to have been based. Arthur’s last battle is said to have taken place at Slaughterbridge near Camelford. And Excalibur is supposed to have been returned to the Lady of the Lake at Dozmary Pool six miles away.


Your comments

You may be wondering why a colombian guy is nominating an icon for "Icons of England". Well, I'm not preety sure why am I doing it, I just saw the different icons that have been nominated and I couldn't believe that the all-time famous King Arthur wasn't in your list! What about the arthurian legends? what about the Excalibur sword and King Arthur cutting saxon heads with it? I think lots of people around the world think of England when they see or hear something relationed with King Arthur and the knights of the round table.

Rafael González

Actually, nobody seems to be able to make up their mind where he came from, or who he was. I have read several books on the subject and it seems he's been claimed by locals everywhere from Scotland to France, more than ten counties in England, the isle of Man, and Ireland! He's been described as a Celt, a Mercian, a Briton, a Saxon and a Roman. No two authors agree about his true identity (or if he even had one!), and unless some pretty convincing evidence is unearthed by archaeologists any time soon, i don't believe they ever will. He's pretty doggoned English folks, at least he is to almost everyone outside the United Kingdom. I'd have to say he's an English Icon beyond the shadow of a doubt.
Brian Bringham

King Arthur was a Welsh chief who despised the English until his death and slaughtered English whenever he could as the English did to the Welsh. He shoud be removed as i don't understand how someone who hated you can become and icon.

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I think the National Gallery is part of the heritage of England