Why is Cadbury in Somerset associated with Camelot?
Landed Houses have been looking at the enduring legend of Arthur and Camelot.
Searching for Camelot? Well, if you draw up to North Cadbury Court it is immediate your are in the presence of something rather special. Somerset does have that historical otherworldliness about it. In some places you are in the middle of the 21st century hustle and bustle but in other places like North Cadbury you quite expect a 16th century yeoman to doff his cap as you walk along the quaint streets.
It’s an English county that exhales the past and North Cadbury Court takes advantage of its historic associations. Looking at it one feels it has every right. Yet, why Arthur’s Camelot? After all many academics dismiss the notion of Camelot as fiction. One, Norris J Lacey said, ‘Camelot, located nowhere in particular, can be anywhere.’ That is exactly the point.
You will find many references to King Arthur and Camelot throughout literature, first appearing in the 12th century in French romances. But it is only in the 16th century that something definite begins to take root. In fact in the middle of the 1500s one John Leland, an English poet and antiquarian, wrote that Cadbury locals considered Camelot to be in their locale. It took 400 years to finally take shovel in hand and start digging for real evidence.
Leslie Alcock, archaeologist lead a series of excavations in the mid 1960s (pre dating Time Team!) and had the marketing magic to call them ‘Cadbury-Camelot’ digs. As you can imagine the media was intrigued and much publicity gained. It even appears in Camelot the musical!
So did they find Camelot? Well, archaeologists found many things of interest showing that Cadbury was certainly the centre for global trade. You see the Internet did NOT get there first! Yet after much research it was decided the site did not fit the correct time period, being rather late for Arthur. It is now known as Cadbury Castle Hill Fort.
Yet sometimes romance and the desire to believe is too strong and even today Cadbury is still linked inextricably with Arthur and Camelot. Think how much speculation drives the media today so why not?
If you want to buy into the legend then certainly there is plenty to keep you convinced throughout the area. If you stay at North Cadbury you will also feel as if you have experienced time travel. You can sleep in a four poster bed and the house itself dates back 700 years. In fact you may well choose to hold your wedding here with all the romance of Lancelot and Guinevere . The house itself can sleep up to 40 people in 21 individually designed bedrooms and some gloriously sumptuous bathing arrangements. This also includes a hot tub and a heated swimming pool.
Whatever reason you choose to stay in Somerset it is only 2 hours away from the Midlands in the North and London to the East. North Cadbury Court has seen much change in its history, both within and without the grounds. So why not indulge in some time travel this Spring. Who knows Arthur might just choose this time to appear.
If you would like to organise a party or would like to consider North Cadbury Court for a wedding please view full details here.