CAMELFORD AND KING ARTHUR.
The head of this river Alan is seated Camelford, otherwise written Galleford, a small town. It was formerly called Kambton, according to Leland, who tells us that "Arthur, the British Hector," was slain here, or in the valley near it. He adds, in support of this, that "pieces of armour, rings, and brass furniture for horses are sometimes digged up here by the countrymen; and after so many ages, the tradition of a bloody victory in this place is still preserved." There are also extant some verses of a Middle Age poet about "Camels" running with blood after the battle of Arthur against Modred. [a]
"Camulus is another name of the god of war, occurring in two of Gruter's inscriptions." [b]
Seeing that Arthur's great battles were fought near this town, and on the banks of the river, may not the names given to the town and river be derived from Camulus ?
"Mr Hals says this place is called Donechleniv in 'Domesday Survey.' Dunechine-would mean the fortress of the chasm, corresponding precisely with its situation." Davies Gilbert.
"O'er Cornwall's cliffsthe tempest roar'd,
High the screaming sea-mew soar'd;
On Tintagel's topmost tower
Darksome fell the sleety shower;
Round the rough castle shrilly sung
The whirling blast, and wildly flung
On each tall rampart's thundering side#
The surges of the tumbling tide:
When Arthur ranged his red cross ranks
On conscious Camlan's crimson'd banks."
The Grave of King Arthur--WHARTON.
In a Welsh poem it is recited that Arthur, after the battle of Camlan in Cornwall, was interred in the Abbey of Glastonbury, before the high altar, without any external mark. Henry II. is said to have visited the abbey, and to have ordered that the spot described by the bard should be opened. We are told that at twenty feet deep they found the body deposited under a large stone, with Arthur's name inscribed thereon.
Glastonbury Abbey is said to have been founded by Joseph of Arimathea, in a spot anciently called the island or valley of Avolmia or Avolon.
Bale, in his "Acts of English Votaries," attests to the finding of the remains of Arthur :-- "In Avallon, anno 1191, there found they the flesh bothe of Arthur and of hys wyfe Guenever turned all into duste, wythin theyr coffines of strong oke, the bones only remaynynge. A monke of the same abbeye, standyng and behouldyng the fine broydinges of the wommanis heare as yellow as golde' there still to remayne. As a man ravyshed, or more than halfe from his wyttes, he leaped into the graffe, xv fote depe, to have caugte them sodenlye. But he fayled of his purpose. For so soon as they were touched they fell all to powder."
[a] Gilbert, vol. II. p. 402, et seq.
[b] Gruter's Collection of Ancient Inscriptions, quoted by J.. C Pritchard.