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Arthur's Stone: The last resting place of King Arthur?

Clas Merdin: Tales from the Enchanted Island, where he shares his interests in Early tales of Arthur the Warrior, Arthur in the Landscape, Anglo-Saxons, Dark Ages, Post-Roman Britain, and Glastonbury Legends. (All rights reserved by the author, and reposted under his kind permission - "Copyright © Edward Watson, 2012" ).

Arthur's Stone is one of the most notable of all Neolithic burial monuments in western Britain. Located at Grid Ref: SO319431, between the villages of Dorstone and Bredwardine, west Herefordshire, England. This dolmen is associated with the legend of the last resting place of King Arthur and set within a picturesque area of gently rolling countryside lying in the lee of the Black Mountains of Wales, with stunning views to the north-east over the Wye valley.
To find the tomb leave Dorstone by the B4348 heading towards Peterchurch. As the road crosses the river, turn off left at a sharp right-angled bend and head uphill past Dorstone Hill Wood. Some distance further up the western slope of the ridge turn into Arthur's Stone Lane. Continue along the lane, here on your left, overlooking the natural depression of the River Dore known as the Golden Valley, is Arthur's Stone.

 Legend's claim the site is either the tomb of Arthur himself or a giant that he killed. One stone bears the marks of the giant's elbows when he fell dying. On another slab marks are said to have been made by Arthur's knees where he knelt in thanksgiving after the duel, alternatively they may e marks his fingers made as he played quoits; many cromlechs in Wales are named Arthur's Quoit and it is tempting to think that the name may once have also been used for the mighty capstone at Dorstone. By implication Arthur must have been a giant, who according according to legend, were the first inhabitants of the Island of Britain, indicative of his great antiquity and rightful association with these ancient monuments.

We find another Arthur's Stone, also known as Maen Ceti, or Coetan Arthur, in West Glamorgan, South Wales. One day, so the story goes, when Arthur was walking through South Wales near the site of modern Llanelli he became irritated by a pebble in his shoe. He removed it and threw it towards the sea. The pebble finally landed several miles to the south on a ridge of land in the Gower Peninsula just below the summit of Cefn Bryn. The pebble forms the capstone of another exposed burial chamber, a huge slab of granite measuring 14ft x 6ft, overlooking the estuary of the river Lougher.

 

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