Towering above the tiny village of Bamburgh
on the bare, sandy coastline of Northumberland, the massive walls
of this medieval fortress are one of two such places believed to be
the original site of Lancelot's castle of Joyous
Garde. Interestingly, there was a Dark-Age stronghold
on the same site, which may account for this tradition.
|This is the probable
site of Sir Lancelot's famous castle of Joyous Garde, where
he once gave refuge to Tristan and Iseult, and where he himself
retired to escape the rumours of his liaison with Arthur's Queen.
In 547 it became the capital of the Northumbrian 'Kingdom' of the
Angles who had settled there in the early part of the sixth century;
as such, it would have been a stronghold of the Saxon alliance, who
were Arthur's prime enemies in his fight to maintain British rule.
At the time, the site was not called Bamburgh, but seems to have been
named 'Din Guayrdi', which may have suggested Joyous Garde to Sir
Thomas Malory, who first described it as Lancelot's holding in his
fifteenth-century Arthurian 'novel', Le Morte d'Arthur.