Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland, England
Bamburgh Castle hovers over the sandy coastline of Northumberland. With its massive walls and dramatic views, Barmburgh Castle is host to thousands of visitors a year who come to see one of two possible places that could have been Sir Lancelot’s Joyous Garde Castle. Originally, the site hosted a Dark Ages stronghold, which may explain the legend of Bamburgh’s connection to Lancelot.
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 Bamburgh Castle became the Northumbrian capital of the “Angles” who had settled there earlier that century. With the transition to the capital, Bamburgh because a stronghold of the Saxson alliance who were King Arthur’s prime enemies in an attempt to maintain British rule. At the time, the name Bamburgh wasn’t used, but rather the area was called Din Guayrdi, which may have influenced Sir Thomas Mallory’s account of Sir Lancelot’s castle, who was the first to refer to Bamburgh as Joyous Garde and attribute it to Lancelot in his work Le Morte d’Arthur.