Monday, October 30, 2017

A Trip to Caerleon

A couple of weeks ago we travelled over the Severn bridge into Wales for a day. It's not far for us being only about 50 miles or so. Our destination, the town of Caerleon. Ancient Roman military fortress of Isca and later believed by some, to be the legendary court of King Arthur. Of course having a love of all things Arthurian, it was time to tick this place off my list.
The day was mild, the sun shone and the place had a quiet sense of peace about it. Just a few other people were walking around on a Saturday. Our footsteps fell where Roman Gladiators fought and in the October stillness, the gulls and rooks hid any whispers of ghosts on the grassy mounds.  
Like many places in the uk, the amphitheatre is believed to be a possible site of the legendary round table. Since the middle ages it has been known locally as 'King Arthurs Round Table'  In Geoffrey of Monmouth's writing from 1133 he tells of King Arthur holding court at the 'City of the Legions' (Caerleon)
Just fiction, or home of Camelot? I think the mystery is what makes the story more enticing and I just love visiting all the places that are connected with the legend. To read more about Roman times and King Arthur and Caerleon have a look at Caerleon.net   
We had our lunch in the Hanbury Arms where Alfred Lord Tennyson lodged in 1856 whilst working on his long Arthurian poem Idylls of the King
It being so mild we sat outside beside the river Usk. It's swirling murky depths, sunlight on brown kept it's secrets hidden within it's currents of all that it has witnessed over time. Roman, Arthurian, Poet and another million stories of the Welsh riverbanks.
"The Usk murmurs at the window and I sit like King Arthur in Caerleon" 
~Tennyson

'King Arthur made new knights to fill the gap
Left by the Holy Quest; and as he sat

In hall at old Caerleon, the high doors
Were softly sundered, and through these a youth,

Pelleas, and the sweet smell of the fields
 Past, and the sunshine came along with him' 
~extract from Pelleas and Ettare
                                          
  

After lunch we browsed around the beautiful space of Ffwrrwm. A magical place filled with the most magnificent carvings. Characters depicted from the Welsh Mabinogion
And shops with Celtic inspired gifts, like a tiny slice of Glastonbury.
'Arthur and Mordred in battle'
'Ceridwen and Taliesin'
And the biggest welsh love spoon I've ever seen!
After a tea and a welsh cake in the lovely cafe here, I returned home with a couple of souvenirs and three fallen acorns picked up from beneath the oak overlooking the ancient remains.
Tomorrow is the last day of October, the veil is thin and I shall plant these to remember and help give life to new, from old. 
Happy Halloween x

* King Arthur painting, by Charles Ernest Butler

13 comments:

  1. This sounds like a dream trip! I'm fascinated by all of the Arthurian Legends and spent a span of my younger years reading everything I could find about the myths. Wonderful images!

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    1. The Arthurian legend seems to have a huge pull on something deep within. A yearning for something that we don't quite know what, it's a strange but wonderful feeling. :) Glad that you enjoyed the post Nicole.

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  2. Lovely post thanks for sharing such insight 😊

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    1. Glad that you enjoyed Emma. Thanks for stopping by :) x

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  3. What a wonderful day trip you had! And, what a magical town!
    ...lovely photos! Thank you for sharing. And I love that you include music with the post!

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  4. Love the Arthurian legend. Wonder why the monarchy has never used the name Arthur. Wonderful little trip to take us on.

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    1. Yes that's true... I wonder? I love the name Arthur, it was my Grandads name. :)

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  5. Caerleon, the name is like an old song for the soul. What a magical trip you've had. Thank you for sharing it. (And the music on your player is beautiful.)

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    1. A perfect description Sarah. :) The Welsh language and words are very beautiful I think.

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  6. Thanks for taking me along to such a magical place. I love especially that wooden seat with the face, I guess it's a seat, though seems bit rude to sit on his head.

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  7. Thank you for sharing this wonderful magic trip!

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