King Arthur in Shropshire

King Arthur, (the real one!), was born, lived and died in Shropshire. No, really.

Perfectly sane academics make the case that he was actually a king of the Votadini tribe. They did their pillaging and what-not around Viroconium, close to modern Wroxeter. He married a local girl , too. The good lady Guinevere - or Ganhumara - came from Oswestry.

The new King Arthur Trail, will help you discover the Shropshire of the real King Arthur. It will explain some of those stories associated with Arthur and show you the real sites which connect back to them; including the sword in the stone, the Holy Grail, Camelot and the Lady Guinevere.

The King Arthur we have all been brought up with was a romantic figure surrounded by his Knights of the Round Table. Much of this was based on myth and legend drawn from the Medieval Arthurian Romances (circa 1150-1480). But like many legends they nearly all have some basis in fact - facts which get lost in the mists of time.

It is time to dispel these romanticised myths and introduce you to the real King Arthur - ‘Owain Ddantgwyn - The Bear’, a great king of the Dark Ages who ruled his kingdom from Wroxeter near Shrewsbury.

Manuscripts in the British Library, from much earlier than the Medieval Romances, suggest that King Arthur historically existed. The earliest reference to Arthur, which is still in existence, suggests that Artur was in fact a king of Powys, a kingdom that once covered what is now Shropshire and Mid Wales.

He is revealed to be the British warrior who, following the Roman withdrawal in the fifth century, defeated the invading Anglo-Saxons at the battle of Badon (493AD).

Excavations at the Dark Age capital of Powys, Wroxeter, four miles to the east of Shrewsbury, have shown that in the fifth century this city may have been the most sophisticated in the country.

This is precisely the time that Arthur is said to have been Britain’s most powerful king.

A tenth-century manuscript in the British Library records that Wroxeter was occupied around 493AD by Owain Ddantgwyn, a late fifth-century king of Powys and an important warlord. There is contemporary historical evidence that he was actually known as Arthur.

Click here to download a copy of the new leaflet: On the Trail of King Arthur in Shropshire. The file is quite large (5MB), so if it is too big for you to download click the link to see where the trail takes you.

King Arthur Map