The story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is popular with children (and adults!) throughout the world. Indeed, over the centuries, many visitors have wished to see the real Round Table.
There’s great debate among some historians about Arthur, the legendary King of England. The story is thought by some to be just that – a tale, made up for entertainment purposes.
For others, the tale of King Arthur and his knights remain, at least partly, historical fact.
Arthur was first mentioned in ‘The History of the Kings of Britain’, produced in the 11th century by Geoffrey of Monmouth. It was not until 25 years later that mention was first made of the Round Table.
The city of Winchester is known to have been the ancient capital of Wessex, in the south west of England. For centuries, people have travelled to this historic city to see King Arthur’s Round Table.
Hanging on the wall of the Great Hall is a table that is more than 5 metres in diameter and that weighs some 1200 kilograms. Painted on the table are the names of the 24 knights of the Round Table, plus a depiction of Arthur himself at the head of the table.
For years it was thought that this might really be the Round Table of legend – in fact, some even suggested that the ancient city of Winchester might be Arthur’s Camelot.
In recent years, the table has been more accurately dated and we now know that it cannot have been the actual table.
Despite this, the Round Table that hangs in Winchester does date from the 14th century – although it may be a fake, it’s a very old fake!
Given the history of the city and its links to such legendary characters, it’s little surprise that Winchester remains so popular with tourists. The city has a number of museums that appeal to younger visitors too.
If you get the chance, maybe you could seek out King Arthur’s Round Table.