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Scotland claim King Arthur – based on Welsh language manuscript

12 Apr 2021 2 minute read
At least this one had a Welshman in it – Ioan Gruffudd stars alongside Keira Knightley and Clive Owen in King Arthur. Picture by Touchstone Pictures.

Wales is used to England attempting to claim King Arthur as their own but now face a challenge from above Hadrian’s Wall.

Scotland are now also laying claim to the mythological figure first mentioned in Old Welsh poetry.

Historian Damian Bullen points to the medieval manuscript Trioedd Ynys Prydein (Triads of the Island of Britain) as evidence that King Arthur lived in Scotland.

He cites the text which states: “Arthur the chief lord in Penrhionyd in the north, and Cyndeyrn Garthwys the chief bishop, and Gurthmwl Guledic the chief elder.”

Damian Bullen claims that the Penrhionyd referred to is Rhynie in Aberdeenshire.

“Rhynie is simply littered with Pictish remains, with recent archaeology showing how the site was a significant elite-level Pictish settlement in the Arthurian period,” he told the Scottish National.

“In the Welsh language, ‘Pen’ means ‘summit or peak,’ which renders Penrhionyd as meaning ‘Peak of Rhionyd’.

“Above Rhynie towers the far-seen Tap o’ Noth, Scotland’s second-highest hillfort, complete with impressive triple-ringed defence works.

“It is well worth a trip to Rhynie, a remarkably compact and pretty village whose residents go about their business quite unaware they are breathing the same pure and mountain air as Arthur did during his seven-year stint as King of the Picts.”

King Arthur has long been linked with the Hen Ogledd (Old North) which was in present-day Scotland and the north of England.

One of the first mentions of Arthur is in the Gododdin, a poem which tells of a band of warriors, who, after a year of feasting in their fortress at Edinburgh, set out to do battle with the Angles in Yorkshire.

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