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England’s famous King Arthur was actually Scottish, historian claims


An engraving from 1881 showing King Arthur on boat with Merlin going to retrieve Excalibur (Getty)

A historian claims to have found evidence King Arthur, one of England’s most famous legends, was actually Scottish.

Expert Damian Bullen claims the hero was actually a Pictish King – in Aberdeenshire.

The folklore leader was said to have led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders – and lead the Knights Of The Round Table.

For centuries historians have debated where he was from – with some claims he was born in Cornwall or Wales.

But Damian points to newly published research of a Welsh manuscript Trioedd Ynys Prydein (Triads of the Island of Britain) – as evidence that King Arthur lived in Scotland.

The text states: ‘Arthur the chief lord in Penrhionyd in the north, and Cyndeyrn Garthwys the chief bishop, and Gurthmwl Guledic the chief elder.’

Mr Bullen specialises in historical languages and the interpretation of ancient manuscripts. He said the Penrhionyd referred to is actually Rhynie in Aberdeenshire, where he claims Arthur spent seven years as King of the Picts from 539-526.

King Arthur led the Knights Of The Round Table (Getty)

He said Pen in the Welsh language means ‘summit or peak,’ which would translate Penrhionyd to ‘Peak of Rhionyd’.

Mr Bullen, who is originally from Burnley but now lives in East Lothian, said the village of Rhynie is ‘littered with Pictish remains’ from during Arthur’s reign there.

And he said many of the people living in the village are unaware they are ‘breathing the same pure and mountain air’ as King Arthur.

Mr Bullen said: ‘The name ‘Penrhionyd in the north,’ easily converts to Rhynie.

‘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.

‘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.

Excalibur the famous sword in the stone of King Arthur (Getty)

Mr Bullen published the paper, which examines the clues for Arthur’s existence in the names of places across Britain, on the website Academia.



The Legend of Excalibur (short version)

The legend of King Arthur tells the tale of his sword Excalibur, the holder of which is the true king (or queen) of Britain.

The sword was given to him by the mythical ‘Lady of the Lake’, bringing him good fortune and incredible combat skills.

After he lost the sword in the Battle of Camlann, Arthur was mortally injured, and upon his death a knight (either Sir Griflet or Sir Bedivere) hurled it into the lake. However before it touched the surface a women’s hand reached out of the water to grasp it.

The Lady of the Lake is said to have held the sword below Dozmary Pool, where Mathilda and her family were visiting, until the next person worthy of the British throne finds it.

In some retellings of the legend Excalibur is the same sword a young Arthur pulled from the stone to be crowned King.

It comes after another historical author, Niall Roberston, last month claimed King Arthur was Scottish.

Writing in The National he said: ‘The Picts had a place in the legends of King Arthur.

‘One of Arthur’s knights was called Tristan, which is derived from the Pictish name, Drust. Another knight was called Gareth, the earl of Orkney.

‘King Lot, the father of Mordred, was a king of the Picts.

‘Arthur’s closest companion in Welsh folk tales is called Cai, which may be derived from the Pictish name, Cailtram.’


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