The Future of History

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Arthur's Grave

I don't know - maybe I'm getting a bit tired of words, or maybe I'm just enjoying playing with maps and figures, seeing as they do break up the text a bit.  But, well, I'm tempted to sneak this image at the end of the appropriate chapter.

It's black-and-white because that's what the inside of the book will be.  I wasn't planning on having any photos in the book.  But I think I might just get away with a couple of illustrations artfully inserted into the text. 

And, hey, it is The Grave after all.

Try to imagine it with a circle of stones on the summit, which is what it was like up until the eighteenth century.  Or with a great bonfire burning away on its crest on Beltane eve.  Or with "sweet music" emanating mysteriously from inside it, as some have reported.  Or during a total eclipse of the sun - which is what happened at the moment when Arthur's head was laid to rest inside it.

And then tell me I shouldn't sneak this picture into the book.


  1. Hi Elizabeth -

    Not Tinto, I'm afraid - although that's not such a bad guess, really. I spent some time a few years ago researching Tinto and the rather lovely and fascinating "Tinto Tap" rhyme. It must have been a place of cultic importance in the past, particularly as a 'Fire Mountain'.

    Arthur's Grave, though, is a little further to the north and west. And it's on an island.

  2. Are you familiar with the Crooked Stane, where I live, which marks the place where the Clyde is formed by the meeting of two waters, the Daer and Potrail? Do you think it would be worth our applying for a grant to excavate/explore Watermeetings, the old house there if the owner would give us permission?

  3. I would hazard a guess that the formation of the Clyde was probably quite an important place to our ancestors. The "Merlin" connection with Hart Fell seems to owe much to the rising of three major rivers in that immediate area, and I could certainly imagine that the birthplace of the Clyde would have had some significance to the local tribes. In which case, I reckon some sort of excavation would be well worth it, if only to see if any votive deposits were made at the spot.