Shropshire can lay claim to King Arthur, says author
King Arthur ruled over his realm from a seat of power in Shropshire. At least that's what one historian will have you believe.
Author Graham Phillips has just published his latest book 'The Lost Tomb of King Arthur: The Search for Camelot and the Isle of Avalon', in which he suggests that the whereabouts of King Arthur's long-lost tomb is not in the South West town of Glastonbury, as the popular myth maintains, but is at an ancient site in the Shropshire countryside near Baschurch called The Berth.
The book is the culmination of 25 years of research by Phillips, including new translations of primary source material.
On Friday he appeared on the TV programme Forbidden History to explain his theory.
Chatting to presenter Jamie Theakston he explained how he believes King Arthur to actually be Owain Ddantgwyn who was King of Powys around AD 500, some three centuries earlier than the popular myth around his life claims.
Mr Philips says Ddantgwyn ruled over Powys, now just a small area in Wales but what used to encompass the Midlands, from his base of Viroconium, which is now Wroxeter in Shropshire.
He further explains that the word Arthur was not actually a name but a title. He claims Ddantgwyn was given the title 'The Bear', which in Welsh was the word 'Arth'.
Mr Philips is now hoping that his book will provide the necessary evidence to allow King Arthur to finally be accepted as the authentic British king he was.
"I thought, well we've got Shakespeare, we've got Robin Hood, so how about King Arthur as well!" said Mr Phillips, who was born in Birmingham and lived in Wolverhampton for many years before most recently settling in Stafford.
"I've effectively lived in King Arthur's kingdom all my life!" he added.
"I was always interested in the legend of Arthur and went on holiday to Glastonbury.
"As I looked in to the existing work on the king I realised that this must be a mere medieval myth, because it didn't quite add up."
The author began his search for Arthur by asking the simple question – from where did he rule? His extensive research at the British Library and the British Museum led Phillips to Wroxeter, around five miles east of Shrewsbury. It is one the best preserved Roman ruins in Britain.
Phillips believes it was taken over by Arthur in 500AD as he prepared to face the imminent invasion of the Anglo-Saxons.
Within this area was a place, according to Phillips, known as Camlann, 12 miles west of the river of the same name.
When Arthur and his people were invaded, they were sent to Powys.
The author not only presents evidence to suggest that Arthur was a real man, he also shows why and where he thinks Camelot existed and the location of his mythical sword, Excalibur.