Dig unearths round table evidence at Windsor Castle
Monday 28 August 2006
Evidence of a building linked to the myth of King Arthur and the knights of the round table has been found at Windsor Castle.
The circular structure was built by Edward III in the 14th century to house the round table intended to seat the original 300 Knights of the Garter. Archaeological proof of the building was uncovered by members of Channel 4's Time Team in the castle's quadrangle.
Although the stones have been removed, rubble in-fill where they were originally located remained in place. The show's presenter, Tony Robinson, said the discovery could help settle years of debate among historians over the existence of the building. "The round table building is one of our most significant ever archaeological finds. It is something that helped to establish Arthurian legends of the knights of the round table.
"We set out to uncover the walls of the building, and they are just where we hoped. Experts have speculated about the structure for centuries, but they have never been able to find the actual building."
It was one of several remarkable finds made by archaeologists given unprecedented access to three Royal residences.
At Buckingham Palace, finds ranged from a small piece of pre-Roman flint to a gold earring or piece of necklace, possibly from the Victorian era. Experts also found a stoneware beer mug probably thrown away by workmen landscaping the gardens in about 1700.
At Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official Scottish residence, a 17th or 18th century seal, probably used to stamp wax on documents, was uncovered.
The digs were allowed to go after months of negotiations with representatives of the Royal family. A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said all the findings will be catalogued and the survey results will be added to the Royal archive at Windsor.
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