Arturius - A Quest For Camelot - The Legend of King Arthur
Arturius - A Quest For Camelot - The Legend of King Arthur

What The Press Say

The Scotsman - July 1997

Writer bets King Arthur was a Scot

Arturius - A Quest for CamelotA Hull author has thrown down the gauntlet and bet £1,000 that King Arthur was a 6th century Scots warrior leader from Falkirk, in the mould of William Wallace.

Frank Carroll is so convinced of his theory that he has challenged all comers to produce hard evidence to disprove his version of the tale of Arthur and his Round Table. If he is wrong he will pay up £1,000.

He claims Arthur's Camelot was at an old Roman fort at Camelon in Falkirk, while his warriors met at the raised King's Knot - the Round Table near Stirling Castle.

Mr Carroll, who was brought up in Glasgow, last year published a book on Arthur after years of research into the historical figure. He said yesterday his offer was not a gimmick. "Since I went ahead and published the book on my own, nobody has approached me and suggested I am wrong when I claim Arthur was a Scot.

"I am hoping that my offer, which is completely genuine, will provoke a reaction. I am offering good money to anyone who can prove that I am not right, but I'm pretty confident I won't have to part with it."

Mr Carroll said everything written about King Arthur over the years had been based on "legends, poems and myths".

While many researchers had looked for Camelot and the Round Table to prove the existence of Arthur, he had decided on the opposite approach - establishing his identity, and where he lived.

"It is possible to illustrate, by using reliable historical documents, that the Arthur of legend is based on an Arthur of history - Artuir or Arturius - who lived and fought in the Kingdom of Manann."

This area, he said, stretched from Slamanan, now Slamannan, south of Falkirk, to the north of the River Forth in the Stirling area. He said that since the 12th century, Arthur had been connected with Wales and CornwalI, mainly due to the writings of a Norman-Welsh cleric, Geoffrey of Monmouth.

"He called him a king, when before that he was simply known as Arthur, a battle leader."

Mr Carroll claimed Geoffrey of Monmouth had based "King Arthur" on stories of Artuir taken from Scotland to France in the early 12th century by Norman knights and Benedictine and Cistercian monks.

"The stories were then brought from France by Geoffrey of Monmouth, who wrote the now-discredited History of the Kings of Britain.

"In it, he attempted to fill a void in known history with the story of Arthur, as he called him."

Mr Carroll said Artuir was the warrior son of Aidan MacGabran, who, in the late 6th century was chosen by St. Columba to be King of the Scots of Dalriada. When his father left to reign over what is now known as Argyll, Artuir had led the Scots and the Britons in battle against the pagan Picts and Saxons.

"He was like Wallace, a battle leader, except he was the son of a king. Everybody knows about Wallace, but very few people know about Artuir.

"When you mention King Arthur, everybody always asks about the knights. Hollywood has built up this myth about knights galloping around with Arthur, when there were no knights in armour in those days."

Mr Carroll said that he was convinced that Artuir's camp would have been located at Camelon - known as Camelot centuries ago - with the likely site being the Roman fort known to have existed there.

According to the Annals of Ulster, he said, Artuir had died in battle against the Picts in 582 AD, at the Battle of Camlann. The site, he claims, is marked by a Pictish stone in a wooded area on the Stirling University campus.

The author is also adamant that Merlin, the mythical Arthur's adviser, did exist. "He was based on a real Druid called Myrddin, who wandered the Caledonian Forest before being taken under the protection of King Ryderrch of Dumbarton, an ally of Arthur."

Mr Carroll has placed his challenge on the Internet. He can be contacted through his Web site at http://www.kingarthurlegend.com

Hull Daily Mail - June 1997

King Arthur's Last Stand

A historian is hoping to re-enact the last stand of the legendary King Arthur. The identity of the mythical character has been carefully pieced together by David Carroll from Cottingham. And now he is hoping to recreate the real King Arthur's last battle on August 17.

King Arthur's Last Stand

He believes the legend originated with a real figure from history - Arturius - a Scot fighting on the side of the Ancient Britons who populated the west side of the country.

Mr Carroll (54) has charted the story of Arturius in his book "Arturius - A Quest For Camelot".

He claims he has traced the legend back to a prince called Arturius who died fighting the Picts in 582AD at the Battle of Camlann.

Now he is set to return to the battleground at Falkirk, in Scotland, and hopes to take some local fellow warriors with him.

"They are having a weekend yearly pageant in Falkirk with chariot races, fencing displays and historical displays," he said.

"We are re-enacting a real battle. Much of the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table has been added over the centuries.

"The vast majority - 99 per cent - of the legend is fantasy, but one per cent of it is the truth."

Back in 582AD the country was split into small kingdoms with the Angles and Saxons in the east and the kingdoms of the Ancient Britons extending from Cornwall up to southern Scotland.

Mr Carroll can help recreate the costumes of the ancient warriors and he hopes to make it a regular event if it is a success. Anyone wanting to make the pilgrimage to Falkirk can contact Mr Carroll on (01482) 842257.

The Daily Mail - January 1996

The Legend of Arthur, King of Camelon!

Through the mists of time, Knights of the Round Table reveal Scots Roots

Five years of research on King Arthur did not lead historian Frank Carroll to Camelot, but he wasn't far away.

Instead, he wound up in the Scottish village of Camelon, near Falkirk.

Camelon has long claimed to have connections with the legend of the medieval king, but Mr Carroll had never heard of it when he set out to find out whether there was any substance to the man and the story.

His work, using ancient records, has not only proved the village was right all along but also disproved some of the claims made on Arthur's name by other parts of Britain.

The 53-year-old from Hull says the real Arthur was never a king, but a prince in the 6th century. Arturius led an army and lived in a camp at Camelon, then the site of a camp which was verified by excavations earlier this century.

He lived ten miles from Stirling, which Mr Carroll reckons to be where the original round Table was based, at an area called King's Knot which now lies close to Stirling Castle.

The area he defended was called the Kingdom of Manann, and can be identified today by the village of Slamannan in the south to the Ochill HilIs, part of Clackmannan, in the north.

Using source material from the 7th century - the first written records of the battles between the Britons and the Picts - his research shows that Arturius died in 582AD at the battle of Camlann.

However, this is not a corruption of Camelon as earlier thought, but an area next to the town of Bridge of Allan, north of Stirling.

While Mr Carroll was unable to find a Guinivere or a Sword In the Stone, the records show there was a druid by the name of Myrddin, or Merlin, In nearby Dumbartonshire.

And he's traced an area of land next to Stirling known as Invalone, which might have led to the name of the island of Avalon in the legend.

Mr Carroll says one thing is certain: Arthur was never in Tintagel, the castle in Cornwall visited by thousands or people every year looking for his birthplace.

'The castle wasn't even built until the 12th century, around 600 years after he died, and there is nothing at all in the records to show there was anyone with that name at the time, he said. 'There was a lot of romantic writing done at the time which fitted some fantasy in where there were no facts.

'That is probably where the legend has come from, but where there are facts they don't point to Cornwall, Wales or anywhere else outside Camelon.'

At Tintagel, visited by 150,000 people last year, castle custodian Patrick Riodrin says he won't be offering any argument.

He said: 'We know that the castle wasn't built until later on, but who's to say what happened all those years ago? People have been coming here since 1852 and I think we now have history on our side.'

But In Camelon, hopes are high that the research could be used to attract visitors to Arthur's real home. Councillor Dennis Goldie, a former Provost of Falkirk, said: 'It's always been something that people here have talked about and this could confirm a lot of things that have been passed down over years.

'Nobody's ever tried to capitalise on this before, but it would be nice to have something which will stop everyone going down the road to Stirling Castle.'

The Scotsman - January 1996

Arthur's Camelot 'was at Falkirk'

Legend investigated: researcher claims king and his famous table existed in Scotland

Five years researching historical manuscripts and writings, and much foot-slogging, has led a Yorkshire author to conclude emphatically that King Arthur did exist - and lived on edge of Falkirk.

Frank Carroll is convinced that Arthur's Camelot was located on an old Roman fort at Camelon, and that the Table was at the raised King's Knot in the shadow of Stirling Castle rock.

Arthur's Camelot 'was at Falkirk'

He has dismissed all connection with Wales and Cornwall, and says that Arthur, who rose only to the title of prince, met his end fighting the Picts at the Battle of Camlann in 582AD. The site, he claims, is marked by a Pictish stone in a wooded area on the Stirling University campus.

Mr Carroll, who was brought up in Glasgow and and now lives in Goxhill, near Hull, said his interest was first aroused when he came across references to Arthur during a family holiday in Brittany.

Since then, in his spare time, he has researched at libraries across Britain, including at Glasgow University. He had also carried out extensive searches on the ground in the Forth Valley area, Wales and Cornwall.

Mr Carroll said that while many researchers had looked for Camelot and the Round Table to prove the existence of Arthur, he had decided on the opposite approach - establish his identity and where he lived.

"It is possible to illustrate, by using reliable historical documents, that the Arthur of legend is based on an Arthur of history who lived and fought in the Kingdom of Manann," he said.

He added that this area stretched from Slamanann (now Slamannan) south of Falkirk, to the north of the River Forth in the Stirling area.

Mr Carroll said that since the 12th century, Arthur had been connected with Wales and Cornwall, mainly due to the writings of a Norman-Welsh cleric, Geoffrey of Monmouth.

He called him a king, when before that he was simply known as Arthur, a battle leader," Mr Carroll said.

A 7th century poem he had found mentioned Arthur in a northern context - as did an 8th Century manuscript, in which he was described as an ally of the Kings of Britons.

In another connection, Merlin was based on a real Druid called Myrddin, who wandered the Caledonian Forest before being taken under the protection of King Ryderrch of Dumbarton, an ally of Arthur.

"As further proof, Arthur of Manann died in battle against the Picts, which is recorded in the Annals of Ulster under the year 582 AD," said Mr Carroll.

Some eight years earlier, Arthur had been left to rule Manann after his father, Aidan MacGabran, was chosen by St Columba to be King of the Scots of Dalriada.

Mr Carroll said he was convinced that the Kings Knot was the location of the Round Table - an assembly point where Arthur would address his warriors before battle. "As Camelon was known as Camelot centuries ago, it is the only place which can claim a genuine connection with the real Arthur, as it is situated in Manann."

Mr Carroll has completed a manuscript on the fruits of his research and plans to look for a publisher.

The Yorkshire Post - January 1996

Holy Grail Quest Ends In Scotland

HISTORICAL researcher Frank Carroll believes he has discovered the historians' equivalent of the Holy Grail - by tracking down the true King Arthur and the Round Table. And he reckons Camelot is in Scotland.

Mr Carroll's five-year research into historical records and writings turned up an Arthur far removed from the characters of Hollywood films, who lived not at Camelot but the Scottish village of Camelon, near Falkirk.

The true King Arthur was the 6th century battle warrior Arturius who died fighting the Picts at the battle of Camlann in AD582, claims Mr Carroll 53, of Goxhill, South Humberside.

Camelot was a former Roman fort and the Round Table a circular earthwork by the River Forth, known locally as the King's Knot.

This was probably used as an assembly point by warriors before going into battle - and bore no resemblance to the table presided over in legend by King Arthur.

Mr Carroll's fascination with Arthur started on a family holiday to Brittany, where Arthurian legend features strongly in local folklore.

He bases his theories on the belief that Geoffrey of Monmouth, the 12th century cleric whose writings are used as a basis for many researchers tracking down Arthur, gave false Welsh and Cornish connections to pad out his history of the Kings of Britain.

The Norman-Welsh cleric also got his dates wrong - placing Arthur's death at least 45 years too early.

Mr Carroll points out striking similarities between the Arthur of legend and the Scottish Arturius. Both were killed in battles against the Picts and while the Arthur of legend was the battle leader of the Britons, Arturius was the head of a confederation of British kings. Both even had sisters called Morgan.

He has not, however, found any references to Guinevere or the Sword in the Stone.

And seekers of Arthur's birthplace at Tintagel should look elsewhere. "I started out at Glastonbury looking for Arthur, but the more evidence I looked at, the more it pointed to the North," he said.

"Southern Scotland at the time would have been part of the Britons' kingdom which stretched all the way from Cornwall to the rivers Forth and Clyde." Mr Carroll added: "I would be happy if I could go down in history as the person to have discovered the true King Arthur."

The Yorkshire Post - November 1996

In Search Of Camelot

With your Christmas list in one hand and your thinking cap in the other - it is that time of year again when you have to rack your brains for the perfect Christmas gifts for friends and family.

Everyone enjoys reading, particularly if it's a true story, and books make an ideal Christmas gift or stocking filler for almost everyone. If you know anyone who has an interest in history or just reading, in general then D F Carroll's new book Arturius - A Quest for Camelot is the perfect Christmas present.

Research

We all know of the legend of King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table, Camelot, Lancelot and Guinevere. But how much of this famous tale is fictitious and how much is true?

Historians often claim that there is no record of Arthur ever existing, but now, as a result of six years' research, Carroll explains and proves beyond reasonable doubt the reality and identity of King Arthur.

Using previously overlooked evidence from the 7th and 8th centuries AD, the author has succeeded in finally solving the mystery, linking Arthur not with Cornwall or Wales, but with the ancient sixth century British kingdom of Manann - Manau Gododdin - which lay south of the River Forth around the modern Scottish towns of Stirling and Falkirk.

Carroll explains that the name 'Arthur' is actually a later development of the name Arturius which explains why there is no historical record of an Arthur, as this name did not exist when the earliest records were written. Another misleading area is Arthur's connections with Wales and Cornwall.

Poem

There is no historical evidence that Arthur was connected with these regions, again this all dates back to the 12th century and Geoffrey of Monmouth. Arthur is mentioned in the line of a poem called Gododdin which is thought to have originated in Wales.

The poem actually originated in what we now call Scotland, so even the earliest poems do not connect Arthur to Wales.

Carroll says: "I believe we have sufficient evidence to prove he lived in the second half of the 6th century AD. The only record of a British leader called Arthur dying in battle is recorded in the Annals of Ulster and the date given is 582 AD, the Battle of Manann."

King Arthur - The Legend of King Arthur