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KING ARTHURS ROUND TABLE

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King Arthur's Round Table, a Late Neolithic henge monument surviving as an earthwork; one of three clustered between the Rivers Eamont and Lowther. The name probably derives from the 17th century or earlier due to its circular form and the interest in Arthurian ledgends. The earthworks were surveyed and some geophysical survey undertaken, although the degree of disturbance interior proved to have been to great for the latter to produce useful results. The site comprises a sub-circular bank with internal berm and ditch. The enclosed area is a maximum of 51.2 metres across, the ditch has a maximum width of 16.2 metres, the berm 7 metres, and the bank 13 metres. Within the enclosed area is a low sub-circular platform circa 24 metres across. This has been suggested to be a relatively recent feature - parts of the earthwork were "enhanced" in the late 18th to early 19th century, apparently with a view to using the site as a tea garden - but it does appear in William Stukeley's unpublished early 18th century sketch of the site. The earthwork has been truncated somewhat by roads on the northern and eastern sides. A single entrance exists on the southern side, but it is clear that a second entrance was formerly situated on the opposite, northern side, and was apparently flanked by two standing stones. Excavations were undertaken in 1937 by R Collingwood and continued in 1939 by G Bersu. Collingwood claimed to have identified a number of structures, represented by postholes and other features recognised at similar sites elsewhere in the country. Bersu was subsequently able to demonstrate that nearly all of these features were not of archaeological significance. The only one which may have been of importance was a "cremation trench" near the centre of the site which, although it contained little, Bersu accepted it may have been a disturbed grave. The two excavations and excavators have been compared by Richard Bradley. The site is now in the care of English Heritage.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the English Heritage website.