England Next Winchester, 1972  

    King Arthur's Round Table in the Great Hall of Winchester Castle.

In 1485, Sir Thomas Mallory claimed that Winchester was King Arthur's "Camelot." Part of the "proof" was that Arthur's Round Table hung on the wall of the Great Hall of Winchester Castle. It is the legend that King Arthur had the table built in 523. When I toured the Great Hall in 1972, we were told that the hall must have been built around the table because its 18-foot diameter exceeded the size of any of the entrances to the Great Hall.

It is thought that Winchester Castle and its Great Hall (all that remains of the castle) was built or enlarged in the late 11th century by William the Conqueror. Scientific dating methods now indicate that the table was constructed about 1270 during the time of King Edward I. King Henry VIII ordered that the table be repainted in 1522 and it was repainted again in 1789.

Whatever its origin, the table in the Great Hall is very old and quite impressive.