'Ardrey delivers a bombshell... fascinating stuff'
- Los Angeles Times

'A brilliant piece of detective work... enthralling'
- Scots Magazine

The Times

Dec 3, 2013

King Arthur was a Scottish warlord and Merlin a Glasgow politician, claims author

Michael Glackin

Last updated at 12:01AM, November 18 2013

King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table were Scottish, Camelot is a marsh in Argyll, and Iona, rather than the fabled isle of Avalon, is the final resting place of the mythical king.

King Arthur has been claimed by England, Wales and even Ireland, but a Scottish amateur historian and author has now claimed that his roots were actually Scottish. The claim is made by Adam Ardrey, an Edinburgh advocate.

In his book Finding Arthur: The True Origins Of The Once And Future King, Mr Ardrey states that the Arthurian legend is based on the life of a Scottish warlord, Arthur MacAedan, who was born in AD559 and worked with Merlin, a politician from Partick in Glasgow.

Mr Ardrey argues that the myth of Arthur pulling Excalibur from a rock is based on a ritual performed by Scottish kings and their successors at Dunadd, near Kilmartin, Argyll.

He said: “MacAedan was the son of Aedan, a king of Scots, who ruled at the end of the sixth century. During the inauguration ceremony, kings and their would-be successors had to place their feet in a footprint etched in the stone at the top of Dunadd.

“In 574 MacAedan, as his father’s heir apparent, would have stood in the footprint and lifted a sword resting on the stone. He would have then stepped out of the footprint with the sword. Over time this fact became embellished to become pulling the sword out of the stone.”

Mr Ardrey insists that “the litmus test” for his Arthur theory is the 12 battles he fought. “I was able to identify all of them geographically with places in Scotland and put them in historical context. The first six are in a straight line, and the next four are all between Stirling and Berwick He said that the Battle of Camlann, at which Arthur died or was fatally wounded, was fought at Camelon, near Falkirk, 12 miles south of Stirling.

Mr Ardrey’s theory is given further credence by the discovery in 2011 of what some experts believe is King Arthur’s round table by archaeologists from the University of Glasgow investigating the King’s Knot in the grounds of Stirling Castle. “In the mid-580s Arthur came to Edinburgh to help the people living there, the Gododdin, in their battles with the invading Angles — that’s how Arthur’s Seat got its name, it was to commemorate his victories, although obviously the Angles prevailed over time.”

Traditionally, the legend of Arthur belongs to the southwest of England or Wales, but Mr Ardrey believes that the stories were taken there by refugees from northeast Scotland who were driven south after the Angles defeated them in the 7th century.

Mr Ardrey believes that his theory could have ramifications for next year’s independence referendum. “I hesitate to say it, but if I’m right — and I believe my theory is certainly arguable — then it can only have a beneficial effect for the ‘Yes’ camp because Scotland would be reclaiming one of the most famous stories in the world and turning what’s been considered a legend into a fact.”

It is not the first time that someone has placed Arthur in Scotland. The Scottish folklorist Stuart McHardy’s book The Quest for Arthur, published a decade ago, suggested that Avalon was the Isle of May, off Edinburgh.

An English historian, Simon Andrew Stirling, also put forward Arthur’s Scots credentials in his book The King Arthur Conspiracy — How a Scottish Prince Became a Mythical Hero.

Finding Merlin

Finding Merlin is now available to buy online and in bookshops.

To purchase on Amazon click the link below.

Finding Arthur

Finding Arthur is now available to buy online and in bookshops.

To purchase on Amazon click the link below.

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