Discussion of Sewingshield's Arthurian Connections
David Nash Ford
Arthur sleeping by Hadrian's Wall
known for its views of Hadrian's Wall, Sewingshield
Crags also once had its own castle. Unfortunately, the
site was levelled in the nineteenth century.
says that Sewingshield Castle was one of King Arthur's
many homes around the country. He once received a
Northern Chieftain, named Comyn, here with great pomp
and ceremony and bestowed upon him many sumptuous
gifts. Arthur's sons, however, considered the presents
far too valuable for a mere provincial. They followed
the poor man to Haughton Common, ambushed his
entourage, swiped the gifts and murdered their owner.
It is not recorded whether King Arthur ever discovered
who the perpetrators of this horrendous crime were,
but he had a memorial cross erected at what then
became known as Cummings Cross. It stands there still
on the edge of the common.
cavernous castle vaults below the site of Sewingshield
Castle, still hidden beneath the hills lie King
Arthur, Queen Guinevere and his band of warrior
knights, sleeping soundly until the British Nation
calls on their help. Beside them, on a table, sit a
horn, a sheathed sword and a garter. To awaken the
great King, it is said one must draw the sword, cut
the garter and blow the horn.
farmer was once sat amongst the castle ruins knitting,
when his ball of wool got away from him and fell down
a crack in his rocky resting place. The local man just
managed to squeeze through and follow his run-away
knitting into the legendary chamber below. Everything
was arranged as tradition had insisted. He drew the
sword and cut the garter, but re-sheathed his weapon
and neglected to blow the horn! Arthur awoke but for a
moment, to briefly exclaim:
Woe betide that evil day
On which this witless wight was born,
Who drew the sword, the garter cut,
But never blew the bugle-horn...