Welsh: Craig ý Ddinas | “Rock of the Fortress”
Cornish: Castle-an-Dinas | “Castle of the City,” “Castle of the Fort”
One of the most impressive and well-preserved hillforts in Cornwall. Hillforts were fortified settlements built during the Iron Age (around 800 BC to the Roman conquest) and were used for defensive purposes, often providing a stronghold for the local community. It was the seat of Cornish kings after Arthur’s time.
According to some local legends, Castle-an-Dinas is believed to have been a hunting lodge or a summer residence of King Arthur. These stories suggest that the hillfort was used by Arthur during his legendary exploits and adventures. Some sources even names it as Camelot, and others that Castle-an-Dinas may have been connected to Tintagel.
As with many Arthurian tales, the legendary Merlin often plays a significant role. Some stories link Merlin to Castle-an-Dinas, suggesting that he may have had some magical involvement in the hillfort’s construction or its historical significance.
Another legend ties Castle-an-Dinas to a significant battle in Arthurian lore. It is said that King Arthur fought a great battle at Castle-an-Dinas against a giant named Cormoran. Arthur is said to have defeated the giant and cast him into a nearby pool known as Cormoran’s Pool. The Battle of Gafulford or Camelford is said to have taken place here. Arthur fought against the Saxons in this battle and achieved a decisive victory.
This mount featured in a story told by Iolo Morgannwg. Iolo Morgannwg was the bardic name of Edward Williams (1747-1826). He collected a great deal of early Welsh lore, but as a bard he is not regarded as a reliable source. In Iolo’s story a Welshman, led by a magician, found Arthur and warriors sleeping in a cave there, guarding treasure. A similar tale, narrated by J. Rhys, has a Monmouthshire farmer as its protagonist. For tales of similar nature set in England, see Alderley Edge and Thompson.
A cave called Ogo’r Dinas near the Llandebie was also thought to house the sleeping Arthur.
Craig, is a Welsh word and means a high rock or craig, sometimes also applied to a steep, woody eminence. In Ireland it takes the form of carraig or carrick; in England it is found in Crick, Cricklade, and so on.
Cave Legend | The Legend of King Arthur