Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Heath of the Sycamore

This lay near one of Arthur’s court cities, but find nothing in Chrétien’s – or, more accurately, his continuator Godefroi de Leigni’s – surrounding text to tell which one. I should guess Carlisle, since that city, rather than Camelot, seems to be Arthur’s principal seat in the early tales.

Beside the keep (wherever it was) there spread a heath called the most beautiful outside Ireland. Through it a clear stream flowed swiftly over a pebbled bed bright as silver and through a channel of pure gold, running down across the heath and through a valley between two woods. Over the stream grew a great, wide-spreading sycamore planted in the time of Abel. The grass that bordered the area was green throughout the year.

On this lovely field Lancelot fought his last fight with Meliagrant, to the latter’s extinction. Well, it sounds as pretty a place as any in which to die, and quite possibly closer than most of Arthur’s own properties to the otherworld.