NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia

Lake District

The Lake District, often simply referred to as the “Lakes,” is a beautiful and renowned national park located in the county of Cumbria in the northwestern part of England.

This region has been suggested (by S.G. Wildman) as the birthplace of Arthur or, failing that, the region in which he was raised. The most famous Lakeland legend concerning Arthur is that of the Helm Wind, though local Lake District folklore almost unreservedly claims that Arthur was King in that region.

The Lake District and the Pennines mountains have their own local folklore and legends that include tales of giants, fairies, and other mythical beings.

Lake District | 0 to 1200s AD

Roman Era | 1st to 5th centuries
The Lake District was on the northern fringe of the Roman Empire’s control in Britain. The Romans established roads and fortifications in the region, but it was not heavily Romanized. Roman influence in the Lake District can be seen in archaeological remains, such as forts and roads. The Romans had a presence in places like Ambleside.

Early Medieval Period | 5th to 11th centuries
With the decline of the Roman Empire and the withdrawal of Roman forces from Britain in the early fifth century, the Lake District, like much of Britain, entered a period of significant change. The area saw the influence of various Celtic and later Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and tribes. The precise political and social dynamics of this time are not well-documented.

It is likely that the region was inhabited by Celtic-speaking peoples and that it was gradually Christianized during this period.

Viking Invasions | Late 8th to early 10th centuries
Like many parts of coastal and northern Britain, the Lake District was subject to Viking raids and invasions during the late eighth and early ninth centuries. The Vikings, primarily Norsemen, established settlements in parts of northern England, including Cumbria. They left their mark on the local culture and place names.

Medieval Period | 11th to 13th centuries
By the eleventh century, the Lake District was under English rule, and it was gradually integrated into the feudal system. The area saw the construction of castles and religious establishments, some of which still exist in ruined form today.