Morgan’s Castle

Chastel de Morgain

In trying to dovetail Malory’s evidence with that of the Vulgate, I am forced to conclude that Morgan le Fay had at least two castles. She may well have had even more, here and there about the country.

King Arthur gave Morgan a castle and later regretted his generosity, but he never could win it from her again with any kind of siege engine. She sent her knights out by one, two, and three to overthrow Arthur’s knights and imprison or at least strip them. This castle appears to have been not too far from Camelot, likely to the south toward Cornwall. Were we to make it, say, Ringwood in southwest Southampton, and make Beaulieu, not far from Ringwood, the castle of La Beale Regard, it would be easy to understand why Morgan would usurp La Beale Regard. “Ringwood”, indeed, would not make a bad name for the castle of a sorceress.

According to Vulgate VI, Morgan had a castle near the stronghold of Tauroc, which in turn must have been near Taneborc Castle at the entrance of Norgales. Once Arthur and his companions, lost while hunting in the woods around Tauroc, came to this Welsh castle of Morgan’s. This was late in Arthur’s career, and he was surprised to find his half-sister yet alive – he had presumed her dead, not having heard of her in some years. He found that her castle had silk-covered walls in the courtyard, great splendor and marvelous illumination within, and gold and silver dinner plates which he could not match even at Camelot.

Morgan had once imprisoned Lancelot in this castle, administering to him a curious powder which made him content to remain with her. He had beguild two winters and a summber by painting his life’s history, including scenes of his love for Guenevere, on the walls of his room. Morgan showed Arthur Lancelot’s murals in yet another attempt to convince her brother he was being cuckolded, but he refused to believe it. Aside from this, his visit with her was amicable on both sides, and he invited her to visit court. She replied, however, that she would never return to court until she left her castle to go to Avilion. It sounds as if the castle in the woods near Tauroc was her favorite, and that she had chosen to retire here from the world.