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The Holy Grail - The Wasteland

The Wasteland

   Lundy, Isle of Avalon      Texts         The Holy Grail

Write to the Russian embassies around the world and tell them that what they have done is wrong  -

The Prologue to the 'Conte de Graal' tells how the Realm of Logres was once paradise on earth. 

Throughout the land maidens lived by sacred grottoes, wells & springs 

They served wayfarers and the  realm was at peace.

Then evil King Amangons ravished one of the maidens, held her in captivity, stole her sacred bowl

Thus was the sacred realm of Logres turned into wasteland

The court of the  Fisher King disappears


Read   'The Wasteland' by T.S. Eliot

The Wasteland - by TSEliot


After the defeat of the invading Anglo-Saxons by Arthur at the Battle of Mount Badon the Celtic kingdoms in the west maintained independence and maintained their Romano Celtic traditions for at least another hundred years. But when the Anglo-Saxons finally conquered Devon almost all traces of the existing Celtic society were obliterated, a situation strongly paralleled in the wasteland of the grail legends

The ancient belief in the link between the fertility of the land and the health and vigour of the ruler is echoed in the Wasteland of Grail legend.

" In ChrÚtien the Fisher King is wounded in both thighs, which is thought to be a euphemism for the genitals. In Wolfram's Parzival: there is no euphemism: the Maimed King was pierced through the testicles by a poisoned spear." "In the Suite du Merlin, of c. 1230, it is the lance of the Grail castle which deals what Malory later called 'the dolorous stroke'. The hero Balaain (Balin in Malory) came to the castle of King Pellehan. Attacked by the king and searching hurriedly for a weapon with which to defend himself, he found a lance standing point downwards in a vessel of silver and gold. He snatched up the lance and drove it through Pellehan's thighs. Instantly the walls of the castle collapsed. Outside, Balaain found that the trees had fallen, the crops were destroyed and the inhabitants were all dead. From that time on the land came to be called the Waste Land." - Richard Cavendish, "Grail"," Man, Myth & Magic, An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Supernatural, Vol. 9

In some versions the Wasteland is perpetuated by the failure of the grail-seeker to ask the correct question at the feast in the grail castle.

Lundy was devastated, along with the rest of North Devon, by the Anglo-Saxons in the 7th. C.  The continuity of Christianity on Lundy was destroyed by the Anglo-Saxons;  remembered by the Wasteland of Grail legend.


"All the evidence shows that the westward advance of the Anglo- Saxons was halted, and halted so sharply that it was generations before they again presented a serious threat to the Britons in the west and they never totally succeeded in conquering the west."


The West Saxons did not move into Devon as settlers until the 7th C. 

With his defeat of the Anglo -Saxons at Mount Badon in the early years of the 6th C., Arthur kept the invaders back for a hundred years.  

But when they did move in there is very little evidence of intermingling of the races.


The Wasteland, the laying waste of Devon by the Anglo-Saxons was complete. 


Very few British place -names survive in Devon

the Anglo-Saxon conquest of Devon was so complete that relatively few traces of the Celts can be found there. (several sources make the false claim that there are no legends of Arthur associated with Devon)

'In the downs and coastlands, large estates were many, they were termed -land and were usually named from an individual, sometimes British, or a family.' from 'The Age of Arthur.'

'Large concentrations of freemen defending their own lands.Their -worths are most numerous in Devon,where there are four times as many as in a dozen eastern counties put together.' from 'The Age of Arthur.'

 -worth, -worthy, -warding -'farm'

-cote -'cottage'

-ingtun -'village'

-leah -'clearing'

' These names are most numerous in the lands opened to English settlement in the 7thC.,the Weald of Kent & Sussex, West Mercia, The West Riding and most of all Devon .' 

'West Saxon colonists Devon in large numbers > 7thC.  from 'The Age of Arthur.'

Aethelbald - 743 > Taw (British- Abertaw -- Saxon- Appledore ?) landed > took Clovelly Dykes - Founded eccles, to St. Nectan at Hartland - Wellcombe church > Broadbury > Warbstow Bury (St.Werburgh = Mercian Saint) also Wembury (Hartland). Battle of Camelford at Coppelstone. from trans 1904



Anglo-Saxon conquest of Britain


'The Saxons did not reach Devon until the early years of the seventh  C.'  Hoskins

'big villages are comparatively rare... eg Bradworthy or Hartland.. they look from their shape and size to have been founded by the Saxons as a method of protection in a hostile countryside. example of a Saxon 'open field' at Braunton "Great Field' = 350 acres....the Saxons created small farms out of the great tracts of wood, moor, marsh and heath. In N. and W. Devon the map is covered with farms whose names end in -cott or -worthy.'    Hoskins


  'There was only one town in Devon in Saxon times - Exeter.'   Hoskins

'Early in the tenth century small towns appeared at the head of the estuary of the the year 800, Devon was a Saxon shire.'    Hoskins


related pages

'The Wasteland' by T. S. Eliot

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse



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