Bridge is a possible
site for the place where
Excalibur was thrown into the
The monks of
about the 12th century said that Pomparles Bridge, in
or the 'Pont Perilous' or 'Perilous Bridge' as they
believed it was originally called, was the original Lake
Excalibur was thrown by
The derivation of
the name "Pomparles Bridge" is possibly from the French
pont perilleux, or "perilous bridge."
Pomparles Bridge, which is
just outside Glastonbury, once guarded the Southern
approach to this ancient Dark Age town.
In the 5th and
6th Centuries, at the time of
Glastonbury stood on high ground above the marshy waters
of the Somerset Levels before they were largely drained
away in a myriad of rhynes or small ditches.
Wearyall Hill once
formed a lake
that many claim to be the home of the
Lady of the Lake, and Pomparles Bridge
would have spanned its western end. From this bridge,
Sir Bedivere may have thrown the great sword Excalibur
back into the swirling waters after
King Arthur fell at
Battle of Camlann.
This battle was to be Arthur's last, and the wounded
king was then borne across the waters to the
Avalon, which may have been
Glastonbury Tor, and perhaps buried in
the grounds of
Pomparles Bridge crosses
the River Brue just south of the town of
"A mile before [the river Brue] reaches
Glastonbury, it comes to a bridge of four
stone arches, which is known as Pontperlus,
and it was here, according to legend, that
King Arthur cast his sword into it."
to to John Leland's Itinerary.
Before the draining of the region, the Pomparles Bridge
area used to be underwater. Today the Pomparles Bridge
only spans a small river.
Somerset Levels were
covered with water,
Glastonbury Tor was an island.
Many consider this to be
the Isle of Avalon to
was taken to treat his mortal wounds from the
Battle at Camlann.
It is not surprising therefore that there is an
concerning Pomparles Bridge.
Bride’s Mound is located
in an area known as Beckery. A papal charter of 1168
refers to Beckery as the one of the 7 islands in the
Abbey's estate - Avalon, Beckery, Marchey, Godney, Meare,
Panborough & Nyland. The name Beckery is said to perhaps
come from bheachaire ay meaning ‘Beekeeper's Island’.
Bride’s Mound was once surrounded by the tidal waters of
the River Brue, which could be crossed at Pomparles
Bridge, known as the Pons Perilous in the Grail legends.
Pomparles Bridge is also reputed to be the site where
King Arthur's knight threw away Excalibur.