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King Arthur sleeping in Yorkshire

Richmond in North Yorkshire is best known for its magnificent castle standing in its impressive cliff-top position overlooking the River Swale.

A potter named Thompson is said to have discovered a tunnel entrance at the bottom of this cliff. Following it deep into the hillside, he came to a large cavern where slept King Arthur and his knights around the famous Round Table. On the table lay an ancient horn and a mighty sword. Young Thompson reached out and picked up the horn, but the sleepers began to awake and, fearing for his life, the potter fled. As he raced down the tunnel back to daylight and safety, he heard a voice behind him declare:

Potter Thompson, Potter Thompson!
If thou hadst drawn the sword or blown the horn,
Thou hadst been the luckiest man e'er was born.

The tunnel appears to have been well known, though the cave remains hidden. A second story tells how this subterranean passage is supposed to run from the Castle to nearby Easby Abbey. Some soldiers once sent a drummer-boy along it to test the theory and followed the sound of his drum almost halfway to the Abbey. Then the drumming stopped! The poor boy was never seen alive again - but his ghost is said to haunt the tunnel from where a slow drumbeat is still sometimes heard.


    Nash Ford Publishing 2001. All Rights Reserved.