Joyous Gard

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The castle of Joyous Gard is the home of the knight Lancelot as mentioned in Arthurian legend. It has been associated with Bamburgh Castle.

Arthurian legend[edit]

In Arthurian legend, the Joyous Gard is the home of Sir Lancelot, who names it as such when he sets up his household at the castle. Late medieval British author Thomas Malory gives the following details. After Lancelot's adulterous and treasonous affair with Queen Guinevere, Lancelot rescues Guinevere, who is under sentence of death from King Arthur, and brings her to the Joyous Gard. According to the Stanzaic Morte Arthur, Arthur then unsuccessfully besieges Joyous Gard. The castle then reverts to its former name, Dolorous Gard. Later, Guinevere is restored to Arthur at Lancelot's intervention and Lancelot abandons his castle to live in France before becoming a hermit at Glastonbury, where he spends the rest of his days. On Lancelot's death, his body his taken to the Joyous Gard for burial.[1]

Suggested location[edit]

Malory identified the Joyous Gard with Bamburgh Castle,[2] the northern coastal castle known to the Anglo-Saxons as Bebbanburgh.[3] Previously it had been the location of a fort of the Celtic Britons known as Din Guarie.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lacy, Norris J.; Ashe, Geoffrey; Mancoff, Debra N. (14 January 2014). The Arthurian Handbook: Second Edition. Routledge. p. 328. ISBN 9781317777441. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  2. ^ Black, Joseph (2016). "The Broadview Anthology of British Literature: Concise Volume A - Third Edition". Broadview. p. 536. ISBN 978-1554813124.
  3. ^ Nennius. "Historia Brittonum, 8th century". Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Bernaccia (Bryneich / Berneich)". The History Files. Retrieved 18 June 2018.