King Arthur’s Round Table
Eamont Bridge is a small village immediately to the south of Penrith, Cumbria, England. The village is named after the bridge over the River Eamont and straddles the boundary between the ancient counties of Cumberland and Westmorland. The Grade I listed bridge crosses the old county boundary between Cumberland and Westmorland and is one of the oldest bridges in the country still in daily use. It probably dates from the 15th century but was widened in the 19th and 20th centuries.
There are two ancient sites in the village, namely the earthwork known as King Arthur’s Round Table and the much better preserved Mayburgh Henge which is situated between the rivers Lowther and Eamont. Mayburgh henge was built using stones from one or both rivers. The situation between rivers was probably important when it was built 3000 or 4000 years ago, and was also thus protected from invasion. Both sites are under the protection of Historic England.
There was another henge close to King Arthur’s Round Table, now obliterated. A cup was reputed to have been found at the centre of the King Arthur’s Round Table Henge. The gateway from Mayburgh Henge points in the direction of King Arthur’s Round Table, which was probably a convenient meeting place for millennia. There are several more henges in the area, with at least two towards the north east, towards Brougham, visible. There is a splendid example of vernacular architecture in the centre of the village.
The southern or Westmorland half of the village lies within the civil parish of Yanwath and Eamont Bridge whereas the northern part (Skirsgill Lane and Kemplay Bank) is within the civil parish of Penrith. For other local government matters Eamont Bridge lies within the Eden District wards of Eamont, Penrith South and Penrith Pategill and the Cumbria county council electoral divisions of Penrith Rural, Penrith West and Penrith East.
A nearby cave called Giant’s Cave is associated with several legends. It is variously said to have been the home of a giant named Isir, or an evil knight named Tarquin, who imprisoned 64 men in the cave, or Uther Pendragon.