THE VALE OF AVARON
Modern research into myths and legends have suggested to some, that the
Holy Grail idea evolved from the pagan Celtic stories of such magic vessels as the
cauldron of plenty. A vessel that supplied endless food to all comers.
However, it is difficult to believe that King Arthur and his followers
with a background of 150 years of Christianity, would be attached to a pagan cauldron of
plenty myth. But if not, what other reason is there for attaching the Holy Grail stories
specifically to Arthur court?
When we ask this question, one answer would be if a vessel or cup was
known to have been specifically associated with Arthur up to the 12th.century and the
legend regarding it was lost or forgotten due to the Holy Grail taking over Arthur court
from it by the end of the century.
To pursue this theme, we recall how Joseph of Arimathea trusted the
Grail to Bron and then either Bron or Petrus was told to depart to the west to the vales
However, we should not necessarily assume that Avaron was Avallon, the
alleged mythical otherworld to which Arthur was taken after the civil war battle of
Camlann. Instead, the vales of Avaron, could just as easily have been, the vales through
which a River Avon would run.
In this regard, "The Place-names of Roman Britain",
by Rivet and Smith, reveal that the, 'Avon', word generally evolved from the
word, 'Abona'. A British word that simply meant, 'river'. Indicating
that there are eight Rivers Avon, of which two are in Scotland.
Of those in England, these are all in the south west. Whilst of these,
the ones of interest to us are those in the Ravenna Cosmography document that Rivet and
Smith in their PLACE-NAMES OF ROMAN BRITAIN reveal as:-
1). A River Avon that runs from the River Severn through Bristol,
Bath and Bradford on Avon and then north towards Chippenham.
2). A River Avon that runs from the Vale of Pewsey south via Salisbury Plain and Salisbury into the English Channel just east
If the vales of Avaron were those through which a River Avon ran and we
continue to assume this was actually a river in Britain due to the Joseph of Arimathea
connection, then the ideal Avaron or Avon would surely be the one from the Vale of Pewsey in preference to the other.
This is because, just north of the Vale of Pewsey are the 3000 to 4000 year old Avebury Circle and Silbury Hill; the latter,
the highest man made mound in Europe. Whilst south of these and close to this particular
River Avon, is Stonehenge. A place attached to both Merlin and Arthur by the forerunners
of those who compiled the Holy Grail story.
Other than this, within 6 miles of the source of this particular River
Avon and on the edge of the Vale
of Pewsey, a 2nd. century cup was found
in a well at Rudge Coppice, near Froxfield in 1725 and it is the wording on this cup that
must intrigue all Arthurians.