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 Friday, 26 July, 2002, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
MP lays claim to Arthurian legend
Valle Crucis Abbey, Llangollen
King Arthur has connections with Llangollen
A battle has broken out between a north Wales politician and his Commons colleagues over the origins of King Arthur.

MP Martyn Jones is claiming King Arthur definitely belongs to his Clwyd South constituency - but fellow Westminster members do not agree.

The dispute was sparked after Hollywood film director Steven Spielberg announced he was planning a TV mini-series based on the medieval legend.

Arthur King of the Britons - BBC documentary
Arthur has long been an inspiration for film-makers

Spielberg's Dreamworks studio has teamed up with American network HBO to adapt the Arthurian legends.

The majority of filming will take place outside Britain but some shots could be made in the UK.

This has led to the six MP's disputing the claim to the Arthurian legend.

Mr Jones claims that Arthur has connections with Llangollen in Denbighshire and not Tintagel in Cornwall or Glastonbury in Somerset.

Cornish origins

"I have read the exaggerated and incorrect stories about Arthur with some interest in recent days.

"Arthur's connections are with the Vale of Llangollen, simple as that," he said.

The MP backs up his claims with the help of a recently published book.

In 'The Key to Avalon: the True Location of Arthur's Kingdom Revealed', authors Steve Blake and Scott Lloyd argue Arthur hailed from north Wales.

They claim his Cornish origins were derived from a mistranslation of Middle Welsh placenames by Geoffrey of Monmouth.

Martyn Jones Clwyd South MP
Martyn Jones says Arthur belongs to Llangollen

The pair also claim a link between the Vale of Llangollen and Arthurs Quest for the Holy Grail.

Spielberg's series, expected to be called Arthur, will be told across eight episodes.

The budget for the series, which is expected to go into production in early 2003, is reported to be about $10m (6.9m) per episode.

The Arthurian tales have long been a source of inspiration for films and television programmes.

One of the most critically-acclaimed adaptations was John Boorman's Excalibur but there have also been musical versions, 1967's Camelot, and the comedy, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

Tourist bosses are keen to see the movie filmed in Denbighshire.

They have already launched a marketing campaign hinged on Arthur's connection with the area.

A spokesman for Llangollen Tourist Association said: "If any part of the series is filmed in Britain, then north Wales has as good a chance as any to be avenue for filming.


More from north east Wales
See also:

07 Jul 02 | Entertainment
26 Jun 02 | Entertainment
10 Sep 01 | Entertainment
16 Apr 00 | Wales
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