Camlet Moat is an English Heritage managed site in what was the Royal Hunting Forest of the Plantagenet Kings at Enfield Chase. Many early medieval moated sites have been recognised in the London area. Camlet Moat is a particularly well-preserved and accessible example of the type. The moat at Camlet has attracted more than usual interest for a number of reasons. Sir Walter Scott mentions it in The Fortunes of Nigel. The name Camlet is said to derive from “Camelot”, with implied Arthurian associations, and the moat is also said by some to be haunted by the ghost of the twelfth century knight Geoffrey de Mandeville. Although Camlet Moat is not signposted within the Country Park where it lies, the site itself can be identified by the wooden perimeter fence, with information boards at the corners nearest the track.
Camlet is the only place actually called ‘Camelot’ that appears on old maps but so far it has been overlooked by those in search of this legendary location.
Hidden in woods on the outskirts of London in Trent Park archaeological digs show it had a massive drawbridge over a moat, walls five and a half feet thick and a dungeon.
It also has apparitions of a Guinevere-like “White Lady” and is regarded locally as a place of visions, healing and inspiration, with some very definite and intriguing connections to the Grail Myths and Arthurian Legends.
Grove member and author Chris Street has written a book about Camlet Moat ‘London’s Camelot and The Secrets of The Grail’
In his book Chris makes the bold claim that the legendary home of the fabled Knights of the Round Table is in Cockfosters, and when it was torn down, stone from the fortress was transported to Hertford.
“The odd synchronicity is that remains of Camelot Manor (or castle) were removed to help build Hertford Castle, so there is a connection of sorts. The stones of Camelot may now be in Hertford.”
Commenting on the town’s legendary links to the Holy Grail and its alleged guardians – the Knights Templar – Chris says “The Grail though is an other-worldly thing, seen only in visions, therefore a personal experiential thing.”
Supporting his theory he writes:
“All the evidence (and there is plenty of it) indicates that a real Camelot once existed at the very centre of Enfield Chase, the Royal Hunting Ground of the Plantagenet Kings. Today it is still there, hidden in woods on the fringe of North London, and known as Camlet Moat.
Archaeological finds suggest a substantial structure with stone walls over five and a half feet thick, a massive drawbridge 38ft long and a subterranean dungeon. Sounds like a castle, doesn’t it? Smaller finds from the Roman period suggest the site is originally of impressive antiquity.”
A senior member of a UK-based mediaeval society, has been reported as saying that transporting stones from one old castle to build another was not uncommon.
“Recycling stone has been done since the ancient world, a lot of the stone from Egypt, like the pyramids, was used to build houses with.
“Derelict castles were no different, stone was very valuable, you have to realise the effort it takes to quarry stone and take it to places.”
Chris Street postulates that not only is this Camelot in London, so is a Round Table associated with it, and Arthur’s Sword-in-the-stone.
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table Michel Gantelet
Chris gives many talks and holds a number of visionary landscape walks and is also the author of the groundbreaking books ‘Earthstars: Geometric Groundplan Underlying London’s Ancient Sacred Sites’ and
LONDON, CITY OF REVELATION, The new large format paperback re-print of ‘EarthStars – The Visionary Landscape’
‘London’s ley lines are not just simple straight alignments. Many of our ancient sacred sites are located in precise and complex geometric patterns on the landscape. When I first began to investigate this phenomenon in the early 1980s, I found a vast and beautiful network of sacred geometry linking many of London’s ancient sacred sites. It covered the whole of Greater London and extended to linkup with other similar places the length and breadth of the land.
Most of the patterns are star-shaped, so the name Earthstars came naturally.
Earthstars can be understood in many ways. As a vast landscape temple.
As a construction of the spirit of the land, or in the case of London, the soul of the city.
As an aspect of the universal and planetary life-force, the web of life, which invisibly connects and binds all things.
As a protective spiritual aura over our Capital and other places where they are found.
Ultimately, I believe the specific geometry of London’s Earthstars (and the sites which define them) form a vast stargate, through which a transformative evolutionary force will affect our planet.
Obviously, this could only happen when certain planetary and stellar alignments occur. What they might be is open to debate.
Astrologers amongst you will know that the galactic centre will be focussed on London from 2012 and will remain there for the next fifty years.
2012 doesn’t just coincide with the London Olympics, it coincides with the Mayan end-time.
So it is perhaps no coincidence that London’s Earthstars geometry also has an association with the biblical City of Revelation which is said to appear in the “end of the world.”
Like St. John’s City of Revelation, this discovery has its roots in visionary experience. It is not something I set out to discover. The discovery came about through a series of dreams, visions, synchronicities and psychic experiences, all of which were guided by a radiant female being who is the anthropomorphic manifestation of the Earth Spirit in these sacred isles of Albion.
Rather than a discovery in the usual sense of the word, I have always regarded it as a release of knowledge from the Spirit of the Earth, herself.’
Chris Street. London. 2009.
Most local historians appear not made the Camelot connection because they seem to have decided that the name was simply inspired by the Arthurian legends. However the facts do not bear that out.
The earliest mention of the Camelot name here dates from 1439, when, ironically, Camelot Manor was demolished. That’s forty years before Mallory’s Morte D’Arthur was printed. Local folklore tells us the name dates back a further three hundred years to the time of William the Conqueror, which is nearly a hundred years before the name Camelot first appeared in Chretien de Troyes Arthurian Romances in 1170.
At least one leading expert on the etymology of local place names is on record as stating that the name Camelot here is “indisputably of Celtic origin.”
That places it over a two thousand years old, at the very least, and more than a thousand years before the medieval chroniclers started writing about any kind of Camelot.
It is therefore likely the name came from the place itself, so this could be a real Camelot, not a mythical one.
Its lengthy connections to Royalty mean it may even been a location used by, or at least known to, a real warrior King of the ancient Britons. Whether it was ever used by King Arthur, is open to debate, but it is certainly a possibility.
The site also has some intriguing associations with the Grail Legends and is as much a place of magic and mystery as the mythical Camelot.
A cross bearing the name of King Arthur was found nearby and a map drawn by a prominent member of an occult “secret society” shows Camelot at this location rather than the more accepted sites, like Tintagel, Cadbury Castle or Camulodunum.
It has a Holy Well, where apparitions of a Guinevere-like “White Lady” or “Grail Maiden” have been reported and it is regarded as a place of healing, vision and inspiration by many visitors.
William Morris Queen Guinevere
The mystical atmosphere here may be fuelled by the fact that it is a crossing point of many ley energy lines and was one of the first sites that triggered the Earthstars discovery – an amazing pattern of sacred geometry linking many of London’s most ancient sacred sites.
As one visitor puts it ‘The atmosphere of the site is haunting and other-wordly and crossing the moat to the island sometimes feels like stepping through a portal to another realm – an inner-world grail castle and an oracular shrine of considerable antiquity.’
According to Chris Street astonishingly, the location of Arthur’s Sword in the Stone also seems to have been in London. Following clues clearly spelled out in the works of Sir Thomas Mallory and little research combined with some obscure knowledge of London’s ancient sites Chris has unearthed some convincing evidence that the stone actually once stood where Mallory said it did and amazingly, it may still exist nearby, built into a wall, and like London’s Camelot, it has largely been unnoticed and ignored for centuries.
Chris’s book is not just about Camelot. It is about a secret mystery-school tradition concealed within the Arthurian Romances. The Arthurian/Grail legends were the Da Vinci Code of their day. They embody a mystery and a living tradition of wisdom and knowledge which is particular to Britain and encoded in the land and its sacred sites. Places like this over-looked and long forgotten Camelot.
How to get there
From M25. Take the Potters bar turn off and head down the A111 towards Cockfosters. At the first junction, turn left up Ferny Hill. As you approach the brow of the hill, you’ll see an 60ft tall Egyptian obelisk in a field on your right. About 100 yards further on there is a right turn into the Hadley Road gate of Trent Park. Find a spot in the car park and then find the path which takes you towards the obelisk. Fifty yards or so down the path, on the right, you will see the fence around Camlet Moat and should be able to locate the entrance gate.
(This involves a good twenty/thirty minute walk from the station). Take the Piccadilly line to Cockfosters. Turn right outside the station and walk past the garage, then the cemetery until you come to the main entrance to Trent Park. Follow the drive to the car park and café. On the right of the park café is a path into the woods. Follow it and where it emergesfrom the woods, continue until you can turn left and walk downhill towards a huge oak tree. At the oak, follow the path around to the right, past the lakes and up the hill on the other side. At the top of the hill you’ll enter more woods and soon there will be a left fork in the path. Take it and walk to the next junction where another path joins from the right. Straight ahead you should see the fence and gate leading into Camelot Moat. Please ignore the information boards. They are not entirely factually correct.