King Arthur’s Camelot was in Huddersfield.
That’s the stunning verdict of a new book entitled Pennine Dragon: The Real King Arthur of the North.
Author Simon Keegan, 36, a journalist with the Daily Mirror’s Manchester office, has spent years researching the ancient texts and says he can prove Arthur was from the Lancashire-Yorkshire area.
In fact, he pinpoints the area around Slack, Outlane, as the exact location.
The timing could not be more fitting as 2016 is the 1,500th anniversary of Arthur’s “Waterloo” - the Battle of Badon in which he defeated the Saxons in 516AD and stopped their invasion for a generation.
Keegan has identified him with a historical ruler called Arthwys ap Mar, whose father was King in the York area and whose kingdom stretched from Hadrian’s Wall down to Yorkshire and Lancashire.
Even more tantalisingly, he has suggested that a Roman fort in Huddersfield is the placement of Arthur’s Camelot.
He believes that the old village of Slack, which was home to the structure where Outlane Golf Club and its car park now stand, used to be called Camulod in Roman times.
Talking about King Arthur and his northern origins, Keegan said: “Although the original manuscripts don’t survive, the works of northern bards are perhaps the oldest mentions of Arthur. These men actually lived around the time of Arthur and would place him in the north.
“The earliest surviving reference to King Arthur is a history book by a monk named Nennius who lists 12 of Arthur’s battles with names like Celidon, Dubglas, Agned and Badon.
“They can be located from as far north as Scotland - ‘Celidon’ and ‘Mount Agned’ are Caledonia and Edinburgh - and I identify ‘Dubglas’ with the River Douglas in Wigan.
“Arthur’s most elusive battle however is Mount Badon. Typically it is located as being Bath, but you will read I have found a more likely northern location.”
The historical facts around King Arthur are the subject of much debate by modern historians.
According to Keegan’s research, Arthwys ap Mar’s life spanned exactly the right time period of Arthur’s rule - around 470-540AD and he believes he was well placed to have fought the Angles and other invaders.
He also stated that Merlin was originally a northern British bard named Myrddin and insists it was only later that romantic writers shifted Arthur to Tintagel in Cornwall.
Keegan said: “Nowadays we think of the British ‘Celts’ as being confined to Scotland, Wales and Cornwall but in Arthur’s time the whole country was ‘Celtic’ or British. The invasion of the Saxons, Angles and Jutes had not fully taken hold.
“Arthur was fighting the enemy on the front line - the northern frontier and the east coast. He would have been wasted if he were based in Cornwall.
“Arthur held a position of Dux Bellorum - Duke of Battles - that was always garrisoned in the north.”
Research by Huddersfield and District Archaeological Society insisted there was an active military and civilian settlement at Slack for almost 400 years.
The theory came after more than 30 years of painstaking digging and research by members from the society. Artefacts uncovered during the Archaeological Society’s digs at Slack and the original Roman road challenge the accepted theories of the Romans’ short occupation in the area.
Society spokesman Granville Clay said at the time: “We have found good evidence that the Romans were active at Slack for much longer than anyone previously imagined. This is the result of years of effort by dedicated amateur archaeologists.”
The book is being published by by New Haven Publishing will be published on May 20, price £12.99.