Tintagel is the natural centre from which all things in
connection with King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table should radiate.
King Arthur is a worldwide asset and it is fitting that at Tintagel, his birth
place, something should be in existence which acts as the point to which
thoughts of people can turn, and where the necessary inspiration can be
disseminated to enable King Arthur's ideals to be a living force for all time.
To many, Tintagel is a hallowed spot, and the increasing number of people who
visit it each year solely because of its association with this wonderful early
King, testify to a desire to keep his ideals before them. The world would have
been poorer in the past without King Arthur, and something less noble today or
in the future.
Building on the halls commenced in 1929, completed in 1933 and officially opened
at Pentecost the same year. It is possible to show within the building in a
dramatic way, scenes which have been prepared and which refer to the principle
symbolic events in the story of King Arthur, such as the choosing of Arthur to
be King - the gift to him of the great Sword Excalibur - the presentation to him
of the Round Table - the achievement of the Sangreal - the passing of King
Arthur, etc. Thus will the great story live again.
Local and Cornish workmen were employed, as far as possible,
because of their love for the great King who once ruled over their land. The
spirit of craftsmanship was revived so that the building is the result of the
hands of those who have the personal interest that is given to
good workmen. The Halls stand as a central Temple of Chivalry where inspiration
can be obtained by all who are interested in reviving the Ideal of Chivalry.
This alone will enable all the world to live in peace, which should be the
foundation and standard of every civilised land, and yet will not interfere with
the freedom of any person concerning their nationality or race, religion or
creed or political opinion. When the Round Table was made it was said that all
the world, Christian and heathen, could meet at it and that it was for all the
world to repair unto. Thus was forecast the means by which the Kingdom of God on
earth should come to pass and our hope is that this centre may help to bring
about that which is desired by so many.
Everything in these halls is based upon the Arthurian Romances; the
whole of it's symbols are directly associated with King Arthur and the Knights
of the Round Table. (The above details
are taken from the official book 'King Arthur's Great Hall Of Chivalry,
King Arthur's Hall was the brainchild of Frederick Thomas
Glasscock, a retired London businessman, who came to Tintagel early in the
twentieth century and who was captivated by the legend. He had the wealth to
translate his dream into reality and has left us a legacy for all to enjoy.
Frederick Glasscock was a partner in the famous Monk & Glass custard firm
which was based in Clarkenwell, London.
Bird's custard bought the company in
the early part of the century. The company are purported to have invented
'Hundreds & Thousands', today mainly used for cake decorations If any one has
any details, mementoes or any other artefacts of the old company, Monk &
Glass, the directors of King Arthur's Great Halls would be delighted to hear
It is known that Bob Monkhouse, the famous British comedian, was
related to the other partner, Monkhouse.
two hundred million people have visited the Halls since they opened in June
1933. The Hall was a venue in 1995 of the BBC's 'National Lottery Live'
television programme. The producer wanted to shift the Granite Round Table but
it is eight feet in diameter, is in five sections and weighs a
ton, so he dropped this idea!
Glasscock's 'Fellowship Of The Knights Of the Round Table Of King Arthur' was
founded in 1927 and by the early 1930s membership had reached 17,000, although
some newspaper reports put it as high as 250,000.
Glasscock worked hard at the Fellowship
creating Chapters & Cells both in the UK and abroad, establishing branches
in New South Wales, Australia, in Canada and in Boston, Massachusetts. Four
ladies were employed at the Halls processing membership and Glasscock wrote
copious books and articles on the functions of the Fellowship and its different
One year after the Grand Opening of the Halls, Glasscock, with his
wife and secretary, left Tintagel, and travelled to America on a lecture and recruiting
drive. In mid July he left Boston for home on the Cunard liner Scythia but he
died of a heart attack on 26th July 1934, aged 63, and was buried at sea.
The Fellowship was wound up on 21st November 1936, and the Halls were only
viewed by appointment.
The Freemasons of Tintagel purchased the building in 1952
and have looked after the building since that time. It is only since the early
1990s that the Halls have been opened on a full time commercial basis. In 1993,
the Fellowship was revived on a more straightforward basis and details of its
aims and objectives can be obtained from the Halls. At this time there are
about three hundred members worldwide.
Whilst this is only a brief history of these wonderful Halls,
the magical, mysterious feeling you get when you enter the Halls, can only be
experienced by a visit to King Arthur's Great Halls, Tintagel, Cornwall,
The beauty of the marvellous 72 Stained Glass Windows, all created by a lady called Veronica
Whall, the artefacts on show and
the Presentation on King Arthur's life make this one of the highlights of your
visit to Tintagel, if not the highlight of your life!
The Halls are OPEN EVERY DAY of the year except Christmas Day. Winter Opening Times 11am to 3pm