|King Arthur's Great Hall of Chivalry|
Glasscock was a wealthy business man who spent a small fortune adapting the Hall as a worthy monument to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table in the spirit of true romance. And it is a fitting monument indeed. It is said Glasscock employed local and Cornish workmen for the construction as far as possible, because of their love for the great King who once ruled over their land.
|Corridor leading to the Great Hall|
It is claimed that over 50 types of Cornish stone were used in the Hall's construction, including slate, granite, greenstone, tourmaline, onyx, elvan and serpentine, brought here from places such as Rough Tor and Castle-an-Dinas on Bodmin Moor and others from the nearer Tintagel Castle.
Everything in the Hall is based on Arthurian Romance. There are 125 shields of granite, set along the full length of the Hall, said to represent the passage from darkness into light. The banners of the Knights are hung around the Hall
Ten paintings by William Hatherell R.I. on the walls depict the principal events in the story of King Arthur. It is suspected that Hatherell died in 1928 before he completed his Arthurian commission for Glasscock. Hatherell depicted scenes from Malory's Morte D'Arthur such as the choosing of Arthur to be King; the gift to him of the great Sword Excalibur; the presentation of the Round Table; the achievement of the Sangreal; and of course, the passing of King Arthur.
|The Great Hall|
‘The Windows of the Knights’ show each Knight of the Round Table illustrated by his unique shield at each window where the Knight’s story is also told in words. The Hall has eighteen windows known as the 'Windows of Virtue', which portray the principal virtues which the Knights of the Round Table agreed to observe. The virtues are graded in quality, starting with the less spiritual ones such as Strength, Perseverance and Obedience, through to the more spiritual such as Purity, Faith and Love.
However, there appears to have been some discord between Glasscock and Whall when he apparently refused to pay the agreed price. This ended up in a court case, the strain of which affected the artist's health.
Glasscock extended his Fellowship to America but he died in 1934 on board the Queen Mary on a voyage to further promote his organisation. Glasscock had been a Freemason and bequeathed the Hall to his local lodge who still use it for meetings.
Stumbling upon this impressive Great Hall by accident made the visit to Tintagel worth it.
Copyright © 2015 Edward Watson
Paul Broadhurst, Tintagel and the Arthurian Mythos, Pendragon Press, 1992.
King Arthur's Great Halls of Chivalry, The Sword in the Stone Ltd. (undated pamphlet)
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