Camelot in Malory's le Morte

   Malory specifically states that Camelot was the English city of Winchester. Arthur's court moves from the original London of Uther to Caerlion in southern Wales to Camelot as Malory's story progresses in the first books. There can only have been political reasons for Malory's selection of Winchester as the site of Camelot, for the site does not seem to fit the very descriptions he uses. Winchester is located on the Itchen, a pretty river but not a long one; and yet it would seem that the river will transport important items from the remote reaches of Arthur's realm to float by beneath the towers of Camelot's fort. The Quest Sword in its floating millstone will float from the waters of the island where Balin and Balan meet their deaths down to Camelot's wharves where Galahad will arrive to achieve it at the beginning of the Quest of the Sangreal and the bier of Elaine the lily maid of Astolat will arrive on the currents to remind Launcelot of her failed love for him.
   The more likely case is one put forward by others, including David Ford, that Malory means the city whose name would translate from the original language into the English name Winchester, that is the Welsh city of Caerwent. Leodegrance of Cameliard gifts Arthur the Table Round which could be the fortress of Caerleon with its great circular Roman amphitheatre and its military barracks still housing a military unit, perhaps similar to the Roman unit of the hundred. Arthur graciously takes the gift but eventually rules from the main city Caerwent, one of the main walled market cities of the region. Since he marries Guenever, he inherits the lands through her.