Gelliwig (Gelli Wic)
Of Gelli Wic or Gelliwig (modern site attributed to Kelliwick), in Cornwall, frequent mention is made in the Triads,
where it is named as one of the three national thrones of the Island of Britain, and one of King Arthur's chief seats of empire,
in which he was used to celebrate the high festivals of Christmas, Easter, and Whitsuntide. At the time of Arthur's
sovereignty, when he was Supreme Ruler (Penrhaith as it is called in Welsh), Bedwin was the chief Bishop, and Caradawc
Vreichvras was the chief Elder, of Gelliwig. It was one of the three
Archbishoprics of Britain.
According to the Triads, when Medrawd, Arthur's wicked nephew, usurped the government of the island
during his uncle's absence, he went to Gelliwig, and dragged Gwenhwyvar from her throne, and left neither meat nor
drink in the court, "not even so much as would fead a fly" but consumed and wasted all. The fatal battle of Camlan
was fought to avenge this insult.
The site of Gelliwig is now a matter of some doubt. Hals places it at Callington (Kellington or Killiwick), as we
learn from the following extract from his MS. quoted by Polwhole in his 'History of Cornwall:-
"I take this to be the same place mentioned by the Welsh poets or bards, and called by them Kellywick,
and Kinge Arthur's palace or court, viz., his court-leet or baylywick. Such in his time undoubtedly it was, as Duke of
Cornwall or Kinge of Britaine for this manor of land with its appurtenances was, by act of Parliament, given to Edward the
Black Prince as parcell of the lands of the ancient kinges or earles of Cornwall, then translated into a dutchy or dukedom."
It may be taken as some confirmation of this opinion with regard to the locality of Gelliwig, that there is a place in
the vicinity of Callington still bearing the appellation of Arthur's Hall. It is on a rocky tor in the parish of North-hill, which
is in the same hundred as Callington, and within a short distance of it. Norden gives the following description of the spot:-"It
is a square Plott, about 60 foote long and about 35 foote broade situate in a playne Mountayne, wrowghte some 3 foote in the
grounde and by reason of the depression of the place there standeth a otarige or poole of water, the place (being) sett round about
with flat stones." Near to the Hall are many rocky basins, called by the common people Arthur's Troughs, and in which,
according to tradition, that monarch used to feed his dogs; for says Gilbert, from whom this account is taken, it is "the custom
in Cornwall to ascribe everything that is great and whose use is unknown to that immortal hero."