Thursday, July 12, 2018


Aerial Photo of Cams Hall Estate Golf Course

My identification for Arthur's and Modred's 'Camlann', the Crooked Shore, is The Cams in Hampshire on Portsmouth Harbour.  However, when I first made this discovery, I knew little about the actual geography (see  This blog post is intended to make up for that deficiency.

I found Cams mentioned at this excellent Website:

"Fareham Harbour, formed by a long broad inlet called the Cams..."

'The Cams', as they were called, stretch from Cams Bay in the southeast to Cams Lodges in the northwest.  In other words, the  camas/cemais, 'bend or loop in a river, inlet of sea, bay', was the entire waterway that surrounded the Cams peninsula.  The maximum extent was generally measured as beginning at Cams Bay just on the other side of Wicor Lake and ending at Wallington River.

Nowadays, this inlet is called Fareham Creek, ending in Fareham Lake south and east of Wicor Lake.

Cams Shore is used to describe the entire shore around the peninsula (information courtesy Chris Mallin, Administration and Support Officer, Fareham Borough Council).

The following early Ordnance Survey maps show the various Cams place-names:

NOTE: Having read Charters of Selsey by Susan E. Kelly, British Academy, 1998, I'm convinced that Cymenesora was, indeed, located near the Selsey Bill.  While it is tempting to link this to Camlann (for the reasons I've previously expressed), we can only do so by assuming a gross error in rendering the former English name into the later Welsh name.  I think it is more likely that Camlann, the Crooked Shore, is a reference to The Cams.  Still, it is not impossible that the two place-names somehow became confused with one another in the tradition.   

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