Winchester Round Table

Winchester is in Hampshire, and this version of King Arthur's Round Table is in the Winchester Great Hall, near the cathedral. The table is 18 feet across, and it would have originally had twelve legs and seats for 25 people, that is 24 knights and one king.

The Winchester table is thought to have been constructed during the reign of Edward I, perhaps to celebrate a Round Table festival, though it was not painted at this time. During the Middle Ages it had become fashionable for nobility to hold festive events known as "Round Tables," where the court would engage in feasting, dancing, and jousting while dressing up as Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

"At Venta Symeno alias Winchester in ye castle most famously knowne, standeth fixed ye table at the walle side of ye kinges Hal, which (for ye majesty of Arthure) they cal ye round table"--The Assertion of King Arthur by John Leland, 1544.

Caxton also mentions the Winchester Table in his preface to Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur, and he seems to regard it as authentic

The Winchester round table was not painted until the time of Henry VIII, when it was decorated for the visit of emperor Charles V. It now has the appearance of a dart board, and it was used for target practice by Cromwellian his troops in 1645. The holes were filled and the Winchester round table was repainted in 1789.

Southern England Arthurian Sites