Tradition preserved the memory of the place of his interment within the abbey, as we are told by Giraldus Cambrensis, who was present when the grave was opened by command of Henry II. about 1150, and saw the bones and sword of the monarch, and a leaden cross let into his tombstone, with the inscription in rude Roman letters, "Here lies buried the famous King Arthur, in the island Avalonia."
Victory being with the invaders, the stones were taken and transported across the seas with the greatest ease with Merlin's help, and placed on Salisbury Plain as a memorial to the dead of Britain fallen in battle. Giraldus Cambrensis, Robert of Gloucester and Leland all give a similar explanation.
We may begin our investigation by inquiring into some of the opinions which were entertained on this subject and ventilated by certain old writers. Between 1154 and 1189 Giraldus Cambrensis, in a work entitled "Topographia Hiberniae," written in Latin, remarks concerning "many birds which are called Bernacae: against nature, nature produces them in a most extraordinary way.
He now entered into a secret engagement with de Cogan, whose force is stated by Giraldus at 500 men-at-arms, and by the Irish annalists as "a great army." With the smaller force he left Dublin, but marching through Meath, was joined at Trim by men from the garrisons de Lacy had planted in East-Meath.
Giraldus therefore follows Gildas, whom he wishes he could copy in his life and manners; becoming an imitator of his wisdom rather than of his eloquence of his mind rather than of his writings of his zeal rather than of his style of his life rather than of his language. SECOND PREFACE to the same
Herodotus tells of the Neuri, who assumed once a year the shape of wolves; Pliny says that one of the family of Antaeus, chosen by lot annually, became a wolf, and so remained for nine years; Giraldus Cambrensis will have it that Irishmen may become wolves; and Nennius asserts point-blank that "the descendants of wolves are still in Ossory;" they retransform themselves into wolves when they bite.
This was the time when Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, accompanied by the learned Giraldus de Barri, afterwards Bishop of Saint David's, preached the Crusade from castle to castle, from town to town; awakened the inmost valleys of his native Cambria with the call to arms for recovery of the Holy Sepulchre; and, while he deprecated the feuds and wars of Christian men against each other, held out to the martial spirit of the age a general object of ambition, and a scene of adventure, where the favour of Heaven, as well as earthy renown, was to reward the successful champions.
Then in the twelfth century testimony to this primitive literature absolutely abounds; one can quote none better than that of Giraldus de Barri, or Giraldus Cambrensis, as he is usually called.
Giraldus Cambrensis, who wrote in the twelfth century, mingles these accounts with myth. Plan of Stonehenge in 1901. On each pair of these rested a horizontal block, but only five now remain in position. The diameter of this outer circle is about 97-1/2 feet, inner measurement.
He never used a fire, and, clothed in a goats' hair garment, was perhaps the first of those Boscoi, or "browsing hermits," who lived literally like the wild animals in the flesh, while they tried to live like angels in the spirit. Some of the stories told of Jacob savour of that vindictiveness which Giraldus Cambrensis, in after years, attributed to the saints in Ireland.