The Battle on the Aelius Bridge
“Whether we live or die today is in God’s hands, but staying by your side is in mine, and stay I will, until I am dead, or relieved.”
– Sir Percival of the Round Table.
In The Return of Sir Percival: Book I – Guinevere’s Prayer, Sir Percival makes the foregoing promise to a severely wounded archer, on the Aelius Bridge, just before they are attacked by Morgana’s forces. This battle has particular significance in the story for both Percival and Guinevere.
The Aelius Bridge was real. It was built by the Romans over the Tyne River, near present day Newcastle. Although the bridge has long since passed into history, and its precise location is unknown, my daughter Morgan and I felt compelled to visit Newcastle, and to travel along the Tyne River, as part of our research.
As I looked out upon the Tyne River from the observation tower at the eastern terminus of Hadrian’s wall (“Walls End”), I envisioned the bridge and the heroic battle that occurred there so long ago, in my Arthurian world. It was a sight to see.
I’d be curious if any local archaeologists in the Newcastle area have any insights regarding where the Aelius Bridge was located. If you do, please let me know in the comment section below, or send a message via my author page on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SAlexanderOKeefe/.