King Arthur really did exist and was born near Leeds, according to a British historian who claims to have found evidence that proves legends about the ruler were true.
Arthur was born around 475 AD in his kingdom’s capital, Barwick-in-Elmet, a once sprawling stronghold, he says.
The finding was made by studying a number of historical texts, narrowing down the range of potential figures who fit the descriptions presented.
His theory disputes the folklore tale that Arthur was conceived at Tintagel in Cornwall and challenges academics who believe the king was just a myth.
The claims are made by Adrian Grant after six-years of research critically examining 12 major battles he is believed to have fought in during the Arthurian campaign.
Mr Grant, the latest in a long line of amateur history writers fascinated by Arthurian mythology, set out to write his latest book, Arthur: Legend, Logic and Evidence, after working on a previous volume about Scottish clans.
After hearing of various clans claiming to have links to the legendary leader, the former high school geography teacher decided to look into Arthur’s true lineage.
He set out to prove or disprove Arthur’s existence by studying works by Gildas, Aneurin, Bede, Nennius, Marie de France, Chrétien de Troyes, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Thomas Mallory, works by two anonymous authors, the Welsh Annals and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
He believes Arthur was the son of Masgwid Gloff, a fifth-Century king who ruled over the kingdom of Elmet – a region located in what is now the West Riding of Yorkshire – and his wife Gwenllian V Bryche.
His true name was Arthwys ap Masgwid, or Arthur, son of Masgwid.
Mr Grant came to this conclusion by marrying what historical texts say about Arthur and his roles in the Arthurian campaign, a series of battles in which the legendary figure was the leader.
Speaking to MailOnline, Mr Grant, 70, said: ‘Many people have tried to identify Arthur and have squeezed the facts to fit an individual they have already decided upon.
‘I created the time window in which he had to exist, through researching these historical records, then trawled the family trees available online.
‘This Arthur fits all the criteria. He was born at the right time and he was a junior brother so almost a spare, which means he was free to fight and die well, but wasn’t expected to inherit the throne.’
Today, the village of Barwick-in-Elmet – seven miles east of Leeds city centre – has just under 5,000 residents.
Arthur’s family castle would have stood on or near to Hall Tower Hill, an existing mound and ditch once home to an Iron Age fort.
Mr Grant, added: ‘I think I have uncovered the truth. This study was conducted with a view of separating fact from fiction and history from legend.
‘Previous researchers have approached the matter in a completely different way. They have made assumptions that have turned out to be unwarranted.
‘The thing is you have a limited time scale. The first battle was in 495 AD and the legend says that Arthur was selected at the age of 15.
‘That leaves you with a date between 475 AD and 480 AD as to when he was born.
‘We have a very small window and you have an individual with the right name and that fits all the necessary questions, there is nobody else – so therefore that’s him.’