Dolorous Gard

by Brian Edward Rise

The original name of Lancelot's castle, so called because of a sinister enchantment. The knight captures the castle and breaks the spell. Inside, Lancelot finds his name inscribed upon a tomb and realizes that is to be his home and eventual resting place. He renames the castle Joyous Gard after settling his household but it reverts to its old name after Lancelot breaks with Arthur and brings about the doom of the Round Table. After his death his body is taken there for burial.

The castle is supposedly in northern England. Malory mentions Alnwick and Bamburgh, while the Vulgate Cycle places it near the Humber. Its original name, preserved with various spellings in copies of Nennius, was Din Guayrdi.



  • Lacy, Norris J., ed. (1996). The New Arthurian Encyclopedia. New York: Garland.