Mythical British kingdom, usually identified by the French with Glastonbury, based on the assumption that gorre is derived from voire--"glass". "Glass" is often associated with Glastonbury through folk etymology.

There are at least three kings of Gorre mentioned in Arthurian literature; first is Uriens, who is actually Urien of Rheged, a northern kingdom. Second is Ba[g]demagus, and finally his son Melegant, who famously abducted Guenevere. The association between Uriens and Gorre is obscure, as Rheged lies far to the north; however, Melegant (and his Welsh counterpart Melwas) was associated with Glastonbury early on, as found in The Life of Gildas (mid 12th century), where Glastonbury is identified as the "Summer Country"1.

1. This name likely only reflects the Anglo-Saxon name of this area "Sumorsæte", now called Somerset, and not the later ideas of Iolo Morgannwg. The name "Somerset" likely means "Summerlands" with the idea that they are the summer grazing lands, as in the winter the marshes would flood and thus be useless.

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Mary Jones © 2006