His heroic tale and other tales linked with Arthur, set in wild Cornish lands around Tintagel are brought to us in stories such as the Knights of the Round Table, Quest for the Holy Grail and the wonderful tale of Tristan and Isolde.
The word Excalibur is taken from the Welsh Caledfwlch, even the words meaning is confused in the different stories. In the early traditional tales of the Arthurian legend by authors such as Geoffrey of Monmouth and Robert Wace, Arthur's sword is call Caliburn which Malory thought meant to cut steel. Sir Thomas Malory wrote that the sword Arthur pulled from the stone was not Excalibur as he had broken his sword in battle and received a new one, from the Lady of the Lake, which was named Excalibur.
The story of the sword in the stone appears in Robert de Boron's French tale about Merlin who created the sword/stone as a test where only the true king and could pull out the sword. Was King Arthur really a fifth/six century leader who defended Britain against the Saxon invader or was he just a imaginary hero of romantic medieval literature.