Tintagel Castle

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Tintagel Castle is a medieval castle in the English town of Tintagel, in northern Cornwall , South West England – United Kingdom, of which today only ruins remain.

Tintagel Castle is a relic of the medieval era, located on a small peninsula of Tintagel Island near the village of the same name. Historians believe that the castle was most likely used during the Romano-Celtic period. There are many hints that it was a high-status settlement and an important trade point between the British Isles and the Mediterranean.

It is believed that Tintagel was the seat of the King of Dumnonia, and after Cornwall became part of the English kingdom, in 1233, Richard, Earl of Cornwall, built a new castle on this site.

Both before and after this reconstruction, the castle has long been associated with the legends of King Arthur. In the book of Galfried of Monmouth, A History of the Kings of Britain, Tintagel is mentioned as the birthplace of a historically controversial monarch.
Hardly any remains of the early medieval complex have survived, as the complex was built over by the high medieval castle. There are other earth walls in front of the castle, the dates of which were not exactly known.

The high medieval castle consisted of a bailey on the mainland and the main castle on the peninsula in front, which is connected to the mainland by a narrow land bridge. The outer bailey was in turn divided into a lower and an upper courtyard on a cliff. The lower courtyard served as an entrance to the castle, while the upper castle courtyard contained various smaller buildings. Access to the main castle also led from the lower courtyard. This access was secured by a ditch that had already been dug in the early Middle Ages, and probably by a high medieval gatehouse, of which, however, no remains have survived due to coastal erosion. Today only a few remains of the wall remain from the castle. Due to its location, the complex was only small, and the walls were narrow compared to other medieval complexes.

The castle became a tourist attraction during the Victorian era, when the legend of King Arthur became fashionable,today it is managed by English Heritage

Access : Coordinates: 50.667974, -4.759928 / Tintagel Castle is located near the village of Tintagel, signposted from the A39.

Highlights :

  • The castle, the ruins of which can be seen today, is later. It was built around 1233 by Richard, Earl of Cornwall – of the Norman Plantagenet dynasty.
  • An artificial depression in the stone at the highest southern point of Tintagel Island is called by the locals the footprint of King Arthur.
  • In the cultural layers of Tintagel, dating back to the VI century. – the era of King Arthur. A stone was found with an inscription in Latin “Father Kol created it, Artugnu, Kolya’s descendant, created it” (Paternus Colus avi ficit, Artognou Coli ficit) . (According to archaeologist Gordon Meyhen, some of the letters are missing, and the original inscription meant “Artugnu erected this stone in memory of his forefather Kolya” ). King Kohl is another semi-mythical leader of Britain, presumably living in the 4th-5th centuries.
  • Tintagel Castle Bridge : Since 2018, a 70m bridge has been built across to the island where the castle ruins stand./ At the bottom there’s a little shop, cafe and public toilet facilities located at the site.

opening hours :For up-to-date opening times and booking information, please visit the Tintagel Castle website./ Entrance fees:Adults: £16.00,Concessions: £14.50 , Children (5-17): £9.60 , Family Ticket (2 adults, 3 children): £41.60

Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities / Discover the beach below the castle / explore the remains of the medieval walled gardens.

Go next : The village of Tintagel / Merlin’s cave : It is believed that a legendary wizard once lived in this sea cave under the Tintagel castle.

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