Tintagel Castle

Located in North Cornwall, England, Tintagel Castle is a medieval castle that has over 1,500 years of history. Tintagel Castle is mostly popular for the Arthurian legends that have shaped the way many people view the castle today. Photo: Photo: Michelle Rhodes/Fotolia

»History

History


Tintagel Castle’s history dates back to the Dark Ages, which are often regarded as 5th century AD to 7th century AD. While not much is known of Tintagel Castel’s history during this time period, it is known that it was an important structure and was most likely the home to Cornwall’s rulers. Archeologists have discovered luxury pottery fragments that were left behind from Mediterranean residents during this time period.

This mysterious time period is what most likely inspired Geoffrey of Monmouth to write History of the Kings of Britain in the 12th century. History of the Kings of Britain details the life and adventures of Merlin and King Arthur. Around the same time Geoffrey wrote his novel, Cornish and Breton writers penned the romance story associated with Tristan and Iseult in the setting of Tintagel.

After reading the legends, Richard, Earl of Cornwall, decided to build his castle in Tintagel. Although the location had no military value, Richard as allured with the legends. The allure of the legends are what kept Tintagel alive after the castle fell.

The castle remained in ruins for a few years until another owner started reconstruction. Little is known of how the castle was used from Richard’s death until 1480. Around 1480, William Worcestre officially named Tintagel the place that King Arthur as born. Many years later, in 1650, the castle was regarded as King Arthur’s Castle.

Fast forward to modern day, when the castle has been renamed Tintagel Castle, and is used as a place where history combines with legends to provide a memorable experience for visitors. Photo: Fulcanelli/Fotolia

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»Attractions

Attractions


There are many things to do at Tintagel Castle that combines the historical significance of Tintagel Castle, as well as the legends that created the initial spark in Tintagel.

Exhibitions is the perfect place to start exploring at Tintagel Castle. Throughout the exhibitions, visitors have the chance to explore and learn about the legends and stories about King Arthur and Merlin that created the initial interest in Tintagel. Once visitors have immersed themselves within the fantasy, they can learn about Tintagel’s rich history. There are various sculptures, literary pieces, models, and art work that depict Tintagel’s history as a legend and historical site.

Outdoor Interpretation takes visitors throughout the outdoor grounds of Tintagel Castle. Visitors follow a stone path that is lined with panels, which reveal stories about Tintagel’s past. Everything from romance and adventure to trading and royal life at Tintagel Castle is revealed throughout the panels. Visitors can even participate in an active scavenger hunt to find Merlin’s face on the rocks on the beach and secret bronze sculptures relevant to King Arthur.

Great Hall and Bridge allows visitors to soak in the architectural beauty of Tintagel Castle, as well as the beauty of the surrounding environment. But, beware. In order to explore the magnificent sight, you have to trek up 148 stairs!

Dark Age Settlement is located near the entrance of Tintagel Castle. This rocky headland is where settlements used to stand during the Dark Ages. Since the Dark Ages, the settlements have been destroyed. But, visitors are encouraged to examine and explore the settlements to gain an insight of what life was like during the 5th and 7th centuries AD. Photo: Wojciech Skora/Fotolia

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»Educational Opportunities

Educational Opportunities

Although Tintagel Castle does not offer a variety of educational opportunities, the one program it does offer is outstanding. Between its allure with the legends of King Arthur, and its dense history, Tintagel Castle acknowledges that it is one of the most interesting and popular castles for school aged children. So, Tintagel Castle provides schools with a phenomenal school tour program. During the program, participants can enjoy a guided tour that will allow them to learn about the legends of King Arthur and the history of the castle in a more in-depth and hands-on experience. The tour blends history and lore to create a truly unique and imaginative experience for all ages.

Castle Rd, Tintagel PL34 0HE, UK, website, Phone: +44-37-03-33-11-81 Photo: vencav /Fotolia

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Tintagel Castle in North Cornwall, England


  • History, Photo: Courtesy of Fulcanelli - Fotolia.com
  • Attractions, Photo: Courtesy of Wojciech Skora - Fotolia.com
  • Educational Opportunities, Photo: Courtesy of vencav - Fotolia.com
  • Cover Photo: Courtesy of Michelle Rhodes - Fotolia.com