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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.