Tintagel

TINTAGEL

Tintagel castle is found in the spectacular setting of the dramatic North Cornwall coast. Tintagel has been famous for its King Arthur legend, including the historic castle on the cliffs. For more than 800 years a magical tale has been told that Tintagel was the birthplace of the noble King Arthur. He was protected from evil by Merlin the magician who lived below the castle in a cave.

The Atlantic breakers crash against the cliffs, and through Merlin's cave, as visitors climb the steep but breathtaking path to Tintagel Island. During the summer months, a story-teller is often on hand to bring the legends of King Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot to life. In the bleak mid-winter, Tintagel is a place that inspires the imagination of many and is a place of romance and legend.

HISTORY

After a period as a Roman settlement and military outpost, Tintagel became a trading settlement of Celtic kings of Cornwall during the 5th and 6th centuries. Legend has it that one of these was King Mark, whose nephew Tristan fell in love with Yseult (or Isolde). Their doomed romance is part of Tintagel's story.

The remains of the 13th century castle are breathtaking. Steep stone steps, stout walls and rugged windswept cliff edges encircle the great hall, where Richard, Earl of Cornwall, once feasted.The modern day village of Tintagel was known as Trevena until the 1850s, when it was renamed to promote tourism on the back of the King Arthur and Camelot legends. Strictly speaking, Tintagel is only the name of the headland.

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