Tintagel Castle

Tintagel, United Kingdom

Tintagel Castle is a medieval fortification located on the peninsula of Tintagel Island adjacent to the village of Tintagel, North Cornwall. The site was possibly occupied in the Romano-British period, as an array of artefacts dating from this period have been found on the peninsula, but as yet no Roman-era structure has been proven to have existed there. It was settled during the early medieval period, when it was probably one of the seasonal residences of the regional king of Dumnonia. A castle was built on the site by Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall in the 13th century, during the High Middle Ages. It later fell into disrepair and ruin.

In the 1930s, excavations revealed significant traces of a much earlier high status settlement, which had trading links with the Mediterranean world during the Late Roman period. Later digs uncovered the outlines of a palace from the 5th or early 6th century (the early medieval period), with evidence of writing and of articles brought in from Spain and from the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea.

The castle has a long association with legends related to King Arthur. This was first recorded in the 12th century when Geoffrey of Monmouth described Tintagel as the place of Arthur's conception in his mythological account of British history, Historia Regum Britanniae. Geoffrey told the story that Arthur's father, King Uther Pendragon, was disguised by Merlin's sorcery to look like Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall, the husband of Igraine, Arthur's mother.

The castle was built on the site by Earl Richard in 1233 to establish a connection with the Arthurian legends that were associated by Geoffrey of Monmouth with the area and because it was seen as the traditional place for Cornish kings.

Tintagel Castle has been a tourist destination since the mid-19th century. Owned by William, Prince of Wales as part of the landholdings of the Duchy of Cornwall, the site is managed by English Heritage.

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Tintagel, United Kingdom
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Founded: 1233
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jon Fox (9 months ago)
I arrived here on a very windy day to find that the castle was closed due to safety, my fault for not checking. However this did not spoil the day at all as you could still check out the visitor center, the cafe and see the amazing scenery. Also an adventure to climb down to the beach and explore the caves and rock pools. I am sure the castle would have been great but certainly didn't disappoint I will just have to come back when the weather is better.
Sue Bacon (9 months ago)
Well worth the journey. Booked online & got 10% off entry to castle. We walked to the castle via the footbridge & back down the steep steps. Wasn't able to access the cove as it was high tide but was able to get down onto the rocks. The views were amazing from the top & we got to see a seal bobbing around in the cove!
Bethan Warner (9 months ago)
Second time here, after visiting about 2 years ago. Always a nice time, especially when we're lucky with the weather again! Beautiful views, feels like you're far from the hustle and bustle of daily life. We paid £18 per adult, and that was buying on the day at the ticket office. Not bad, especially as it's going for a good cause. Good enough information on the history of the ruins and the such. But the sights are just wonderful. For some tips, but I'd imagine everyone knows this if they've researched the place, wear good footwear (good grippy trainers or walking shoes or hiking shoes - nothing with flat slippy soles, flip flops or pumps, you'll struggle or fall over!). And if you're not steady on your feet, there is some really steep uneven steps, long steep walks to and from the Castle and lots of steps. It's not an easy walk round, but it's very enjoyable if you like a bit of activity.
Hollie Gregory (9 months ago)
Cost 20 pounds per adult to enter. It actually cost 18.20 but they ask for a donation to add up to 20. A great place to explore for an entire day. Look into buying the heritage pass before you start touring because that pass gets you in free. (It also gets you into Stonehenge free. Plus lots more) It was very windy. I was glad I had layers to take on and off. The tide was out so we walked down to the beach and looked in the caves and saw the waterfall. Incredibly photogenic. You can pay to get a ride back up to the city street for 2.50 pounds. From the lower visitor center / Cafe and shops. The bathrooms are by the cafe/ shop area.
David Legg (9 months ago)
£18 to cross the bridge and get in? There is not much to see on the castle headland; you can see it quite well from other nearby cliffs. The coast is magnificent. The only thing that spoils it is English Heritage or National Trust who don't even keep the paths and steps in good order.
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