Tintagel Castle, Tintagel, Cornwall

Tintagel Castle, Tintagel, Cornwall
Photograph taken 2010 © Historic England Archive Photo Library ref: N100380

The Mainland Courtyard and entrance viewed from the island. Tintagel Castle is a medieval castle on the site of a possible Roman outpost and possible Anglo-Saxon century trading settlement. Joined to the mainland by a narrow neck of land, Tintagel Island faces the full force of the Atlantic. Even before Richard, Earl of Cornwall, built his castle here between 1227-33, Tintagel was already associated in legend with the conception of King Arthur. This site is famous mostly because of these Arthurian connections, although these are largely unfounded, deriving from Geoffrey of Monmouth's writings in the 12th century. 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. High-status imported Mediterranean pottery of the 5th and 6th centuries was found, as well as some fragments of fine glass believed to be from 6th or 7th century Málaga in Spain. In the 14th century the Great Hall was reconstructed on a smaller scale. A survey of 1337 records additional detail: two chambers over the gateway, an upper element above the Lower Ward entrance, and a stable for eight horses. A cellar and a bakehouse are also documented. By the late 15th century the castle was noted as being strong but ruinous. This site is now in the care of English Heritage (2011). Find out more.

Location

Cornwall Tintagel

Period

Medieval (Middle Ages) (1066 - 1484)

Tags

castle defence cliff coast king medieval (1066 - 1484) english heritage 2000s (2000 - 2009)