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Guidebook: Tintagel Castle


Product Code: 504993

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Famous across the world for its links with legends of King Arthur and his knights, the craggy headland of Tintagel is, in reality, the setting for over 1,500 years of human habitation.

Since the Middle Ages, landslips have created a deep ravine cutting off the rocky island from the mainland, but in the Early Middle Ages – the fifth to seventh centuries AD – the island and mainland were joined by a narrow isthmus. Early medieval Cornish kings took advantage of the natural geography, digging a ditch to create a defended citadel on the headland. The footings of many of the buildings from this settlement can be seen across the island, and archaeological investigations have revealed fascinating insights into the lives of these early inhabitants.

Medieval writers, perhaps inspired by a memory of this ancient Cornish citadel, used Tintagel as the setting for legends of kings and heroes: the stories of King Arthur and the wizard Merlin, King Mark and the lovers Tristan and Iseult. In the 13th century, probably influenced by these tales, Richard, Earl of Cornwall, built a castle here. Although large sections of it have now collapsed into the sea, the battlemented stone walls, courtyards and ruined buildings from this castle can still be seen across the site.

Despite being largely abandoned since the 15th century, interest in Tintagel has endured. The new bridge, completed in summer 2019, allows visitors once again to approach the island along the line of the now-lost isthmus.

This fully revised guide presents an up-to-date tour and history of Tintagel Castle, reflecting the construction of the new bridge and the results of recent archaeological excavations. With new site photography, new and updated reconstructions, and new maps and plans, the guide tells the story of Tintagel Castle over the last 2,000 years.

Key Features:

  • Third edition guide
  • Paperback
  • Published: September 2019

Size: 190 x 220mm
Author: Colleen E Batey and Nick Holder
ISBN: 978 1 910907 39 9

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Guidebook: Tintagel Castle