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The Greenman
Tintagel Castle, legendary birthplace of King Arthur.
Photos by Leigh Allan © 2000-2014 All rights reserved, Cornwall England
The Greenman

Cross at St Matriana's Church in Tintagel

The Parish Church of Saint Materiana at Tintagel

St Materiana Church at Tintagel

These photos span the years we've been visiting Tintagel Castle and St Materiana Church on the hill across from it. The first time for me was in 2000. Since then we go there whenever we need a spiritual boost. And it's easy as it's only 40 minutes from our house. You see, we love it so much that in 2003 we moved home and business to Cornwall so we could be near it. It's our magic place - our heart land - as it is for many people. It is yours?

Welcome ~

Tintagel Church door

Tintagel Castle bar

Sword in the Stone on the crown of Tintagel Castle in Cornwall

Tintagel Castle bar

Tintagel Sunset

The sunset veiw from Tintagel

Tintagel Castle

Uther Pendragon, King of England was overcome by desire for the wife of one of his close friends, Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall. To prevent Uther from taking his wife, Gorlois took her to Tintagel Castle a supposedly impregnable Castle off the North Cornish coast. However King Uther sought the help of Merlin who cast a spell that caused a thick fog to descend on the castle and surrounding area, it also gave King Uther the appearance of Gorlois. Thus whilst Uthers men were fighting Gorlois and his men, King Uther slipped away into the the castle.
Tintagel Castle
Tintagel Castle
Ygraine, the wife of Gorlois, thinking her husband had returned took King Uther to her bed and Arthur the future King of England was conceived. In the battle outside Gorlois was killed leaving Uther able to marry Ygraine which he promptly did. Merlin's condition for casting the spell was that he should take charge of the child when he was born, which he did.

ref : Brookesmith P,1991, Legends of the Lost, Blitz Editions, Leicester.
Tintagel Castle

Tintagel Castle bar

Tintagel church tower

Tintagel Castle bar

Merlin's Cave


Tintagel Castle

Is it the place the Romans called Durocornovium? Was it a Celtic Christian monastery? Is it the stronghold of the kings of Cornwall in the Dark Ages? Questions like these just add to the magic and mystery of Tintagel, buffeted by the sea on its windswept island. What is clear is that the present castle was laid out in the thirteenth century and by Tudor times had fallen into the ruins you see now
Tintagel Castle
 

 

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Tintagel Castle
Tintagel Castle
 

 

Tintagel Castle bar

 

 
Tintagel Castle

 

Was it here that Tristan wooed Isolde? Where Merlin magicked Uther Pendragon into the bed of Igerna, wife of King Gorlois, to father Arthur? And when Arthur became king, did he place his foot in "Arthur's Footprint" as part of ancient inauguration rites?

Tintagel Castle

 

 

 

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Tintagel Castle
Tintagel Castle
 

 

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Tintagel Castle
As you walk to the top of the headland, take in the view from Trevose Head in the south, to Hartland Point in the north, and listen to the waves breaking in Merlin's Cave below.
Tintagel Castle
 

 

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Tintagel Castle gulls
Tintagel Castle
 

 

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Tintagel Castle

 

When the conquering Normans reached the westernmost land of England they heard that the ancient seat of Cornwall's kings had stood atop this soaring headland, surrounded on three sides by the ceaseless surge of the Atlantic.

Tintagel Castle
 

 

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Tintagel Castle
Tintagel Castle
 

 

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Tintagel Castle

 

So in propaganda terms it made sense for Earl Richard of Cornwall, younger brother of Henry III, to build a castle on the spot where his legendary predecessors had held court. There was no strategic reason for the choice, as there had been for the other Norman castles in Cornwall, Launceston and Restormel - and Earl Richard rarely stayed there.

Tintagel Castle
 

 

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Tintagel Castle
Tintagel Castle
 

 

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Tintagel Castle
Though Norman realpolitik put Tintagel on its windy headland, it is as a castle of the imagination that it holds us spellbound - a place of 'magic casements, opening on the foam of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.'
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Tintagel Castle
Tintagel Castle
 

 

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Tintagel Castle
In 1139 Geoffrey de Monmouth published his 'History of Britain' and claimed that Tintagel was the birthplace of King Arthur. Although there may have been the remains of the community established by St Juliot in the 6th century, when Reginald, Earl of Cornwall built his stronghold here in 1145 there was no record of Arthur's castle.
Tintagel Castle
 

 

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Tintagel Castle
Reginald, the illegitimate son of Henry I, was responsible for the Great Hall and Chapel. In the middle of the 13th century further buildings were added by Earl Richard, the younger brother of Henry III. The main part of the castle dates from his tenure. In the 14th century, with other Cornish castles, it was passed into the ownership of the Black Prince. He carried out some restoration but after his death the castle fell into decline.
Tintagel Castle
 

 

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Tintagel Castle
Tintagel Castle
 

 

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Tintagel Castle
It was used as a prison at the end of the 14th century but was never used again as a fortress. Today it forms part of the Duchy of Cornwall. Coastal erosion has resulted in the castle being part the mainland and part on a peninsula. The narrow causeway that connected the castle to the mainland in Geoffrey of Monmouth's time has been washed away and access to the castle is now by two steep stairways.
Tintagel Castle in the mist

St Materiana Church at Tintagel

 

Tintagel cross

Tintagel Castle bar

St Materiana church

Tintagel Castle bar

Tintagel Sunset

Tintagel Castle bar

Tintagel fish and chips

Tintagel Castle bar

The Ghosts of Tintagel-click here
click the photo

There are many ghosts in this part of the world.
Look around you. As the sea-light dances and the salt-spray flies, you can believe whatever you wish.

Tintagel Castle bar

Before you go.....

Are you a lover of gothic tales?
Have you heard of the Ghost Orphans of Ravensbreath Castle, which tells the tragic story of nine odd children who perished at sea in the early 1800s not far from Tintagel Castle? It's a tale currently under pen so only a few tidbits are revealed so far.
The ghost children are represented by the effigies they've made in their image.

Ravensbreath - the home of the Ghost Orphans of Ravensbreath Castle

 

To the Tower of London photo album made many years ago

 

EXPERIENCE MAGICAL CORNWALL FOR YOURSELF!
Visit Tintagel Castle and Camelot Castle Hotel which overlooks Tintagel Castle

Camelot Castle on the doorstep and overlooking Tintagel Castle

 

Any questions or comments we'd like to hear from you

We hope you've enjoyed your visit

Contact Us

Photos by Leigh Allan © 2000 - 2014 All rights reserved.
If you'd like to use any of these pictures please just ask.

to Ravensbreath

 

 

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