Tintagel Castle: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Tintagel Castle.

  • Tintagel Castle is located on the north coast of Cornwall in south-west England. It has been popular with tourists since the mid 19th century and today it is managed by English Heritage.
  • Although the Romans occupied the area, the castle was built in the 13th century. It was the home of the Earls of Cornwall and was built to impress as it had little strategic value.
  • The area has long been associated with King Arthur and some Arthurian legends says that he was born in the castle.
  • King Arthur is also associated with several other sites around the south west. These include St. Michael’s Mount and the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey.
  • King Arthur’s Footprint is a natural depression in the rocks, near Tintagel Castle. However, it has been shaped by humans at some point and may have been used to inaugurate kings.
  • Tintagel was one of the distant outposts of the Roman empire and was probably an important trading centre. Many fragments of Roman pottery have been found here.
  • During the 14th century Tintagel Castle fell into disrepair and it was used as a prison. Defences were strengthened during the Tudor period over worries about a Spanish invasion.
  • In 1998, excavations were carried out near the castle. 5th and 6th century pottery from the Mediterranean was found, as well as a 1,500 year old slate with Latin writing.
  • Nearby Merlin’s Cave has also long been associated with King Arthur. The wizard Merlin supposedly carried the baby Arthur to the cave which fills with water at high tide.

What next? Discover some more facts about famous castles.

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