Tintagel in Cornwall
The roaring Atlantic crashes on the ragged cliffs...in a centuries-old ritual...
The wind shrieks in a loud whisper...it has many a tale to tell...
This North Cornwall village has seen history unfold and legends conceived.
Legend and Lore
The locals live with them and the visitors want to believe them...
King Arthur and Merlin the Magician
The tale goes that Merlin the Magician conjured King Uther Pendragon to look like Gorlois, duke of Cornwall. This masquerade was to help the king seduce Igerna, the duchess, who was in the Tintagel castle. It was out of this deception that King Arthur was conceived. It is believed the Arthur was raised in this castle, and Merlin the Magician stayed in a cave close by, and helped raise him. This intriguing legend has its roots in Geoffrey of Monmouth's 'History of the Kings of Britain'.
Tristan and Isolde
Tintagel is also the stage for the tragic love-lore of Tristan and Isolde.The two fell deeply in love with each other, though Isolde was betrothed to King Mark - Tristan's uncle. This tragedy cast a dark shadow on their lives and the story ends with their dying in each other's arms, and being buried together, in Tintagel.
Tintagel is a site steeped in history and heritage.
Standing proud in the wild cliffs, braving the elements for centuries, the Tintagel castle is a piece of fascinating heritage. One part of it stands rather perilously on the edge of an eroding precipice. The rest of the castle is spread on the narrow ridge that connects Tintagel with the mainland. History is divided on whether the castle was the childhood home of King Arthur, or whether it was built in the thirteenth century by Richard, Earl of Cornwall. But the mysticism, the mood, and the magic, of the ancient ruins amidst the dramatic landscape, are undeniable.
Below the Tintagel castle, eroded by sea and storms, is an irregular sea-cave - Merlin's cave. At low tide, you can step in and explore it. It has a sandy floor, and goes deep through the rock and even connects to another smaller cave. Legend has it that this cave was a favourite haunt, and maybe even home, of Merlin the Magician. And you'd have to agree. The dark atmosphere in the cave and its mysterious inner walls certainly spell magic!
The Old Post Office
The town of Tintagel is the home of one of the most delightful medieval buildings - The Old Post Office. It is a fourteenth-century Cornish Longhouse, set among an enchanting garden. Some of its oak furniture dates back to more than 400 years. And its topsy-turvy roof adds to its charm. Stepping into it is sure to transport you into a bygone era...