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Bridge over gorge to give access to Tintagel Castle

Bridge over gorge to give access to Tintagel Castle

A knight’s trail: New bridge joins King Arthur’s Tintagel Castle to the mainland for the first time in 400 years as part of £5million redevelopment

  • The bridge is set on the coast of north Cornwall leading to Tintagel Castle 
  • Sleek new bridge is set over a 190ft gorge made from oak and Cornish slate
  • Earl of Cornwall built castle in 13th century inspired by legend of King Arthur 
  • Name comes from Cornish Din Tagell – ‘the Fortress of the Narrow Entrance’

By James Tozer for Daily Mail

Published: 20:20 EDT, 7 August 2019 | Updated: 21:22 EDT, 7 August 2019

The original bridge was said to be so narrow that three knights could have defended Tintagel Castle against an entire kingdom.

But more than four centuries after that bridge collapsed, visitors to the supposed birthplace of the mythical King Arthur can gaze in awe at the views from its ultra-modern replacement.

The sleek new bridge of steel, oak and Cornish slate over a 190ft gorge means tourists are no longer confronted with a demanding trek up and down a steep path.

Tintagel Bridge in north Cornwall will reopen to the public on Friday. The sleek new bridge is set over a 190ft gorge made from oak and Cornish slate and leading to Tintagel Castle

The bridge is part of a £5million redevelopment of the site. Richard, Earl of Cornwall, built a castle on the jagged headland in the 13th century after he was inspired by the legend of King Arthur 

A family day out: Tintagel Castle has been closed since last October and work was not finished in time for the start of the busy school holidays. There was also concern over the impact the new structure would have on the natural landscape

Picturesque: In the 13th century a rock bridge linked one part of the castle on the mainland to the rest and inspired its name, which comes from the Cornish Din Tagell, meaning ‘the Fortress of the Narrow Entrance’

Built as part of a £5million redevelopment of the site, its unveiling today – before it opens to the public – will bring a sigh of relief from local businesses. Tintagel Castle has been closed since last October and work was not finished in time for the start of the busy school holidays. There was also concern over the impact the new structure would have on the natural landscape.

Inspired by the legend of King Arthur, Richard, Earl of Cornwall, built a castle on the jagged headland in the 13th century. A rock bridge linking one part of the castle on the mainland to the rest inspired its name, which comes from the Cornish Din Tagell, meaning ‘the Fortress of the Narrow Entrance’. Medieval scholar Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote that ‘three armed men would be able to defend [it], even if you had the whole kingdom of Britain at your side’.

But the link collapsed in the 15th or 16th centuries. English Heritage chief executive Kate Mavor said: ‘Tintagel has been made whole again. Our new bridge both protects the castle’s archaeology and brings its story to life.’

The original bridge was said to be so narrow that three knights could have defended Tintagel Castle against an entire kingdom

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