For the first time in more than 500 years, the two separated halves of Tintagel Castle will be reunited, thanks to a new footbridge unveiled by the charity English Heritage.
The footbridge opened earlier and allows visitors to walk in the footsteps of the medieval inhabitants of the Cornish castle – inextricably linked with the legend of King Arthur – and enjoy spectacular coastal views not seen since the Middle Ages.
The bridge spans a 190-foot gorge and features a gasp-inducing gap in the middle. This follows the line of the original route – a narrow strip of land, long lost to erosion – between the 13th century gatehouse on the mainland and the courtyard on the jagged headland, or island jutting into the sea.
Tinatgel Castle was built by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, in the mid-thirteenth century, with the land-bridge an integral part of its design. That crossing vanished in the 15th or 16th century but now English Heritage has restored it, replacing the original rock, earth and grass with a footbridge of steel, local Cornish slate, and oak.
“Tintagel Castle has been made whole again,” says Kate Mavor, English Heritage’s Chief Executive. “Once more, people will cross from one side of the castle to the other and their footsteps will echo those from hundreds of years ago. As a charity, English Heritage’s core purpose is to care for historic sites like Tintagel Castle and to inspire people to visit them. Our new Tintagel bridge does both – protecting the castle’s archaeology and bringing its story to life in a brilliant, imaginative way.”
Top Image: Courtesy English Heritage