A Brief History Of The Tintagel Castle In Cornwall, Britain
Tintagel Castle (known in the Cornish language as ‘Dintagel’), one of the most astonishing historical landmarks in Britain and a must see touristic attraction of Cornwall, has also been often associated with the legendary Camelot fortress stemming from the Arthurian tales since at least the High Middle Ages. Consequently, according to some, the stronghold of the reputed Briton King Arthur might have well been placed on the site of the present day ruins of Tintagel Castle.
In the respect of the longtime association of the fortification with the Arthurian tales, the earliest such mention can be found in ‘Historia Regnum Britanniae‘ (i.e. The History of the Kings of Britain) which was written down during mid 12th century by Welsh cleric Geoffrey of Monmouth.
However, in terms of historical and archaeological accuracy, the modern day ruins of Tintagel are actually those of a fortification built by Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall, second son of King John of England so as to ensure a connection with the Arthurian tales of Geoffrey of Monmouth.
This was also done in the hope of gaining the trust of the local Cornish people, who were suspicious of foreign leadership. It must nevertheless be mentioned that the castle of Earl Richard of Cornwall had no strategic value at the time. The architecture of the stronghold was purposely designed in a more old fashioned way in order to make it look more antique.
There is therefore no concrete proof of King Arthur’s presence at Tintagel nor signs of notable military constructions erected on the territory of the ruins during most notably the Roman period. There have been though discovered a consistent number of artefacts which highlight Tintagel’s economic significance from the 5th to the 7th century as being part of a long trade route which spanned as south as the Mediterranean. The aforementioned facts, nonetheless, don’t stop making the site still attractive for hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.
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