Cornish Winter Break 9: Tintagel 1 – A Bridge to the Distant Past

Beginning my account of Tintagel, the next stage of my account of my Cornish Holiday.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to this latest installment in my account of my Cornish winter break, which is the beginning of a ‘series within a series’ – a number of linked posts about Tintagel, mythical birthplace of King Arthur and an English Heritage site.

THE JOURNEY

To get from southeast Cornwall to Tintagel involves a journey across Bodmin Moor. My sister who was driving took what Satnav considered to be a short cut, which in brute distance terms it was, but that fails to take into account the relative quality of the roads involved. We found a space in the car park in the village (like many other places in Cornwall a former rotten borough), walked to the visitor centre only to find ti closed, and then headed for the castle.

HEADING TO THE CASTLE

The path down to the bridge which takes one into the castle grounds (of which more later) is very steep, and offers nothing to grip on to for support, so I opted for the Land Rover service instead (costs £1.50) as did my mother. The Land Rover drop off point is right at the bridgehead.

A NEW LANDMARK THAT COMBINES ACCESSIBILITY AND FUTURE PROOFING

I consider the new bridge that enables one to enter the castle grounds without descending right the valley floor and then climbing back up the other side to be a landmark in its own right, and as the driver of the Land Rover I travelled in explained, it is vital for another reason – before it was built the site was one major landslide away from being turned into an island, whereas now it will remain accessible for future generations. This is a place that definitely dates back to the 4th century, and maybe earlier (the Arthur connection is that whoever lived here then was rich and influential enough to still be importing stuff from the Mediterranean, Rome’s declining influence notwithstanding), and for it to have been cut off what have been a tragedy.

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The bridge.

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The surface of the bridge.

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Author: Thomas

I am branch secretary of NAS West Norfolk and #actuallyautistic (diagnosed 10 years ago at the comparatively advanced age of 31). I am a keen photographer, so that most of my own posts contain photos. I am a keen cricket fan and often write about that subject. I also focus a lot on politics and on nature.

7 thoughts on “Cornish Winter Break 9: Tintagel 1 – A Bridge to the Distant Past”

  1. The bridge was built for commercial reasons only. The existing steps and lower bridge have been used since the early 70’s with no issue. The bridge needed tons of concrete pumped behind the existing rock facade to accomodate it..how environmentally friendly is that? In addition a geological survey found that due to the make up of the landside rockface, this would probably only last 25 years..if that.
    You state the land rover deposits you at the bridge head? That’s very misleading as you have a 300 yard walk to the bridge from the castle track! Methinks you should have done more research than listen to a driver.

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