Tucked away on the corner of southwest England stands remarkable stone cliffs at the sea’s edge. This historical site is Tintagel where myths and poems claim King Arthur was originally conceived at the fortress of a Cornish Duke. Whether he was conceived here or lived here for sometime remains in debate, but there is no question that the midevil castle was in fact built at Tintagel by Richard, Earl of Cornwall a younger sibling of Kinh Henry III. If you visit the region today the crumbling stone barriers and doorways are still visible.
The penninsula-like area is connected to land by a deeply eroded path. Ambitious travelers are enthused by the challenging dirt hike and long flights of wooden stairs that spiral around the cliffs. For the curious traveler, you can tour what is believed to be the inner courtyard of Richard’s castle. There lies a sandy inlet where ships were once loaded with cargo.
Because of the harsh sea weather, a mixture of lime and sand is applied to the walls for protection against the elements. “You can tell the way the weather has been beating at this,” says Robert Tremain site supervisor. “The elements are always there. It’s the natural erosion from the sea and the storms,” he says.
Looking across from the southern cliffs, there is a huge chasm at the coastline, pounded by frothy waves, and buildings on the horizon in the nearby village of Tintagel, where pubs and guest houses line narrow streets. This region’s history is rich to say the least.
Artifacts unearthed in the area suggest it was an outpost on the fringes of the Roman Empire at one time. Pieces of wine jars and other luxury wares from Spain, North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean could mean a king or prince frequented Tintagel.
A wall built from dirt, rock and timber indicates it may have been a stronghold in the Dark Ages.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the area became famous for its slate quarries, which employed local men.
“Generations of visitors, including writers such as Dickens and Tennyson, have traveled to Tintagel to see the place reputed to be a cornerstone of the Arthurian legend. For today’s visitors, its natural splendor may be just as rewarding,” says Daniel Lovering of USA Today.
By, Melissa Vitti