5 Things You Didn’t Know About Tintagel

November 08th, 2021

Everyone has heard of the myths and legends of the great King Arthur, but not everyone knows about his ties to the quaint village of Tintagel on the north coast of Cornwall.

Here, we take a closer look at the King’s connection to this coastal village, as well as some other exciting things you might not know about Tintagel.

1. King Arthur was Born in Tintagel

Bronze statue of Gallos at Tintagel castle

Tintagel Castle, which stands proudly over the North Coast of Cornwall, is said to be the spot where Uther Pendragon seduced the Queen of Cornwall, which then led to the birth of the great King Arthur.

The ruined Norman castle remains there to this day, guarded by Gallos – a life-size bronze statue of an ancient king – making it the perfect attraction for mythical and historical fanatics alike!

2. King Arthur Haunts Tintagel

Other legends claim that Arthur returned to Tintagel following his death. It was believed that the mighty King Arthur met his end during The Battle of Camlann fighting against his illegitimate son, Mordred. Following his death, Arthur’s spirit was said to return to Tintagel and continues to haunt it to this day.

Many locals believe that this battle took place at Slaughterbridge, a small settlement between Tintagel and Camelford. This is also home to the Arthurian Centre, the perfect spot for any legend hunters looking for a great day out!

3. You Can Hear Merlin’s Voice Beneath Tintagel

Merlin’s Cave looking out to the beach

There are two tunnels that run underneath Tintagel Island. The first is a short tunnel made with metal loops that will lead you into a lovely meadow above the cliffs. The second, larger tunnel, however, is known as Merlin’s Cave.

Legends say that Merlin, the immortal sorcerer from the Arthurian myths still walks through these caves, and you can even hear his voice from inside.

4. There Are Ruins of a Celtic Monastery on Tintagel Island

If you’re not a fan of myths and legends, then not to worry! There is also some solid history waiting for you on Tintagel Island. Here, the foundations of a Celtic monastery are thought to date all the way back to the beginning of the 6th century AD.

The monastery ruins can be reached by using the new Tintagel bridge built in 2019. You can follow what was a medieval crossing that once connected the castle and clifftop.

5. Tintagel Post Office is over 600 Years Old

You read that right. The traditional Cornish longhouse that currently runs as the village post office is a medieval building thought to have been built over 600 years ago! The post office was restored and is fitted with locally made oak furniture, some of which was made as long ago as the 16th century.

The Tintagel Old Post Office, along with its lovely cottage garden, are now owned by the National Trust and are open to the public.

If you’ve been enchanted by the magic of Tintagel, or you’re looking for your next historical fix, then there’s no better stop on your Cornish getaway!

If you’re looking to book your next holiday in Cornwall, then why not look at the luxury Cornish cottages we have available all year round.

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Image Credit: Visit Cornwall