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Welcome to Camelot

On Monday I went for a trip to Tintagel, a little village on the north coast of Cornwall. It’s a tiny place, but boasts more car parks than you could believe. Why, I hear you ask?

I parked in the “Sword in the Stone” car park. Does that give you a clue?

It’s supposedly one of the possible locations of King Arthur’s court, he of “Round Table” fame. I’ve been to Tintagel several times, but this time I coughed up the £6.10 to go onto the castle grounds (owned by English Heritage) for the very first time.

Kastel Dintagel (Cornish) or Tintagel Castle (English!) was built by Richard, Earl of Cornwall in 1233. It is said that Richard built his castle on this spot to link him forever to King Arthur, who according to legend was conceived and born here.

The phrase “Earl of Cornwall” is interesting in itself – in 1337 Cornwall was promoted to a Duchy (the first in England), and it now has a Duke (Charles, Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall).

Anyway, enough of this history/myth/legend! Here are some pictures. The cliff-top part of the castle is actually on an island. You wouldn’t believe the number of very steep steps involved crossing over. I got a good workout 🙂

If you click on any of the pictures, you get a little slideshow thing of larger versions.

  1. NotAPunkRocker
    June 25, 2014 at 10:34 am

    What pretty grounds, and the water is gorgeous. I am enjoying your vacation “travelogues” 🙂

    Like

    • June 25, 2014 at 10:39 am

      It was a lovely morning!
      My travelogues will shortly come to an end unfortunately. Back to work next week, and the weather today has changed. Dark grey clouds and the temperature has dropped to the mid-high teens (low-mid 60s Fahrenheit).
      I’m glad you enjoyed my travels though 🙂

      Like

  2. June 25, 2014 at 10:49 am

    I very much enjoyed the tour. Thank you!

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  3. June 25, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Al, You’re giving us a mini tour of Cornwall. Those photos were beautiful. The weather looked just perfect. “King Arthur and His Knights of the Roundtable” was one of my dad’s favorite books. He used to say that King Arthur was a Celtic king. Dad had one English grandfather and two Irish grandparents. One of his grandmothers was Dutch American. The English grandfather met and married the Irish grandmother in the U.S. That was in the mid 1800’s and her family was angry about it. Dad said he was a very nice person, so I doubt she cared. Well done. 🙂 —Susan

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    • June 25, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      Cornwall is Celtic, so that sounds about right for a Celtic king 🙂
      It’s possible the English/Irish marriage anger was a Protestant/Catholic thing?

      It was a perfect day for my visit (maybe a little hot given all the steps I had to climb!).

      Like

    • June 26, 2014 at 11:10 am

      Al, My English grandfather converted so I think it was because of the potato famine in Ireland in the 1840’s. The English landlords were blamed, but what the Irish probably didn’t know was that some of their own officials were partly responsible as well. It was a mess and thousands of people starved to death. In retaliation against the Irish for their unrest over the situaltion, churches were ransacked and records destroyed. Many Irish emigrated. My great grandmother came to the U.S. as a nursemaid for an American sea captain. Her English husband had emigrated to take a job with Horace Greeley in N.Y. City as a lithographer. 🙂 —Susan

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      • June 26, 2014 at 4:14 pm

        Thanks for that, quite a history! The Potato Famine was an awful time, and was used to try to convert people to Protestantism, I believe.

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  4. June 25, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Oh I am putting this on our “what to do in Cornwall” list. I had no idea this place existed!

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    • June 25, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      It’s a definite must-see. Not the easiest place to get to, mind. I missed several turnings and ended up almost hoping for the best 🙂

      Like

  5. June 25, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Wonderful to see your pics of Tintagel. I remember taking my kids up there about 25 years ago. We took a long path up, passing a little, ancient church on the way. It took ages but it was a fantastic adventure & well worth the effort. I took some photos too but they’re in London.
    All the kids wanted to do when we came down was eat & sleep lol. Lovely to see it again, I’m somewhat addicted to all these old myths & legends 🙂

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    • June 25, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      I could see the church off to the left as I walked up to the castle but I didn’t visit (it was very sunny, I hadn’t put on sun screen and I was beginning to worry I was going to burn).
      I like these old myths and legends too!

      Like

  6. June 25, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Well, this explains why Nintendo named the medieval castle in the Dragon Warrior games “Tantagel Castle”… I had ot heard of Tintagel before, so I learned something today!

    Like

    • June 25, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      Always educating, that’s me 🙂

      Like

  7. June 25, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    English Heritage has sure raised its prices! It cost a lot less when I was there in 1979. A lot of stuff was free. You just walked in. Like Glastonbury Tor (Avalon). There wasn’t even a booth to collect a few pence. Climbing the Tor was cool and I waited to cross over to a parallel reality but alas, it never happened. I’m still waiting.

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    • June 25, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      I think all the charities have raised prices recently – with the recession the government pulled a lot of money which they used to get. Worth it though, I thought.
      Sorry the parallel reality thing wasn’t working when you were there, it’s a bit up and down 🙂

      Like

  8. June 27, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing your tour, and it seems you got a good deal for the price. Castle ruins are always fascinating, especially with wondering what lives went on within the halls.

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    • June 28, 2014 at 5:52 am

      There were little placards around explaining where the great hall was, and where the horses were kept. In some spots there was more than one building in the same location over the centuries – in one of the pictures you can see walls within walls where a cottage was built within the ruins of the great hall.

      It was very interesting and worth the money. You could take a picnic and stay all day!

      Like

  9. July 2, 2014 at 4:24 am

    Americans do not have your history. We go back a few hundred. and zilch.
    Thank you for sharing, I am envious.

    Someday I will visit and stand upon stones knowing an ancient warrior stood there.

    Like

    • July 2, 2014 at 6:34 am

      It is quite weird standing there wondering what it was like all bustling with people going about their lives and watching out to sea for invaders.

      Like

  10. July 3, 2014 at 1:34 am

    Absolutely beautiful! What a perfect day for this perfectly lovely scenery!
    You got some fantastic shots my dralifriend!
    ~ Andrea ❤

    Like

    • July 3, 2014 at 7:07 am

      It was beautiful weather most of my holiday so I got out and about quite a bit. Lots of lovely places to see close to home!

      Like

  1. December 14, 2014 at 7:35 am

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