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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cornwall, Day 6: Tintagel


With the weather improving, our first trip out in Cornwall was to Tintagel Castle, the legendary birthplace of King Arthur.  The castle is on what is now an island, but was once linked to the mainland.     Notice the insane amounts of stairs involved with visiting the site.      There were also wind warnings the day we were there.     They'd actually had to do tests before they could decide if they were going to open that day.      Apparently it wasn't hurricane force winds out there, but it sure felt like it.

The site probably dates back to Romano-British times, but it's mainly associated with a late medieval castle built by the first Earl of Cornwall (one of the sons of King John).    It's actually a pretty daft place to build a castle (part of the reason it's now in ruins), and they don't really know why he built there.   It's quite likely it was to associate himself with the Arthurian legends and prove his legitimacy to rule.

It is a very impressive site to visit.   (It's English Heritage, so covered by the Overseas Visitor's Pass).     The town itself isn't much to look at.    The Old Post Office is managed by the National Trust, and has some interesting artifacts in it (worth a look if you're a member), and we did stop and have a cream tea at a local pub (which also had wifi, which was good for us, as our cottage did not).

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