Jane B (knally) wrote,
Jane B

North to Tintagel

Tuesday I travelled in the opposite direction up to the north coast and visited Tintagel, of King Arthur fame. It was another sunny day, but with some cloud, and a lot more wind, particularly when you get out on the castle site. There's a lot of earthworks there at the moment - not archaeological but a water treatment system. They're hoping to get it finished for Easter, which will be the start of the holiday season, but it doesn't stop you getting down there. The tide was out so it was possible to get into the caves on the beach, where the sea comes in at high tide.

Bridge to Castle Bridge to Castle
This is taken from inside the cave at the far end of the beach, and shows the stairs that lead up to the foot bridge, that leads up even more stairs which lead up to the castle.
At the other end of the beach is Merlin's Cave, which leads under the island. Here is a shot looking back along the beach and one into the cave. Since the tide was out you could see through to the other side in both caves, but I couldn't really get any good shots because of the contrast between light and dark.
Beach from Merlin's Cave Merlin's Cave
On Tintagel Island
This picture looks down on the beach and gives you some idea how high the island is.
And as you go even higher you get this view of both sides of the castle. On the shore side is the gatehouse and main courtyard (with yet more stairs to get there!). There used to be more land remaining between the two sections, but it's fallen into the sea over the centuries. (I keep calling it an island, but it is a peninsula, although with all the erosion it will eventually become an island) The castle is in a perfect defensive position, it could be provisioned from the sea and it even has a freshwater well, but it was only built as a sign of prestige by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, the song of King John. Still it seems possible that it would have been used as a stronghold in earlier times. Tintagel Castle
Post Office The rear of the Old Post Office

I walked into the village and visited the Old Post Office, a National Trust property, which is an old 14th century manor house. I had visited it years ago, and only popped in since I had a National Trust membership, so it was free. But I'm glad I did, since it was a fascinating building. The internal decorations and furniture were from various periods, which gave a great impression of somewhere that had been lived in, and where the inhabitants used what was still useful from previous generations. But the real highlight for me was the selection of embroidery samplers. Some were excellent quality (often from the youngest stitchers) and there was a sampler in red which looked in the style of the Bristol Orphan Houses. The best one was from the early 19th century and had a sailing ship with gleaming sails - not sure if it was stitched in silk, but the effect was the same.

Tags: travel

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