Tintagel Castle (England)
Cornwall See list of castles in Inghilterra
Perhaps the most familiar of all with Arthur related sites. Local tradition, based largely written by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his History of the twelfth century King of Great Britain, claims that this is the birthplace of Arthur, from
The first door in Tintagel Castle. where Merlin led him to be promoted in secret. The dramatic ruins of the castle, dating from the twelfth or thirteenth century, are too late to have anything to do with the real Arthur. However, they are responsible for a good deal of romantic inspiration. The anonymous writer of medieval Folie Tristan said that the castle was built by giants who used to vanish twice a year - in winter and again in mid-summer. Thomas Hardy visited and later drew the castle from memory, restoring its medieval strength. Sir Arnold Bax (1883-1953) composed a wonderful tone poem that evokes the majesty and mystery of the place in 1917; listen is to hear the waves crashing against the rocks below the castle.
A monastic site on the island long before the headland behind the castle dates back more or less contemporary time with Arthur. More recent discoveries, as a result of excavations in 1994, indicate that it could have been a Celtic site of some importance. The most recent thinking suggests that there might be something in the legends surrounding the place.