Tintagel (with the stress on the second syllable; Cornish: Dintagell) is a village situated on the Atlantic coast of Cornwall, in England, UK. The village and nearby Tintagel Castle are associated with the legends surrounding King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. The village has, in recent times, become a magnet for tourists and day-trippers.
The modern-day village of Tintagel was known as Trevena (Tre war Venydh) until the Post Office established 'Tintagel' as the name in the mid 19th century (until then Tintagel had always been the name of the headland and of the parish). It was cited originally as a place of origin for King Arthur by the historian Geoffrey of Monmouth. Tintagel is also used as a locus for the Arthurian mythos by the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson in the poem Idylls of the King. The village also features the 'Old Post Office', which dates from the 14th century. It became a post office during the nineteenth century, and is now in the hands of the National Trust.
Major excavations beginning with C. A. Ralegh Radford's work in the 1930s on and around the site of the 12th century castle have revealed that Tintagel headland was the site of a high status Celtic monastery (according to Ralegh Radford) or a princely fortress / trading settlement dating to the 5th and 6th centuries (according to later excavators), in the period immediately following the withdrawal of the Romans from Britain. Finds of Mediterranean oil and wine jars show that Sub-Roman Britain was not the isolated outpost it was previously considered to be, for an extensive trade in high-value goods was taking place at the time with the Mediterranean region . In 1998, excavations discovered the "Arthur stone" which has added to Tintagel's Arthurian lore.
The coastline around Tintagel is significant because it is composed of old Devonian slate; about a mile southwards from Tintagel towards Treknow the coastline was quarried extensively for this hard-wearing roofing surface. Quarries inland at Trebarwith and Trevillet continued to be worked until the mid 20th century. The turquoise green water around this coast is caused by the slate/sand around Tintagel which contains elements of copper: strong sunlight turns the water a light turquoise green colour in warm weather. The beach at Bossiney Haven is close by and Trebarwith Strand, just half an hour's walk south of Tintagel, is one of Cornwall's finer beaches, boasting clear seas, golden sands, and superb surf: there is a small beach at Tintagel Haven.
The Parish Church of St Materiana is Anglican (i.e. Church of England) and was built in Norman times (tower late medieval). It stands on the cliffs between Trevena and Tintagel Castle. Tintagel has also the Catholic Church of St Paul the Apostle which has a thirty thousand piece mosaic within its walls. From January 2008 when the church celebrates its 40th Anniversary, a modern day version of Leonardo Da Vinci's "Last Supper" by local artist Nicholas St John Rosse will hang in the church. It has made national headlines due to its use of modern clothing and local people as the apostles. People worldwide also come to Tintagel to view the names of their babies who have been lost due to miscarriage, stillbirth or other cause. The names are recorded in the Miscarriage & Infant Loss Memorial Book which is kept at the church.
The Methodist Church has chapels at Trevena, Bossiney and Trewarmett.
A Place of Legends - Rumored to Be the Birthplace of a Factual King Arthur, the Windswept Ruins of Tintagel Castle on England's Cornwall Coast Mystify and Intrigue Historians and True Believers in the Arthurian Legend
Nov 01, 2001; The wind is blowing so hard outside my bedroom window that the glass is rattling to the point of shattering in the old wooden...
The Arthur Industry's Holy Grail; the Tintagel Discovery Has Come Just in Time for the Tourism Industry Says Dennis Ellam
Aug 08, 1998; It might look to be nothing more than a broken slab of old slate. But the archaeologists who found it say that they must struggle...