Tintagel castle and a little of Cornwall

This morning I got to tick another box as I had the opportunity to visit the site of Tintagel castle, as a long term Arthurian fan I really couldn't miss this opportunity, Tintagel is believed to be the place that King Arthur was conceived and born.

"All the British nobles gather including Gorlois with his wife Ygerna "who was the most beautiful woman in Britain" . Upon seeing her, Uther is immediately filled with desire for her. Gorlois notes the flirtatious attention Uther bestows on his wife and leaves the court without permission. Enraged, Uther vows to destroy Gorlois' land until he gets "satisfaction for the way in which he had been insulted" . Hiding away his beautiful wife at Tintagel, Gorlois leaves to battle against his king. Consumed with desire for Ygerna, Uther seeks advice from Merlin. The magician helps Uther by changing him into the likeness of Gorlois. Easily gaining entrance into the castle, Uther goes to Ygerna "and satisfied his desire by making love with her" . Arthur is conceived that night and meanwhile the Duke is killed in a siege of his camp. Uther leaves and learns of the death of Gorlois. He returns to Tintagel and seizes it and Ygerna at the same time. Geoffrey writes, "from that day on they lived together as equals, united by their great love for each other"   Geoffrey of Monmouth , the history of the kings of Britain 

But Tintagel's fame does not lie only with King Arthur but was also believed to be the backdrop for another medieval story telling the tragic romance between the Cornish knight Tristan and the Irish princess Yseult. 

The ruins above sadly date from after the time of Geoffrey of Monmouth's publication of the first ever Arthurian tale, so can not be attributed to Gorlois's   castle.  However they did belong to Richard, earl of Cornwall and were built around 1230AD. The ruins are part of a reception room close to the entrance to the castle.


Above are the remains of a walled garden, inside are slate stones which outline the story of Tristan and Yseult.


These are the ruins of a chapel which also date from Duke  Richards period. However there are several ruins on the site that do date much further back to the Dark Ages around 450AD. It was a long held belief that prior to Richard , Duke of Cornwall there was no "Royal" or substantial residence here however recent excavations (2017) have found evidence of the island being home to an individual of wealth and importance and many artefacts that indicate that the persons living here lived richly and were trading with traders from the Mediterranean with shards of Venetian glass and amphorae being found on the site.


The above sculpture is called "Gallos" which means strength in Cornish, he definitely is an imposing figure on the landscape and stood head and shoulders above myself.  I think he was brilliant and we watched many travellers kneel before him, as to a king , is he mean't to be King Arthur? Well I guess that is for the individual to decide . . . 


Once the island was joined to the land , but now visitors need to cross a bridge and walk up the stairs shown in the above image, I can tell you they are steep and we had to walk up the same amount of stairs on each side of the valley.


I couldn't visit this site without seeing Merlins Cave, as the tide wasn't fully out this meant rolling up my Jeans and taking my sneakers off and risking the cool Cornish sea, 
And it was truely worth it, Merlins cave actually has two entrances and at low tide you can walk straight through.  I couldn't for my first visit . . . But after leaving the site as we were driving to our next place I did some googling And realised that in the cliff face near the castle was a carving of Merlins face, so being the devoted blogger that I am I couldn't leave you guys short so I walked the 1km plus walk back down into the site , whilst Gadget sampled more of the local produce, to get that photo . . . 


Was it worth it ? Darn right it was  . . . However as I walked back up the steep hill to meet with Gadget I was questioning myself a bit  . . . But hey I m in training, right girls ?


So after leaving Tintagel the first time we drove to 

Port Isaac 

 the location site of Doc Martin.  The town, again, is  as you see on the TV a delightful little village with white washed buildings and narrow winding streets.  After having a look around we grabbed an  award winning Cornish pastie and headed off again this time to 

Port William 

There really wasn't a large town here , just a dozen or so houses and a pub.  We grabbed a drink and watched the British enjoy the seaside, the vast majority were dressed in wet suits and there really wasn't much sun but they seemed to be really enjoying themselves, probably the most heart warming thing I have noticed since being over here is that the British, Scottish and Irish take their dogs everywhere.

We had a lovely day and we both really feel that Cornwall was the most beautiful place and enjoyed our short time here but more exciting adventures await us, so we returned to pack up again ready to    head off in the morning.
For all the Poldark fan's sorry we didn't venture far enough south to find any of their locations, but I can tell you that recently a wedding was filmed in Tintagel for the Doc Martin show,
whose wedding ?
Well we don't know but I m sure time will reveal all .


Googy Girl


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