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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I Will Get There, Some Day!

Cast from the movie, "The Mists of Avalon" 
Years ago, I read the book The Mists of Avalon, which forever changed my life!  The story is told from Morgan Le Fey's point of view, and it deliciously weaves (historical and fantasy) layers and decades of deception, love triangles, war, all with the underlying battle between Druid and Christian.  

There are few places on earth that can stir my imagination and my fairy-tale, romantic notions more than Tintagel Castle.   Set on the rugged coast of North Cornwall, England, Tintagel is steeped in mystery and legend; with a history dating back to the Roman occupation of England.  

The castle is reported to be the site of the conception of King Arthur; and below the castle lies the great magician's cave of Merlin, which can be accessible at low tide.


"Even before Richard, Earl of Cornwall, built his castle, Tintagel had come to be associated with the conception of King Arthur. 

During the summer months, a story-teller is often on hand to bring the legends of King Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot to life. In the bleak mid-winter, Tintagel is a place that inspires the imagination of writers and poets. It's a place of dreams, romance and legend.

In June 1998, excavations were undertaken under the direction of Professor Chris Morris of the University of Glasgow, on a relatively sheltered and small site on the eastern side of the island, first excavated in the 1930s. 

Pottery from the 5th and 6th centuries was found, as well as some fine glass fragments believed to be from 6th- or 7th-century Málaga. 

Even more remarkable was a 1,500-year-old piece of slate on which remain two Latin inscriptions. The second inscription reads: ‘Artognou, father of a descendant of Coll, has had [this] made.’ Who exactly Artognou was continues to be a subject for lively speculation." 

Tintagel Castle is set on a dramatic and picturesque headland that is virtually an island, connected to the mainland by a slim finger of land. Over the centuries much of Tintagel castle has fallen into the sea and very little remains today."


"Tintagel Castle is famous for its association with the legend of King Arthur, who was said to be born on Tintagel Island where the remains of the 13th century Castle stand today.

With its spectacular location on one of England's most dramatic coastlines, It is an awe-inspiring place to visit and soak up the atmosphere generated by the dramatic views and wonderful legends.

Below the castle on the Castle Beach is Merlin’s cave which is accessible at low tide.

Merlin's Cave
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.

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 color in warm weather.

The Castle was built by Reginald, Earl of Cornwall on Tintagel Head, where according to Cornish legends the ancient Kings of Cornwall held their court. Tintagel castle was built for propaganda purposes and had no real strategic value.

Stained glass window in St Mary's Church, Wales,
containing the image of Geoffrey of Monmouth.
It was claimed by Geoffrey of Monmouth in the 12th century that the castle at Tintagel Head was where King Uther Pendragon seduced Queen Igraine of Cornwall, while her husband, Gorlois, was under siege elsewhere. King Arthur was thus conceived and later writers made the castle his birthplace."

King Uther, Lady Igraine and Corlois


"Tintagel Castle stands on windswept cliffs in North Cornwall on one of England’s most dramatic coastlines. The Castle is believed to be the birthplace of King Arthur who, as legend has it, was protected from the evil magician Merlin by his magical sword, Excalibur. 

Tintagel Castle is an awe-inspiring place to visit and soak up the atmosphere generated by the dramatic views and wonderful legends. Today, the remains of Tintagel castle stand on rugged cliffs high above the sea.

Many claim that Tintagel is one of the most romantic places in the UK, with beautiful walks along the Cornish Coast."  Source: http://www.tintagelcastle.co.uk/