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Coordinates: 50°39′46″N 4°44′59″W / 50.6627°N 4.7498°W / 50.6627; -4.7498

Cornish: Dintagel
Tintagel is located in Cornwall

 Tintagel shown within Cornwall
Population 1,820 (Civil Parish, 2001)
OS grid reference SX057884
Parish Tintagel
Unitary authority Cornwall
Ceremonial county Cornwall
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town TINTAGEL
Postcode district PL34
Dialling code 01840 77
Police Devon and Cornwall
Fire Cornwall
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament North Cornwall
List of places: UK • England • Cornwall

Tintagel (pronounced /tɪnˈtædʒəl/ with the stress on the second syllable; Cornish: Dintagell) (originally Trevena (Cornish: Tre war Venydh) is a village situated on the Atlantic coast of Cornwall, United Kingdom. The population of the parish is 1,820 people, and the area of the parish is 4,885 acres.

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 Old Post Office, a historic building run by The National Trust

Toponymists have had difficulty explaining the origin of 'Tintagel': the probability is that it is Norman French as the Cornish of the 13th century would have lacked the soft 'g' ('i/j' in the earliest forms: see also Tintagel Castle). If it is Cornish then 'Dun' would = Fort (Oliver Padel proposes 'Dun' '-tagell' (narrow place) in his book on place name elements and may be right; there is a possible cognate form in the Channel Islands: Tente d'Agel, but that still leaves the question subject to doubt.[1])

Tintagel, Trevena and Bossiney

The modern-day village of Tintagel was known as Trevena (Cornish: 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 listed Grade I and owned by the National Trust.


In Norman times a small castle was established at Bossiney, probably before the Domesday Survey of 1086; Bossiney and Trevena were established as a borough in 1253 by Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall. In Domesday Book there are certainly two manors in this parish (for a probable third see Trethevy). Bossiney (which included Trevena) was held from the monks of Bodmin by the Earl of Cornwall: there was land for 6 ploughs and 30 acres of pasture (before the Conquest it had been held from the monks by Alfwy). The monks of Bodmin held Treknow themselves: there was land for 8 ploughs and 100 acres of pasture.[2] Tintagel was one of the 17 Antiqua maneria of the Duchy of Cornwall.[3] The parish feast traditionally celebrated at Tintagel was October 19, the feast day of St Denys, patron of the chapel at Trevena (the proper date is October 9 but the feast has moved forward due to the calendar reform of 1752). The market hall and the site of the fair were near the chapel. Some historical resources on Tintagel's history can be found in Vision of Britain

The borough of Bossiney was given the right to send two MPs to Parliament ca. 1552 and continued to do so until 1832 when its status as a borough was abolished. The villages of Trevena and Bossiney were until the early 20th century separated by fields along Bossiney Road.

The Tithe Commissioners' survey was carried out in 1840-41 and recorded the area of the parish as 4,280 acres, of which arable and pasture land was 3,200 acres. The land owned by the largest landowner, Lord Wharncliffe, amounted to 1,814 acres, and there was 125 acres of glebe land. Precise details of the size and tenure of every piece of land are given.[4][5] Sidney Madge did research into the history of the parish and compiled a manuscript Records of Tintagel in 1945.[6]

Population and other historical statistics may be found at "Vision of Britain statistics". Retrieved 2009-03-21. 

Treknow is the largest of the other settlements in the parish, which include Trethevy, Trebarwith, Tregatta and Trenale.

Archaeology and architecture

Remains of Tintagel Castle, legendary birthplace of King Arthur

The Ravenna Cosmography, of around 700, makes reference to Purocoronavis, (almost certainly a corruption of Durocornovium), 'a fort or walled settlement of the Cornovii': the location is unidentified, but Tintagel and Carn Brea have both been suggested. (If this is correct then it would have been on the site of Tintagel Castle.)


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.[7] Finds from the excavations are preserved at the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro. In 1998, excavations discovered the "Arthur stone" which has added to Tintagel's Arthurian lore though historians do not believe the inscription refers to King Arthur himself. Two seasons of excavation work were undertaken in Tintagel churchyard in the early 1990s.[8]


The largest of the Bronze Age barrows is at the highest point in the parish, Condolden, another is at Menadue, and there are a number of others along the cliffs. In the Iron Age there were probably fortifications at Willapark and Barras Head, and inland at Trenale Bury. Two of the Roman milestones found in Cornwall are at Tintagel (the earlier of the two is described under Trethevy): the later one was found in the walls of the churchyard in 1889 and is preserved in the church. The inscription can be read as '[I]mp C G Val Lic Licin' which would refer to the Emperor Licinius (d. 324).[9][10]

There are many other relics of antiquity to be found here such as the so-called King Arthur's Footprint on the Island and a carved rock from Starapark which has been placed outside the Sir James Smith's School at Dark Lane, Camelford. Rodney Castleden has written about these as Bronze Age ritual objects.[11] "King Arthur's Footprint" is a hollow in the rock at the highest point of Tintagel Island's southern side. It is not entirely natural, having been shaped by human hands at some stage.[12] It may have been used for the inauguration of kings or chieftains as the site is known to have a long history stretching back to the Dark Ages. The name is probably a 19th century invention by the Castle guide.

Stone crosses, of which there are two, have both been moved from their original positions: the plainer of the two is described under Bossiney. Aelnat's cross which was found at Trevillet and then moved to Trevena, is finely carved. The inscription can be read as 'Aelnat fecit hanc crucem pro anima sua' (Ælnat made this cross for [the good of] his soul) (the back of the stone has the names of the four evangelists): the name of this man is Saxon (together with Alfwy mentioned in 1086 he is the only Anglo-Saxon recorded in connection with the area).[13][14]

Notable secular buildings

The castle and the Old Post Office are fully described in the separate articles.

Tintagel Primary School was built at Treven in 1914 to replace the old church school and has been extended since. Those who go on to a comprehensive school will be at Sir James Smith's School, Camelford.[15] The Gift House was donated to the village in 1923 by Catherine Johns: it adjoins the Old Post Office.

The Vicarage

The Vicarage was built in the early 17th century and substantial additions were made in the late 18th and mid 19th century. In the grounds is the former Fontevrault Chapel and a columbarium which is one of the best preserved in Cornwall.[16]

King Arthur's Hall

King Arthur's Hall at Trevena is an impressive building of the early 1930s.[17] It was built for Mr F. T. Glasscock as the headquarters of the Fellowship of the Knights of the Round Table, behind Trevena House. A variety of Cornish stones are used in the construction and the 73 stained glass windows illustrating the Arthurian tales are by Veronica Whall; there are several fine paintings also of scenes from the life of King Arthur by William Hatherell.[18]

In 1927, the Order of the Fellowship of the Knights of the Round Table was formed in Britain by Frederick Thomas Glasscock (d. 1934)[19] to promote Christian ideals and Arthurian notions of medieval chivalry.[20] Glasscock was resident at Tintagel (in the house "Eirenicon" which he had built) and responsible for the building of King Arthur's Hall (an extension of Trevena House which had been John Douglas Cook's residence and had been built on the site of the former Town Hall and Market Hall)[21]. The hall is now used as a Masonic Hall, and is home to three Masonic bodies.[22]

Churches and chapels

Tintagel parish church

The Parish Church of St Materiana is Anglican and was built in Norman times (tower late medieval). Nikolaus Pevsner (writing in 1950) is uncertain about the dating and suggests that the Norman work has some Saxon features, while the tower may be 13th or 15th century in date.[23][24][25] It stands on the cliffs between Trevena and Tintagel Castle and is listed Grade I.[26] The first church on the site was probably in the 6th century, founded as a daughter church of Minster: these are the only churches dedicated to the saint though she is usually identified with Madryn, Princess of Gwent.[citation needed] The existing church may be late 11th / early 12th century: the tower is some three centuries later and the most significant change since then was the restoration in 1870 by Piers St Aubyn. Later changes include moving the organ (twice) and a number of new stained glass windows: many of these portray saints, including St Materiana, St George and St Piran. The font is Norman, rather crudely carved in elvan. There are three modern copies of Old Master paintings, and a Roman milestone (described above under Antiquities). The tower has a peal of six bells, ranging in date from 1735 to 1945.

An area of the churchyard was excavated in 1990-91 by the Cornwall Archaeological Unit.[27][28] The parish war memorial stands at the western end of the churchyard and a modern churchyard cross (ca. 1910) near the south entrance.

Select list of Vicars since 1850

  • Richard Byrn Kinsman—1851 - 1894
  • Arthur Grieg Chapman—1894 - 1916
  • Archibald B. Blissard-Barnes—1920 - 1938
  • Arthur C. Canner—1950 - 1976 (also curate 1941 - 1945)

Chapels at Trethevy and Trevena

Robert of Arbrissel on a 19th century fresco in Rennes
The Last Supper by local artist Nicholas St John Rosse

At Trethevy is St Piran's Chapel and there was formerly another Anglican chapel at Treknow. In the Middle Ages there was also a chapel of St Denys at Trevena: the annual fair was therefore celebrated in the week of his feast day (Oct 19th). From 1925 until 2008 part of the Vicarage outbuildings were also in use as a chapel (the Fontevrault Chapel). The name commemorates the abbey in France which held the patronage of Tintagel during the Middle Ages (the commune is now known as Fontevraud-l'Abbaye), founded by Robert of Arbrissel.

Methodist churches

The Methodist Church has chapels at Trevena & Bossiney. Formerly there were more chapels of various Methodist sects (Wesleyans, Bible Christians), for example at Trenale and Trewarmett: the Methodist Cemetery is at Trewarmett. Wesleyan Methodism in Tintagel began in 1807 at Trenale and over the next sixty years gained many adherents though divided among a number of sects (Wesleyan Methodist, Methodist Association, Bible Christian): chapels were built at Trevena in 1838 and Bossiney in 1860. In the 1830s and 1840s the Camelford Wesleyan Methodist circuit, which included Tintagel, underwent a secession by more than half the members to the Wesleyan Methodist Association.[29] The various Methodist churches were united again by the agreements of 1907 and 1932. Mary Toms, a Bible Christian from Tintagel, evangelised parts of the Isle of Wight.

Roman Catholic church

Tintagel has also the Catholic church of St Paul the Apostle which has a thirty-thousand piece mosaic of the saint within its walls. From January 2008 when the church celebrated its 40th anniversary, a modern day version of Leonardo Da Vinci's "Last Supper" by local artist Nicholas St John Rosse has hung above the main altar in the church. It has made international headlines due to its use of modern clothing and local people as the apostles[30]. People from many other countries 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.

Government and politics

For the purposes of local government Tintagel is a civil parish and councillors are elected every four years. The principal local authority in this area is Cornwall Council, but until March 2009 the parish was in the area of North Cornwall District Council. Parish council minutes can be found on Tintagel Web

Geology, scenery and sea bathing

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. Apart from the Island headlands on the coast include Willapark and Start Point.

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 rocks contain various metal ores in small amounts: a few of these were mined in the Victorian period.[31]

St Nectan: a modern icon

Though very near the coast the hill of Condolden (or Kingsdown) is among the very few areas in Cornwall outside Bodmin Moor which exceeds 1000 feet[32]. At Trethevy is the waterfall known as St Nectan's Kieve in a wooded valley. 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 immediately north of the castle. The voluntary life-saving club is based at Trebarwith Strand[33] and also has members from Boscastle, Camelford, etc.


Trebarwith was the scene of the shipwreck of the Sarah Anderson in 1886 (all on board perished)[34], but the most famous of the wrecks happened on December 20, 1893 at Lye Rock when the barque Iota was driven against the cliff. The crew were able to get onto the rock and apart from a youth of 14 were saved by four men (three of these from Tintagel: one of them Charles Hambly received a Vellum testimonial and three medals for bravery afterwards). The story is told in verse in 'Musings on Tintagel and its Heroes' by Joseph Brown, 1897; the youth was buried in Tintagel Churchyard and the grave is marked by a wooden cross (his name is given in the official Italian usage, surname first: Catanese Domenico).[35][36]

National Trust properties

These include the Old Post Office, Trevena (see above) and fine stretches of the cliffs along the coast including Glebe Cliff, Barras Nose and Penhallick Point. The coastal footpaths include part of the South West Coast Path.


The most notable of the hotels is the King Arthur's Castle Hotel (Castle Hotel) which was an enterprise of Sir Robert Harvey and opened in 1899: the architect was Silvanus Trevail. It stands alone on land previously known as Firebeacon and many fine building stones are used in its construction.[37]

At Trevena are the Wharncliffe Hotel, which has now been converted into flats (next to the King Arthur's Hall): the Aelnat Cross (Hiberno-Saxon) stands in the grounds. It is named after the Earl of Wharncliffe who was the largest landowner in the parish until his holdings were sold at the beginning of the 20th century. Opposite the Wharncliffe is the former Tintagel Hotel, once commonly known as Fry's Hotel: this was the terminus for coaches in the days before the railway to Camelford Station and stands on the site of the medieval chapel of St Denys.

Near Dunderhole Point on Glebe Cliff stands a building from the former slate quarry: this has been used as Tintagel Youth Hostel (managed by YHA (England and Wales)) for many years.

Bird and plant life

Cornish chough (P. p. pyrrhocorax) flying in west Cornwall

The birds of the coast are well worth observing: in 1935 an anonymous writer mentions Willapark as the scene of spectacular flocks of seabirds (eight species); inland he describes the crows (including the Cornish chough and the raven) and falcons which frequent the district. 'E.M.S.' contributes: "Within easy reach of Tintagel at least 385 varieties of flowers, 30 kinds of grasses, and 16 of ferns can be found ... a 'happy hunting ground' for botanists" and a list of thirty-nine of the rarest is given.[38] (by the 1950s there were no longer choughs to be seen). This bird is emblematic of Cornwall and is also said to embody the spirit of King Arthur. B. H. Ryves mentions the razorbill as numerous at Tintagel (perhaps the largest colony in the county) and summarises reports from earlier in the century.[39] In 1942 another amateur botanist recorded 262 species of flowering plants at Tintagel.

In 1991 a local bird keeper, Jon Hadwick, published Owl Light about his experiences keeping ten owls and a buzzard.[40][41]

In the early days of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Charles Hambly (also known for saving shipwrecked sailors) was a correspondent for the Society. A hundred years later Harry Sandercock observed that even modern agricultural changes had not reduced the bird populations.[42]

Social and cultural life

Social and sporting activities

The Social Hall established by Mrs Ruth Homan and the Old School in Fore Street have been the chief meeting places during most of the 20th century. Both the Women's Institute and the football and cricket teams are well-supported. Tintagel A.F.C. were champions of Cornwall in 1955/56 and have been in existence over a hundred years; their most notable player was Harry Cann who was goalkeeper for Plymouth Argyle F.C.[43] Until the 1930s there were two golf courses and a few tennis courts: neither golf course reopened in the postwar period.


Three Masonic bodies meet in the King Arthur's Hall, they are (date of founding in brackets)[44]

King Arthur Lodge No. 7134 (13th November 1951)

King Arthur Chapter No. 7134 (8th November 1961)

Tintagel Castle Lodge of Mark Master Masons No. 1800 (23rd April 1999)

Literary associations

Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Thomas Hardy OM

Tintagel is used as a locus for the Arthurian mythos by the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson in the poem Idylls of the King and Algernon Charles Swinburne's Tristram of Lyonesse is one of the versions of the Tristan and Iseult legends where some of the events are set at Tintagel. Another version is Thomas Hardy's The Famous Tragedy of the Queen of Cornwall at Tintagel in Lyonnesse, a one act play which was published in 1923. Hardy and his first wife visited Tintagel on various occasions: she drew a sketch of the inside of the church as it was about 1867[45] R. S. Hawker's poem about the bells of Forrabury refers also to those of Tintagel, but more notable is his one on the Quest for the Sangraal (first published at Exeter in 1864).[46].

The novelist Dinah Maria Craik visited Tintagel in 1883 and published an informative account of her journey through Cornwall the following year. William Howitt's visit is quite different: his account is called 'A day-dream at Tintagel' (in 'Visits to Remarkable Places'). Relatively few works of fiction have Tintagel as a setting: these include Anthony Trollope's short story Malachi's Cove and the Williamsons' epistolary novel Set in Silver, 1909 (by Charles and Alice Williamson). Ernest George Henham was a novelist resident in Devon who used the pseudonym, John Trevena, for many of his books. It is probable that the surname he chose was derived from the original name for Tintagel, though his writings are concerned mainly with Devon.

Tintagel was the venue for the Gorseth of Cornwall in 1964.

Musical associations; location filming

Arnold Bax was inspired to compose his symphonic poem Tintagel after a visit to the village[47]. Edward Elgar also composed while on a visit to Tintagel.

The film Knights of the Round Table[48] had some sequences filmed near Tintagel Castle with local people as extras: this was in 1953 though it was not released until 1954. Some other filming has been carried out in Tintagel, e.g. Malachi's Cove[49] at Trebarwith.

Notable people

The Earls and Dukes of Cornwall (to whom the castle belonged) were never resident at Tintagel though a few of them are known to have visited. From 1552 to 1832 Tintagel was a parliamentary borough (generally known as the Borough of Bossiney) sending two members to the House of Commons. These included Sir Francis Drake, Sir Simon Harcourt and James Stuart-Wortley, 1st Baron Wharncliffe. During the same period there were also mayors of the borough of whom the best known is William Wade (fl. 1756-1786). Contemporaries of Mayor Wade were the Rev. Arthur Wade (vicar 1770-1810) and Charles Chilcott (d. 1815) (known for his gigantic stature)[50][51]. The Rev. R. B. Kinsman (vicar 1851-1894) was also honorary constable of the castle.[52] During the 19th century Tintagel was visited by many notable writers, including Robert Stephen Hawker, Charles Dickens, Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Thomas Hardy. It was also the occasional residence of John Douglas Cook, founder editor of the Saturday Review (d. 1868) who is buried at Tintagel. He bought Trevena House as an occasional residence: it later became the front part of King Arthur's Hall (see above, Archaeology and architecture). Henry George White, the village schoolmaster for many years was also a prolific amateur painter.[53]



  1. ^ Canner (1982), p. 97
  2. ^ Thorn, C. et al. (eds.) (1979) Cornwall. Chichester: Phillimore; entry 4,13
  3. ^ Hatcher, John (1970) Rural Economy and Society in the Duchy of Cornwall 1300-1500. Cambridge University Press ISBN 0521085500
  4. ^ Canner (1982); pp. 74-75
  5. ^ Assessionable Manors Commission. Award for the Manor of Tintagel. 1846
  6. ^ 5 vols.; 1867 pp. British Library 10359.e.1
  7. ^ "Sub-Roman Britain: an introduction". 
  8. ^ Nowakowski (1993)
  9. ^ Canner, A. C. (1982) The Parish of Tintagel. Camelford: A. C. Canner; pp. 2-4
  10. ^ Collingwood, R. G. (1965) The Roman Inscriptions of Britain. I: Inscriptions on stone; no 2231. (Collingwood described it in 1923)
  11. ^ Castleden, Rodney. "Camelot". Retrieved 2009-03-29. 
  12. ^ Ralls-MacLeod, Karen & Robertson, Ian (2003) The Quest for the Celtic Key. Luath Press. ISBN 1-84282-031-1. P. 116.
  13. ^ Canner, A. C. (1982) The Parish of Tintagel. Camelford: A. C. Canner; pp. 8
  14. ^ Langdon, Arthur G. (1896) Old Cornish Crosses. Truro: J. Pollard; pp. 366-368
  15. ^ Dyer (2005); pp. 330-340
  16. ^ "Dovecotes of Devon and Cornwall". Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  17. ^ >"King Arthur's Great Halls". Retrieved 2009-03-19. 
  18. ^ Mee, Arthur (1937) Cornwall. London: Hodder & Stoughton; pp. 280-281
  19. ^ Dyer (2005); pp. 359-377
  20. ^ Dyer, Peter (2005) Tintagel: a portrait of a parish. Cambridge: Cambridge Books ISBN 0 9550097 0 7; p. 364
  21. ^
  22. ^ Cornwall Masonic Yearbook 2009/10
  23. ^ Pevsner, N. (1970) Cornwall, 2nd ed. Penguin Books; p.219
  24. ^ Sedding, Edmund H. (1909) Norman Architecture in Cornwall: a handbook to old ecclesiastical architecture. London: Ward & Co.; pp. 382-388
  25. ^ Cornish Church Guide (1925) Truro: Blackford; p. 203-206
  26. ^
  27. ^ Nowakowski, Jacqueline A.; Thomas, Charles (1990) Excavations at Tintagel Parish Churchyard ... interim report. Truro: Cornwall Archaeological Unit
  28. ^ Nowakowski, Jacqueline A.; Thomas, Charles (1992) Grave News From Tintagel: an Account of a Second Season of Archaeological Excavations at Tintagel Churchyard ... Truro: Cornwall Archaeological Unit
  29. ^ Shaw, Thomas (1967) A History of Cornish Methodism; chap, 5. Truro: Bradford Barton
  30. ^ "National News Item from BBC". 2008-01-06. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  31. ^ Geological Survey and Museum (1948) British Regional Geology: South-west England; by Henry Dewey. 2nd ed. H.M.S.O., pp. 23-28
  32. ^ "Condolden". Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  33. ^ "Surf Life Saving Club". Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  34. ^
  35. ^ Canner, A. C. (1982) The Parish of Tintagel; pp. 87-88
  36. ^ Taylor, William (1930) History of Tintagel; pp. 58-59
  37. ^ "Some Buildings by Trevail". Retrieved 2009-05-15. 
  38. ^ Armstrong, W. J. C. (1935) A Rambler's Guide to Tintagel and Camelford, 2nd ed. [Boscastle: the Author]; pp. 89-95
  39. ^ Ryves, B. H. (1948) Bird Life in Cornwall. London: Collins
  40. ^ Hadwick, Jon (1991) Owl Light: the unique story of a boy and his owl. London: Kyle Kathie ISBN 1856260275
  41. ^ Cornish Guardian. 1991-05-11
  42. ^ Dyer (2005); pp. 195-96, 431
  43. ^ Dyer, Peter (2005) Tintagel: portrait of a parish. Cambridge: Cambridge Books
  44. ^ Cornwall Masonic Yearbook 2009/10
  45. ^ Hardy, Emma (1961) Some Recollections. London: Oxford University Press
  46. ^
  47. ^ Caple, Hilda (1963) Tintagel in fact and fiction: an anthology, 2nd ed. St Ives: S. Canynge Caple
  48. ^
  49. ^ Malachi's Cove aka The Seaweed Children (IMDb)
  50. ^ Hone's Everyday Book
  51. ^ Taylor, William. History of Tintagel
  52. ^ In the hope of raising some money for the family of Edward Budge, the Rev. R. B. Kinsman, the vicar of Tintagel, published, in 1866, a collection of Posthumous Gleanings from Budge's study and from the essays which he had contributed to the Saturday Review.
  53. ^ Dyer (2005)


Overlooking the ruins of Tintagel Castle. Part of the village can be seen in the distance
  • Canner, A. C. (1982) The Parish of Tintagel: some historical notes. Camelford: A. C. Canner.
  • Craik, Dinah Maria (1884) An Unsentimental Journey Through Cornwall. [New ed.] Newmill, Penzance: Patten Press for the Jamieson Library, 1988. ISBN 0950768960
  • Dyer, Peter (2005) Tintagel: a portrait of a parish. Cambridge: Cambridge Books. ISBN 0 9550097 0 7
  • Maclean, John (1879) The Parochial and Family History of the Deanery of Trigg Minor, volume 3. London: Nichols & Son. Includes very useful summaries of the public documents, etc. available at that time and fine illustrations
  • Richards, Mark (1974) Walking the North Cornwall Coastal Footpath. Gloucester: Thornhill Press ISBN 0 904,110 12 5
  • Taylor, William (1930) History of Tintagel; compiled from ancient records and modern writers. Truro: Blackford
  • Thomas, Charles (1993) English Heritage Book of Tintagel: Arthur and archaeology. London: B. T. Batsford.
  • [Various authors] (1989) Cornish Studies; vol. 16. Special issue: Tintagel
    • All seven books are illustrated (only those by Thomas and Dyer include colour illustrations) -- Further reading: see the bibliographies in Thomas (1993) and Dyer (2005) above

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

TINTAGEL, or Trevena, a village in the Launceston parliamentary division of Cornwall, England, on the north coast, 42 m. from Camelford. Pop. (1901), 868. It stands on a bare upland, close to the sea; and below it is Tintagel Haven, or Porth, a small cove surrounded by cliffs of almost black slate. The scanty ruins of a castle are built partly on the mainland, partly on a rugged promontory spoken of as the Island, but united by a narrow peninsula to the shore. They have been celebrated as the birthplace of King Arthur, or as the stronghold of King Mark, in a host of medieval romances, and in the poems of Tennyson and Swinburne. The Norman walls are so darkened and weathered that, from a little distance, they seem a part of the rock itself. Portions of a chapel remain, dating from the 13th century, and including a porch and a stone altar; while beside it are traces of a tomb hewn out of the slate, and of some domestic building which had a staircase and a pointed arch above the door. The cruciform parish church of St Marcelliana stands on a high cliff, west of the castle. Although it has been restored, there remain traces of Saxon workmanship in the chancel, besides two Norman doorways, a font of the same period, a stone altar bearing five crosses and a fine 15th-century brass. In the churchyard the graves are buttressed, storms being frequent and violent on this unprotected coast. For a time the church belonged to Fontevrault Abbey in Normandy; but it was made over by Edward IV. to the collegiate church of Windsor. A 9th-century roodstone stands in the village. Portions of the vicarage date from the 14th century, and in its garden there is a stone dovecote of great age. A little slate is quarried, being taken from the rocks below the church, and exported in the small vessels which can visit Tintagel Haven in calm weather. The magnificence of the coast has inspired more than one famous painting.

Tintagel (Tintajol, Dundagel) is a parish a portion of which appears in the Domesday Survey as Bossiney (Botcinnu). The latter was held in the time of the Confessor by a thegn of St Petrock and at the time of the survey by Robert, count of Mortain, of the same saint. The castle probably existed in pre-Saxon times. Under the Norman earls of Cornwall this was rebuilt, embattled and furnished with munitions of war. Its officers included a constable and a chaplain. It was in a ruinous condition in Leland's time (c. 1540). Queen Elizabeth abolished the office of constable. In the parish of Tintagel is the hamlet of Bossiney which under the name of Tintagel received a charter (undated) from Richard king of the Romans, granting freedom to the borough and to the burgesses freedom from pontage and stallage throughout Cornwall, a market on Wednesdays and a three days' fair at Michaelmas. This charter was confirmed in 1386. In 1333 the burgesses, those who held tenements within the borough, numbered zoo. The borough, which apparently owed its existence to the castle, shared its fortunes. Leland calls attention to the decay of a great number of houses. Its charter was surrendered to Charles II. and a new one obtained from his brother in 1685. Under the latter a mayor, recorder, six common councillors, a coroner, six freemen and a common clerk were to constitute the corporation. For supplying vacancies in it the votes of those only who were members of it were required. Provision was made for the administration of the borough. Bossiney acquired the right of electing two members of parliament in 1553, the franchise being originally vested in the freeholders within the borough. By the middle of the 18th century the franchise had become restricted to the freemen or burgesses. In 1784 the vicar of Tintagel, as mayor and only qualified elector, enjoyed the probably unique privilege of returning two members to the House of Commons. In 1832 there were ten resident legal voters within the borough and nine out-voters. The Reform Act transferred their votes to the county. There is now no market, and the only fair is held on the 21st of October.

See Victoria County History: Cornwall; Sir J. Maclean, History of Trigg Minor.

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