Plan to restore King Arthur’s bridge ‘which never existed’

A controversial plan to restore a crossing at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall – legendary home of King Arthur – has come under fire, with some historians claiming the bridge never existed.

English Heritage this week defended the plans to buildl a £2.5m bridge at the site.

According to Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, Uther Pendragon enlisted Merlin's magical help to cross the span and father King Arthur.

But some historians claim that the 'land bridge' is a fantasy – and that there has been a gap at the site since prehistoric times.

In a letter to The Telegraph, Dr Jeremy Ashbee, Head Properties Curator, English Heritage, said: 'The assertion that the present chasm at Tintagel has existed since prehistory, and the implication that the Cornish royal stronghold and later the medieval castle somehow functioned with such a vast gap in the centre, are impossible.

"Archaeological, architectural and documentary evidence all concur that the site formerly extended into the present gap.

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King Arthur and Tintagel
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King Arthur and Tintagel
United Kingdom, England, Cornwall, Tintagel, Bridge to Tintagel Castle
From Tintagel, Cornwall
Rugged Tintagel with castle remains, Cornwall, landscape at sunset
Ruins of Tintagel castle in North Cornwall coast, England, United Kingdom
The village and nearby Tintagel Castle are associated with the legends surrounding the birth place of King Arthur.
EDITORIAL USE ONLY Matt Ward, English Heritage Property Manager, and Amy Marlow, English Heritage Historic Properties Manager, prepare a bronze sculpture, created by artist Rubin Eynon and inspired by the legend of King Arthur and Tintagel CastleÕs royal past, ahead of its official public unveiling on Friday 29th April in Cornwall.
EDITORIAL USE ONLY A display panel that tells the tale of Prince Dafydd is prepared to go on display alongside a bronze sculpture created by artist Rubin Eynon and inspired by the legend of King Arthur and Tintagel CastleÕs royal past, at its official public unveiling on Friday 29th April in Cornwall.
EMBARGOED TO 0001 MONDAY APRIL 25 EDITORIAL USE ONLY Matt Ward, English Heritage Property Manager, prepares a newly installed stone compass that points to places across the British Isles connected with the Arthurian legend, which will go on display alongside a bronze sculpture created by artist Rubin Eynon and inspired by the legend of King Arthur and Tintagel CastleÕs royal past, at its official public unveiling on Friday 29th April in Cornwall.
** FILE ** Tourists walk through the inner courtyard of Tintagel Castle in southwestern England on Sept. 19, 2006. The rocky headland near the village of Tintagel has become so entwined with the legend of King Arthur that its true history seems almost incidental, despite a collection of rough stone foundations and listing walls that hint at its rich past.(AP Photo/Daniel Lovering) ** zu unserem KORR APD4770 **
Tintagel Castle, Cornwall, England, photo
King Arthur on boat with Merlin going to retrieve the sword - Scanned 1881 Engraving
Illustration of a King Arthur and his Round Table
Sword in Stone, Taunton, King Arthur, Arthurian Legend, legendary British leader, monarch
Tintagel bay near Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, United Kingdom, UK. British west landscape coastline, shore for summer holidays. Cornish summer destination with green rocky cliffs, Atlantic Ocean.
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"It was a great Cornish archaeologist, the late Charles Thomas, who popularised the convincing geological argument that Tintagel has been formed by similar processes to those at the adjacent Barras Nose, which is still connected to the mainland."

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