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Please note: due to weather damage, the steps to Tintagel beach are currently out of use. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. The Island, mainland courtyard, café and exhibition are all open as normal.
Finds of pottery, early coins and two Roman inscribed pillars suggest activity on the headland.
Tintagel is a rich and important site, trading with the Mediterranean world. The headland is covered with many small rectangular buildings.
Find out more about the history of Tintagel
The site seems to have been abandoned for over 500 years.
Geoffrey of Monmouth writes his History of the Kings of Britain. His legendary King Arthur is conceived at Tintagel by Uther Pendragon and Igerna, wife of Duke Gorlois of Cornwall.
Learn more about Tintagel in history and legend
Henry III's brother Richard, Earl of Cornwall, begins building himself a castle. He buys the land once the castle is finished.
The castle's great hall is subject to constant erosion, possibly causing a partial collapse. Edward the Black Prince, 1st Duke of Cornwall, reworks the hall into smaller buildings.
Although the castle is little used, legends continue to flourish. Antiquary William Worcestre names Tintagel as the place of Arthur's birth, as well as his conception.
The site is largely deserted, despite a survey recommending that the headland be strengthened against possible foreign landings.
References to King Arthur's Castle become a tangled mixture of local folklore and literary legends.
Archaeologist Ralegh Radford proves through his discovery of pottery fragments that Tintagel was once part of a Dark Age trading network that reached across the Mediterranean world.
A major fire destroys the turf over a wide area.
Excavations on the island's eastern side confirm that the rectangular huts, great ditch and imported pottery date from the 5th and 6th centuries.
Learn more about Tintagel Castle
English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and places - from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to a Cold War bunker. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year. The English Heritage Trust is a charity, no. 1140351, and a company, no. 0744722, registered in England.