Tintagel Castle: The Vision for a New Bridge

Tintagel is a truly special place. In the early middle ages, Kings of Cornwall feasted lavishly with their subjects There was a medieval castle here; this is the place where according to stories King Arthur was conceived. And where the fated love affair of Tristan and Isolde all took place. Historically Tintagel would have looked completely different to how it does now. There is a natural chasm running through the middle of the site. Those two halves would have been joined by a natural land bridge In the 15th or 16th century, the land bridge collapsed taking the central part of the castle with it. And now it almost looks as if there are two castles facing one another. Access to the site is currently very challenging, with 148 steps from one side to the other. So our solution is a new footbridge at high level, recreating the historic link from the mainland to the island. The concept is very simple, two cantilevers that reach out from each side and touch almost, but not quite, in the middle. The highlight of the crossing is obviously in the centre of the bridge the narrow gap represents the transition between the island and the mainland the present and the past, reality and legend all the things that make Tintagel such a wonderful and compelling place. Achieving a sense of harmony is one of the primary aims of the project we want it to be both timeless but also of its time. The main access route is via the historic gates in the inner walls. At this point the bridge will reveal itself and open up dramatic views of the old castle. The materials for the bridge are simple, durable and appropriate for the context of the site. The bridge will be formed of stainless steel and carbon steel. The bars beneath the deck are extremely fine and delicate and from a distance will disappear, highlighting the main arch structure. People come to Tintagel for lots of different reasons, maybe it’s the buildings that fascinates them, maybe it’s the medieval castle that fascinates them or just the landscape. We hope the new bridge will enhance the visitor experience, enabling more people to visit the site and increase their understanding of this amazing place.

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