Tintagel Castle

The Ghosts of Tintagel Castle

 

As I stood at the rugged cliff top, surrounded by treacherous rocks, the wind whipping my hair and harsh rain against my face, it was easy to get lost in my surroundings. The history encircles you in such a remote location, the ghosts of the past could be right there with you. Thousands of years of habitation must have left some trace on this incredible landscape. 

Beneath the cliff is a cave, said to have been the home of Merlin, the magician. His ghost apparently haunts the cave to this day, and is the most reported story for the location. 

Many other people believe they have seen the ghost of Arthur. Is this just the spirit of a regular man, or a soldier perhaps? Do people attach the name Arthur to add some significance to the spirit? One lady apparently saw a man on horseback, who again claimed it to be King Arthur. I hate to add doubt to a story, where is the fun in that? But my question would be, if no one knows if King Arthur existed, how can they identify his spirit, unless they mediumship abilities? As well as this, men in costume walk the castle ruins as part of the tourist experience. Could these be mistaken for ghosts of times gone by? 

Either way, Tintagel Castle is a fantastic place, and I certainly believe, whether King Arthur is still there, or Merlin down on the shore below, the chance of it being a haunted location is incredibly high. 

The History of Tintagel Castle

 

Tintagel Castle is the birthplace of the legend of King Arthur. It is said that King Uther Pendragon wooed the beautiful Igraine, wife of his enemy Gorlois, with the help of magician Merlin. According to legend, Arthur was conceived and delivered where the ruins of Tintagel Castle now lie. The stories of King Arthur tell of him consorting with giants amongst other mythological creatures, as well as having super human strength and being blessed with immortality. Are these people's elaborations on a truly magnificent ruler? There were many Arthurs born into royalty in the 6th Century, if any were 'the' Arthur, we may never know.

It is believed that hundreds of buildings have covered this area of land over time. There are remains of a 'Dark Ages' fortress discovered by archaeologists that are visible to visitors today. The Dark Ages was a period in medieval Britain that refers to the fall of the Roman Empire. Historians today tend to believe this area in time spanned from the 5th Century to the 10th, although the term tends to be used less frequently now. In June 1998, Chris Morris was overseeing excavation work being done on the site. Pieces of pottery from the 5th and 6th Centuries were found, as well as glass fragments from the 6th and 7th Centuries. Evidence of settlements existing in the 5th Century and beyond, adds weight to the idea of this being King Arthur's birthplace and home.

A further discovery during the excavations, perhaps more exciting, was the uncovering of a 1,500 year old piece of slate. It bore two latin inscriptions, the second reading

'Artognou, father of a descendant of Coll, has had this made'

There is much debate as to who Artognou was and to what this stone relates. More discussion on this stone, as well as photos, can be found here. 

The ruins we see today are of Tintagel Castle, build by Richard, Earl of Cornwall between 1233 and 1236. It is believed that Richard built the castle in a style quite dated for the time. It is understood that this was his way of trying to impress the locals with a building more ancient looking. It had no real purpose, and over time began to fall into disrepair. Some of the buildings were used as a prison for a time, and the land was otherwise used for grazing sheep.