Tintagel Castle Footbridge / Ney & Partners + William Matthews Associates

Tintagel Castle Footbridge / Ney & Partners + William Matthews Associates

Tintagel Castle Footbridge / Ney & Partners + William Matthews Associates - Exterior PhotographyTintagel Castle Footbridge / Ney & Partners + William Matthews Associates - Exterior PhotographyTintagel Castle Footbridge / Ney & Partners + William Matthews Associates - Exterior PhotographyTintagel Castle Footbridge / Ney & Partners + William Matthews Associates - Exterior PhotographyTintagel Castle Footbridge / Ney & Partners + William Matthews Associates - More Images+ 15

More SpecsLess Specs
Tintagel Castle Footbridge / Ney & Partners + William Matthews Associates - Exterior Photography
© Hufton & Crow

Text description provided by the architects. Spanning a 190-foot gorge and with a gasp-inducing gap in the middle, the bridge follows the line of the original route – a narrow strip of land, long lost to erosion – between the 13th-century gatehouse on the mainland and the courtyard on the jagged headland or island jutting into the sea. So significant was this historic crossing that it gave rise to the place’s name, the Cornish Din Tagell meaning “the Fortress of the Narrow Entrance”.

Tintagel Castle Footbridge / Ney & Partners + William Matthews Associates - Exterior Photography
© Hufton & Crow

The medieval scholar Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote that this land-bridge was so narrow that “three armed men would be able to defend [it], even if you had the whole kingdom of Britain at your side”. Legend has it that the King of Britain, Uther Pendragon – transformed by the wizard Merlin into the likeness of the Duke of Cornwall – stole across this passage way into the castle where he spent the night with the Duke’s wife, Ygerna, who later gave birth to the future King Arthur. So impressed was Richard, Earl of Cornwall by the Arthurian myth that in the 1230s and 1240s he built a castle at Tintagel, with the land-bridge an integral part of its design.

Tintagel Castle Footbridge / Ney & Partners + William Matthews Associates - Exterior Photography
© David Levene
Tintagel Castle Footbridge / Ney & Partners + William Matthews Associates - Exterior Photography
© Jim Holden

That crossing vanished in the 15th or 16th century but now English Heritage has restored it, replacing the original rock, earth and grass with a footbridge of steel, local Cornish slate, and oak. Built in Plymouth and designed by Ney & Partner engineers and William Matthews Associates Architectural Practice, the bridge consists of two independent cantilevers of approximately 30 metres length each that reach out from either side to – almost – touch in the middle.

Tintagel Castle Footbridge / Ney & Partners + William Matthews Associates - Exterior Photography
© Hufton & Crow
Tintagel Castle Footbridge / Ney & Partners + William Matthews Associates - Image 16 of 20
Plan and elevation

At the centre of the bridge, a narrow gap (40mm) has been designed to represent the transition between the mainland and the island, the present and the past, history and legend. The elegant bridge complements the outstanding landscape and unlocks for the visitor the history of the site. 

Tintagel Castle Footbridge / Ney & Partners + William Matthews Associates - Exterior Photography, Fence
© Hufton & Crow

Tintagel Castle welcomes almost 250,000 visitors each year and the new footbridge will help to reduce congestion – especially at peak periods – and provide a step-free route onto the island, helping more people to enjoy a visit to the castle. 

Tintagel Castle Footbridge / Ney & Partners + William Matthews Associates - Exterior Photography
© Jim Holden

The bridge at Tintagel Castle is part of a larger £5m programme of works by English Heritage which includes improving the footpaths around the site, helping to limit the impact of visitors on the castle’s unique archaeology, and ecology. 

Tintagel Castle Footbridge / Ney & Partners + William Matthews Associates - Exterior Photography
Courtesy of English Heritage Trust

Project gallery

See allShow less

Project location

Address:Castle Rd, Tintagel PL34 0HE, United Kingdom

Click to open map
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Tintagel Castle Footbridge / Ney & Partners + William Matthews Associates" 30 Oct 2022. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/970353/tintagel-castle-footbridge-ney-and-partners-plus-william-matthews-associates> ISSN 0719-8884

© Hufton & Crow

峡谷人行桥 / Ney & Partners + William Matthews Associates

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.