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Monday, 12 August 2019 00:00cat

The legendary Tintagel Castle Bridge is open to the public

Written by  Structural Administrator
The legendary Tintagel Castle Bridge is about to open The legendary Tintagel Castle Bridge is about to open

The iconic Tintagel Castle footbridge, located in Cornwall, U.K., opened to the public on August 11, 2019.

The 70-meter bridge connects the 2 sides of the medieval Tintagel Castle which is associated with the legendary King Arthur. Tintagel (meaning the fortress of the narrow entrance) gained reputation during the 12th century when Geoffrey of Monmouth stated that King Arthur was born there. 

The construction of the castle was probably inspired by the Arthurian myths as Richard, Earl of Cornwall, built the monument in the 1230s.

The new bridge have replaced an old land crossing that linked the 2 parts of the castle and was eroded 400-600 years ago. 250,000 people that visit the site annually will now avoid a steep and exhausting passage that currently connects the monument. Crossing the passage is time-consuming and can be “really frustrating and completely destroy any of the magical feeling of being there. You are just suddenly annoyed by it,” Nichola Tasker, English Heritage’s head of National Projects, stated.

The structure that is elevated 57 meters above sea level, consists of two cantilevers and a 4-centimeter gap in the middle of the span. Cantilevers do not require the utilization of a temporary formwork, a beneficial fact for the construction process as the site is remote and steep.

The gap allows the bridge to expand and contract when temperatures changes occur and it was designed for extreme conditions. “For it to almost close, it would have to be 50°C for two weeks. We have designed for extreme temperatures,” William Matthews, the bridge’s co-designer, stated. He also added that, besides its structural role, the gap may also symbolize the transition from the past to the present or from reality to legend.

The opening ceremony was planned to take place on Friday, August 9, 2019. However, strong winds and rainfalls forced authorities to cancel the event.  "For the safety of our visitors and staff whenever the wind reaches gale-force eight, it is normal procedure for us to close access to the island side of Tintagel Castle. With winds forecast at that level and above for Friday and Saturday, we have taken the decision to postpone the reopening of the castle until Sunday," Georgia Butters, head of historic properties in Cornwall, stated.

Sources: CNN Theguardian BBC Dezeen

For more information about the construction of the bridge, click on the video below:




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Tintagel Castle - The Making of the New Bridge English Heritage

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