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THIS Engraving, after Mr. Jendles’ spirited sketch, embraces not only Tintagel
Castle, but one of those more useful erections which modern science has rendered
available to commercial purposes, and intended for the shipment of ores from the
neighbouring mine. The different character of the erections which crown the opposing
cliffs mark the widely separated eras of their erection, while both become objects of
deep interest to those who see in the ruins of the one hand, and the progressively
improving mechanism of the other, a type of the spirit which animated our warlike
ancestors to maintain their dominant power over their native soil, converted in their
more peaceful descendants into a determination to make the best use of the treasures
it contains.

Tintagel Castle is situated partly on the extremity of a bold rock of slate, on
the coast, and partly on a rocky island, with which it was formerly connected by a
drawbridge, and is of great antiquity. This castle is said to have been the birthplace of
King Arthur, but his history is so blended with the marvelous, that his very existence
has been doubted, and the circumstances connected with his birth are certainly not
amongst those parts of the relation which are most entitled to credit. It was, however,
said by Lord Bacon, that there was truth enough in his story to make him famous
besides that which was fabulous.

In the year 1245, Richard Earl of Cornwall, brother to King Henry III., was
accused of having afforded an asylum in Tintagel Castle to his nephew David, Prince
of Wales, and in the reign of Henry III. The castle and manor of Tintagel were annexed
to the Duchy of Cornwall. So little remains of the walls of this ancient and formerly
impregnable castle, that the date of its erection cannot even be conjectured from the
style of the architecture: it is certain that the castle was in a dilapidated state in 1337,
in which year a survey was made. There was then no governor, but the priest who
officiated in the chapel of the castle had the custody of it, without fee. It is described
as castles sufficiently walled, in which were two chambers beyond the two gates, in
a decayed state. A chamber, with a small kitchen for the constable, in good repair; a
stable for eight horses, decayed; and a cellar and bake house, ruinous. The timber of
the great hall had been taken down by command of John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall,
because the hall was ruinous, and the walls of no value.

In the reign of Richard II., Tintagel Castle was made a state prison, and in 1385,

John Northampton, lord mayor of London, was committed to this castle. Thomas
Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, was also a prisoner here in 1397. “The ruins of Tintagel
Castle,” says the Rev. R. Warner, “claim dominion over unqualified desolation; over one
wide and wild scene of troubled ocean, barren country, and horrid rocks: its situation
and aspect quite chilled the tourist,” and in continuation of his description, he introduces
the less sublime remark, “that to look at it was enough to give one the toothache.”

Tintagel was made a free borough by Richard Earl of Cornwall, and, as well
as Trevenna, about a mile distant from each other, forms part of the borough of
Bossiney, which formerly sent two members to parliament. Although not incorporated,
it is governed by a mayor. At Trevenna is an annual fair for horned cattle on the first
Monday after the 19th of October; and at Tintagel is a school supported by the mayor
and free burgesses. The church, dedicated to St. Sim phorian, is a vicarage, in the
patronage of the dean and chapter of Windsor. It was formerly appropriated to the
abbey of Fonteverard, in Normandy, but having passed in the same manner as Leighton
Buzzard, in Bedfordshire, was given, by King Edward IV., to the collegiate chapel of St.
George at Windsor.

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