There are few figures as iconic as King Arthur within Cornish folklore. A legendary king and knight, today immortalised in every art form, his Knights of the Round Table remain an iconic standard for chivalry. Yet the stories are murky about whether Arthur was a real king or a fictional hero. Perched on the north coast of Cornwall, Tintagel played a crucial role in shaping Arthurian mythos.
In 1138, a clerk, Geoffrey of Monmouth, published The Historia Regum Britanniae, translated as ‘History of the Kings of Britain’. This popular text launched the tale of King Arthur. It tells of Arthur’s conception at Tintagel Castle. As time went on, the story evolved, with Tintagel Castle featuring as Arthur’s birthplace, and his castle as monarch.
Arthurian Legend Today
As the popularity of Arthurian tales grew in the 19th century, the village of Trevena was renamed Tintagel to capitalize on the tourism. Today, the whole village embraces Arthur’s magical legend. However, one of the most visible tributes is King Arthur’s Great Halls. Constructed in the 1930s, these buildings emulate a medieval banqueting hall fit for the king.