Lonely Planet Writer

King Arthur's legendary English castle to get a new footbridge after competition winner announced

In the supposed birthplace of King Arthur, English Heritage has selected a winning design in its competition to build a new footbridge at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall.

The successful design for a new footbridge at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, chosen by English Heritage.
The successful design for a new footbridge at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, chosen by English Heritage. Image by Ney & Partners – William Matthews Associates

The famous clifftop castle, which served as a home for Cornwall’s Celtic kings, draws in more than 200,000 visitors each year. Only some of the 13th century structure remains, a portion of the castle is located on an outcrop that is separated from the mainland and is currently accessible by a wooden bridge and a steep staircase.

Tintagel Castle as it appears now.
Tintagel Castle as it appears now. Image by Reading Tom / CC BY 2.0

The competition was to find a design for a new footbridge at the site, 28 metres higher than the existing crossing in order to improve access to the island.

The successful design for a new footbridge at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, chosen by English Heritage.
The successful design for a new footbridge at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, chosen by English Heritage. Image by Ney & Partners – William Matthews Associates

On Wednesday, English Heritage announced the winner, Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates, which beat out 136 international competitors.

The successful design for a new footbridge at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, chosen by English Heritage.
The successful design for a new footbridge at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, chosen by English Heritage. Image by Ney & Partners – William Matthews Associates

English Heritage states that the design “is distinctive for its elegant, delicate profile and structural ingenuity. The proposal is based on two cantilevers and envisages a poetic gap between the two; it will recreate the land-link that once existed between the mainland and headland and reference the current void, caused by erosion”.

The successful design for a new footbridge at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, chosen by English Heritage.
The successful design for a new footbridge at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, chosen by English Heritage. Image by Ney & Partners – William Matthews Associates

The designers say the idea comes from their study of the original drawbridge at the castle and is intended to integrate harmoniously with the landscape.

It is expected to be completed in the spring of 2019.