Tintagel Island as a rhetorical construct, disputed heritage asset and bridged peninsula

Shima Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Marine and Island Cultures, 2022, 11, (1), pp. 215-225
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
The location in Cornwall (UK) known as Tintagel Island is, in fact, a peninsula of a type that has been referred to as an ‘almost island’ by virtue of having many island-like characteristics. Tintagel is best known as an ancient heritage site and, in the modern era at least, access from the adjacent cliff lines has been difficult, requiring a steep descent to a low, narrow isthmus and a steep ascent at the other side. In 2015 the English Heritage (EH) organisation announced a competition to design a bridge between the cliffs and the Tintagel site in an effort to modernise and maximise its appeal and ease of pedestrian access. This announcement mobilised contrasting discourses between Cornish heritage advocates and EH that centred on both the almost islandness of the locale (and the degree to which that would be compromised by bridging) and its essential heritage profile. These debates, the successful bridge design and its opening are analysed with particular regard to the cultural disruptions arising from the site’s modification.
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