Tintagell Castle Cornwall by Allom, 1832.
Tintagell Castle, Cornwall by Thomas Allom, engraved by William Le Petit, from Cornwall Illustrated, 1832.
In Cornwall, on the Island of Tintagel, stands the ruins of Tintagel Castle. It is a medieval fortification built during the third century. However, the site had been occupied long before that. In the first century, when the Roman Empire invaded Southern Britain, it was inhabited by a Celtic tribe that the Romans called the Dumnonii. After the fall of Rome, Britain was broken into several different kingdoms. The area that is now the counties of Devon and Cornwall belonged to the Kingdom of Dumnonia. In 1233 Richard 1st Earl of Cornwall built Tintagel Castle. He chose an older style of construction to make it look like it had been built much earlier. In doing so he hoped to gain the trust of the Cornish people, since he was the brother of Henry III of England. His descendants cared little for the castle and it fell into neglect and ruin. During the nineteenth century a growing fascination with the legends of King Arthur resulted in renewed interest in Tintagel Castle. Geoffrey of Monmouth, in his Historia Regum Britanniae, wrote of Tintagel as the site of King Arthur's conception. This connection increased tourism to the area. Today it is maintained by English Heritage and is a popular tourist destination in Cornwall. The site was excavated in the 1930s and 1980s and extensive amounts of pottery and other artifacts have been found, with some dating back to the Roman period.
Thomas Allom (1804-1872) was an English architect. He was apprenticed to Francis Goodwin, in 1819, and worked for him until 1826, when he enrolled at the Royal Academy School. In the 1820's he became an avid traveller. His designs for several churches launched his career as an architect in London. He assisted Sir Charles Barry in his Houses of Parliament and collaborated with him on several other projects. Allom was one of the founding members of the Royal Institute for British Architects (1834). He is also well known for his topographical works of places he had visited. These were printed in a number of publications, such as William Beattie's Scotland Illustrated.
- Naomi Bean