We were appointed by the English Heritage Trust prior to the inception of the project to undertake a feasibility exercise to inform emerging project needs for visitor experience enhancements at the castle. The project has encompassed archaeological research and ecological survey, visitor circulation improvements such as new footpaths and footbridge and new interpretation for the site which reveals the history of the legendary association with King Arthur.
The dramatic coastal site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and protected by Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Special Area of Conservation, Site of Special Scientific Interest, Marine Conservation Zone and Heritage Coast designations. We undertook detailed landscape, visual and ecological appraisals which considered the unique qualities of the site and surroundings, and tested multiple options for visitor circulation, access and management. Our study informed the design brief for the international bridge design competition and the presiding competition jury panel.
We were subsequently appointed to the bridge design team to support the competition winners, Architect William Matthews Associates and Structural Engineers NEY & Partners.
The successful and sensitively designed interventions have developed from a deep understanding of the sense of place of Tintagel Castle and the components that make the landscape there so special and through in depth iterative design discussions with experts from English Heritage, Historic England, Natural England and Cornwall Council.
The study of the ecologically sensitive maritime coastal grasslands, the challenging topography and exposure of the island and the internationally significant archaeology all informed the design approach and the ongoing management for the site. Our verified visualisations of the proposed bridge and landscape informed the stakeholder and planning processes and informed the preparation of an Environmental Statement, required by Cornwall Council to assess the potential environmental effects of the project. The conclusion found that the project would have multiple beneficial effects.
Combining complementary expertise, our Landscape Architects and Ecologists have prepared footpath designs that avoid impact on archaeology and coastal habitat restoration proposals that received both Planning and Scheduled Monument consents. We also integrated new interpretation features and discreet visitor wayfinding signage to guide visitors around the headland. The botany of the site and the visitor footfall patterns will be monitored as part of the visitor experience and operations activities.
The Tintagel Castle Footbridge and Footpaths project was completed in the summer of 2019.
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