Arthurians everywhere recognize Tintagel Castle, on the Cornish coast, as the site were the wizard Merlin, at least according to many of the tales, helped Uther Pendragon shape-shift into the likeness of the Duke of Cornwall and thereby gain access to the Duke’s beautiful wife, Ygraine (Ygerna). Nine months later, Arthur was born. (There is also a sea cave beneath the castle known as “Merlin’s Cave”–Tennyson has Merlin bringing the infant Arthur in secret to this cave.)
Earlier this month, English Heritage unveiled a new carving of Merlin on the rocks near the ruins of the Castle, to a very mixed reception. I’ll tell you what I think when I’m there this summer, but until then, here are some of the news reports and reviews:
Is this part of an ongoing process of “Disneyfication” of Arthurian sites?