The Disneyfication of Tintagel

Media Release

Following requests from many media outlets regarding Tintagel, Kernow Matters To Us (KMTU) releases the following statement:

"Many people in Cornwall are dismayed by English Heritage's cavalier attitude towards Cornish heritage. Their uncritical application of Tennyson's nineteenth century jingoism underlines their utter insensitivity towards any local feeling, and underlines their own colonial attitude towards the heritage they are misappropriating. This bridge is a case in point and raises a number of issues that English Heritage fail to address.

Firstly - it is utterly out of context; using materials and a design that have no relationship to this Scheduled Ancient Monument. It is therefore intrusive and adds nothing to the sites setting and aspect. Instead, it's impact is massive and negative.

Secondly - On p39 of EH's own guidance booklet to "Easy Access to Historic Landscape" it has a photo taken at Tintagel. The description of this says: "This new path provides visitors with a safer and more secure route down the cliffside. Elsewhere a metal handrail would also have been provided BUT WOULD HAVE BEEN VISUALLY INTRUSIVE IN SUCH A WILD AND RURAL SETTING." So, they put up an 8ft statue, a King Arthur's Compass, a silly Sword in the Stone, and now propose an ultra-modern £4 million bridge over the chasm to the Island, 200 feet long and 200 feet above the sea! How are these not VISUALLY INTRUSIVE IN SUCH A WILD AND RURAL LANDSCAPE, then? The hypocrisy of EH to write such tripe and then undermine it by their own activities beggars belief.

Thirdly - KMTU members include people who have been planning officers - they know what they are talking about and have submitted objections about the increased risk to the stability of this Scheduled Ancient Monument posed by this structure - they have mentioned the site geology and the stresses on it and increased risk of rockfalls and collapse as a result of this wanton destruction of our heritage.

Fourthly - the alleged access that this bridge would improve are undermined by several factors - not least that the design includes a gap which will render the bridge dangerous for anyone with mobility issues. Then anyone wishing to use the bridge will still face a steep and dangerous incline on the landward side to reach it, also rendering it inaccessible to people with mobility issues. Therefore, arguments about access are demonstrably false.

Lastly; this unwanted bridge allegedly will cost an estimated £4million. English Heritage, and the British government, have never given any genuine Cornish heritage anything remotely like this amount of money - our language was deprived of a mere, modest £150,000 that employed 5 people - 5 jobs stolen - our money stolen - just to prevent Cornish taxpayers from accessing our heritage, while £4million can be thrown at this travesty!

KMTU has consistently objected to the insensitive commodification of Cornwall's Heritage at Tintagel, and English Heritage's "Disneyfication" of the site. This site is our heritage, not English Heritage's, and they seem determined to destroy it for Cornwall. If this were Sutton Hoo, they would never be allowed to trash it so tackily. It is disgusting and appalling that our heritage is treated this way, and that English Heritage continues to antagonise the Cornish Nation by mistreating our heritage."

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