Forget King Arthur and Disneyfication, real Cornish history is far grittier, says local politician

'It's much different to the earthy grit of what Cornwall was like', says archeologist on Cornwall tales

An English Heritage statue of King Arthur looms over Tintagel

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The leader of Mebyon Kernow - the political party for Cornwall - has laughed off suggestions that impressive remains discovered near Tintagel of a probable Dark Age royal palace are likely to reveal evidence that the legendary King Arthur was conceived there. 

Excavations are taking place near the famous 13th-century Tintagel Castle as part of a five-year programme to find out more about the 5th to 7th centuries. More than 150 fragments of pottery and glass have been unearthed, along with metre-thick palace walls. 

But politician and archaeologist Dick Cole was adamant that any human remains round will not be King Arthur's.

"The archaeologists that have been working there have found some significant remains," he told The Two Mikes. 

"Whoever the kings or rulers of Cornwall were at that time would have been in Tintagel, or had associations with Tintagel.

"But all the other stories – the fluff, the round table – it makes good discussion, but it's much different to the earthy, gritty realism of what Cornwall was like back then."

Cole added that local people are keen to reclaim the 'real history' of this magical corner of south-west England, rejecting what he referred to as the "Disneyfication" of the region by English Heritage, who have put up statues of King Arthur and carved the face of mythical wizrd Merlin into a hillside. 

"If you go back 30 or 40 years, a lot of people were saying King Arthur was ours," he said. "[But now] we want people to appreciate more what is really known about Cornwall."

Listen to the full interview to find out more