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Revealed: the winning design for Tintagel Castle bridge

A jury of experts chose the winning design over 136 others in a two stage international design competition. Photo: © MRC/Ney & Partners/Emily Whitfield-Wicks

The winning design for a bridge which will connect the historic Tintagel Castle - legendary birthplace of King Arthur - to the mainland has been revealed.

A jury of experts chose the winning design over 136 others in a two stage international design competition.

Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates won with what the panel said was their "elegant proposal and poetic gap".

The team’s inspiration came from Celtic history and the original drawbridge that would have defended Tintagel Castle. They want to use local slate for the bridge’s decking and contrasting weathered and non-weathered steel - it's hoped this will give the bridge a shimmering ephemeral quality, allowing the bridge to harmonise with the coastal landscape.

If you look closely you can see a small gap in the middle of the bridge. Credit: © MRC/Ney & Partners/Emily Whitfield-Wicks

The narrow gap between the cantilevers represents the transition between the mainland and the island, here and there, the present and the past, the known and the unknown, reality and legend; all the things that make Tintagel so special and fascinating.

– The winning presentation

They'll now proceed with the architectural and engineering commission from English Heritage - thought to cost around £4 million.

Tintagel Castle attracts visitors for many reasons: the dramatic landscapes and geological formations, the Dark Ages remains, the ruined 12th century castle and the legends of King Arthur and Tristan and Isolde. Together, they breathe an undeniable and powerful sense of life into the place – to be invited to contribute to that is a rare privilege and honour.

– William Matthews, founder of William Matthews Associates
The design proved popular with the public following an exhibition held in Tintagel village in December 2015. Credit: © MRC/Ney & Partners/Emily Whitfield-Wicks

The new bridge will sit 28 metres higher than the current crossing, and it's hoped it will improve access to the historic site.

The winning team’s concept is daring and very exciting. It is not the final design but instead a brilliant indication of the team’s talent and imagination. We will now work with them on a design that will both complement the spectacular landscape and unlock for the visitor the history of the site.

– Kate Mavor, chief executive of English Heritage