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  • This is Tintagel Castle. Set high on Cornwall's rugged North coast. For centuries it's fuelled

  • the imaginations of writers, artists, and even Richard of Cornwall; the brother of King Henry the Third.

  • In Summer 2019, English Heritage installed a new footbridge to reunite the

  • separated halves of the castle for the first time in over 500 years.

  • The bridge is a serious feat of engineering and design. It is transforming the way that people can experience the beauty

  • of the landscape, and the history of the castle. Ever since I moved to Cornwall fifteen years

  • ago and started studying history, I've been fascinated by Tintagel. I visited with my

  • father when I was younger, and brought my own children here to experience the site firsthand.

  • Much like Tintagel Castle itself, the new bridge will give visitors a chance to walk

  • in the footfalls of history and travel to a landmark that features stories told the world over.

  • To guide us around this spectacular site, I'm here with Georgia Butters from English

  • Heritage. Georgia, how long have you been working on the Tintagel bridge project? I've

  • been working on it since April 2017, and I got involved when we were going into the planning

  • stage. Now, when you first saw the design, by the way I think it is stunning, what did

  • you think? Personally, I thought it looked like the most elegant thing we could possibly do in

  • that space, and I was really excited by it as loads and loads of people have been. It

  • was just an amazing moment to be able to walk across that bridge and see a view that hasn't

  • been seen for 500 years. Historically, Tintagel would've looked completely different to how

  • it does now. There is a natural chasm running through the middle of the site. Those two

  • halves would've been joined by a natural land bridge. In the fifteenth or sixteenth century,

  • the land collapsed, taking the central part of the castle with it. And now it almost looks

  • as if there are two castles facing one another. This spectacular medieval castle used to be

  • something of a challenge to fully explore. Visitors to the castle used to have to climb

  • up and down some pretty steep steps. English Heritage wanted to reunite the two parts of

  • the castle, recreating that natural land bridge. They asked companies to help them to create

  • a bridge with cutting-edge design in a way that works with the landscape rather than

  • against it. The concept is very simple. Two cantilevers that reach out from each side

  • and touch almost, but not quite, in the middle. The highlight of the crossing is obviously

  • in the centre of the bridge. The narrow gap represents the transition between the island

  • and the mainland, the present and the past, the reality and legend; all the things that

  • make Tintagel such a wonderful and compelling place. Although the bridge is quite minimal

  • by design, building it required some impressive engineering; two independent cantilevers of

  • approximately 33 meters length each, 57 meters above sea-level, 40 millimetre gap in the

  • centre, 47.5 tons of steel, 140 metres of oak, 40,000 hand-cut local Delabole slate

  • tiles. This is a distinctly Cornish castle, and the designers wanted the bridge to be

  • Cornish too. The slate that you walk on when you cross the bridge was quarried just three

  • miles away in Pengelly. The quarry is about a thousand years old, probably the oldest

  • operating slate quarry in the world. The slate itself is formed about 350 million years ago.

  • These blocks of two to twenty-tonnes go through primary saws to reduce them in size. It will

  • then go over to the splitters; the actual splitting process is very much the same as

  • it has always been for centuries. It is split by hand, the edges will be dressed on a dressing

  • machine, and then they'll be sawn to dimension by secondary saws. The main sections of the

  • bridge are made from steel by a steel fabrication company in Plymouth called Underhill Engineering.

  • They made 18 main sections and did a trial erection where they put sections of the bridge

  • together to see that they fit properly. Each half of the bridge was made in the workshop,

  • and then dismantled. It was then brought to site, and put back together again. Helicopters

  • were used to bring in the materials and equipment, including a huge cable crane which spanned

  • the gap between the two halves of the site. Having said all that, the bridges builders

  • still needed some old-fashioned muscle power to apply the finishing touches. We had guys

  • on the rope-access, hanging off so you'd establish one part of the bridge and they would let

  • themselves down from that and then be able to bolt on the next piece as they're down

  • there. Incredibly brave guys that do that and for whom it's just another day at the

  • office to be hanging off a cliffside in Cornwall. While the bridge was being built, other sections

  • of the site were being given a new lease of life as well. The wider project, which involves

  • the footpaths across the site, has real benefits to the archeology and ecology of the site

  • because what we're going to try and do is nudge people on a route, rather than criss-crossing

  • across the main plateau. We should really protect the wildlife that is up there and

  • also the archeology. And I suppose making it more accessible to the public also opens

  • up Tintagel and the wider local area to visitors. Already, we've had thousands of people visiting

  • the site. That's really important for local businesses and the tourism economy of Cornwall.

  • We are intrinsically part of that. I think it's also really positive in terms of showing

  • people the wonders of the history of Cornwall and being able to really engage with that

  • ancient story that sits here, that is earlier than King Arthur, and is about people that

  • actually lived here, and worked here, and traded here, before those legends really arose.

  • After years of designing, planning, and constructing, the new Tintagel bridge is now open to the

  • public. Its striking looks are enough to entice people from miles around, but what is even

  • more exciting is that the improved access means that even more people can visit and

  • explore the site for themselves. English Heritage's rule is to protect the sites, as well as to

  • spark people's imagination and inspire them to understand the history and what happened

  • here. I think the bridge is going to transform the experience of coming to Tintagel for our

  • visitors. They'll see from different angles and hopefully, they will understand the vital

  • historical point that we've made that they are walking in the footsteps of their ancestors.

  • When I first saw the bridge and it was here complete for the first time, I was really

  • quite emotional. I definitely had a tear in my eye because it really means so much to

  • us after all these years working on it. Walking across the bridge for the first time is obviously

  • an immense pleasure. We've spent many hours, days, months, working on it and to actually

  • step out and walk across and feel as though you are floating as you go from the mainland

  • to the island, is wonderful. Very impressive without a doubt. Absolutely. And the view

  • is something else. I've been coming down on weekends and been watching the bridge being

  • built over the last few months. And now you've walked across it for the first time? First

  • time yeah. What did you think? Worth every penny. Yeah? Before the bridge was there,

  • did you know what you had to do? You had to go all the way down to the bottom and then

  • all the way back up to the top. What do you prefer; that up and down, or this new bridge?

  • Bridge. What did you think about crossing the new bridge? My mum was really scared.

  • Was she? Was she holding onto the edge? I've never seen him cross a bridge so quick! It's

  • great, I think it's a lot easier than having to go all the way down and then come back

  • up again. Crossing the bridge for me, is an awesome experience. It blends modern engineering

  • with all the history from the past and provides the most spectacular views across Tintagel.

  • All that's left now is for you top come and visit the site and explore it for yourself!

This is Tintagel Castle. Set high on Cornwall's rugged North coast. For centuries it's fuelled

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ティンタジェル橋のメイキング (The Making of Tintagel Bridge)

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    Summer に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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