New bridge links mainland with Cornish castle

Bad weather has delayed the opening of English Heritage’s £5m Tintagel footbridge in Cornwall to Sunday.

The bridge had been due to open tomorrow (Friday) but severe weather forecast for the area, which has already led to the cancellation of this weekend’s Boardmasters music festival in Newquay, has pushed the opening back 48 hours.

A spokesperson said: “This is due to the severe weather forecast for Friday and Saturday and is a normal procedure for the exposed coastal site whenever the wind reaches gale force 8.”

The bridge links the mainland with Tintagel Castle island and has been built by American Bridge UK with fabrication being carried out by Plymouth firm Underhill Engineering.

It has been designed by Belgian civil engineering firm Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates, after the pair won an international competition for the job in 2015 which attracted more than 130 entries. Matthews worked on the Shard for Renzo Piano before leaving to set up his own practice six years ago.

Its walking surface consists of 40,000 locally sourced slate tiles, stacked in stainless steel trays while a 4cm gap is at its centre which will increase in the cold and decrease in the heat.

The bridge, which is being bankrolled by Tetra Pak packaging heir Hans Rausing, whose fortune was put at £9.6bn in the latest Sunday Times Rich List, had originally been due to open in June. The delays were put down to the complex fabrication needed for the 70m-span structure.

The new bridge, 28m higher than the previous crossing, will recreate the land-link that once existed between the mainland and headland.

All pictures by Jim Holden and Justin Minns