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Biggest ever single donation for English Heritage

Biggest ever single donation for English Heritage

English Heritage has received its biggest ever single private donation, a gift of £2.5m for its new Tintagel Castle footbridge.

The gift is from Julia and Hans Rausing. The Julia & Hans Rausing Trust supports organisations and charities across the globe and has so far provided over 220 grants totalling more than £185 million. The Trust supports a number of initiatives with the primary donations areas being the Arts, Children, Culture, Health, Mental Health and Science.

The remains of Tintagel Castle can be seen on both the mainland and an island, and were once joined by a narrow strip of land. The castle remains on the island are currently reached via a steep staircase but English Heritage‘s new footbridge will follow the path of the original land bridge, allowing visitors to experience the castle as its historic inhabitants once did. Work on the bridge began in October with Tintagel Castle closed to the public throughout the build. The castle with its new bridge will re-open to the public in this summer.

Designed by Ney & Partners engineers and William Matthews Associates Architectural Practice, the new footbridge will be set 57 metres above sea level, consisting of two independent cantilevers of approximately 30 metres length each that reach out and almost touch in the middle. At the centre, a narrow gap of 40mm has been designed to represent the transition between the mainland and the island, and the present and past.

It is part of a larger £5m programme of works by English Heritage, which will also improve the footpaths around the site.

A thousand members of the public have also donated to the bridge, each marking their £5 contribution by signing one of the Cornish slate tiles, which will form the walkway of the bridge.

Sir Tim Laurence, Chairman of English Heritage, said:

“Thanks to Julia and Hans Rausing’s generosity, people will be better able to understand and enjoy Tintagel Castle. It is an inspiring gift for an inspiring site and we are extremely grateful to them. As a charity, it is only with the support of our visitors, members and donors that we can ensure our historic landmarks continue to provide a fascinating and exciting experience to all-comers.”

Julia and Hans Rausing said:

“It is a pleasure to support English Heritage and Tintagel Castle. The new footbridge is a great feat of design, fitting into the landscape, and providing new views of the site’s architecture, whilst improving access for many visitors.”


Main image: Tintagel Castle footbridge © MRC, Emily Whitfield-Wicks and Ney & Partners

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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