Erosion of the coast threatens the collapse of several iconic castles of British heritage that may have housed King Arthur, public body English Heritage, which manages nearly 400 historical monuments in England, warned on Friday.
“Many of the most important historic coastal monuments in England are at risk of disappearing due to the acceleration of coastal erosion,” the agency said in a statement.
Among those monuments English Heritage mentions six castles as “particularly endangered” due to “their exposed condition and the fragility of the rocks on which they are built”.
These included, among others, the medieval fort of Tintagel in Cornwall, where King Arthur may have been born; of the Palace of Peel, in the County of Cumbria; Or Byrd’s Cove Fort, 500 years old and located at the tip of the Dart estuary in the south of the country.
To try to save them, the agency solicits donations in hopes of raising several million pounds.
“In order for these coastal monuments to survive for decades to come, we must strengthen their walls and build protection against ocean action,” explains English Heritage.
Due to its insular nature, the United Kingdom is particularly exposed to coastal erosion.
A recent report by the British Environment Agency estimated that one in six people were at risk of flooding due to rain and rising sea levels, and that a million people would be directly affected by rising waters before the turn of the century.
Since 1900, Britain’s sea level has risen by 16.5 cm and its annual rate of rise has doubled in a century, according to a report by the British Meteorological Agency published in July.