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St Piran's flag of Cornwall
(Saint Piran's Flag)
Motto: Onen hag oll
(Cornish: One and all)
Status Ceremonial & (smaller) Non-metropolitan county
Region South West England
- Total
- Admin. council
- Admin. area
Ranked 12th
3,563 km²
Ranked 9th
3,547 km ²
Admin HQ Truro
ISO 3166-2 GB-CON
ONS code 15
- Total (2005 est.)
- Density
- Admin. council
- Admin. pop.
Ranked 40th
146 / km²
Ranked 24th
Ethnicity 99.0% White

Cornwall County Council
Executive Liberal Democrats
Members of Parliament
  1. Penwith
  2. Kerrier
  3. Carrick
  4. Restormel
  5. Caradon
  6. North Cornwall
  7. Isles of Scilly (Unitary)

Cornwall (Cornish: Kernow) is a county in South West England, United Kingdom, on the peninsula that lies to the west of the River Tamar and Devon. The administrative centre and only city is Truro. Cornwall covers an area of 1,376 square miles (3,563 km²), including the Isles of Scilly, located 28 miles (45 km) offshore. Cornwall has a population of 513,528, with a relatively low population density of 144 people/km², or 373/mile².

Cornwall is noted for its wild moorland landscapes, its extensive and varied coastline and its mild climate. Also notable is Cornwall's stone age and industrial archaeology, especially its historic mining landscape, a world heritage site. Tourism therefore forms a significant part of the local economy; however, Cornwall is one of the poorest areas in the United Kingdom with the lowest per capita contribution to the national economy.

Cornwall is the historic homeland of the Cornish people and is also considered one of the six historic "Celtic nations" by many residents and scholars. Some inhabitants question the present constitutional status of Cornwall, referring to the status of the Duchy of Cornwall, and a self-government movement seeks greater autonomy for the county.


[edit] History

Main article: History of Cornwall

The history of Cornwall begins with the pre-Roman inhabitants, including speakers of a Celtic language that would develop into Brythonic and Cornish. After a period of Roman rule, Cornwall reverted to independent Celtic chieftains. The Roman term for the tribe which inhabited what is now Cornwall at the time of Roman rule, possibly the Cornovii, came from the Iberian word corno, meaning the land shape, but it is assumed that it was derived from a Brythonic tribal name which gave modern Cornish Kernow. (For other examples of the survival of Brythonic names noted by the Romans, see Dyfed/Demetae, Cantiaci/Kent , Gwynedd/Veneti and Durotriges/Dorset.) The present English language name of the region derives from suffixing of Old English wealhas ("foreigners, Britons") to the Celtic name. In the historic times of the heptarchy, Cornwall was referred to as 'West Wales' with what is nowadays modern Wales being called 'North Wales'. The first account of Cornwall comes from the Sicilian Greek historian Diodorus Siculus (c.90 BC–c.30 BC), supposedly quoting or paraphrasing the fourth-century BC geographer Pytheas, who had sailed to Britain:

The inhabitants of that part of Britain called Belerion (or Land's End) from their intercourse with foreign merchants, are civilised in their manner of life. They prepare the tin, working very carefully the earth in which it is produced…Here then the merchants buy the tin from the natives and carry it over to Gaul, and after travelling overland for about thirty days, they finally bring their loads on horses to the mouth of the Rhône.[1]

Who these merchants were is not known. There has been a theory that they were Phoenicians, however there is no evidence for this.[2]

Julius Caesar was the last classical writer to mention the tin trade, which appears to have declined during the Roman occupation.[3]

The Annales Cambriae reported that in 721 the Britons were victors in battle at Hehil (possibly on the Camel estuary or further north near Bude) among the Cornish (apud Cornuenses), presumably against the West Saxons. Annales Cambriae. A century passed before we hear of the West Saxons attacking Cornwall again, this time under King Egbert, who in 814 laid waste to Cornwall from east to west.[4] The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle tells us that in 825 (adjusted date) a battle was fought between the "Welsh" in Cornwall and the people of Devonshire, probably at Galford in Devon.[5] Finally, in 838, the Cornish and their Viking allies were defeated by Egbert at Hengestesdune, probably Hingston Down near Moretonhampstead, Devon or Callington, Cornwall (Anglo-Saxon Chronicle).

The tin trade revived in the Middle Ages, and the Cornish Rebellion of 1497, in which a makeshift Cornish army marched on London only to be crushed by the royal troops, is attributed to tin miners.[6] In the mid-nineteenth century, however, the tin trade again fell into decline.

As Cornwall's reserves of tin began to be exhausted many Cornishmen emigrated to places such as the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa where their skills were in demand. The tin mines in Cornwall are now worked-out at current prices, but the expertise and culture of the Cornish tin miners lives on in a number of places around the world. It is said that, wherever you may go in the world, if you see a hole in the ground, you will find a Cornishman at the bottom of it (see Cornish emigration). Several Cornish mining words are in use in English language mining terminology, such as costean, gunnies, lode and vug.

Since the decline of tin mining, agriculture and fishing, the area's economy has become increasingly dependent on tourism — some of Great Britain's most spectacular coastal scenery can be found here. Nevertheless, Cornwall remains one of the poorest parts of the United Kingdom and it has been granted Objective 1 status by the European Union. A political party, Mebyon Kernow, MK, or 'Sons of Cornwall', was formed in 1951 to attempt to assert some degree of autonomy (see Cornish nationalism); while the flag of St Piran is seen increasingly across Cornwall at protests, demonstrations and generally, the party has not achieved significant success at the ballot box, although they do have a number of district councillors. Two of the current Members of Parliament (MPs) in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, Andrew George, MP for St Ives, and Dan Rogerson, MP for North Cornwall, repeated their Parliamentary oaths in Cornish. Further, there is a caucus of local county councillors who are well-known locally for their persistent advocacy of Cornwall's political uniqueness.

There is a theory that once silver was extracted from the copper ores of Cornwall in pre-Roman times, as silver is easily converted to its chloride (AgCl) by surface waters containing chlorine.[7]

[edit] Physical geography

Main article: Geology of Cornwall
Satellite image of Cornwall
Satellite image of Cornwall

Cornwall forms the tip of the south-west peninsula of the island Great Britain, and is therefore exposed to the full force of the prevailing winds that blow in from the Atlantic Ocean. The coastline is composed mainly of resistant rocks that give rise in many places to impressive cliffs.

The north and south coasts have different characteristics. The north coast is more exposed and therefore has a wilder nature. The prosaically-named High Cliff, between Boscastle and Tintagel, is the highest sheer-drop cliff in Cornwall at 735 ft (224 m). However, there are also many extensive stretches of fine golden sand which form the beaches that are so important to the tourist industry, such as those at St Ives, Perranporth and Newquay. The only river estuary of any size on the north coast is the Camel, which provides Padstow with a safe harbour. The south coast, dubbed the "riviera", is more sheltered and there are several broad estuaries offer safe anchorages, such as at Falmouth and Fowey. Beaches on the south coast usually consist of coarser sand and shingle, interspersed with rocky sections of wave-cut platform.

The interior of the county consists of a roughly east-west spine of infertile and exposed upland, with a series of granite intrusions, such as Bodmin Moor, which contains the highest land within Cornwall. From east to west, and with approximately descending altitude, these are Bodmin Moor, the area north of St Austell, the area around Camborne, and the Penwith or Land's End peninsula. These intrusions are the central part of the granite outcrops of south-west England, which include Dartmoor to the east in Devon and the Isles of Scilly to the west, the latter now being partially submerged.

Ruin of Cornish tin mine
Ruin of Cornish tin mine

The intrusion of the granite into the surrounding sedimentary rocks gave rise to extensive metamorphism and mineralisation, and this led to Cornwall being one of the most important mining areas in Europe until the early 20th century. It is thought Tin was mined here as early as the Bronze Age, and copper, lead, zinc and silver have all been mined in Cornwall. Alteration of the granite also gave rise to extensive deposits of China Clay, especially in the area to the north of St Austell, and this remains an important industry.

The uplands are surrounded by more fertile, mainly pastoral farmland. Near the south coast, deep wooded valleys provide sheltered conditions for a flora that likes shade and a moist, mild climate. These areas lie mainly of Devonian sandstone and slate. The north east of Cornwall lies on Carboniferous rocks known as the Culm Measures. In places these have been subjected to severe folding, as can been seen on the north coast near Crackington Haven and several other locations.

The geology of the Lizard peninsula is unusual, as it is Britain's only example of an ophiolite. Much of the peninsula consists of the dark green and red Precambrian serpentine rock, which forms spectacular cliffs, notably at Kynance Cove, and carved and polished serpentine ornaments are sold in local gift shops. This ultramafic rock also forms a very infertile soil which covers the flat and marshy heaths of the interior of the peninsula. This is home to rare plants, such as the Cornish Heath, which has been adopted as the county flower.[8]

Cornwall is the southernmost part of Britain, and therefore has a relatively warm and sunny climate. Winters are mild, and frost or snow are uncommon apart from in the central upland areas. The average annual temperature for most of Cornwall is 9.8 to 12 degrees Celsius (49.6 to 53.6 °F), with slightly lower temperatures at higher altitude.[9] Cornwall is exposed to mild, moist westerly winds from the Atlantic Ocean and has relatively high rainfall, though less than more northern areas of the west coast of Britain, at 1051 to 1290 mm (41.4 to 50.8 in) per year.[10] Most of Cornwall enjoys over 1541 hours of sunshine per year.[11]

[edit] Ecology

Cornwall has varied habitats including terrestrial and marine ecosystems. One of the lower plant forms in decline locally is the Reindeer lichen, which species has been made a priority for protection under the national UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

[edit] Politics and administration

St Ives harbour.
St Ives harbour.
Main article: Politics of Cornwall

Cornwall currently elects five MPs to the British House of Commons, all of whom are Liberal Democrats (2005 general election). New parliamentary boundaries will create a sixth parliamentary constituency in Cornwall which will be fought for the first time at the next British general election.

The organisation of the local government of the county is presently subject to debate and may change to a unitary system.[12] The county council headquarters are in Truro. There are eighty two county council seats, the majority of which are currently held by Liberal Democrats (2005 county council election). There are six districts in Cornwall with a total of 249 council seats. From east to west they are North Cornwall, Caradon, Restormel, Carrick, Kerrier, and Penwith. The numerically largest main groups represented on them are Liberal Democrats, Conservatives, and independents. The Isles of Scilly have in some periods been served by the same county administration as Cornwall, but are today a separate Unitary Authority. However, the Isles of Scilly are still grouped with Cornwall for many ceremonial and administrative purposes, such as NHS Trusts and Devon and Cornwall Police.[13]

The chief registered parties contesting elections in Cornwall are Conservatives, Greens, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Mebyon Kernow, and UKIP.

Cornwall is a county of England but an independence movement exists that seeks more autonomy along the lines of the other home Celtic nations. Additionally, some groups and individuals question the present constitutional status of Cornwall and Cornwall's relationship to the Duchy of Cornwall.

Cornish nationalists have organised into two political parties: Mebyon Kernow and the Cornish Nationalist Party.In addition to the political parties, the Cornish Stannary Parliament is a pressure group on Cornish constitutional issues and Cornwall 2000, the Human Rights organisation, works on Cornish cultural issues. Another group concerned with Cornish rights and constitutional issues is Tyr-Gwyr-Gweryn (meaning Land-Truth-People). In November 2000, the Cornish Constitutional Convention was formed to campaign for a Cornish assembly. It is a cross-party organisation including representatives from the private, public, and voluntary sectors, of all political parties and none. Between 5 March 2000 and December 2001, the campaign collected the signatures of 41,650 Cornish residents endorsing the declaration for a devolved regional Cornish assembly, along with 8,896 signatories from outside Cornwall.

[edit] Flag

Main article: Saint Piran's Flag

Saint Piran's Flag is regarded by some people, including Cornish nationalists as the national flag of Cornwall and an emblem of the Cornish people. The banner of Saint Piran is a white cross on a black background. Saint Piran is supposed to have adopted these two colours from seeing the white tin in the black coals and ashes during his supposed discovery of tin. In a history of 1837 Saint Piran's flag was described as the "standard of Cornwall", and another history of 1880 said that: "The white cross of St. Piran was the ancient banner of the Cornish people." The Cornish flag is an exact reverse of the former Breton national flag (black cross) and is known by the same name " Kroaz Du" - .

Commonly understood to represent the white tin metal against the black tin ore, the flag symbolically, however, is said to represent the light of truth shining through the blackness/darkness of evil.

Another theory of the black and white colours is that the white cross represents the igneous/metamorphic rocks of colour such as granite and schists (mainly found in the South-West of Cornwall), while the black background represents the weathered Devonian slate and Carboniferous sandstone (both of which are mainly black-greyish in appearance) of the northern part of Cornwall.

There are claims that the patron saint of Cornwall is Saint Michael or Saint Petroc, but Saint Piran is by far the most popular of the three and his emblem is internationally [3][4] recognised as the flag of Cornwall. St Piran's Day (5 March) is celebrated by the Cornish diaspora around the world.

[edit] Demographics

Brown Willy on Bodmin Moor
Brown Willy on Bodmin Moor

Cornwall's population is 513,527, and population density 144 people per square kilometre, ranking it 40th and 41st respectively compared to the other 47 counties of England. Cornwall has a relatively high level of population growth, however, at 11.2% in the 1980s and 5.3% in the 1990s, giving it the fifth highest population growth of the English counties.[14] The natural change has been a small population decline, and the population increase is due to immigration into Cornwall.[15] According to the 1991 census, the population was 469,800.

Cornwall has a relatively high retired population, with 22.9% of pensionable age, compared to 20.3% for the United Kingdom.[16] This may be due to a combination of Cornwall's rural and coastal geography increasing its popularity as a retirement location, and due to the emigration of younger residents to more economically diverse areas. Migration of pensioners from southern England to Cornwall, and emigration of young Cornish people, is a persistent concern.

Cornwall is one of the six modern Celtic nations alongside Brittany, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales. Just under 7% of the population of Cornwall gave their ethnicity as Cornish in the last census,[17] however, in a survey by Morgan Stanley 44% of the population considered themselves Cornish.[18] Following the 2001 Census, Cornish campaigners made representations to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to provide a clear 'Cornish' tick-box option prior to the next Census to allow people the right to record their nationality as Cornish.[19]

[edit] Economy

Main article: Economy of Cornwall

Cornwall is one of the poorest areas in the United Kingdom. The GDP is 62% of the national average.[20] Cornwall is one of four UK areas that qualifies for poverty-related grants from the EU (European Social Fund). Today, the Cornish economy depends heavily on its successful tourist industry, which makes up around a quarter of the Cornish economy. The official measures of deprivation and poverty at district and 'sub-ward' level show that there is great variation in poverty and prosperity in Cornwall with some areas among the poorest in England and others are among the top half in prosperity. For example, the ranking of 32,482 sub-wards in England in the index of multiple deprivation ranges from 819th (part of Penzance East) to 26,584th (part of Probus), where the lower number represents the most deprivation.[21]

Cornwall's unique culture, spectacular landscape and mild climate make it a popular tourist destination, despite being somewhat distant from the United Kingdom's main tourist centres. Surrounded on three sides by the English Channel and Celtic Sea, Cornwall has miles of beaches and cliffs. Other tourist attractions include moorland, country gardens and wooded valleys. Five million tourists visit Cornwall each year, mostly drawn from within the UK.[22] In particular, Newquay is a popular destination for surfers. In recent years, the Eden Project near St Austell has been a major financial success, drawing one in eight of Cornwall's visitors.[23]

Other industries are fishing, although this has been significantly damaged by EU fishing policies, (the Southwest Handline Fisherman's Association has started to revive the fishing industry),[24] and agriculture, which has also declined significantly. Mining of tin and copper was also an industry, but today the derelict mine workings survive only as a World Heritage Site,[25]However, the Camborne School of Mines is still a world centre of excellence in its field.[26] and the grant World Heritage status has attracted funding for conservation and heritage tourism.[5] China clay extraction has also been an important industry in the St Austell area, but this sector has been in decline, and this, coupled with increased mechanisation, has led to a decrease in employment in this sector.

In recent years Cornwall's creative industries have undergone significant growth, thanks in part to Objective One funding. There is now a significant creative industry in Cornwall, encompassing areas like graphic design, product design, web design, packaging design, environmental design, architecture, photography, art and crafts.

[edit] Culture

Minack Theatre, carved from the cliffs.
Minack Theatre, carved from the cliffs.
Main article: Culture of Cornwall

[edit] Language

Main article: Cornish language

The Cornish language is closely related to Welsh and Breton, and less so to Irish, Scots Gaelic and Manx. It continued as a living Celtic language until 1777 and the death of Dolly Pentreath, the last person thought to have used only the Cornish language (although this is disputed on a number of counts). The publication of Henry Jenner's Handbook of the Cornish Language in 1904 caused a resurgence of interest in the Cornish language. The subsequent revival gathered pace during the twentieth century. Although there has never been a census, the study by Kenneth MacKinnon[27] in 2000 suggested that there were then about 300 people who spoke Cornish fluently, ie were able to talk at ordinary speed on everyday matters. There are several families who have raised their children with the language. Cornish was recognised by the UK government as an official minority language in 2002 and it received government funding in 2005. Although currently less than 0.1% of the population speak it fluently, it is taught in many schools and used in religious and civic ceremonies and has boosted Cornish cultural identity. In 2006 a pop group gained fame for Cornish by singing some of the Beatles hits in Kernewek / Cornish.

Many Cornish surnames are prefixed by Tre, Pol, or Pen, as celebrated in the Cornish rhyme:

by Tre, Pol and Pen shall ye know all Cornishmen.

These are derived from words in the Cornish language meaning, town (or farm), pool(or lake), and head (or end), respectively.

[edit] Cornish studies and literary references

The Institute of Cornish Studies, established in 1970, is a branch of the University of Exeter, and now part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall Campus at Tremough, Penryn. Philip Payton, professor Cornish studies, has written a history of Cornwall as well as editing the Cornish studies series, and other academics, including Mark Stoyle of the University of Southampton and John Angarrack of the human rights organisation Cornwall 2000, have also produced work on Cornish culture.

A detailed overview of literature is provided by Alan M. Kent's The Literature of Cornwall.[28] It covers everything from medieval mystery plays to more recent literary works that draw on the Cornish landscape. Notable Cornish writers include Arthur Quiller-Couch alias "Q", the deaf short story writer, Jack Clemo and D. M. Thomas acclaimed author and poet.

Cornwall also produced a substantial amount of passion plays during the Middle Ages. Many are still extant, and provide valuable information about the Cornish language.

Daphne du Maurier lived in Cornwall and set many of her novels there, including Jamaica Inn, Frenchman's Creek, My Cousin Rachel, and The House on the Strand. Rebecca is sometimes said to be set in Cornwall, but this is not stated explicitly in the novel. She is also noted for writing Vanishing Cornwall. Cornwall provided the inspiration for The Birds, one of her terrifying series of short stories, made famous as a film by Alfred Hitchcock. Hammond Innes' novel, The Killer Mine , Charles de Lint's novel The Little Country, Winston Graham's series Poldark, Kate Tremayne's Adam Loveday series, Susan Cooper's novels Over Sea, Under Stone and Greenwitch, Mary Wesley's The Camomile Lawn and Gilbert and Sullivan's musical The Pirates of Penzance are all set in Cornwall. Also the trilogy by Monica Furlong, "Wise Child", "Juniper", and "Colman" take place in medieval Cornwall. Conan Doyle's The Adventure of the Devil's Foot featuring Sherlock Holmes is set in Cornwall.

The Nobel-prizewinning novelist William Golding was born near Newquay in 1911, and returned to live near Truro from 1985 until his death in 1993.

The Scottish poet W. S. Graham lived in West Cornwall from 1944 until his death in 1986.

The late Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman was famously fond of Cornwall and it featured prominently in his poetry. He is buried in the churchyard at St Enodoc Church near Trebetherick.

[edit] Religion

Many place names in Cornwall are associated with Christian missionaries described as coming from Ireland and Wales in the fifth century AD and usually called saints (See List of Cornish saints). The historicity of some of these missionaries is problematic[29] and it has been pointed out by Doble that it was customary in the middle ages to ascribe such geographic origins to saints.[30] Some of these saints are not included in the early lists of saints.[31]

There are traditional stories attached to some of these saints, as other saints, which are implausible. For example St Ia is said to have travelled across the sea to Cornwall on a leaf and St Piran on a millstone.

St Piran, after whom Perranporth is named, is now widely regarded as the patron saint of Cornwall.

In the sixteenth century there was some violent resistance to the replacement of Catholicism with Protestantism in the 1549 uprising. From the eighteenth to the mid-twentieth century Methodism was the leading form of Christianity in Cornwall but is now in decline. The Anglican diocese of Truro was created in 1877.[32]

[edit] Visual art

Since the 19th century, Cornwall, with its unspoilt maritime scenery and strong light, has sustained a vibrant visual art scene of international renown. Artistic activity within Cornwall was initially centred on the art-colony of Newlyn, most active at the turn of the century, and associated with the names: Stanhope Forbes, Elizabeth Forbes, Norman Garstin and Lamorna Birch. Modernist writers such as D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Wolf lived in Cornwall between the wars, and Ben Nicholson, the painter, having visited in the 1920s came to live in St Ives with his then wife Barbara Hepworth, sculptor, at the outbreak of the second world war. They were later joined by the Russian emigrant Naum Gabo, and other artists. These included Peter Lanyon, Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, Bryan Wynter and Roger Hilton. St Ives also houses the Leach Pottery, where Bernard Leach, and his followers championed Japanese inspired studio pottery.

Much of this modernist work can be seen in Tate St Ives. Contemporary art in Cornwall is documented in the on-line journal and can be linked with the Newlyn Gallery and Newlyn Society of Artists, ProjectBase and artist-led organisations like PALP (no-longer in existence) and artsurgery; independent artist-led projects have been growing more recently across the county with In-Transit, Wheal Art Weekend, eek and Santa's Secret £10 Tombola. Other organisations such as, Creative Skills and the council's Creative Unit are very supportive of the arts in the county, and local educational institutions such as Cornwall College Camborne are keen to offer artists opportunities and broaden debate.

[edit] Music and festivals

Cornwall has a rich and vibrant folk music tradition which has survived into the present. Cornwall is well known for its unusual folk survivals such as Mummers Plays, the Furry Dance in Helston, and Obby Oss in Padstow.

Cornish players are regular participants in inter-Celtic festivals, and Cornwall itself has several lively inter-Celtic festivals such as Perranporth's Lowender Peran folk festival[6].

On a more modern note, contemporary musician Richard D James (also known as Aphex Twin) grew up in Cornwall, as did Alex Parks winner of Fame Academy 2003. The American Singer/Songwriter Tori Amos now resides predominantly in North Cornwall with her family.

Cornwall has recently developed a thriving anti-folk scene, kickstarted by The Red Army (band), Pentorr, Black Friday and Lost And Found.

[edit] Sports and games

Among Cornwall's native sports are a distinctive form of wrestling related to Breton wrestling, and hurling, a kind of medieval football played with a silver ball (distinct from Irish Hurling). The latter sport now takes place at St. Columb Major and St Ives although hurling of a silver ball is part of the beating the bounds ceremony at Bodmin every five years.

Rugby union has the largest following in Cornwall (more so than football), with the Cornish Pirates (recently renamed from Penzance & Newlyn RFC) in National League 1. Launceston RFC "the Cornish All Blacks" and Redruth RFC "the Reds" are also in the national leagues and get good support. The Cornish rugby team (dubbed Trelawny's Army) regularly draws large crowds of supporters to its matches in the county championship, especially if they are progressing towards a Twickenham final. London Cornish are an exiles team along the lines of London Irish or London Welsh.

Despite playing in Devon, Plymouth Argyle F.C. attract a lot of supporters from Cornwall.

One of the earliest references to cricket in Cornwall is 1816 and Sir William Pratt Call of Whiteford house in Stoke Climsland, organised a match against the Plymouth Garrison, and noted:- tea and a meal in a marquee at 6 o'clock. Cornwall County Cricket Club competes in the Minor Counties Championship, the second tier National County structure. Talented players, produced by the vigorous County league sides, have frequently found employment in the First Class Counties and two have gone on to represent England.

Due to its large coastline, various maritime sports are popular in Cornwall, notably sailing and surfing. International events in both are held in Cornwall. Cornwall hosted the Inter-Celtic Watersports Festival in 2006.

Rock climbing on the sea cliffs and inland cliffs has been popular since the pioneering work of A. W. Andrews and others in the early 1900s, and is now highly developed.

Euchre is a popular card game in Cornwall, it is normally a game for four players consisting of two teams. Its origins are unclear but some claim it is a Cornish game. There are several leagues in Cornwall at present.

A recent application for a place in the 2006 Commonwealth Games was refused by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF). The Cornwall Commonwealth Games Association claimed that Cornwall should be recognised with a team, in the way that other sub-state entities such as England, Guernsey and the Isle of Man are. However, the CGF noted that it was not their place to make political decisions on whether or not Cornwall is a separate nation.[33]

[edit] Food and drink

Cornwall has a strong gastronomic heritage. Surrounded on three sides by the sea amid fertile fishing grounds, Cornwall naturally has fresh seafood readily available; Newlyn is the largest fishing port in the UK by value of fish landed.[34] Television chef Rick Stein has long operated a fish restaurant in Padstow for this reason, and Jamie Oliver recently chose to open his second restaurant, Fifteen, in Newquay. One famous local fish dish is star-gazy pie, a fish-based pie in which the heads and tails of the fish stick through the pasty crust, as though "star-gazing". The pie is cooked as part of traditional celebrations for Tom Bawcocks Eve.

More traditional (this is a tourist thing, like medieval banquets) Cornish restaurants are known as meaderies, as they serve mead. Meaderies usually have a medieval ambiance, typically in the style of a banquet hall with wooden flooring, heavy wooden tables, lit by candlelight with white-painted granite walls. Fare such as a turkey leg, chicken and chips is served to each table on a large wooden plate and is eaten by hand. A lemon floating in a bowl of water is used to clean the hands along with serviettes. Food is served by "barefoot wenches".

Cornwall is perhaps best known for its pasties, a savoury dish made from pastry containing suet. Those seen today most commonly contain a filling of beef steak, onion, potato and swede (the latter two more correctly referred to as, 'teddies and turnip', q.v. Scottish Tatties & Neeps) with salt and white pepper, but historically pasties had a variety of different fillings, including the licky pasty, comprised mostly of leeks, and the herb pasty, which contained watercress, parsley, and shallots.[35] Pasties are often locally referred to as oggies or 'Teddy Oggies'. Historically, pasties were also often made with sweet fillings such as jam, apple and blackberry, plums or cherries.

[36]It is said that the Devil never crossed the Tamar into Cornwall, on account of the well-known habit of Cornishwomen of putting everything into a pasty, and that he was not sufficiently courageous to risk such a fate! However that may be, the Cornish pasty, in its various forms, is a delectable dainty and deservedly world-famous.

When the pasties are being made, each member of the family has his or hers marked at one corner with the initial of the prospective owner. In this way, each persons tastes can be catered for.

The true Cornish way to eat a pasty is to hold it in the hand, and begin to bite it from the opposite end to the initial, so that, should any of it be uneaten, it may be consumed later by its rightful owner. And woe betide anyone who takes another person's "corner"!

The wet climate and relatively poor soil of Cornwall make it unsuitable for growing many arable crops. However, it is ideal for growing the rich grass required for dairying, leading to the production of Cornwall's other famous export, Cornish clotted cream. This forms the basis for many local specialities including Cornish fudge, Cornish ice cream, and other traditional recipes such as thunder and lightning (bread with clotted cream and treacle), and burnt cream. Cornish clotted cream is protected under EU law[37] and cannot be made anywhere else. True Cornish clotted cream has a minimum fat content of 55% and must be made from unpasteurised milk or the clots will not form. Local desserts include Saffron Cake, Cornish Heavy (Hevva) Cake, Cornish fairings Biscuits, Figgy 'obbin, and Whortleberry Pie. There are also many types of beers brewed in Cornwall — the St Austell brewery is the best-known — including a stout, and there is some small scale production of wine, mead, and cider. In 2007 it was claimed in a new book by Mark Hix, chef director at the Ivy, that Fish and chips actually began in Cornwall. Mr Hix claims a Cornishman by the name Joseph Malins first served fried fish with chipped potatoes as a young man in the Cornwall. He then moved to London in the mid-19th century and began a thriving business.[38]

[edit] Settlements and communication

Cornwall's only city, and the home of the county council, is Truro. Nearby Falmouth is notable as a port, while the ports at Penzance, the most westerly town in England, St Ives and Padstow have declined. Newquay on the north coast is famous for its beaches and is a popular surfing destination.

Cornwall borders the county of Devon at the River Tamar. Major road links between Cornwall and the rest of Great Britain are the A38 which crosses the Tamar at Plymouth via the Tamar Bridge, and the A30 which crosses the border south of Launceston. A car ferry also links Plymouth with the town of Torpoint on the opposite side of the Hamoaze. A rail bridge, the Royal Albert Bridge, built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1859) provides the only other major transport link.

Newquay airport connects Cornwall to the rest of the UK and Ireland. The airport shares RAF St. Mawgan's runways and facilities; however, this is under threat as the Ministry of Defence has announced that military flights will cease at the base from August 2008. The handover of the runway will depend on funding being found to bring it up to civil aviation standards.

Cardiff and Swansea, across the Bristol channel, are connected to Cornwall by ferry, usually to Padstow. Swansea in particular has several boat companies who can arrange boat trips to North Cornwall, which allows the traveller to pass by the North Cornish coastline, including Tintagel castle and Padstow harbour. Very occasionally, the Waverley and Balmoral paddle steamers cruise from Swansea or Bristol to Padstow[citation needed].

The Isles of Scilly are served by ferry (from Penzance), helicopter (Penzance Heliport) and fixed wing aeroplane (Land's End Aerodrome, near St Just). Further flights to St Mary's, Isles of Scilly, are available from Exeter International Airport in Devon.

[edit] Famous People from Cornwall

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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[edit] References

  1. ^ Halliday. F.E. A History of Cornwall, Duckworth, 1959, ISBN 1-84232-123-4, p51.
  2. ^ Halliday, p52.
  3. ^ Halliday, p69.
  4. ^ Anglo-Saxon Chronicle; Halliday, p102
  5. ^ Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
  6. ^ Halliday, p182.
  7. ^ Metallurgy in Archaeology, R.F. Tylecote, 1962
  8. ^ Cornwall County Council, "The County Flower."
  9. ^ Met Office, 2000. Annual average temperature for the United Kingdom.
  10. ^ Met Office, 2000. Annual average rainfall for the United Kingdom.
  11. ^ Met Office, 2000. Annual average sunshine for the United Kingdom.
  12. ^ BBC. "County's unitary bid goes forward", 2007-03-27. Retrieved on March 28, 2007.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Office for National Statistics, 2001. Population Change in England by County 1981-2000.
  15. ^ Office for National Statistics, 2001. Births, Deaths and Natural Change in Cornwall 1974 – 2001.
  16. ^ Office for National Statistics, 1996. % of Population of Pension Age (1996).
  17. ^ London School of Economics - Cornish ethnicity data from the 2001 Census
  18. ^ BBC News Online, 2004. "Welsh are more patriotic".
  19. ^ Mebyon Kernow 2004. "Mebyon Kernow demands the right to be Cornish."
  20. ^ Peter Kingston, 2005. "Closed for Business". The Guardian, Tuesday May 10 2005.
  21. ^ Poverty and deprivation in Cornwall (June 2006)and Poverty and neighbourhood renewal in west Cornwall (January 2002)PDF
  22. ^ Cornwall Tourist Board, 2003. Tourism in CornwallPDF.
  23. ^ Scottish Executive, 2004. A literature review of the evidence base for culture, the arts and sport policy.
  24. ^
  25. ^ UNESCO Page on the Cornwall & West Devon application
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ Kent, Alan M. (2000). The literature of Cornwall: Continuity, Identity, Difference 1000-2000. Redcliffe Press. 
  29. ^ ORME Nicholas(2000) The saints of Cornwall, [1]
  30. ^ DOBLE GH (1960) The saints of Cornwall
  31. ^ see for example absences from OLSON B and PADEL OJ (1986) 'A tenth century list of Cornish parochial saints' in Cambridge medieval Celtic studies 12; and Nova legenda Angliae by John of Tynemouth and CAPGRAVE John
  32. ^ Truro Cathedral website - History page
  33. ^ BBC News Online, 2006. "Cornish out of running for Games."
  34. ^ Objective One media release [2]
  35. ^ - Cornish recipe site
  36. ^ Martin, Edith (1929). Cornish Recipes, Ancient & Modern. 22nd edition, 1965. 
  37. ^ Official list of British protected foods
  38. ^

[edit] Bibliography

  • Halliday, Frank Ernest (2001.). History of Cornwall, 2nd edition. Main text same as 1959 edition but with afterword by Halliday's son.. Thirsk, North Yorkshire: House of Stratus. ISBN 0-7551-0817-5. 

[edit] Further reading

  • Price,J. H., Hepton, C.E.L. and Honey, S.I. 1979. The inshore benthic biota of the Lizard Peninsula, south west Cornwalll !. the marine algae: History; Chlorophyta; Phaeophyta. Cornish Studies. 7: 7 - 37.