|Motto: Onen hag oll
(Cornish: One and all)
|Status||Ceremonial and (smaller) Non-metropolitan county|
|Region||South West England|
- Admin. council
- Admin. area
- Total (2004 est.)
- Admin. council
- Admin. pop.
145 / km²
Cornwall County Council
|Cornwall Liberal Democrats
|Members of Parliament|
The administrative centre and only city is Truro, while the historic capital is Bodmin. Including the Isles of Scilly, located 28 miles (45 km) offshore, Cornwall covers an area of 1,376 square miles (3,563 km²). There is a population of 513,527 with a population density of 144 people per square kilometre, or 373 per square mile. Tourism forms a significant part of the local economy. However, it is the poorest area in the United Kingdom with the lowest contribution to the national economy, (just behind Merseyside and the Tees Valley and Durham). Cornwall is the only area in Southern Britain to qualify for Objective One funding (GDP per capita for the region must be below 75% of the EU average).
In the 20th century there has been an attempt to revive the Cornish language and as one of the six Celtic nations there has been some debate over the constitutional status of Cornwall (Some Cornish people refer to Cornwall as a Duchy and consider it separate from England regardless of the fact that Duchies within England have long since lost their political role.)
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.
The site of ancient Belerion, Cornwall, was the principal source of tin for the civilisations of the ancient Mediterranean and evidence has been found of trade with cultures as far off as Phoenicia, located in present day Lebanon. At one time the Cornish were one of the world's foremost experts at mining. 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 Cornish Rebellion of 1497 is attributed to tin miners. 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, 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 the poorest part of the United Kingdom and it has been granted Objective 1 status by the EU. 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 MPs to Westminster; 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.
The Cornish coast, being exposed to the full force of the Atlantic Ocean, is composed entirely of resistant rocks, as less resistant rocks have been eroded away. The centre of Cornwall is largely Devonian sandstone and slate. The north east of the county lies on Carboniferous sandstone. Cornwall is particularly known for its igneous outcrops, which include the granite of Bodmin Moor and the areas around Camborne and Land's End, and the dark green serpentine of the Lizard Peninsula. The granite forms high treeless moors on which sheep graze, and the characteristic Cornish cliffs. The alkaline soils of the Lizard support a rare heathland plant, the Cornish Heath, which has been adopted as the county flower.
Bude and Crackington Haven on the North Cornish coast have given their names to two geological formations — the Bude formation and the Crackington formation. When a tablecloth is pushed inwards, it folds upwards and overlaps; and that it has the spectacular overlapping strata of the cliffs of Bude and Crackington Haven were created during the Carboniferous era. Also of geological importance is the Lizard Peninsula; it contains metamorphic rocks from the Precambrian era (around 640 million years ago in this case) making it the oldest piece of rock in Cornwall.
Cornwall's coast is a tale of two halves: the placid estuaries and wooded valleys of its southern seaboard are a massive contrast to the raw, serrated, guttural cliffs of the awesome northern seaboard. North Cornwall's raw appearance is partly due to the fact that it faces out to the Celtic Sea, and partly due to the fact the stretch of coast between Bude and Tintagel is composed of Devonian slate/Carboniferous Sandstone cliffs that are not found in southern Cornwall. Cornwall's northern seabord is comparable with the likes of the Vale of Glamorgan and Gower Peninsula in Wales, the Dingle Peninsula in southern Ireland, and Finistere in Britanny in its fractured appearance.
Cornwall is the southernmost part of Great Britain, and therefore has a relatively warm and sunny climate. However, being unprotected from the Atlantic it also has more extreme weather. The average annual temperature for most of the county is 10.2 to 12 degrees Celsius (50 to 54 °F), with slightly lower temperatures on the moors. The county has relatively high rainfall, though less than more northern areas of the west coast, at 1051 to 1290 mm (41.4 to 50.8 in) per year. Most of Cornwall enjoys over 1541 hours of sunshine per year.
Parliamentary representation for Cornwall is dominated by the Liberal Democrats. Currently all five of the Cornish MPs are Liberal Democrats. The local councils also have a large portion of Lib Dem members. Most local Liberal Democrat MPs and councillors strongly support moves for Cornish devolution, as do some Welsh nationalists.
Although Cornwall is administered as a county of England, an independence movement exists that seeks more autonomy along the lines of the other home Celtic nations. Additionally, some groups and individuals question the constitutional status of Cornwall and its relationship to the Duchy of Cornwall. Cornish nationalists have organised into two political parties: Mebyon Kernow and the Cornish Nationalist Party, and in 2005 Mebyon Kernow became the largest political group on Camborne town council after a by-election. In addition to the political parties, the Cornish Stannary Parliament acts as a pressure group on Cornish constitutional issues and Cornwall 2000, the Human Rights organisation works with Cornish cultural issues.
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 for a Cornish Assembly collected the signatures of 41,650 Cornish residents endorsing the Declaration for a Cornish Assembly, in total 50,546 including people outside Cornwall. The British government however has no plans at present to devolve more power to Cornwall.
Saint Piran's Flag is regarded 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 on a white field) and is known by the same name "Gwynn ha Du" - white and black.
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 recognised as the flag of Cornwall. St. Piran's Day (March 5) is celebrated by the Cornish diaspora around the world.
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. The natural change has been a small population decline, and the population increase is due to immigration into the county. 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. 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, however, in a survey by Morgan Stanley 44% of the population considered themselves Cornish. 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. 
This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly at current basic prices published (pp.240-253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.
|Year||Regional Gross Value Added4||Agriculture1||Industry2||Services3|
Note 1: includes hunting and forestry
Note 2: includes energy and construction
Note 3: includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
Note 4: Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
Cornwall is the poorest area in the United Kingdom. The GDP is 62% of the national average. 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.
Traditional areas such as china clay extraction have gradually shed workers in recent years.
Educated young people continue to leave the county in numbers and despite Objective One funding the county's economy continues a downward spiral. Objective One funding is due to expire in 2006.
Cornwall's unique culture, spectacular landscape and mild climate make it a popular tourist destination, despite being somewhat isolated from the United Kingdom's main tourist centres. Surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean, English Channel and Celtic Sea, Cornwall has miles of beaches and cliffs. Other tourist attractions include moorland, country gardens and wooded valleys, and tourism is a significant economic sector.
Five million tourists visit the county each year, mostly drawn from within the UK. In particular, Newquay is a popular destination for surfers. In recent years, the Eden Project has been a major financial success, drawing one in eight of Cornwall's visitors.
Other industries are fishing, although this has been significantly damaged by EU fishing policies, and agriculture, which has also declined significantly. Mining of tin and copper was also an industry, but today no longer exists, and several defunct mines have applied for status as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
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.
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 and, although there has never been a census, most estimates agree that there are now around 4,000 Cornish speakers, around 500 of whom are fluent, and 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.
Some Cornish surnames are prefixed by Tre, Pol, or Pen, as indicated in the rhyme "by Tre, Pol and Pen ye shall know Cornishmen." These come from Cornish language words meaning, respectively, town (or farm), pool, and head (or end).
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 A. M. Kent's 'The Literature of Cornwall'. 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. 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.
Traditionally, the Cornish have been nonconformists when it comes to religion. Celtic Christianity was a feature of Cornwall and many Cornish saints are commemorated in legends, churches and place names.
The Methodism of John Wesley also proved to be very popular with the working classes in Cornwall in the 18th century. Cornwall has shared in the post-World War II decline in British religious feeling.
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.
Cornwall has its own unique form of wrestling related to Breton wrestling and another unique Cornish sport is hurling, a kind of medieval football played with a silver ball (distinct from Irish Hurling). The 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 and hoping to tap into the large amount of Cornish nationalist sentiment). 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 regularly draws large crowds of supporters, dubbed Trelawny's Army, especially if they are progressing towards a Twickenham final!
The Cornwall County Cricket side compete 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 will host the Inter-Celtic Watersports Festival in 2006.
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.
Cornwall has a strong gastronomic heritage. Being surrounded on three sides by the sea amid fertile fishing grounds fresh seafood is easily available; Newlyn is the largest fishing port in the UK by value of fish landed . Television Chef Rick Stein has long operated a fish restaurant in Padstow for this reason. 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.
Cornwall is perhaps best known for its pasties a savory dish made from pastry containing suet. Those seen today most commonly contain a filling of beef steak, potato, onion and swede with salt and white pepper, but historically had a variety of different fillings including the licky pasty that comprised mostly leeks, or the herb pasty that contained watercress, parsley and shallots.  Pasties are often locally referred to as oggies.
The wet climate and relatively poor soil mean that Cornwall is unsuitable for growing many arable crops. However, it is ideal for growing the rich grass required for dairying, that leads to the production of Cornwall's other famous export, Cornish clotted cream. This forms the basis for many local specialities including Cornish fudge and Cornish ice cream and other traditional recipes including thunder and lightning (bread with clotted cream and treacle) and burnt cream. Cornish clotted cream is protected under EU law  and cannot be made anywhere else. True Cornish clotted cream must be made from unpasteurised milk or the clots will not form and has a minimum fat content of 55%.
This is a list of the main towns and cities in the county.
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 has an airport which has flights from London Gatwick, London Stansted, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Dublin, Birmingham, Durham Tees Valley. 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 October 2007. The handover of the runway will depend on funding being found to bring it up to civil aviation standards.
Perhaps the best (although expensive) way to travel to North Cornwall is from Cardiff or Swansea on a boat-trip across the Bristol channel, 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 and its superb sights, such as Tintagel castle and Padstow habour. Very occasionally, the Waverley and Balmoral paddle steamers cruise from Swansea to Padstow.
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.
|Accessible open space|
|Museums (free/not free)|
The Isles of Scilly have in some periods been served by the same county administration as Cornwall, but are today a separate Unitary Authority. The Health Authority covering Cornwall, however, does include The Isles of Scilly in its area of responsibility.
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