Portal:Cornwall

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Flag of Cornwall Porth Kernow a'gas dynnargh!
Welcome to the Cornwall Portal!
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Cornwall (Cornish: Kernow) is a county of England, United Kingdom, located at the tip of the south-western peninsula of Great Britain. It is bordered to the north by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of 533,800, covering an area of 1,369 sq mi (3,546 km2), and its administrative centre and only city is Truro.

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Cornwall during the time of the Celts was a part of the Brythonic area of Britain, separated from Wales after the Battle of Deorham. The Kingdom of Cornwall often came into conflict with the expanding Saxon kingdom of Wessex, before the boundary between English and Cornish people was set at the Tamar. The Cornish language continued to be spoken until the 18th century, although a recent revival has seen the number of Cornish speakers increasing over the past few decades.

Cornwall is the homeland of the Cornish people and diaspora, and is considered one of the six "Celtic nations" by many residents and scholars. Cornwall continues to retain its distinct identity, with its own history, language and culture. Cornwall's economy struggles after the decline of the mining and fishing industries, and has become dependent on tourism. The area is noted for its wild moorland landscapes, its extensive and varied coastline, home to a variety of flora and fauna, as well as its mild climate.


Selected article

The Old 'Oss

The 'Obby 'Oss festival is a traditional festival held annually in Padstow on May Day (1 May). The festival itself starts at midnight with unaccompanied singing around the town starting at the Golden Lion Inn. By the morning, the town is dressed with greenery, flowers and flags, with the focus being the maypole.

The climax arrives when two groups of dancers progress through the town, one of each team wearing a stylised recreation of a 'horse.' The two 'osses are known as the "Old" and the "Blue Ribbon" 'osses. During the day a number of "Junior" 'osses appear, operated by children. Accompanied by drums and accordions and led by acolytes known as "Teasers", each 'oss is adorned by a gruesome mask and black frame-hung cape under which they try to catch young maidens as they pass through the town. The Blue ribbon oss is apparently of more recent origin. In the late 19th century it was supported by members of the Temperance movement who were trying to discourage the consumption of alcohol associated with the "old" 'oss followers. After the first world war the imperative of temperance was lost, and the 'oss became known as the Peace 'Oss. Each 'oss has a "stable" (in the case of the Old 'Oss, the Golden Lion Inn and the Blue Ribbon 'Oss, the Institute, from which they emerge at the start of the day's proceedings and retire at the end. Some time in the late afternoon the 'osses may meet at the maypole and dance together.

Selected biography

Sir Humphry Davy

Sir Humphry Davy, 1st Baronet (17 December 1778 – 29 May 1829) was a British chemist and inventor, best remembered today for his discoveries of several alkali and alkaline earth elements, as well as contributions to the discoveries of the elemental nature of chlorine and iodine. He invented the Davy lamp, which allowed miners to enter gassy workings. Berzelius called Davy's 1806 Bakerian Lecture On Some Chemical Agencies of Electricity "one of the best memoirs which has ever enriched the theory of chemistry." This paper was central to any chemical affinity theory in the first half of the nineteenth century. He was born in Penzance.

Selected image

Men-an-tol

Photo credit: Zinnmann

The Mên-an-Tol, literally meaning "the hole stone" in Cornish, is a small formation of standing stones near the Madron-Morvah road in Penwith.

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Selected quote

Polydore Vergil
The whole Countrie of Britain ...is divided into iiii partes; whereof the one is inhabited of Englishmen, the other of Scottes, the third of Wallshemen, the fowerthe of Cornishe people, which all differ emonge them selves, either in tongue, ...in manners, or ells in lawes and ordinaunces
Polydore Vergil, Italian scholar writing in the Anglica Historia in 1535

Things you can do

Things you can do
  • Illustrate the new Russian article Корнцы if you can work with Russian Cyrillic script
  • Translate the Cornish Wikipedia article Skriforyon yn Kernowek into English
  • Expand Alfred Aaron de Pass and add more info on him to the institutions he donated art and money to in Cornwall (RIC, Falmouth Gallery etc.
  • Translate the Cornish Wikipedia article Can an Pescador Kernûak (Song of the Cornish Fisherman) into English

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