Cornwall (; Cornish: Kernow [ˈkɛrnɔʊ]) is a ceremonial county in South West England, bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by Devon, the River Tamar forming the border between them. Cornwall is the westernmost part of the South West Peninsula of the island of Great Britain. The southwesternmost point is Land's End and the southernmost Lizard Point. Cornwall has a population of 563,600 and an area of 3,563 km2 (1,376 sq mi). The county has been administered since 2009 by the unitary authority, Cornwall Council. The ceremonial county of Cornwall also includes the Isles of Scilly, which are administered separately. The administrative centre of Cornwall is Truro, its only city.
Cornwall is the homeland of the Cornish people and the cultural and ethnic origin of the Cornish diaspora. It retains a distinct cultural identity that reflects its history, and is recognised as one of the Celtic nations. It was formerly a Brythonic kingdom and subsequently a royal duchy. The Cornish nationalist movement contests the present constitutional status of Cornwall and seeks greater autonomy within the United Kingdom in the form of a devolved legislative Cornish Assembly with powers similar to those in Wales and Scotland. In 2014, Cornish people were granted minority status under the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, giving them recognition as a distinct ethnic group.
First inhabited in the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods, Cornwall continued to be occupied by Neolithic and then Bronze Age peoples, and later (in the Iron Age) by Brythons with strong ethnic, linguistic, trade and cultural links to Wales and Brittany the latter of which was settled by Britons from the region. Mining in Cornwall and Devon in the south-west of England began in the early Bronze Age.
Few Roman remains have been found in Cornwall, and there is little evidence that the Romans settled or had much military presence there. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Cornwall (along with Devon, parts of Dorset and Somerset, and the Scilly Isles) was a part of the Brittonic kingdom of Dumnonia, ruled by chieftains of the Cornovii who may have included figures regarded as semi-historical or legendary, such as King Mark of Cornwall and King Arthur, evidenced by folklore traditions derived from the Historia Regum Britanniae. The Cornovii division of the Dumnonii tribe were separated from their fellow Brythons of Wales after the Battle of Deorham in 577 AD, and often came into conflict with the expanding English kingdom of Wessex. The regions of Dumnonia outside of Cornwall (and Dartmoor) had been annexed by the English by 838 AD. King Athelstan in 936 AD set the boundary between the English and Cornish at the high water mark of the eastern bank of the River Tamar. From the early Middle Ages, language and culture were shared by Brythons trading across both sides of the Channel, resulting in the corresponding high medieval Breton kingdoms of Domnonée and Cornouaille and the Celtic Christianity common to both areas. Read more...
The Old 'Oss capturing a passing maiden during the Mayday festival.
The 'Obby 'Oss festival is a folk custom that takes place each May Day in Padstow, a coastal town in North Cornwall. It involves two separate processions making their way around the town, each containing an eponymous hobby horse known as the 'Obby 'Oss.
The festival starts at midnight on May Eve when townspeople gather outside the Golden Lion Inn to sing the "Night Song." By morning, the town has been dressed with greenery and flowers placed around the maypole. The excitement begins with the appearance of one of the 'Obby 'Osses. Male dancers cavort through the town dressed as one of two 'Obby 'Osses, the "Old" and the "Blue Ribbon" 'Obby 'Osses; as the name suggests, they are stylised kinds of horses. Prodded on by acolytes known as "Teasers," each wears a mask and black frame-hung cape under which they try to catch young maidens as they pass through the town. Throughout the day, the two parades, led by the "MC" in his top hat and decorated stick, followed by a band of accordions and drums, then the 'Oss and the Teaser, with a host of people, the "Mayers" - all singing the "Morning Song." – pass along the streets of the town. Finally, late in the evening, the two 'osses meet, at the maypole, before returning to their respective stables where the crowd sings of the 'Obby 'Oss death, until its resurrection the following May Eve.
During the twentieth century the existence of the festival was described by a number of folklorists who brought greater attention to it. This helped to turn the event as a popular tourist attraction and establish it as one of the most famous folk customs in Britain. Read more...
Richard Lemon Lander in 1835
Richard Lemon Lander (8 February 1804 – 6 February 1834) was an English explorer of western Africa. He and his brother were the first Europeans to follow the course of the River Niger, and discover that it led to the Atlantic. Read more...
Photo credit: Severecci
|The Scillonian Cross, an unofficial flag of the Isles of Scilly, and the result of a campaign launched by Scilly News in early 2002 for a design.
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Things you can do
- Create Articles for listed buildings in Cornwall.
- Create Articles for conservation areas in Cornwall.
- Create Articles for public parks in Cornwall.
- Create Articles for historic sites, particularly hill-forts.
Flora and fauna
- Create Articles for notable Cornish politicians.
- 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).
- Create Articles for notable Cornish artists.
- Create Articles for local groups and charities.
- Create Articles for notable art galleries.
History, language, culture and art
- Illustrate the new Russian article Корнцы if you can work with Russian Cyrillic script
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Economy and demographics
Wikipedia in Cornish