42 Facts About Cornwall


Cornwall is a historic county and ceremonial county in South West England.

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The ceremonial county of Cornwall includes the Isles of Scilly, which are administered separately.

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Cornwall was formerly a Brythonic kingdom and subsequently a royal duchy.

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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, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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Recent discoveries of Roman remains in Cornwall indicate a greater Roman presence there than once thought.

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The area now known as Cornwall was first inhabited in the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods.

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However, after 410 CE, Cornwall appears to have reverted to rule by Romano-Celtic chieftains of the Cornovii tribe as part of the Brittonic kingdom of Dumnonia, including the territory of one Marcus Cunomorus, with at least one significant power base at Tintagel in the early 6th century.

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Cornwall's proposed this period for the early composition of the Tristan and Iseult cycle by poets such as Beroul from a pre-existing shared Brittonic oral tradition.

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Cornwall is well known for its wreckers who preyed on ships passing Cornwall's rocky coastline.

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In later times, Cornwall was known to the Anglo-Saxons as "West Wales" to distinguish it from "North Wales" .

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Cornwall has a border with only one other county, Devon, which is formed almost entirely by the River Tamar, and the remainder by the Marsland Valley.

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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.

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Cornwall has a temperate Oceanic climate, with mild winters and cool summers.

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Cornwall has the mildest and one of the sunniest climates of the United Kingdom, as a result of its oceanic setting and the influence of the Gulf Stream.

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Extreme temperatures in Cornwall are particularly rare; however, extreme weather in the form of storms and floods is common.

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Cornwall Council encourages and facilitates language classes within the county, in schools and within the wider community.

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Artistic activity within Cornwall was initially centred on the art-colony of Newlyn, most active at the turn of the 20th century.

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Cornwall has a folk music tradition that has survived into the present and is well known for its unusual folk survivals such as Mummers Plays, the Furry Dance in Helston played by the famous Helston Town Band, and Obby Oss in Padstow.

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Cornwall has around 40 brass bands, including the six-times National Champions of Great Britain, Camborne Youth Band, and the bands of Lanner and St Dennis.

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

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Contemporary musician Richard D James grew up in Cornwall, as did Luke Vibert and Alex Parks, winner of Fame Academy 2003.

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Cornwall provided the inspiration for The Birds, one of her terrifying series of short stories, made famous as a film by Alfred Hitchcock.

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Medieval Cornwall is the setting of the trilogy by Monica Furlong, Wise Child, Juniper and Colman, as well as part of Charles Kingsley's Hereward the Wake.

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St Michael's Mount in Cornwall is the setting of the Little Beach Street Bakery series by Jenny Colgan, who spent holidays in Cornwall as a child.

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Cornwall is buried in the churchyard at St Enodoc's Church, Trebetherick.

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Cornwall produced a substantial number of passion plays such as the Ordinalia during the Middle Ages.

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Cornwall has written novels, poetry, and other works, including translations from Russian.

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Thomas Hardy's drama The Queen of Cornwall is a version of the Tristan story; the second act of Richard Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde takes place in Cornwall, as do Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas The Pirates of Penzance and Ruddigore.

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Cornwall is one of the few places in England where shinty is played; the English Shinty Association is based in Penryn.

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Cornwall is perhaps best known though for its pasties, a savoury dish made with pastry.

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Cornwall is recognised by Cornish and Celtic political groups as one of six Celtic nations, alongside Brittany, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales.

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Cornwall Council consider Cornwall's unique cultural heritage and distinctiveness to be one of the area's major assets.

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However, it is uncertain how many of the people living in Cornwall consider themselves to be Cornish; results from different surveys have varied.

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Isles of Scilly form part of the ceremonial county of Cornwall, and have, at times, been served by the same county administration.

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Until 1832, Cornwall had 44 MPs—more than any other county—reflecting the importance of tin to the Crown.

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Cornwall is one of the poorest parts of the United Kingdom in terms of per capita GDP and average household incomes.

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Cornwall is one of two UK areas designated as 'less developed regions' which qualify for Cohesion Policy grants from the European Union.

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Visitors to Cornwall are served by the airport at Newquay, whilst private jets, charters and helicopters are served by Perranporth airfield; nightsleeper and daily rail services run between Cornwall, London and other regions of the UK.

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The sudden rise and demand of tourism in Cornwall caused multiple traffic and safety issues in coastal areas.

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In October 2021, Cornwall was longlisted for the UK City of Culture 2025, but failed to make the March 2022 shortlist.

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Cornwall is the landing point for twenty-two of the world's fastest high-speed undersea and transatlantic fibre optic cables, making Cornwall an important hub within Europe's Internet infrastructure.

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Cornwall has a comprehensive education system, with 31 state and eight independent secondary schools.

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