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What are you waiting for? Discover our singles nights in London. Meet Match members in our singles events in Brighton. There are two river estuaries on the north coast: Hayle Estuary and the estuary of the River Camel , which provides Padstow and Rock with a safe harbour.
The seaside town of Newlyn is a popular holiday destination, as it is one of the last remaining traditional Cornish fishing ports, with views reaching over Mount's Bay. The south coast, dubbed the "Cornish Riviera", is more sheltered and there are several broad estuaries offering 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.
Also on the south coast, the picturesque fishing village of Polperro , at the mouth of the Pol River, and the fishing port of Looe on the River Looe are both popular with tourists. 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, Hensbarrow north of St Austell , Carnmenellis to the south of Camborne , and the Penwith or Land's End peninsula. These intrusions are the central part of the granite outcrops that form the exposed parts of the Cornubian batholith of south-west Britain, which also includes Dartmoor to the east in Devon and the Isles of Scilly to the west, the latter now being partially submerged. 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 the extraction of 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 flora that like shade and a moist, mild climate.
These areas lie mainly on 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 be seen on the north coast near Crackington Haven and in several other locations. The geology of the Lizard peninsula is unusual, in that it is mainland Britain's only example of an ophiolite , a section of oceanic crust now found on land.
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. Cornwall's only city, and the home of the council headquarters , is Truro. Nearby Falmouth is notable as a port. St Just in Penwith is the westernmost town in England, though the same claim has been made for Penzance , which is larger.
St Ives and Padstow are today small vessel ports with a major tourism and leisure sector in their economies. Newquay on the north coast is another major urban settlement which is famous for its beaches and is a popular surfing destination, as is Bude further north, but Newquay is now also becoming important for its aviation-related industries.
Camborne is the county's largest town and more populous than the capital Truro. Together with the neighbouring town of Redruth , it forms the largest urban area in Cornwall, and both towns were significant as centres of the global tin mining industry in the 19th century; nearby copper mines were also very productive during that period.
St Austell is also larger than Truro and was the centre of the china clay industry in Cornwall. Until four new parishes were created for the St Austell area on 1 April St Austell was the largest settlement in Cornwall. Cornwall borders the county of Devon at the River Tamar. Torpoint Ferry links Plymouth with Torpoint on the opposite side of the Hamoaze. A rail bridge, the Royal Albert Bridge built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel , provides the only other land transport link.
The city of Plymouth, a large urban centre in south west Devon, is an important location for services such as hospitals, department stores, road and rail transport, and cultural venues, particularly for people living in east Cornwall. Cardiff and Swansea , across the Bristol Channel, have at some times in the past been connected to Cornwall by ferry, but these do not operate now. The Isles of Scilly are served by ferry from Penzance and by aeroplane, having its own airport: Cornwall has varied habitats including terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
One noted species in decline locally is the Reindeer lichen , which species has been made a priority for protection under the national UK Biodiversity Action Plan. Botanists divide Cornwall and Scilly into two vice-counties: West 1 and East 2. The standard flora is by F. Davey Flora of Cornwall Davey was assisted by A. Hume and he thanks Hume, his companion on excursions in Cornwall and Devon, and for help in the compilation of that Flora, publication of which was financed by him.
Cfb , with mild winters and cool summers. Cornwall and has the mildest and sunniest climate in the United Kingdom, as a result of its oceanic setting and the influence of the Gulf Stream. Winters are among the warmest in the country due to the moderating effects of the warm ocean currents, and frost and snow are very rare at the coast and in the central upland areas. Summers are, however, not as warm as in other parts of southern England.
Cornwall is one of the sunniest areas in the UK. It has more than 1, hours of sunshine per year, with the highest average of 7.
However, this is not as much as in more northern areas of the west coast. Extreme temperatures in Cornwall are particularly rare; however, extreme weather in the form of storms and floods is common. English is the main language used in Cornwall, although the revived Cornish language is used, and is spoken fluently by a small minority of people. Some street names and road signs are written bilingually in Cornish and English. The Cornish language is a language from the Brythonic branch of the Celtic language family, closely related to the other Brythonic languages of Welsh and Breton , and less so to the Goidelic languages of Irish , Scots Gaelic and Manx.
The language continued to function visibly as a community language in parts of Cornwall until the late 18th century, and it was claimed in that the last native speaker did not die until There has been a revival of the language since Henry Jenner 's Handbook of the Cornish Language was published in A study in suggested that there were around people who spoke Cornish fluently.
Nevertheless, the language is taught in about twelve primary schools, and occasionally used in religious and civic ceremonies. Several Cornish mining words are used in English language mining terminology, such as costean , gossan ,  gunnies , kibbal,  kieve  and vug. The Cornish language and culture influenced the emergence of particular pronunciations and grammar not used elsewhere in England. The Cornish dialect is spoken to varying degrees; however, someone speaking full Anglo-Cornish may be practically unintelligible to one not accustomed it.
Cornish dialect has generally declined, in most places it is now little more than a regional accent and grammatical differences have been eroded over time. 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 20th century. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf lived in Cornwall between the wars,  and Ben Nicholson , the painter, having visited in the s came to live in St Ives with his then wife, the sculptor Barbara Hepworth , at the outbreak of the Second World War.
St Ives also houses the Leach Pottery, where Bernard Leach , and his followers championed Japanese inspired studio pottery. Cornwall has a full and vibrant folk music tradition which 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.
Newlyn is home to a food and music festival  which hosts live music, cooking demonstrations, and displays of locally caught fish. As in other former mining districts of Britain, male voice choirs and Brass Bands , e. Brass on the Grass concerts during the summer at Constantine , are still very popular in Cornwall: 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.
On a more modern note, contemporary musician Richard D. Roger Taylor , the drummer from the band Queen was also raised in the county, and currently lives not far from Falmouth. The American singer-songwriter Tori Amos now resides predominantly in North Cornwall not far from Bude with her family.
Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch , author of many novels and works of literary criticism, lived in Fowey: Cornwall provided the inspiration for The Birds , one of her terrifying series of short stories, made famous as a film by Alfred Hitchcock. Writing under the pseudonym of Alexander Kent, Douglas Reeman sets parts of his Richard Bolitho and Adam Bolitho series in the Cornwall of the late 18th and the early 19th centuries, particularly in Falmouth. Lawrence spent a short time living in Cornwall.
Rosamunde Pilcher grew up in Cornwall, and several of her books take place there. He is buried in the churchyard at St Enodoc's Church, Trebetherick. Jack Clemo and the scholar A. Rowse were also notable Cornishmen known for their poetry; The Rev.
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Hawker of Morwenstow wrote some poetry which was very popular in the Victorian period. The Scottish poet W. Graham lived in West Cornwall from until his death in The poet Laurence Binyon wrote "For the Fallen" first published in while sitting on the cliffs between Pentire Point and The Rumps and a stone plaque was erected in to commemorate the fact. The plaque also bears below this the fourth stanza sometimes referred to as "The Ode" of the poem:. Cornwall produced a substantial number of passion plays such as the Ordinalia during the Middle Ages.
Many are still extant, and provide valuable information about the Cornish language. See also Cornish literature. Thomas was born in Redruth but lived and worked in Australia and the United States before returning to his native Cornwall. He has written novels, poetry, and other works, including translations from Russian.
A level of Tomb Raider: Legend , a game dealing with Arthurian Legend, takes place in Cornwall at a museum above King Arthur's tomb. The adventure game The Lost Crown is set in the fictional town of Saxton, which uses the Cornish settlements of Polperro, Talland and Looe as its model. The fairy tale Jack the Giant Killer takes place in Cornwall. The main sports played in Cornwall are rugby , football and cricket. Athletes from Truro have done well in Olympic and Commonwealth Games fencing, winning several medals. Surfing is popular, particularly with tourists, thousands of which take to the water throughout the summer months.
Some towns and villages have bowling clubs, and a wide variety of British sports are played throughout Cornwall.
Cornwall is also one of the few places in England where shinty is played; the English Shinty Association is based in Penryn. Viewed as an "important identifier of ethnic affiliation", rugby union has become a sport strongly tied to notions of Cornishness. In , sports journalist Alan Gibson made a direct connection between love of rugby in Cornwall and the ancient parish games of hurling and wrestling that existed for centuries before rugby officially began.
Cornish Wrestling is Cornwall's oldest sport and as Cornwall's native tradition it has travelled the world to places like Victoria, Australia and Grass Valley, California following the miners and gold rushes. Cornish hurling now takes place at St. Columb Major , St Ives , and less frequently at Bodmin. Due to its long 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 Surfing in particular is very popular, as locations such as Bude and Newquay offer some of the best surf in the UK.
Pilot gig rowing has been popular for many years and the World championships takes place annually on the Isles of Scilly. On 2 September , surfers at Polzeath beach set a new world record for the highest number of surfers riding the same wave as part of the Global Surf Challenge and part of a project called Earthwave to raise awareness about global warming. As its population is comparatively small, and largely rural, Cornwall's contribution to British national sport in the United Kingdom has been limited;  the county's greatest successes have come in fencing.
Cornwall has a strong culinary 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, and is known for its wide range of restaurants. One famous local fish dish is Stargazy pie , a fish-based pie in which the heads of the fish stick through the piecrust, as though "star-gazing".
The pie is cooked as part of traditional celebrations for Tom Bawcock's Eve , but is not generally eaten at any other time. Cornwall is perhaps best known though for its pasties , a savoury dish made with pastry. Today's pasties usually contain a filling of beef steak, onion, potato and swede with salt and white pepper, but historically pasties had a variety of different fillings. For instance, the licky pasty contained mostly leeks, and the herb pasty contained watercress, parsley, and shallots. Historically, pasties were also often made with sweet fillings such as jam, apple and blackberry, plums or cherries.
However, it is ideal for growing the rich grass required for dairying, leading to the production of Cornwall's other famous export, clotted cream. This forms the basis for many local specialities including Cornish fudge and Cornish ice cream. Cornish clotted cream has Protected Geographical Status under EU law,  and cannot be made anywhere else.
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Its principal manufacturer is A. Local cakes and desserts include Saffron cake , Cornish heavy hevva cake , Cornish fairings biscuits, figgy 'obbin, Cream tea and whortleberry pie. There is some small scale production of wine, mead and cider. The present human history of Cornwall begins with the reoccupation of Britain after the last Ice Age. The area now known as Cornwall was first inhabited in the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods. It continued to be occupied by Neolithic and then Bronze Age people. According to John T. During the British Iron Age , Cornwall, like all of Britain south of the Firth of Forth , was inhabited by a Celtic people known as the Britons with distinctive cultural relations to neighbouring Wales and Brittany.
The Common Brittonic spoken at the time eventually developed into several distinct tongues, including Cornish. 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 The identity of these merchants is unknown.
It has been theorised that they were Phoenicians , but there is no evidence for this. In fact, he says quite the opposite: There is little evidence that Roman rule was effective west of Exeter in Devon and few Roman remains have been found. However, after , Cornwall appears to have reverted to rule by Romano-Celtic chieftains of the Cornovii tribe as part of Dumnonia , including one Marcus Cunomorus , with at least one significant power base at Tintagel.
Archaeology supports ecclesiastical, literary and legendary evidence for some relative economic stability and close cultural ties between the sub-Roman Westcountry , South Wales, Brittany and Ireland through the fifth and sixth centuries. The Battle of Deorham in saw the separation of Dumnonia and therefore Cornwall from Wales, following which the Dumnonii often came into conflict with the expanding English kingdom of Wessex.
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle stated in adjusted date "and in this year king Ecgbryht raided in Cornwall from east to west. In the same year Ecgbert, as a later document expresses it, "disposed of their territory as it seemed fit to him, giving a tenth part of it to God. In , the last recorded king of Cornwall, Dumgarth , is said to have drowned. One interpretation of the Domesday Book is that by this time the native Cornish landowning class had been almost completely dispossessed and replaced by English landowners, particularly Harold Godwinson himself.
However, the Bodmin manumissions show that two leading Cornish figures nominally had Saxon names, but these were both glossed with native Cornish names. Soon after the Norman conquest most of the land was transferred to the new Breton—Norman aristocracy, with the lion's share going to Robert, Count of Mortain , half-brother of King William and the largest landholder in England after the king with his stronghold at Trematon Castle near the mouth of the Tamar.
Subsequently, however, Norman absentee landlords became replaced by a new Cornu-Norman elite including scholars such as Richard Rufus of Cornwall. These families eventually became the new ruling class of Cornwall typically speaking Norman French, Breton-Cornish, Latin and eventually English , many becoming involved in the operation of the Stannary Parliament system, Earldom and eventually the Duchy. The stannary parliaments and stannary courts were legislative and legal institutions in Cornwall and in Devon in the Dartmoor area.
The stannary courts administered equity for the region's tin-miners and tin mining interests, and they were also courts of record for the towns dependent on the mines. The separate and powerful government institutions available to the tin miners reflected the enormous importance of the tin industry to the English economy during the Middle Ages. Special laws for tin miners pre-date written legal codes in Britain, and ancient traditions exempted everyone connected with tin mining in Cornwall and Devon from any jurisdiction other than the stannary courts in all but the most exceptional circumstances.
Cornish piracy was active during the Elizabethan era on the west coast of Britain. During the 17th and 18th centuries Cornwall was a major smuggling area. Cornwall Council consider Cornwall's unique cultural heritage and distinctiveness to be one of the area's major assets. They see Cornwall's language, landscape, Celtic identity, political history, patterns of settlement, maritime tradition, industrial heritage, and non-conformist tradition, to be among the features making up its "distinctive" culture. In the census, 7 per cent of people in Cornwall identified themselves as Cornish, rather than British or English.
However, activists have argued that this underestimated the true number as there was no explicit "Cornish" option included in the official census form. On 24 April it was announced that Cornish people have been granted minority status under the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. With the exception of the Isles of Scilly , Cornwall is governed by a unitary authority , Cornwall Council , based in Truro.
The Isles of Scilly form part of the ceremonial county of Cornwall,  and have, at times, been served by the same county administration. Since they have been administered by their own unitary authority , the Council of the Isles of Scilly. Before reorganisation on 1 April , council functions throughout the rest of Cornwall were organised in two tiers, with a county council and district councils for its six districts, Caradon , Carrick , Kerrier , North Cornwall , Penwith , and Restormel. The first elections for the unitary authority were held on 4 June The council has seats; the largest party in is the Conservatives, with 46 seats.
The Liberal Democrats are the second largest party, with 37 seats, with the Independents the third-largest grouping with Before the creation of the unitary council, the former county council had 82 seats, the majority of which were held by the Liberal Democrats, elected at the county council elections. The six former districts had a total of council seats, and the groups with greatest numbers of councillors were Liberal Democrats, Conservatives, and Independents.
Following a review by the Boundary Commission for England taking effect at the general election , Cornwall is divided into six county constituencies to elect MPs to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. Before the boundary changes Cornwall had five constituencies all of which were won by Liberal Democrats in the general election. At the general election Liberal Democrat candidates won three constituencies and Conservative candidates won three constituencies see also United Kingdom general election result in Cornwall. At the general election all six Cornish seats were won by Conservative candidates.
All these conservative MPs retained their seats in the general election. Until , Cornwall had 44 MPs — more than any other county — reflecting the importance of tin to the Crown. Cornish nationalists have organised into two political parties: Mebyon Kernow , formed in , and the Cornish Nationalist Party. In addition to the political parties, there are various interest groups such as the Revived Cornish Stannary Parliament and the Celtic League. The Cornish Constitutional Convention was formed in as a cross-party organisation including representatives from the private, public and voluntary sectors to campaign for the creation of a Cornish Assembly ,   along the lines of the National Assembly for Wales , Northern Ireland Assembly and the Scottish Parliament.
Between 5 March and December , the campaign collected the signatures of 41, Cornish residents endorsing the call for a devolved assembly, along with 8, signatories from outside Cornwall. The resulting petition was presented to the Prime Minister, Tony Blair. An additional political issue is the recognition of the Cornish people as a minority. Cornwall is one of the poorest parts of the United Kingdom in terms of per capita GDP and average household incomes.
At the same time, parts of the county, especially on the coast, have high house prices, driven up by demand from relatively wealthy retired people and second-home owners. Historically mining of tin and later also of copper was important in the Cornish economy.
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The first reference to this appears to be by Pytheas: Julius Caesar was the last classical writer to mention the tin trade, which appears to have declined during the Roman occupation. Other primary industries that have declined since the s include china clay production, fishing and farming. Today, the Cornish economy depends heavily on its tourist industry, which makes up around a quarter of the 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 among the top half in prosperity.
For example, the ranking of 32, sub-wards in England in the index of multiple deprivation ranged from th part of Penzance East to 30,th part of Saltash Burraton in Caradon , where the lower number represents the greater deprivation. Cornwall is one of two UK areas designated as 'less developed regions' which qualify for Cohesion Policy grants from the European Union.
Surrounded on three sides by the English Channel and Celtic Sea , Cornwall has many miles of beaches and cliffs; the South West Coast Path follows a complete circuit of both coasts. Other tourist attractions include moorland, country gardens, museums, historic and prehistoric sites, and wooded valleys. Five million tourists visit Cornwall each year, mostly drawn from within the UK.
Cornwall has a tourism-based seasonal economy. Newquay and Porthtowan are popular destinations for surfers.
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