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Flag of Cornwall Porth Kernow a'gas dynnargh!
Welcome to the Cornwall Portal!

Cornwall (/ˈkɔːrnwɔːl, -wəl/; 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...

Selected article

Cornish (Kernowek) is a revived language that became extinct as a first language in the late 18th century. It is a member of the Brittonic Southwestern branch of the Celtic languages of the Indo-European language family, that was native to Cornwall in south-west England. A revival began in the early 20th century. Some have expressed the opinion that the language is an important part of Cornish identity, culture and heritage. Cornish is currently a recognised minority language under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. It has a growing number of second language speakers. A few parents are inspired to create new first language speakers, by teaching their children the language from birth.

Along with Welsh and Breton, Cornish is descended directly from the Common Brittonic language spoken throughout much of Britain before the English language came to dominate. It was the main language of Cornwall for centuries until it was pushed westwards by English, maintaining close links with its sister language Breton, with which it was mutually intelligible until well into the Middle Ages. Cornish continued to function as a common community language in parts of Cornwall until the late 18th century and continued to be spoken in the home by some families into the 19th and possibly 20th centuries, overlapping the beginning of revival efforts.

A process to revive the language was begun in the early 20th century, with a number of orthographical systems still in use, although an attempt was made to impose a Standard Written Form in 2008. In 2010, UNESCO announced that its former classification of the language as "extinct" was "no longer accurate". Since the revival of the language, some Cornish textbooks and works of literature have been published, and an increasing number of people are studying the language. Recent developments include Cornish music, independent films and children's books. A small number of people in Cornwall have been brought up to be bilingual native speakers, and the language is taught in schools. The first Cornish language crèche opened in 2010. Read more...

Selected biography

"King Mark of Cornwall", illustrated by Howard Pyle (1905)

Mark of Cornwall (Latin Marcus, Cornish Margh, Welsh March, Breton Marc'h) was a king of Kernow (Cornwall) in the early 6th century. He is most famous for his appearance in Arthurian legend as the uncle of Tristan and husband of Iseult, who engage in a secret affair. Read more...

Selected picture

Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station

Photo credit: JanKG

The Antenna One satellite dish (dubbed "Arthur") at the Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station, the largest satellite earth receiving station in the world with over 60 dishes in total. Arthur, built on the site in 1962 to link with Telstar, is 29.5 metres in diameter and weighs 1,100 tonnes. Dishes are named after characters in Arthurian legend.

Other projects

Did you know?

Cornish tin mine ruin

Selected quote

Henry Jenner
The whole object of my life has been to inculcate into Cornish people a sense of their Cornishness."
Henry JennerCeltic scholar, Cornish activist, and originator of the Cornish language revival

Things you can do

Things you can do

Places

  • 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

Maintenance

People

  • 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.

Organisations

  • Create Articles for local groups and charities.
  • Create Articles for notable art galleries.

History, language, culture and art

Translations

  • Illustrate the new Russian article Корнцы if you can work with Russian Cyrillic script

Recognised content

Featured articles

Main page featured articles

Featured lists

Good articles

Topics

History

Geography

Politics

Economy and demographics

Culture

Subcategories

Subcategories

Wikipedia in Cornish

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

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News

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Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wikivoyage 
Travel guides

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database

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References