flag of cornwall
Population 500,000 (2001)
Area 1,400 square miles
Agriculture and fishing Sheep, cattle, dairy cows; grains including wheat, barley, corn and rape (source of canola oil)
Animals of the region Seals, otters, bats, owls and other birds of prey, badgers, deer, fox
Culture Authors Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn), William Golding (Lord of the Flies), Winston Graham (Marnie, and the Poldark saga), Derek Tangye, and Rosamunde Pilcher, artist S. J. Lamorna Birch
Capital and major cities No capital, but Truro is the main administrative city. Cornwall is the western-most county in England. Larger communities include Penzance, Falmouth, St. Austell and Newquay.
Folklore, legends, crafts Tintagel (“TIN tajel”) Castle is reputedly the birthplace of King Arthur, Dozmary Pool on Bodmin Moor is closely associated with the sword Excalibur.
Foods and beverages
Cornish pasty (“past ee”) – meat in a pastry wrapper or shell, cider, wine and mead, spring water of incomparable quality
Spirits of the Region
Industry and products, past and present Slate quarrying and finishing; tin mining was the dominant industry for centuries, but today is nearly non-existent; china clay
Inventions, discoveries, and notable people Richard Trevithick developed high-pressure steam applications including an early “road locomotive” and the first steam engine to operate on rails; Actress Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient, Gosford Park, Mission Impossible); Humphrey Davy, born in Penzance, invented the miners’ safety lamp
Musical instruments Early evidence of a Cornish bagpipe has been found in Cornish churches. Pew carvings, from around 1510 AD, show an early three stringed fiddle, now called a ‘crowd’ fiddle.
Symbols of the region St. Piran’s flag. The black flag with a white cross is the banner of Saint Piran, the patron saint of the tin-miners of Cornwall.
Tourist sites Numerous lighthouses, the “British Riviera” around St. Ives, the Tate Gallery St. Ives, standing stones, slate mines, gardens
Unique qualities The Eden Project is a huge research “garden”, housed within three climate zones, called “biomes”, located in a 150’-deep abandoned quarry. The town of Porthcurno, in the southwest, was the land terminus of many telegraph cables that connected England with America. Cornwall’s mild temperatures are due to the Gulf Stream.