Portal:Cornwall

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

Cornwall (Cornish: Kernow) is a county of England, United Kingdom, located at the tip of the south-western peninsula of Great Britain. It is bordered to the north by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , covering an area of [convert: needs a number], and its administrative centre and only city is Truro.

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Cornwall during the time of the Celts was a part of the Brythonic area of Britain, separated from Wales after the Battle of Deorham, the Kingdom of Cornwall often came into conflict with the expanding Saxon kingdom of Wessex, before the boundary between English and Cornish people was set at the Tamar. The Cornish language continued to be spoken until the 18th century, although a recent revival has seen the number of Cornish speakers increasing over the past few decades.

Cornwall is the homeland of the Cornish people and diaspora, and is considered one of the six "Celtic nations" by many residents and scholars. Cornwall continues to retain its distinct identity, with its own history, language and culture. Cornwall's economy struggles after the decline of the mining and fishing industries, and has become dependent on tourism. The area is noted for its wild moorland landscapes, its extensive and varied coastline, home to a variety of flora and fauna, as well as its mild climate.

Selected article

The Old 'Oss

The 'Obby 'Oss festival is a traditional festival held annually in Padstow on May Day (1 May). The festival itself starts at midnight with unaccompanied singing around the town starting at the Golden Lion Inn. By the morning, the town is dressed with greenery, flowers and flags, with the focus being the maypole.

The climax arrives when two groups of dancers progress through the town, one of each team wearing a stylised recreation of a 'horse.' The two 'osses are known as the "Old" and the "Blue Ribbon" 'osses. During the day a number of "Junior" 'osses appear, operated by children. Accompanied by drums and accordions and led by acolytes known as "Teasers", each 'oss is adorned by a gruesome mask and black frame-hung cape under which they try to catch young maidens as they pass through the town, the Blue ribbon oss is apparently of more recent origin. In the late 19th century it was supported by members of the Temperance movement who were trying to discourage the consumption of alcohol associated with the "old" 'oss followers, after the first world war the imperative of temperance was lost, and the 'oss became known as the Peace 'Oss. Each 'oss has a "stable" (in the case of the Old 'Oss, the Golden Lion Inn and the Blue Ribbon 'Oss, the Institute, from which they emerge at the start of the day's proceedings and retire at the end, some time in the late afternoon the 'osses may meet at the maypole and dance together.

Selected biography

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

Mark of Cornwall was a king of the Kingdom of 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 behind his back.

Legend says that Mark sent Tristan as his proxy to fetch his young bride, the Princess Iseult from Ireland. Tristan and Iseult fall in love, and, with the help of a magic potion, proceed to have a stormy love affair. Mark suspects of the affair and eventually, his suspicions are confirmed; in some versions, he sends for Tristan to be hanged, and Iseult to a leper colony. Tristan escapes the hanging and rescues Mark's bride from her confinement, later to be discovered by Mark. Mark eventually forgives them, with Isolde returning to Mark and Tristan leaving the country.

In the Prose Tristan, Mark's character deteriorates from a sympathetic cuckold to a downright villain, he rapes his niece and then murders her when she produces his son, Meraugis, and he murders his brother Baldwin as well. In earlier versions of the story Tristan dies in Brittany, far away from Mark, but in the Prose Tristan Mark stabs Tristan while he plays the harp under a tree for Iseult. Though this version of Mark's character was popular in other medieval works, including the Romance of Palamedes and Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, modern versions of the Tristan and Iseult legend tend to take their inspiration from the older poetic material, and Mark becomes a sympathetic character once again. In these legends Mark is usually seen as ruling Cornwall from Tintagel Castle.

Selected image

Men-an-tol

Photo credit: Zinnmann

The Mên-an-Tol, literally meaning "the hole stone" in Cornish, is a small formation of standing stones near the Madron-Morvah road in Penwith.

Did you know?

St Buryan's Church

Selected quote

John Prescott
Cornwall has the strongest regional identity in the UK
John Prescott, Deputy Prime Minister from 1997 - 2007

Things you can do

Things you can do
  • Illustrate the new Russian article Корнцы if you can work with Russian Cyrillic script
  • Translate the Cornish Wikipedia article Skriforyon yn Kernowek into English
  • 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.
  • Translate the Cornish Wikipedia article Can an Pescador Kernûak (Song of the Cornish Fisherman) into English.

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  1. ^ Jenkins also wrote Cornish verse: Ellis, P. Berresford (1974) The Cornish Language and its Literature. London: Routledge; pp. 110-11