Portal:Cornwall

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Flag of Cornwall Porth Kernow a'gas dynnargh!
Welcome to the Cornwall Portal!
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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 Cornish language (Kernewek) is a Brythonic Celtic language and a recognised minority language of the United Kingdom, spoken in Cornwall. The language was the main language of Cornish people up until around the 17th century when it started to retreat westwards, the language had essentially died out by the late 18th century, but academic interest and a revival of Cornish identity prompted a move to revive the language. The revival continues to this day, and has been largely successful, with there now being over 2,000 speakers.

The revival of Cornish received its first major boost in 1904 when Henry Jenner, a Celtic language enthusiast, published his book Handbook of the Cornish Language. In his work he observed, "There has never been a time when there has been no person in Cornwall without a knowledge of the Cornish language." Jenner's pupil, Robert Morton Nance, created the first standardised orthography for Cornish, Unified Cornish, which was in use until the 1980s, when both academic scrutiny and an increasing number of speakers led to the system being deemed insufficient. A number of new orthographies were devised and used during the later part of the 20th century, until a Standard Written Form was agreed in 2008.

The official body for the language is the Cornish Language Partnership. Many Cornish language textbooks and works of literature have been published over the decades, 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 children in Cornwall have been brought up to be bilingual native speakers, and the language is taught in many schools. Cornish gained official recognition under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in 2002.

Selected biography

Sir Humphry Davy

Sir Humphry Davy, 1st Baronet (17 December 1778 – 29 May 1829) was a British chemist and inventor, best remembered today for his discoveries of several alkali and alkaline earth elements, as well as contributions to the discoveries of the elemental nature of chlorine and iodine. He invented the Davy lamp, which allowed miners to enter gassy workings. Berzelius called Davy's 1806 Bakerian Lecture On Some Chemical Agencies of Electricity "one of the best memoirs which has ever enriched the theory of chemistry." This paper was central to any chemical affinity theory in the first half of the nineteenth century. He was born in Penzance.

Selected image

St Michael's Mount

Photo credit: Jim Champion

The tidal island of St Michael's Mount is the historic Cornish counterpart of Mont Saint-Michel and is now visitor attraction controlled by the National Trust.

Did you know?

Selected quote

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

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