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.

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A Cornish Rex

A Cornish Rex is a breed of domestic cat, with no hair except for down. It has a genetic mutation that originated from a litter of kittens born in the 1950s on a farm in Cornwall, UK (hence their name). One of the kittens, a cream-colored male named Kallibunker, had an extremely unusual, fine and curly coat; and was the first Cornish Rex. Most breeds of cat have three different types of hair in their coats: the outer fur or "guard hairs", which is about 5 cm long in shorthairs and 10cm+ long in longhairs; a middle layer called the "awn hair"; and the down hair or undercoat, which is very fine and about 1 cm long. Cornish Rexes only have the undercoat. The cats were later brought to America and crossed with Siamese, giving them their long whippy tails and big ears.

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.

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Carrick Roads

Photo credit: WordRidden

An aerial view of Carrick Roads, with Falmouth in the top right and Truro in the bottom right. The Roads are a large natural harbour and waterway, created after the Ice age from an ancient valley that flooded.

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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