Cornwall (; Cornish: Kernow ['k?rn]) 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 568,210 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, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 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.
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.
Tin mining was important in the Cornish economy from the High Middle Ages, and expanded greatly in the 19th century when rich copper mines were also in production. In the mid-19th century, tin and copper mines entered a period of decline and china clay extraction became more important. Mining had virtually ended by the 1990s. Fishing and agriculture were the other important sectors of the economy, but railways led to a growth of tourism in the 20th century after the decline of the mining and fishing industries. Read more...
The Camelford water pollution incident involved the accidental contamination of the drinking water supply to the town of Camelford, Cornwall, in July 1988. Twenty tonnes of aluminium sulphate was inadvertently added to the water supply, raising the concentration to 3,000 times the admissible level. As the aluminium sulphate broke down it produced several tonnes of sulphuric acid which "stripped a cocktail of chemicals from the pipe networks as well as lead and copper piping in people's homes." Many people who came into contact with the contaminated water experienced a range of short-term health effects, and many victims suffered long-term effects whose implications remained unclear . There has been no rigorous examination or monitoring of the health of the victims since the incident, which is Britain's worst mass poisoning event. Inquests on people who died many years later found very high levels of aluminium in the brain. Dame Barbara Clayton led a Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution enquiry into the incident.
Immediately after the contamination the authorities said that the water was safe to drink, possibly with juice to cover the unpleasant taste. In an inquest in 2012 into the death of one of the victims, the coroner stated that South West Water Authority had been "gambling with as many as 20,000 lives" when they failed to inform the public about the poisoning for 16 days, a delay he called unacceptable. In the aftermath of the contamination the public were reassured that there was no risk to health. There were allegations of a cover-up and West Somerset Coroner Michael Rose stated: "I found there was a deliberate policy to not advise the public of the true nature until some 16 days after the occurrence of the incident." Following an investigation by the government's Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment, Michael Meacher, the former Environment Minister, claimed that "various associated bodies tried to bury the inquiry from the start." Meacher told one newspaper: "This has become a tug of war between the truth and an attempt to silence the truth."
An April 2013 report by the Lowermoor subgroup of the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment concluded that exposure to the chemicals was unlikely to cause "delayed or persistent harm" and was also unlikely to cause future ill health. In September 2013 the government admitted that there had been a "manifest failure to give prompt appropriate advice and information to affected consumers" and offered an unreserved apology. Read more...
Photo credit: Tim Lewy
|The Minack Theatre is an open-air theatre, constructed above a gully with a rocky granite outcrop jutting into the sea of the south Cornish coast.
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Things you can do
- 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
- 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.
- Create Articles for local groups and charities.
- Create Articles for notable art galleries.
History, language, culture and art
- Illustrate the new Russian article if you can work with Russian Cyrillic script
- Translate the Cornish popflock.com resource article Can an Pescador Kernûak (Song of the Cornish Fisherman) into English.
Main page featured articles
Good article nominees
Economy and demographics
Wikipedia in Cornish