Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cornwall, a county at the S.W. extremity of England, the southernmost of the English counties. It forms the peninsula that lies between the Bristol and English channels, and is at no point more than twenty miles from salt water. It is eighty-one miles long by forty broad, and contains 1,365 square miles, and includes the Scilly Isles, which lie twenty-four miles west. More than half is cultivated, but much is moorland, mountain pasture, and rugged, being a continuation of Dartmoor, and forming the watershed between the two channels. The greatest height attained is 1,368 feet in Brown Willy. The chief rivers flow to the south. There are two harbours on the N. coast - Camel, with Padstow and the bay of St. Ives. The cliffs are bold and steep, and are alternated in parts by drifting sea-sand, which has swallowed up churches and villages. The S. coast is much indented, the largest opening being Mounts Bay with Penzance. To the E. of the Lizard is Falmouth Bay and harbour, and Plymouth Sound, and the estuary of Fowey. The river Tamar - called in its lower course Hamoaze - is navigable for nineteen miles from Plymouth Sound. The Fal, with a course of twenty "miles, falls into Falmouth harbour. The Camel is twenty-nine miles long, the last ten miles of its course being tidal. Between the mainland and the Scilly Islands is said to be a submerged tract which formed the Lyonesse of the Arthurian legend. The soil is mainly clay-slate, with protruding granite, quartz, and felspar. But the geological nature of the country around the Lizard is very complex, and the rock is of igneous origin. The mining of Cornwall is by no means so extensive as formerly, though the county is extremely rich in minerals, of which tin, lead, copper, iron and zinc are the chief. The deepest mine - half a mile - is at Dolcoath. Tin and kaolin are the substances now most worked. Pilchard, herring, and mackerel fishing are extensively carried on. The climate, though damp, is extremely mild, and many foreign shrubs, such as the camellia, grow in the open air. The Scilly Isles have become an important source of the supply to the English market of flowers and early vegetables. The county sends seven members to Parliament. Till lately joined to the see of Exeter, Cornwall has now its own Bishop of Truro. The Duchy of Cornwall is an appanage of the princedom of Wales, and the Prince of Wales derives from this source an income of £61,000 a year. The county abounds in crosses and cromlechs and other relics, both of early British Christianity and of still earlier periods. The Cornish language, except in isolated words and expressions, has perished. The last person who knew the language is said to have been one Dolly Pentreath, who died in 1778.