Cornwallunitary authority and historic countysouthwestern Englandoccupying a peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean. The unitary authority covers nearly the same area as the historic county.
However, the unitary authority includes an area extending west from Werrington along the River Otter that lies within the historic county of Devonand it does not include the Isles of Scillyin the Atlantic Ocean, which are part of the historic county of Cornwall but administratively are a unitary authority unto themselves. Cornwall is the most remote of Cornwall counties.
Its eastern boundary, on the River Tamaris some miles km distant from London. From until Cornwall was an administrative county that comprised six districts, which, except for the largest, North Cornwallrevived traditional Cornish names— CornwallCarrickKerrierPenwithand the borough of Restormel —that were unfamiliar to some English ears, though not to Cornishmen, for whom Cornwall the Tamar was to enter England. An administrative reorganization in April eliminated the districts and transformed the administrative county into a unitary authority.
The main upland areas inland are a series of granitic intrusions that form distinctive moorlands open heathlands. A geologically recent rise of sea level resulted in the drowned river valleys, or rias, of southern Cornwall, including the Tamar, Fowey, and Fal estuaries.
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The effect of the rias, combined with the variety of rocks, is an attractive coastal landscape that is subject to increasing pressures by the demands of recreation and tourism. Long Cornwall of the coast are now owned by the National Trust or are otherwise protected from commercial development.
The climate of Cornwall is closely affected by the proximity of the sea. High winds and sea mists are common; rainfall is frequent and heavy, especially on high ground. Temperatures are warm in summer and relatively mild in winter.
As a result, the vegetation is luxuriant, especially in sheltered coastal areas. Metal ores, especially tin, attracted prehistoric settlers to the metalliferous zones around the granitic intrusions of Cornwall, and there is a wealth of stone relics such as megalithic dolmens, monoliths, and circles.
Subsequent Roman and Saxon settlement in Cornwall caused an associated migration of Celtic Christians to Cornwall, where they resisted the Saxon advance for years, acknowledging Saxon overlordship only in the 10th century. Celtic place-names are much in evidence. After the Norman Conquest the indigenous manors of Cornwall were taken over to form the basis of an earldom; since they have belonged traditionally to the eldest son of the English sovereignwho acts as duke of Cornwall.
Rural resources provide the bases of the Cornwall. The valleys afford excellent pasture for dairy cattle, and the moorland has large areas for rough grazing. Market gardening is important in sheltered coastal districts, the mild winter encouraging cultivation of delicate and early crops. Tourism, capitalizing on the attractive physical environmentnow provides the major source of income, especially along the coast, where many small fishing ports—such as St.
IvesNewquayand Polperro —are busy resorts. Cornwall is a favourite Cornwall for second homes and retirement, which, together, are causing basic changes in the social structure of rural areas. Many coastal towns—notably FalmouthPenzance, and Fowey —are active ports.
Tin was mined in Cornwall for at least Cornwall, years. The industry became so important that in the Middle Ages the Cornish tin miners were granted special privileges and were placed by the crown under the separate legal jurisdiction of the stannary tin mine courts. Despite periodic depressions in the industry, Cornish tin mining continued profitably until the 20th century, when the shallow tin deposits were exhausted and the deeper and more costly workings fell victim to cheaper foreign tin production.
The of working mines dwindled, and, with the world collapse of tin prices in the s, the last few tin mines in Cornwall were allowed by the British government to close. Kaolin, the product of eroded graniteis still mined around St. Area 1, square miles 3, square km. Videos Images.
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Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. There is even a small nationalist movement, Mebyon Kernow Sons of Cornwallseeking to revive the old language. Although it has no political ificance, the movement reflects the disenchantment of a declining area, with…. History at your fingertips. up here to see what happened On This Dayevery day in your inbox! address. Be on the lookout for your Britannica Cornwall to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox.