Cornwall


Cornwall
/kawrn"wawl/ or, esp. Brit., /-weuhl/, n.
1. a county in SW England. 397,200; 1369 sq. mi. (3545 sq. km).
2. a city in SE Ontario, in S Canada, SW of Ottawa, on the St. Lawrence. 46,144.

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Administrative (pop., 2001: 501,267, including the Isles of Scilly) and historic county, southwestern England.

Located on a peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean and terminating in Land's End, it is the most remote of English counties; its county seat is Truro. Southern Cornwall is a popular tourist area; much of the coast is now protected by the National Trust. Tin, mined in Cornwall for at least 3,000 years, attracted prehistoric settlers, and there are stone relics in the area. Since 1337 the manors of Cornwall have belonged to the English sovereign's eldest son, who acts as duke of Cornwall.

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      city, seat (1792) of the united counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry, southeastern Ontario, Canada. The city lies on the north bank of the St. Lawrence River at the eastern terminus of the Cornwall Canal. Founded as New Johnstown by loyalists (loyalist) in 1784, it was renamed in 1797 for the duke of Cornwall, George III's eldest son. With the completion of the canal in 1843, bypassing the Long Sault Rapids (since eliminated by the creation of Lake St. Lawrence), shipping grew and the town flourished, becoming a major port and the centre of a rich dairying and mixed-farming area. Cornwall's manufactures include paper, textiles (rayon), chemicals, furniture, and lacrosse sticks. The Seaway International Bridge (connecting it with Rooseveltown, New York) and the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway serve the city. Cornwall, which is about 55 miles (90 km) southeast of Ottawa, is the headquarters of the St. Lawrence Seaway (Canadian) Authority and is the site of a large power plant, Cornwall College (founded 1949), and a noted grammar school (founded 1803). Inc. town, 1834; city, 1945. Pop. (2006) 45,965.

 administrative and historic county, southwestern England, occupying a peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean. Truro is the seat of the county's administration. The administrative county covers nearly the same area as the historic county. However, the administrative county includes an area extending west from Werrington along the River Otter that lies within the historic county of Devon, and it does not include the Isles of Scilly (Scilly, Isles of), in the Atlantic Ocean, which are part of the historic county of Cornwall.

      Cornwall is the most remote of English counties. Its eastern boundary, on the River Tamar, is some 200 miles (320 km) distant from London. Cornwall's westernmost town, Penzance, lies another 80 miles farther from London and close by Land's End, the traditional southwestern extreme of Great Britain. The Isles of Scilly lie an additional 35 miles southwest of Penzance in the Atlantic Ocean. The administrative county comprises six districts. Except for the largest, North Cornwall, they revive traditional Cornish names— Caradon, Carrick, Kerrier, Penwith, and the borough of Restormel—that may be unfamiliar to English ears, though not to Cornishmen, for whom crossing the Tamar is to enter England.

      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. 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 stretches 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; and 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 England caused an associated migration of Celtic Christians to Cornwall, where they resisted the Saxon advance for 500 years, acknowledging Saxon overlordship only in the 10th century. The county's isolation aided the survival of the Celtic language known as Cornish (Cornish language), although it has not been spoken as a living language since the 18th century. Celtic place-names are much in evidence. After the Norman Conquest (1066) the indigenous manors of Cornwall were taken over to form the basis of an earldom; since 1337 they have belonged traditionally to the eldest son of the English sovereign, who acts as duke of Cornwall.

      Rural resources provide the bases of the economy. 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 environment, now provides the major source of income, especially along the coast, where many small fishing ports—such as St. Ives, Newquay, and Polperro—are busy resorts. Cornwall is a favourite county for second homes and retirement, which, together, are causing basic changes in the social structure of rural areas. Many coastal towns—notably Falmouth, Penzance, and Fowey—are active ports.

       tin was mined in Cornwall for at least 3,000 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 number of working mines dwindled, and, with the world collapse of tin prices in the 1980s, the last few tin mines in Cornwall were allowed by the British government to close. In 2006 the copper and tin mines in Cornwall and West Devon, a nearby borough in Devon county, were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. China clay, the product of eroded granite, is still mined around St. Austell. Because of the loss of its tin-mining industry, Cornwall qualifies for government economic aid designed to attract investment, to diversify the economy, and to lower the unemployment rates and reduce age-selective emigration. Area administrative county and Isles of Scilly, 1,376 square miles (3,564 square km). Pop. (2001) administrative county and Isles of Scilly, 501,267; (2005 est.) 519,400.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Cornwall [2] — Cornwall, Barry, s. Proctor …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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