in WORLD OF XPILAR4 months ago


Hello. My name is David. You may have seen my previous posts of my life in Brazil or my photography, in particular my tiny planet photos and videos. I'm a Cornish guy (a person who was born in the county of Cornwall in the south west of England) and now I live with my wife in Brazil who is Brazilian.

So in this post I thought I would create a list, illustrated with my own photos that I have taken of the top ten things that I think are strongly associated with the county where I am from - Kernow (that's Cornwall in the Cornish language). 〓〓

If you don't know, Cornwall is the most south-westerly county in England. The population of the whole region is about 600,000. This rises during the summer and the holiday seasons because Cornwall is a popular tourist and holiday destination. People come to Cornwall to relax and to enjoy the slower pace of life, the beautiful scenery and beaches and other locations such as quaint fishing villages.

In the past, fishing, farming and tin mining were very important industries and now, fishing and farming are still important, but also the China Clay industry and tourism are vital for the local economy and create a large number of jobs for the local people.

I thought I'd create a list of the most important, common, popular and recognisable aspects and things connected to the Duchy of Cornwall. It is from the point of view of a local Cornish person, so maybe you've heard of some of them and others may surprise you or they are new to you. So, let's start with the main thing associated with Cornwall...

𝟏. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐨𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐡 𝐏𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐲 🥟

If anyone has been to Cornwall or knows this region, then you know why this at the top of the list. Pasties are a traditional meal or dish from the county where I was born, invented hundreds of years ago. It is said they were originally meals for tin miners and when Cornish miners migrated to different parts of the world in the 19th Century, they brought the recipe with them. You can see their influence in countries such as the US, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and especially Mexico. You may know them as empanadas or paste.

In the past pasties may have contained 50% sweet, e.g. banana or apple and 50% savoury, such as fish for a complete meal when the miners were down the mines. The crimping around the edge was used as a way of eating the meal without contamination or being poisoned because an element in tin mining was arsenic. After eating the pasty, the crust was thrown away, and as the stories go, they were left to the Knockers - mischievous spirits or gnome-like creatures who lived in the tunnels and mines which both assisted the miners and also played tricks on them.

Today, traditional Cornish pasties contain diced beef (not minced meat!), potato, swede and onion (...and no peas, carrots or gravy either!). The ingredients are encased in pastry, usually shortcrust pastry, and cooked raw in the oven until the pastry is golden brown (about 40 minutes). The reason for this is the meat creates its own juice or gravy as it's cooked and mixes with the rest of the ingredients so the pasty's contents is juicy and succulent. It is a symbol of Cornwall and the Cornish people (well I think so!).

𝟐. 𝐂𝐥𝐨𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐦 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐦 𝐓𝐞𝐚 🫖

If you are English or have been to England, you know that we like our cream teas, which is a pot of tea with scones (small baked items with or without fruit, such as raisins) and maybe accompanied with other small cakes. It is said that the cream tea originated in Devon in Tavistock Abbey maybe in the 11th century where the monks made clotted cream and gave the workers bread, jam and cream. Clotted cream originated in Devon and Cornwall, although it is now easy to find all over the UK. The most famous Cornish clotted cream brand in the world is Rodda's which have existed since 1890.

There is a debate whether the jam or cream goes on the scone first; if you are from Devon the cream is applied first and then a dollop of jam is put on top. However, if you are from Cornwall, it's vice versa, you always put the jam on first, followed by the clotted cream. However you eat your scone and have your cream tea, just enjoy's delicious!

𝟑. 𝐁𝐞𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐛𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐬, 𝐜𝐨𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐠 🏄

Most people come to Cornwall to enjoy the beautiful landscape, beaches and rugged coastline. They also go there to surf. Newquay is the capital of the Cornish surfing scene, it is known as one of the best surf towns in the UK. A lot of people go there because of the good surf or waves and the atmosphere of the surfing community. I even know people who have moved to Newquay just for this reason.

𝟒. 𝐀 𝐪𝐮𝐢𝐞𝐭, 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐱𝐞𝐝, 𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐝-𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐞 😎

Of course, if you've been to Cornwall, you know it's not like London and other big cities. In fact it's the opposite. Don't expect things to be done fast or instantly here. The Cornish even have a word for it: "Dreckly" which means sometime in the future or later. If you live in Cornwall, decide to move there or go there to visit, you probably regard one of Cornwall's best and most appealing qualities is the peaceful, slower pace of life where you can forget about the stress and strains of modern society and just chill out and unwind.

𝟓. 𝐓𝐢𝐧 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠, 𝐭𝐢𝐧 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞, 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐞𝐬, 𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐓𝐕 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 "𝐏𝐨𝐥𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐤" ⚒️

Mining began in Cornwall in the early Bronze Age, such as tin and copper. Tin mining was a very important industry in Cornwall especially during the key period of 1700 to 1914. Whole communities were employed for the tin mining industry and entire villages, towns and houses were built to house the tin miners and their families. Many engine houses, mines, harbours, tramway routes were created for this booming trade. In the 19th century, two-thirds of the world’s supply of copper was produced in Kernow and half of the world’s arsenic. Cornwall produced two million tons of tin. The last tin mine, South Crofty, closed in Cornwall in 1998 bringing to an end 4,000 years of tin mining in the region. Recently, the extraction of lithium carbonate has begun in Cornwall.

There are many mines and engine houses dotted around the landscape in Cornwall, some are derelict, some have been converted into houses or property and others have been made into museums to retell the Cornish heritage. In 2015, a TV series called Poldark was aired. It is based on the novels of the same title. The TV series has been sold to America so you can say it has become a global hit. In the story, the main character (Captain Ross Poldark) returns back to Cornwall after the American War of Independence in 1783 and inherits the family's derelict mines and hopes to create a lucrative business. The series was filmed in Cornwall, including the mines and other locations. Poldark Mine is now a heritage centre which you can visit located near the Cornish town of Helston.

𝟔. 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐀𝐫𝐭𝐡𝐮𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐊𝐧𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐑𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝 𝐓𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 👑

The bronze statue of King Arthur located on Tintagel island

King Arthur, the legendary British leader who lived in the 5 and 6 century is one of the most famous and recognised kings in history - was he real or merely a legend? There are many stories about him which can be found in different locations around the UK. He led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders and wielded the sword Excalibur. He had council with the Knights of the Round Table at Camelot and his wise and most trusted aide was Merlin the Magician.

The entrance to Tintagel Castle

According to some stories and legends, Tintagel Castle in Cornwall was the birthplace of King Arthur. The ruins, located on the island, is actually a much later structure, from the 13th Century. However, the island was an important stronghold and probably a residence of rulers of Cornwall from the 5th to the 7th century AD and was used to trade the vital commodity tin (used in the smelting of bronze) with other countries around the world. Tintagel castle nestles on the edge of the cliffs next to the Atlantic Ocean in North Cornwall so it is a dramatic setting that conjures up images of battles, warriors and magic from days of old.

𝟕. 𝐂𝐨𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐡 𝐖𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 🤼

Cornish wrestling has been a traditional sport that has existed in Cornwall for many centuries and possibly longer and is still played today. It is known as "wrasslin’" if said using the Cornish dialect. The wrestlers wear thick canvas jackets and they can grab their opponents anywhere above their waist. The aim of the game is to take the opponent to the ground.

The rules and the names of the throws can be found in the wikipedia link here which gives a very detailed description of this sport with both the names in Cornish and the colloquial Cornish names (e.g. Teddy Bag Heave and Scat un Back). Cornishmen are very proud of this heritage and there are stories of Cornish wrestling champions which are still remembered and discussed today.

𝟖. 𝐐𝐮𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐭 𝐟𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐯𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐟𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐦𝐞𝐧 ⛵

Fishing has always been an important industry in Cornwall. There are many fishing villages and ports and many of them are still active and are vital for the local communities and economy. If you visit places such as Padstow, Mevagissey, Mousehole, Looe and Port Isaac, you will see working harbours with fleets of fishing boats and fishermen working hard like they have been doing for centuries using their nets and pots to catch fish, lobsters, crabs and other marine life such as mussels, oysters and scallops. If you visit one of these places you must try the fish and chips or other seafood as it is freshly caught and delicious!

𝟗. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐂𝐨𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐡 𝐋𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐮𝐚𝐠𝐞, 𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐭, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞, 𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐚𝐫𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐨𝐭𝐲𝐩𝐞𝐬 〓〓

The Cornish language is one of the six Celtic languages which exisited before the arrival of the Romans in the UK. They include Irish, Welsh, Breton from Brittany, Scottish Gaelic, Manx from the Isle of Man and of course the aforementioned Cornish. The Cornish language became extinct in the 18th Century and now it has been revived. The West Country accent including the Cornish accent is distinct and recognisable, it has/uses the rhotic 'r', as in "carrr!" or you may be more familiar with the pirate accent (as in "ooh arr!") which is an exaggeration of this accent. Think of Hagrid from the Harry Potter films and you can understand what the local accent sounds like, especially the more rural folk who live in the countryside such as the farmers.

There are many stereotypes related to the people of the West Country, including the Cornish. For example, people from cities or from upcountry (basically any place north of Cornwall - which is the whole country), people may think the locals are slow, thick (stupid) and inbred and don't know about the world and real life as they've had a sheltered life and haven't travelled much. Generally, the locals have a calmer, chilled out attitude and approach to everything, including life in general.

𝟏𝟎. 𝐒𝐦𝐮𝐠𝐠𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠, 𝐬𝐦𝐮𝐠𝐠𝐥𝐞𝐫𝐬, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬 🏴‍☠️

There is a darker side to Cornwall that non-locals might not be aware of. Smuggling and smugglers were part of life in the eighteenth and nineteenth century for many communities in the south west of England, especially in Devon and Cornwall. This is because of the remote, rocky coastline and the lack of tax men to patrol these areas. Many secret coves, tunnels and caves were used to smuggle good such as tea, brandy, gin, rum, tobacco and pepper because of heavy taxes and also the export of wool and tin to other countries became a popular and lucrative business.

Cornwall, as well as the coast of Devon and other parts of England were known for their pirates and other illegal activity. However, the Cornish and Devon coasts were also targets from pirates from other countries and raids and kidnapping were common. Now, one group of pirates still exist - The Cornish Pirates, the name of the professional, premier Cornish rugby team located in Penzance!

This is me wearing a suit of armour outside of King Arthur's Great Hall, Tintagel, Cornwall

So what did you think of this list that I created, did you know all these aspects and things connected to Cornwall? Have you been to Cornwall and what are your favourite places to visit? All the images you see on this page were taken by me and belong to me © David Roberts.

Click on the link or image below to go to my blog or page:

~ Thanks For Reading ~


I love Cornwall and of course know many typical Cornish staff, of course delicious cornish pasty!!! But also love the history and pirates, always envy the coasts and beautiful ships :)

You post is nominated for „Wold of xpilar“ Community Support Program, @booming account upvote. Only the posts that are not cross posted, original and posted from community page are eligible. If your post gets approval, then you get upvote within few days. Good luck!

Thanks @stef1! So what is your favourite thing connected to Cornwall? 😊

 4 months ago 

Jam should always go on first. How you're supposed to spread jam on top of cream is a mystery to me.

When I saw the post title, I wondered how you're get to 10 without just listing a load of beaches but you've done a marvellous job. If you value your life, never go to that top bit of Tintangel on a windy day!

Thank you Mr. @the-gorilla for your comment and input. I suppose people always rave on about the beautiful Cornish beaches and coastline but it's just part of everyday life when you live there. In 2019, they built a new footbridge across to Tintagel castle and island which allows easy access.

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