1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cornwall (England)

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CORNWALL, the south-westernmost county of England, bounded N. and N.W. by the Atlantic Ocean, E. by Devonshire, and S. and S.W. by the English Channel. The area is 1356.6 sq. m. The most southerly extension is Lizard Point, and the most westerly point of the mainland Land’s End, but the county also includes the Scilly Isles (q.v.), lying 25 m. W. by S. of Land’s End. No county in England has a stronger individuality than Cornwall, whether in economic or social conditions, in history, nomenclature, tradition, or even in the physical characteristics of the land. Such individuality is hardly to be compassed within political boundaries, and in some respects it is shared by the neighbouring county of Devon, yet the traveller hardly feels its influence before passing west of the Tamar.

Physically, Cornwall is a great promontory with a direct length of 75 m. from N.N.E. to S.S.W., and an extreme breadth, at the junction with Devonshire, of 45 m. The river Tamar here forms the greater part of the boundary, and its valley divides the high moors of Devonshire and the succession of similar broad-topped hills which form the backbone of the Cornish promontory. The scenery is full of contrast. To the west of Launceston the principal mass of high land rises to 1375 ft. in Brown Willy, the highest point in the county. This district is broken and picturesque, with rough tors or hills and boulders. A remarkable pile of rocks called the Cheese-wring, somewhat resembling an inverted pyramid in form, is seen on the moor north of Liskeard. This district is for the most part a region of furze and heather; but after passing Bodmin, the true Cornish moorland asserts itself, bare, desolate and impracticable, broken and dug into hillocks, which are sometimes due to early mining works, sometimes to more modern search for metals. The seventy miles from Launceston to Mount’s Bay have been called not untruly “the dreariest strip of earth traversed by any English high road.” There is hardly more cultivation on the higher ground west of Mount’s Bay, or in the Meneage or “rocky country,” the old Cornish name for the promontory which ends in the Lizard. Long combes and valleys, however, descend from this upper moorland towards the coast on both sides. These are in general well wooded, and, in the luxuriance of their vegetation, strongly characteristic. The small rivers traversing them in several cases enter fine estuaries, which ramify deeply into the land. Such are, on the south coast, the great estuary of the Tamar, and other streams, on which the port of Plymouth is situated (but only the western shore is Cornish), the Looe and Fowey rivers, Falmouth Harbour, the most important of the purely Cornish inlets and accessible for the largest vessels, and the Helford river. On the north are the estuaries of the Camel and the Hayle, debouching into Padstow Bay and St Ives Bay respectively. The Fowey and Camel valleys almost completely break the continuation of the central high ground, and the uplands west of Mount’s Bay are similarly parted from the main mass by the low tract between Hayle and Marazion. Except at the mouth of a stream or estuary the coast is almost wholly rock-bound, and the cliff scenery is unsurpassed in England. Three different types are found. On the north coast, from Tintagel Head and Boscastle northward to Hartland Point in Devonshire, the dark slate cliffs, with their narrow and distorted strata, are remarkably rugged of outline, owing to the ease with which the waves fret the loosely-bound rock. On the south, in the beautiful little bays in the neighbourhood of the Lizard Point, the serpentine rock is noted for its exquisite colouring. Between Treryn and Land’s End, at the south-west, a majestic barrier of granite is presented to the sea. The beautiful Scilly Isles continue the line of the granite, and the intervening sea is said to have submerged a tract of land named Lyonesse, containing, according to tradition, 140 parish churches, and intimately connected with the Arthurian romances.

Geology.—One of the most striking features of Cornwall is the presence of the four great masses of granite which rise up and form as many elevated areas out of a lower-lying region occupied by rocks almost entirely slaty in character, generally known as “Killas.” The granite is not the oldest of the Cornish rocks; these are found in the Lizard peninsula and are represented by serpentine, gabbro and metamorphic schists. With the exception of a small tract about Veryan and Gorran, of Ordovician age, all the sedimentary rocks, as far as a line joining Boscastle and South Petherwin, were formerly classed as Devonian; to the north of the line are the Culm measures—slates, grits and limestones—of Carboniferous age. The extensive spread of Killas is not, however, entirely Devonian, as it is shown on most maps. In the northern portion, Lower, Middle and Upper Devonian can be distinguished; the lower beds at Polperro, Looe and Watergate, the higher beds along the line indicated above. Farther south it has been shown that an older set of Palaeozoic rocks constitutes at least a part of the Killas; the Veryan series, with Caradoc fossils, is succeeded in descending order by the Portscatho series, the Falmouth series and the Mylor series; the lowest Devonian beds represented here by the Menaccan series, rest unconformably upon these Ordovician beds. Upper Silurian fossils have been found near Veryan. All these rocks have been subjected to severe thrusting from the south, consequently they are much contorted and folded. After this thrusting and folding had taken place, intrusions of diabase, &c., penetrated the sedimentary strata in numerous places, but it was not until post-Carboniferous times that the granite masses were intruded. The principal granite masses are those of St Just and Land’s End, Penryn, St Austell and Bodmin Moor. To the granite Cornwall owes much of its prosperity; it has altered the Killas for some distance around each mass, and the veins of tin and copper ore, though richest in the Killas, are evidently genetically related to the granite. The principal metalliferous districts, Camborne, Redruth, St Just, &c., all lie near the granite margins. The china clay and china stone industry is dependent on the fact that the granite was itself altered in patches during the later phases of eruptive activity by the agency of boric and fluoric vapours which kaolinized the felspar of the granite. Later eruptions produced dykes of quartz-porphyry and other varieties, all locally called “elvans,” which penetrate both the granite and the Killas. Small patches of Pliocene strata are found at St Erth and St Agnes Beacon. Blown sand is an important feature at St Pirran, Lelant, Gwythian and elsewhere, and raised beaches are frequent round the coast. A characteristic Cornish deposit is the “Head,” an old consolidated scree or talus. Many rare minerals have been obtained from the mines and much tin ore has been taken from the river gravels. The river gravel at Carnon has yielded native gold.

Climate.—The climate of Cornwall is peculiar. Snow seldom lies for more than a few days, and the winters are less severe than in any other part of England, the average temperature for January being 34° F. at Bude and 43.7° at Falmouth. The sea-winds, except in a few sheltered places, prevent timber trees from attaining to any great size, but the air is mild, and the lower vegetation, especially in the Penzance district, is almost southern in its luxuriance. Geraniums, fuchsias, myrtles, hydrangeas and camellias grow to a considerable size, and flourish through the winter at Penzance and round Falmouth; and in the Scilly Isles a great variety of exotics may be seen flourishing in the open air. Stone fruit, and even apples and pears, do not attain the same full flavour as in the neighbouring county, owing to the want of dry heat. The pinaster, the Pinus austriaca, Pinus insignis and other firs succeed well in the western part of the county. All native plants display a perfection of beauty hardly to be seen elsewhere, and the furze, including the double-blossomed variety, and the heaths, among which Erica vagans and ciliaris are characteristic, cover the moorland and the cliff summits with a blaze of the richest colour. On the whole the climate is healthy, though the prevalent westerly and south-westerly winds, bringing with them great bodies of cloud from the Atlantic, render it damp; the mean annual rainfall, though only 32.85 in. at Bude, reaches 44.41 at Falmouth, and 50.57 at Bodmin.

Agriculture.—About seven-tenths of the total area is under cultivation, but oats form the only important grain-crop. Turnips, swedes and mangolds make up the bulk of the green crops. The number of cattle (chiefly of the Devonshire breed) is large, and many sheep are kept; nearly 60,000 acres of hill pasture being recorded. As regards agricultural produce, however, Cornwall is chiefly famous for the market-gardening carried on in the neighbourhood of Penzance, where the climate is specially suitable for the growth of early potatoes, broccoli and asparagus. These are despatched in large quantities to the London market; the Scilly Isles sharing in the industry. Fruit and flowers are also grown for the market. In the valleys the soil is frequently rich and deep; there are good arable and pasture farms, and the natural oak-wood of these coombes has been preserved and increased by plantation.

Mining.—The wealth of Cornwall, however, lies not so much in the soil, as underground and in the surrounding seas. Hence the favourite Cornish toast, “fish, tin and copper.” The tin of Cornwall has been known and worked from a period anterior to certain history. There is no direct proof that the Phoenician traders came to Cornwall for tin; though it has been sought to identify the Cassiterides (q.v.) or Tin Islands with the county or the Scilly Isles. By ancient charters the “tinners” were exempt from all jurisdiction (save in cases affecting land, life and limb) other than that of the Stannary Courts, and peculiar laws were enacted in the Stannary parliaments (see Stannaries). For many centuries a tax on the tin, after smelting, was paid to the earls and dukes of Cornwall. The smelted blocks were carried to certain towns to be coined, that is, stamped with the duchy seal before they could be sold. By an act of 1838 the dues payable on the coinage of tin were abolished, and a compensation was awarded to the duchy instead of them. The Cornish miners are an intelligent and independent body, and the assistance of a Cornishman has been found necessary to the successful development of mining in many parts of the world, while many miners have emigrated from Cornwall to more remunerative fields abroad. The industry has suffered from periods of depression, as before the accession of Queen Elizabeth, who introduced miners from Germany to resuscitate it; and in modern times the shallow workings, from which tin could be easily “streamed,” have become practically exhausted. The deeper workings to which the miners must needs have recourse naturally render production more costly, and the competition of foreign mines has been detrimental. The result is that the industry is comparatively less prosperous than formerly, and employs far fewer of the inhabitants. However, in the district of Camborne, Carn Brea, Illogan and Redruth, and near St Just in the extreme west, the mines are still active, while there are others of less importance elsewhere, as near Callington in the south-east. And when, as in 1906, circumstances affecting the production of foreign mines cause a rise in the price of tin, the Cornish mines enjoy a period of greater prosperity; the result being the recent reopening of many of the mines which had been closed for twenty years. The largest tin-mine is that of Dolcoath near Camborne. Copper is extracted at St Just and at Carn Brea; but the output has decreased much further than that of tin. As it lies deeper in the earth, and consequently could not be “streamed” for, it was almost unnoticed in the county until the end of the 15th century, and little attention was paid to it until the last years of the 17th. No mine seems to have been worked exclusively for copper before the year 1770; and up to that time the casual produce had been bought by Bristol merchants, to their great gain, at rates from £2:10s. to £4 per ton. In 1718 John Coster gave a great impulse to the trade by draining some of the deeper mines, and instructing the men in an improved method of dressing the ore. The trade thereafter progressively increased, and in 1851 the mines of Devon and Cornwall together were estimated to furnish one-third of the copper raised throughout Europe, including the British Isles. Antimony ores and manganese are found, and some lead occurs, being worked without great result. Iron in lodes, as brown haematite, has been worked near Lostwithiel and elsewhere. In the St Austell district the place of tin and copper mining has been taken by that of the raising and preparation of china clay. Granite is largely quarried in various districts, as at Luxulian (between St Austell and Lostwithiel), and in the neighbourhood of Penryn. This is the material of London and Waterloo Bridges, the Chatham docks, and many other great works. It is for the most part coarse-grained, though differing greatly in different places in this respect. Fine slate is quarried and largely exported, as from the Delabole quarries near Tintagel. These slates were in great repute in the 16th century and earlier. Serpentine is quarried in the Lizard district, and is worked there into small ornamental objects for sale to visitors; it is in favour as a decorative stone. Pitchblende also occurs, and is mined for the extraction of radium.

Fisheries.—The fisheries of Cornwall and Devon are the most important on the south-west coasts. The pilchard is in great measure confined to Cornwall, living habitually in deep water not far west of the Scilly Isles, and visiting the coast in great shoals,—one of which is described as having extended from Mevagissey to the Land’s End, a distance, including the windings of the coast, of nearly 100 m. In summer and autumn pilchards are caught by drift nets; later in the year they are taken off the northern coast by seine nets. Forty thousand hogsheads, or 120 million fish, have been taken in the course of a single season, requiring 20,000 tons of salt to cure them. Twelve millions have been taken in a single day; and the sight of this great army of fish passing the Land’s End, and pursued by hordes of dog-fish, hake, and cod, besides vast flocks of sea-birds, is most striking. The principal fishing stations are on Mount’s Bay and at St Ives, but boats are employed all along the coast. When brought to shore the pilchards are carried to the cellars to be cured. They are then packed in hogsheads, each containing about 2400 fish. These casks are largely exported to Naples and other Italian ports—whence the fisherman’s toast, “Long life to the pope, and death to thousands.” Besides pilchards, mackerel and herring are taken in great numbers, and conger eels of great size; mullet and John Dory may be mentioned. There is also a trade in “sardines,” young pilchards taking the place of the real Mediterranean fish.

Communications.—The principal ports are Falmouth and Penzance, but that of Hayle is of some importance, and there are large engineering works here. It lies on the estuary of the Hayle river, which opens into St Ives Bay, the township of Phillack adjoining on the north-east. A brisk coasting trade is maintained at many small ports along the coast. Communications are provided chiefly by the Great Western railway, the main line of which passes through the county and terminates at Penzance. Fowey, Penryn and Falmouth, and Helston on the south, and Bodmin and Wadebridge, Newquay and St Ives, are served by branch lines. A light railway runs from Liskeard to Looe. The north-eastern parts of the county (Launceston, Bude, Wadebridge) are served by the London & South-Western railway. Coaches are run in several districts during the summer, and in some parts, as in the neighbourhood of Penzance, and between Helston and the Lizard, the Great Western company provides a motor-car service to places beyond the reach of the railway. Many of the small seaside towns have become favourite holiday resorts, such as Bude, Newquay and St Ives, and the south-coast ports.

Population and Administration.—The area of the ancient county is 868,220 acres, with a population in 1891 of 322,571, and in 1901 of 322,334. In 1861 the population was 369,390, and had shown an increase up to that census. The area of the administrative county is 886,384 acres. The county contains 9 hundreds. The municipal boroughs are Bodmin (pop. 5353), the county town; Falmouth (11,789), Helston (3088), Launceston (4053), Liskeard (4010), Lostwithiel (1331), Penryn (3190), Penzance (13,136), St Ives (6699), Saltash (3357), Truro (11,562), an episcopal city. The other urban districts are Callington (1714), Camborne (14,726), Hayle (1084), Looe (2548), Ludgvan (2274), Madron (3486), Newquay (3115), Padstow (1566), Paul (6332), Phillack (3881), Redruth (10,451), St Austell (3340), St Just (5646), Stratton and Bude (2308), Torpoint (4200), Wadebridge (2186). Small market and other towns, beyond those in the above lists, are numerous. Such are Calstock in the east, St Germans in the south-east near Saltash, St Blazey near St Austell, Camelford, St Columb Major, and Perranzabuloe in the north, with the mining towns of Gwennap and Illogan in the Redruth district and Wendron near Helston, all inland towns; while on the south coast may be mentioned Fowey and Mevagissey, on either side of St Austell Bay, and Marazion on Mount’s Bay, close by St Michael’s Mount. Cornwall is in the western circuit, and assizes are held at Bodmin. It has one court of quarter sessions, and is divided into 17 petty sessional divisions. The boroughs of Bodmin, Falmouth, Helston, Launceston, Liskeard, Penryn, Penzance, St Ives and Truro have separate commissions of the peace, and Penzance has a separate court of quarter sessions. The Scilly Isles are administered by a separate council, and form one of the petty sessional divisions. There are 239 civil parishes, of which 5 are in the Scilly Isles. Cornwall is in the diocese of Truro, and there are 227 ecclesiastical parishes or districts wholly or in part within the county. The parliamentary divisions are the North-Eastern or Launceston, South-Eastern or Bodmin, Mid or St Austell, Truro, North-Western or Camborne, and Western or St Ives, each returning one member; while the parliamentary borough of Penryn and Falmouth returns one member.

Language.—The old Cornish language survives in a few words still in use in the fishing and mining communities, as well as in the names of persons and places, but the last persons who spoke it died towards the end of the 18th century. It belonged to the Cymric division of Celtic, in which Welsh and Armorican are also included. The most important relics of the language known to exist are three dramas or miracle plays, edited and translated by Edwin Norris, Oxford, 1859. A sketch of Cornish grammar is added, and a Cornish vocabulary from a MS. of the 13th century (Cotton MSS. Vespasian A. 14, p. 7a). (See Celt: Language and Literature.) It may be mentioned that the great numbers of saints whose names survive in the topography of the county are largely accounted for by the fact that here, as in Wales, it was the practice to canonize the founder of a church. The natives have many traits in common with the Welsh, such as their love of oratory and their strong tribal attachment to the county.

History.—Cornwall was the last portion of British territory in the south to submit to the Saxon invader. Viewed from its eastern boundary it doubtless appeared less attractive than the rich, well-wooded lands of Wessex, while it unquestionably afforded greater obstacles in the way of conquest. In 815 Ecgbert directed his efforts towards the subjugation of the West-Welsh of Cornwall, and after eight years’ fighting compelled the whole of Dyvnaint to acknowledge his supremacy. Assisted by the Danes the Cornish revolted but were again defeated, probably in 836, at the battle of Hengestesdun, Hingston Down in Stoke-Climsland. Ninety years later Aethelstan banished the West-Welsh from Exeter and made the Tamar the boundary of their territory. The thoroughness of the Saxon conquest is evident from the fact that in the days of the Confessor nearly the whole of the land in Cornwall was held by men bearing English names. As the result of the Norman conquest less than one-twelfth of the land (exclusive of that held by the Church) remained in English hands. Six-sevenths of the manors were assigned to Robert, count of Mortain, and became the foundation of the territorial possessions and revenues of the earldom which was held until 1337, usually by special grant, by the sons or near relatives of the kings of England. On the death of John of Eltham the last earl, in 1337, Edward the Black Prince was created duke of Cornwall. By the terms of the statute under which the dukedom was created the succession was restricted to the eldest son of the king, but in 1613, on the death of Prince Henry, an extended interpretation, given by the king’s advisers, enabled his brother Charles (afterwards Charles I.) to succeed as son of the king and next heir to the realm of England.

Traces of jurisdictional differentiation anterior to Domesday survive in the names of at least five of the hundreds, although these names do not appear in the Survey itself. The hundreds into which the county was divided at the time of the Inquisitio Geldi were as follows:—Straton, which embraced the present hundreds of Stratton, Lesnewth and Trigg; Fawiton, approximately conterminous with West; Panton, now included in Pydasr, Tibeste, Wineton, Conarditon and Rileston, very nearly identical with Powder, Kerrier, Penwith and East. The shire court was held at Launceston except from about 1260 to 1386, when it was held at Lostwithiel. In 1716 the summer assize was transferred to Bodmin. Since 1836 both assizes have been held at Bodmin. The jurisdiction of the hundred courts became early attached to various manors, and their bailiwicks and bedellaries descended with the real estate of their owners. There is much obscurity concerning the early ecclesiastical organization. It is certain, however, that Cornwall had its own bishops from the middle of the 9th century until the year 1018, when the see was removed to Crediton. During the interval the see had been placed sometimes at Bodmin and sometimes at St Germans. In 1049 the see of the united dioceses of Devon and Cornwall was fixed at Exeter. Cornwall was formed into an archdeaconry soon after, and, as such, continued until 1876, when it was reconstituted a diocese with its see at Truro. The parishes of St Giles-on-the-Heath, North Petherwin and Werrington, wholly in Devon, and Boyton, partly in Devon and partly in Cornwall, which were portions of the ancient archdeaconry, and also the parishes of Broadwoodwidger and Virginstowe, both in Devon, which had been added to it in 1875, thus came to be included in the Truro diocese. The present archdeaconries of Bodmin embracing the eastern, and of Cornwall embracing the western portion of the newly constituted diocese were formed, by order in council, in 1878. Aethelstan’s enactment had doubtless roughly determined the civil boundary of the Celtic-speaking county. In 1386 disputes having arisen, a commission was appointed to determine the Cornish border between North Tamerton and Hornacot.

For the first four centuries after the Norman conquest the part played by Cornwall in England’s political history was comparatively unimportant. In her final attempt in 1471 to restore the fortunes of the house of Lancaster, Queen Margaret received the active support of the Cornish, who, under Sir Hugh Courtenay and Sir John Arundell, accompanied her to the fatal field of Tewkesbury, and in 1473 John de Vere, earl of Oxford, held St Michael’s Mount in her behalf until the following February, when he surrendered to John Fortescue. A rising of considerable magnitude in 1497 at the instigation of Thomas Flamank, occasioned by the levy of a tax for the Scottish war, was only repelled after the arrival of the insurgents at Blackheath in Kent. Perkin Warbeck, who landed at Whitsand Bay in the parish of Sennen, obtained general support in the same year. The imposition of the Book of Common Prayer and the abrogation of various religious ceremonies led to a rebellion in 1549 under Sir Humphry Arundell of Lanherne, the rebels, who knew little English, demanding the restoration of the Latin service, but a fatal delay under the walls of Exeter led to their early defeat and the execution of their leaders. During the Civil War of the 17th century Cornwall won much glory in the royal cause. In 1643 Sir Ralph Hopton, who commanded the king’s Cornish troops, defeated General Ruthen on Bradoc Down, while General Chudleigh, another parliamentary general, was repulsed near Launceston, and the earl of Stamford at Stratton. The whole county was thereby secured to the king. Led by Sir Beville Grenville of Stow the Cornish troops now marched into Somersetshire, where in the indecisive battle of Lansdowne they greatly distinguished themselves, but lost their brave leader. In July 1644 the earl of Essex marched into Cornwall and was followed soon afterwards by the king’s troops in pursuit. Numerous engagements were fought, in which the latter were uniformly successful. The troops of Essex were surrounded and their leader escaped in a boat from Fowey to Plymouth. In 1646, owing to dissensions amongst the king’s officers, and in particular to the refusal of Sir Richard Grenville to serve under Lord Hopton, and to the defection of Colonel Edgcumbe, the royal cause declined and became desperate. On the 16th of August 1646 articles of capitulation were signed by the defenders of Pendennis Castle.

Two members for the county were summoned by Edward I. to the parliament of 1295, and two continued to be the number of county members until 1832. Six boroughs—Launceston, Liskeard, Lostwithiel, Bodmin, Truro and Helston—were granted the like privilege by the same sovereign. To strengthen and augment the power of the crown as against the House of Commons, between 1547 and 1584, fifteen additional towns and villages received the franchise, with the result that, between the latter date and 1821, Cornwall sent no less than forty-four members to parliament. In 1821 Grampound lost both its members, and by the Reform Act in 1832 fourteen other Cornish boroughs shared the same fate. Cornwall was, in fact, notorious for the number of its rotten boroughs. In the vicinity of Liskeard “within an area, which since 1885 . . . is represented by only one member, there were until 1832 nine parliamentary boroughs returning eighteen members. In this area, on the eve of the Reform Act, there was a population of only 14,224” (Porrit, Unreformed House of Commons, vol. i. p. 92). Bossiney, a village near Camelford, Camelford itself, Lostwithiel, East Looe, West Looe, Fowey and several others were disfranchised in 1832, but even until the act of 1885 Bodmin, Helston, Launceston, Liskeard and St Ives were separately represented, whereas Penzance was not. Until this act was passed Truro, and Penryn with Falmouth, returned two members each.

Antiquities.—No part of England is so rich as Cornwall in prehistoric antiquities. These chiefly abound in the district between Penzance and the Land’s End, but they occur in all the wilder parts of the county. They may be classed as follows. (1) Cromlechs. These in the west of Cornwall are called “quoits,” with reference to their broad and flat covering stones. The largest and most important are those known as Lanyon, Mulfra, Chûn and Zennor quoits, all in the Land’s End district. Of these Chûn is the only one which has not been thrown down. Zennor is said to be the largest in Europe, while Lanyon, when perfect, was of sufficient height for a man on horseback to ride under. Of those in the eastern part of Cornwall, Trevethy near Liskeard and Pawton in the parish of St Breock are the finest. (2) Rude uninscribed monoliths are common to all parts of Cornwall. Those at Boleigh or Boleit, in the parish of St Buryan, S.W. of Penzance, called the Pipers, are the most important. (3) Circles, none of which is of great dimensions. The principal are the Hurlers, near Liskeard; the Boskednan, Boscawen-ûn, and Tregeseal circles; and that called the Dawns-ûn, or Merry Maidens, at Boleigh. All of these, except the Hurlers, are in the Land’s End district. Other circles that may be mentioned are the Trippet Stones, in the parish of Blisland, near Bodmin, and one at Duloe, near Liskeard. (4) Long alignments or avenues of stones, resembling those on Dartmoor, but not so perfect, are to be found on the moors near Rough Tor and Brown Willy. A very remarkable monument of this kind exists in the neighbourhood of St Columb Major, called the Nine Maidens. It consists of nine rude pillars placed in a line, but now imperfect, while near them is a single stone known as the Old Man. (5) Hut dwellings. Of these there are at least two kinds, those in the eastern part of the county resembling the beehive structures and enclosures of Dartmoor, and those in the west comprising “hut-clusters,” having a central court, and a surrounding wall sometimes of considerable height and thickness. The beehive masonry is also found in connexion with these, as are also (6) Caves, or subterraneous structures, resembling those of Scotland and Ireland. (7) Cliff castles are a characteristic feature of the Cornish coast, especially in the west, such as Treryn, Mên, Kenedjack, Bosigran and others. These are all fortified on the landward side. At Treryn Castle is the Logan Stone, a mass of granite so balanced as to rock upon its support. (8) Hill castles, or camps, are very numerous. Castelan-Dinas, near St Columb, is the best example of the earthwork camp, and Chûn Castle, near Penzance, of the stone.

Early Christian remains in Cornwall include crosses, which occur all over the country and are of various dates from the 6th century onward; inscribed sepulchral stones, generally of the 7th and 8th centuries; and oratories. These last have their parallels in Ireland, which is natural, since from that country and Wales Cornwall was christianized. The buildings (also called baptisteries) are very small and rude, a simple parallelogram in form, always placed near a spring. The best example is St Piran’s near Perranzabuloe, which long lay buried in sand dunes. St Piran was one of the missionaries sent from Ireland by St Patrick in the 5th century, and became the patron saint of the tin-miners.

The individuality of Cornwall is reflected in its ecclesiastical architecture. The churches are generally massive, plain structures of granite, built as it were to resist the storms which sweep up from the sea, low in the body, but with high unadorned towers. Within, a common feature is the absence of a chancel arch. In a few cases, of which Gwennap church is an illustration, where the body of the church lies low in a valley, there is a detached campanile at a higher level. The prevalent style is Perpendicular, much rebuilding having taken place in this period, but there are fine examples of the earlier styles. The west front and part of the towers of the church of St Germanus of Auxerre at St Germans form the best survival of Norman work in the county; there are good Norman doorways at Manaccan and Kilkhampton churches, and the church of Morwenstow, near the coast north of Bude, is a remarkable illustration of the same style. This church has the further interest of having had as its rector the Cornish poet Robert Stephen Hawker (1803–1875). The Early English style is not commonly seen, but the small church of St Anthony in Roseland, near the east shore of Falmouth harbour (with an ornate Norman door), and portions of the churches of Camelford and Manaccan, are instances of this period. Decorated work is similarly scanty, but the churches of Sheviock, in the south-east, and St Columb Major have much that is good, and that of St Bartholomew, Lostwithiel, has a beautiful and rich lantern and spire in this style surmounting an Early English tower, while the body of the church is also largely Decorated. Perpendicular churches are so numerous that it is only needful to mention those possessing some peculiar characteristic. Thus, the high ornamentation of Launceston and St Austell churches is unusual in Cornwall, as is the rich and graceful tower of Probus church. St Neot’s church, near Liskeard, has magnificent stained glass of the 15th and 16th centuries.

The ruined castles of Launceston, Trematon near Saltash, Restormel near Lostwithiel, and Tintagel, date, at least in part, from Norman times. St Michael’s Mount was at once a fortress and an ecclesiastical foundation. Pendennis Castle, Falmouth, is of the time of Henry VIII. The mansions of Cornwall are generally remarkable rather for their position than for architectural interest, but Trelawne, partly of the 15th century, near Looe, and Place House, a Tudor building, at Fowey, may be noted.

Authorities.—See Richard Carew, Survey of Cornwall (London, 1602); W. Borlase, Antiquities of Cornwall (Oxford, 1754 and 1769); D. Gilbert, Parochial History of Cornwall (London, 1837–1838), incorporating collections of W. Hals and Tonkin; J. T. Blight, Ancient Crosses in the East of Cornwall (London, 1858), and Churches of West Cornwall (London, 1865); G. C. Boase and W. P. Courtney, Bibliotheca Cornubiensis, a catalogue of the writings, both MS. and printed, of Cornishmen, and of works relating to Cornwall (Truro and London, 1864–1881); R. Hunt, Popular Romances and Drolls of the West of England (London, 1865); W. Bottrell, Traditions and Hearthside Stories of West Cornwall (Penzance, 1870–1873); J. H. Collins, Handbook to the Mineralogy of Cornwall and Devon (Truro, 1871); W. C. Borlase, Naenia Cornubiae (1872); Early Christianity in Cornwall (London, 1893); J. Bannister, Glossary of Cornish Names (London, 1878); W. P. Courtney, Parliamentary Representation of Cornwall to 1832 (London, 1889); G. C. Boase, Collectanea Cornubiensia (Truro, 1890); J. R. Allen, Old Cornish Crosses (Truro, 1896); A. H. Norway, Highways and Byways in Cornwall (1904); Lewis Hind, Days in Cornwall (1907); Victoria County History, Cornwall.