Cornwall is a county located in the United Kingdom that forms the tio of the southwestern peninsula of Great Britain. To its west and north is the Atlantic Ocean, to its south is the English Channel and bordering its eastern border is Devon County. Cornwall covers an area of thirteen hundred square miles and has a permanent population of over half a million people.
The region is considered to be one of the poorest parts of the United Kingdom, with a great disparity between the very poor and the very rich. Its economy is heavily dependent on tourism, and it make up over a quarter of its income. The county attracts visitors from all over the world because of its beautiful scenery, culture and mild weather. It has many beaches, moorlands, gardens and historic sites as well.
Ever year, Cornwall receives over five million visitors each year, with the majority of them coming from other parts of the United Kingdom. Other important sectors of Cornwall’s economy include fishing, agriculture, graphic design, architecture, web design and photography.
Cornwall is well known for its cuisine. Since the county is surrounded by ocean on three out of four sides, there is an ample amount of fresh seafood available to restaurants in its borders.
Foods in the area include Stargazy Pie, pasties, Cornish fudge, saffron cake, Cornish ice cream, fairing biscuits, scones and whortleberry pie. Cornwall also has its own style of beers which include brews from St. Austell Brewery, Skinner’s Brewery and Sharps Brewery. These three make many different types of lagers, stouts and ales. There are also several microbreweries which produce cider, wine and even mead.
Cornwall can trace its history to pre-Roman times when it was inhabited by the Cornish and Brythonic people and was a part of the territory that was owned by the Dumnonii tribe. The Roman Empire ruled the county for a short period of time, but eventually the governing of the area was left to Celtic chieftains. Eventually, Great Britain would become conquered by the Saxons, but Cornwall remained under the rule of the Celtic chieftains.
Around the sixth century, the Kingdom of Cornwall was formed. Its ruling elite were the successors of the Kingdom of Dumnonia. During this time, the Wessex Saxons were expanding in strength and fast approaching the region. During the eighth century, the Cornish was defeated by Egbert of Wessex. Within a fifty year span of time, Cornwall Church had more and more Saxon priests appointed to it and they had powerful influence.
This went on until the tenth century, when Cornwall Church fell under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury. During the Norman Conquest, the majority of lands located in Cornwall were given to the Norman ruling class. Most of it went to the Count of Mortain. It was during this period of time that several Norman castles were erected in Tintagel, Trematon, Launceston and Restormel. During the end of the fifteenth century, Henry VII raise taxes and the miners in Cornwall rose up in what is called the Cornish Rebellion.
A popular attraction in Cornwall County is the Lost Gardens of Heligan. This is a very popular botanical garden that is situated near Mevagissey. These gardens were founded by the Temayne family in the middle of the eighteenth century. Around the turn of the century, the garden required twenty-two gardeners for maintanence.
But, many of these gardeners died during World War I and eventually the garden was being looked after by only eight gardeners. After World War I, these gardens fell into neglect but was restored in the 1990s. The name of the garden comes from the Cornish word ‘Helygan”, which means ”willow tree”. These gardens form around Heligan House and the private gardens of the Temayne family.
Today, the Lost Gardens of Heligan has a large collection of camellias and rhododendrons. The garden also has the only pineapple grove in all of Europe. These pineapple trees are able to be grown in the cold weather by placing them into pineapple pits. This method of growing the trees uses aged manure and composting to keep the roots of the tree warm during the winter. Also in the garden is a large collection of ferns and two figures composed of plants and rock called the ”Giant’s Head” and ”Mud Maid”.
Another prominent attraction in Cornwall is Tintagel Castle. This castles is located on Tintagel Island, situated close to the village of Tintagel. The site was originally used as a Roman settlement, but the remains of the castle that can be seen today dates from the thirteenth century. It was built by the Earl of Cornwall as a way to link the area with the legends of King Arthur.
It was built in a more primitive style to make it look like it predated the thirteenth century. After the Earl died, the castle was given to the county sheriff. At various points in its history it was used as a prison and at times the land was left fallow. In the fourteenth century, the castle continued to deteriorate and the Great Hall was torn down. Over the years the castle has continued to degrade and is now only a shell of what it used to be.