Cornwall Cornish: Kernow is a historic county and a ceremonial county in South West England. It is recognized as one of the Celtic nations and is the homeland of the Cornish people. Cornwall is bordered to the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the English Channel and to the east by County Devon, with the River Tamar forming the border between them. Cornwall forms the westernmost part of the southwestern peninsula of the island of Great Britain.
Cornwall was formerly a British kingdom and later a royal duchy. It is the cultural and ethnic origin of the Cornish diaspora. The Cornish nationalist movement challenges Cornwall's current constitutional status and seeks greater autonomy within the UK in the form of a delegated Cornish Legislative Assembly with powers similar to those of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In 2014, the Cornish people obtained minority status. under the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, which gives them recognition as a distinct ethnic group.
Recent discoveries of Roman remains in Cornwall indicate a greater Roman presence there than previously thought. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Cornwall (along with Devon, parts of Dorset and Somerset, and the Isles of Scilly) was part of the British kingdom of Dumnonia, ruled by Cornovii chieftains who may have included figures considered semi-historical or legendary, such as King Mark of Cornwall and King Arthur, evidenced by folk traditions derived from the Historia Regum Britanniae.
The Cornovii division of the Dumnonii tribe broke away from their fellow Brythons of Wales after the Battle of Deorham in AD 577, and often came into conflict with the expanding English kingdom of Wessex. The Dumnonia regions outside Cornwall (and Dartmoor) had been annexed by the English in AD 838. King Athelstan in 936 AD it established the boundary between the English and Cornwall at the high water mark on the east bank of the River Tamar. Since the High Middle Ages, the language and culture were shared by Brythons who traded on both sides of the Channel, resulting in the corresponding High Middle Ages Breton kingdoms of Domnonée and Cornouaille and Celtic Christianity common to both areas.
Tin mining was important to the Cornish economy since the High Middle Ages, and it expanded enormously in the 19th century when rich copper mines were also in production. In the mid-19th century, the tin and copper mines entered a period of decline and the mining of Chinese clay became more important. Mining had practically ended in the 1990s. Fishing and agriculture were the other important sectors of the economy, but railways led to a growth in tourism in the 20th century after the decline of the mining and fishing industries. Since the late 2010s there has been hope for a resurgence of mining in Cornwall after the discovery of lithium deposits "of global significance" to help fuel the electric car revolution.
Cornwall is noted for its geology and coastal scenery. A large part of the Cornish batholith is located within Cornwall. The north coast has many cliffs where exposed geological formations are studied. The area is characterized by its wild moorland landscapes, its long and varied coastline, its attractive villages, its many place names derived from the Cornish language and its very mild climate. Extensive stretches of the Cornish coastline and Bodmin Moor are protected as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.