Cornwall, a maritime county, forming the south-western extremity of England. Its extreme length is 81 miles; its extreme breadth 45 miles; and its area is 1365 sq. m., of which 63.4 per cent. is under cultivation. The surface is very irregular, and a ridge of bleak hills, interspersed with moors, stretches from the Tamar to the Land's End. Brown Billy (1368 feet) is the loftiest point. As this range is nearer the north of Cornwall than the south, the principal rivers are on the southern side, and run to the English Channel. With the exception of a few unimportant creeks, there are only two harbours on the north coast - the estuary of the Camel, on which is Padstow, and the bay of St Ives. Nearly all the north coast is formed of bold and picturesque cliffs; but at Perranzabuloe and Gwithian there are hills of blown sea-sand. The southern coast is also mostly bold and rocky, but indented with many headlands and bays. Between the Land's End (5° 41' 31" W.) and the Lizard Point is the deep indentation named Mount's Bay, from St Michael's Mount, with the harbour-works of Penzance. East of the Lizard is Falmouth Bay; and on the eastern boundary is another of the great havens of the kingdom, Plymouth Sound. The estuary of the Fowey also affords a small but perfectly sheltered deep-water harbour. The chief river is the Tamar, which practically divides Cornwall from Devon, rising within 3 miles of the north coast at Wooley Barrows. It is tidal, and navigable for 19 miles (total length 59) from its embouchure in Plymouth Sound. Its principal Cornish tributary is the Notter. The lower part of the estuary of the Tamar is called the Hamoaze. The Fowey is 30 miles long, and navigable for 6. The Fal is 20 miles long from its source to Falmouth Harbour. The Camel (also called the Alan) is 29 miles long, 10 being tidal. There is a tradition that a large tract of land between the Land's End and the Scilly Isles (q.v.) was submerged by the sea. This is the fabled Lyonesse. Mining has been carried on here from prehistoric times, and the county has been regarded as the Cassiterides of the Phoenicians and Greeks. It yields tin, copper, lead, iron, zinc, silver, cobalt, antimony, manganese, bismuth, tungsten, arsenic, etc. - a greater variety of minerals (some unique) than any other part of the United Kingdom. Gold has been found in alluvial tin works or 'streams,' the largest nugget over two ounces. Of late years mining has been very much reduced, and almost all the mines now existing are tin, of which Cornwall yields nearly all that is raised in the kingdom. The pilchard, herring, and mackerel fisheries are extensive and important. The climate, mild though damp, has been turned to good account in the Scilly Isles and the Penzance district, by the development of market-gardening for the supply of early vegetables and of fruit to the leading markets. Pop. (1801) 192,281;' (1861) 369,390; (1901) 322,957. Cornwall contains one parliamentary borough - Falmouth and Penryn, and six county divisions. It returned 40 members prior to 1832. 14 till 1867. 12 till 1885, and now 7 in all. The bishopric of Cornwall, merged in that of Exeter since Saxon times, was restored in 1876, and the see fixed at Truro.
Cornwall remained in the hands of its Celtic inhabitants, and under the rule of the British Church till 936. The ancient Cornish language, belonging to the Cymric or Brythonic group of the Celtic tongues, was generally spoken until the reign of Elizabeth, and until 1678 was used in public worship. It lingered in the extreme west of the county till the early part of the 18th century; Dolly Pentreath (? 1676-1778) of Mouse-hole is popularly regarded as the last who spoke it. Cornwall, which abounds in prehistoric remains, was created into a duchy in 1337 for the Black Prince. The eldest son of the reigning sovereign is Duke of Cornwall; and the revenues derived from the duchy by the Prince of Wales average £61,000 a year. See Tregellas's Cornwall (6th ed. 1891), and other works cited there.
Cornwall, a port of entry of Ontario, at the mouth of the Cornwall Canal, and separated by the St Lawrence from New York state, 67 miles SW. of Montreal. It has one of the principal woollen-mills in the Dominion. Pop. 7033.