Most people are aware that the island of Britain is home to three ancient identities, English, Scots and Welsh, each with its own cultural traditions, language and flag. But fewer know that recently there was a successful campaign to add a fourth identity, Cornish. The inhabitants of Cornwall have long been aware that they are distinct from the English, and many refuse to call themselves English, preferring the term Cornish. As you can see in the thumbnail above the Cornish identity has its own flag, the cross of St Pirran, and there have recently been successful moves to resurrect the Cornish language as a cultural resource. The language, a Celtic tongue,is spoken as a second tongue by some people and is distinct from both Welsh and Irish.
Cornwall was a Celtic kingdom distinct from Wales that came to be dominated by England in the tenth century. Under the Normans it was a crown possession distinct from England, but which was eventually absorbed into England for administrative reasons.
The county is replete with archaeological sites, such as dolmens [remnants of stone tombs] and stone circles. These reflect the ancient Celtic culture of the county. There are many abandoned tin mines, for mining reaches back into the depths of Cornish history. The ancient Phoenicians even made the long and dangerous journey from Lebanon into the Atlantic to the place that they called the Cassiterides, the Tin Isles, to purchase this metal essential to smelting bronze. The last mine eventually closed in 1983 though there is a possibility of their re-opening to exploit rare earths. You can still see the giant granite engine houses that contained the engines that kept the massive machines used to pump the water from the mines. So essential to the Cornish identity was mining that it used to be said that a mine is a hole in the ground with a Cornishman in it.
There is a thriving agricultural economy based very much on beef and dairy cattle, and in recent years the Cornish apple industry has developed with the production of craft ciders, often with one farm as their source, which gives each cider a distinct character. Fishing is not as strong as it was, but the industry still survives, and the famous chef Rick Stein has a very well-regarded sea food restaurant in Padstow on the south coast.
The Norman castle of Tintagel, a ruin overlooking the sea, was linked in Cornish myth with the legend of king Arthur, but that is all it is, a legend. I believe that there was a real Arthur, but he was from North Wales.