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Cornwall is a ceremonial county and duchy, formerly a Celtic nation,[1] in the southwest of the United Kingdom. It lies to the west of Devon, with which it has its only land boundary. Principal towns in Cornwall include Cambourne, St. Ives, St. Austell, Falmouth, Looe, Penzance, Newquay, Launceston and Bude. Truro is the only city, and capital of Cornwall.[2]


Historically the area relied heavily on tin and lead mining as well as fishing, and smuggling and wrecking were also significant occupations.

Now, with one of the most favourable climates in Britain, the focus of industry is now firmly on tourism. Newquay is Britain's premier surfing resort. Cornwall is bounded on all sides but one by the sea, also making it a popular location for medium-scale drug smuggling and surfers.


Cornwall is regarded as being one of the Celtic nations, and has its own language, Cornish, related to modern Welsh and Breton. Although the language died out, it was revived and survives in written form and a growing number of people are learning it as part of a wider Celtic renaissance in the county. Most Cornish claim not to be English.

The county has its own flag, the flag of St. Piran, a white horizontal cross on a black background,[3] and its own political party, Mebyon Kernow,[4] now substantially represented on the council, which campaigns for greater local autonomy.


Introduced in 4th or 5th century AD, Christianity was the dominant religion in Cornwall for centuries, almost every village has at least one church, and churches can be found even in isolated areas on their own. Since the decline of church-going in the UK during the 20th century, many of these became disused and were sold to become private residences. Due to protective legislation older churches are protected from significant alterations by designations such as Grade II listing status.