Three obviously Cornish toponyms. Or are they?

Here are three Cornish surnames. Their early distributions, clustered in one district, is the classic sign of a toponym, a surname that has its origin in a specific placename. But things may be more complicated than they seem. Benallack is a placename that turns up in three Cornish parishes. It comes from the Cornish word … Continue reading Three obviously Cornish toponyms. Or are they?

Cornwall, the G7 Summit and stereotyping

The news that Cornwall will be hosting this year's G7 Summit (pesky viruses permitting) opens up all sorts of opportunities to ‘showcase the Cornwall brand’. Swarms of journalists will descend from across the globe eager for copy. But will all they devour be the same stale old imagery of Cornwall as just a tourist destination? … Continue reading Cornwall, the G7 Summit and stereotyping

The railway and Cornish identity

Last week I summarised an article which called for the Church of England to take account of regional identities and specifically the Cornish identity. This week I review another article which takes as its subject the Cornish identity. This one assesses the ways in which the railway has contributed to that identity. (For a more … Continue reading The railway and Cornish identity

Patronyms and the Cornish language

Does the presence of patronymic surnames (surnames derived from first names) tell us anything about the last days of the traditional Cornish language? I have argued elsewhere that the distribution of the most common surnames in nineteenth century Cornwall – Williams, Thomas and Richards – offers a good indication of the geography of the language … Continue reading Patronyms and the Cornish language

‘Transforming mission’ or transforming Cornwall? The Church of England and Cornwall

A recent academic article raises the case of the Church of England’s ‘resource church model’. This mission scheme has been rolled out in many parishes across England and Cornwall, but not without some internal criticism and debate. One criticism is that it tends to ignore people’s sense of place. In an article reviewed in more … Continue reading ‘Transforming mission’ or transforming Cornwall? The Church of England and Cornwall