CORNWALL is the most south-westerly portion of England, and forms a peninsula, being bounded by the sea on three sides, and along four-fifths of its eastern border it is seperated from the county of Devon by the river Tamar, except just north of Launceston, where a small portion of Devonshire juts into Cornwall. The length of the county, from Devonshire to the Lands End, is 80 miles, and its greatest breadth which is at its junction with Devonshire - viz. from Rama Head in the south to Marshland Month in the north - is about 45 miles. Other parts of the county are about 24 miles wide, but between St Ives and Mounts Bay it is only 7 miles. the Scilly Islands, situated about 30 miles from Lands End, are a part of Cornwall, and are reached by a steamer from Penzance.

Cornwall was first made known to the West of Europe by the Iberians of Spain, who supplied the Phoenicians and traders of the East with tin. Whether Cornwall was ever visited by the Phoenicians is doubtful, but not improbable. The Iberian navigators very likely came on a gold-seeking expedition, and in searching for gold in the river beds of the West, came upon tin. The Iberians settled here, and long carried on a trade. On their decline Cornwall was left to its fate, and the Celts made some progress in it. Of the Iberians there are many relics, including spear-heads and pieces of copper swords, lumps of fine copper, celts and gold coins. there are many Iberian monuments, as monoliths, circles of stone and iogan stones.

On the conquest of Cornwall by the Romans, they found there two British or mixed British and Iberian tribes, the Damonii and Cornubii, but the mineral industry was neglected. The Romans were long settled there, and Roman roads remain, but, unless in East Cornwall, their settlements cannot now be readily traced.

On the fall of the Romans, the natives relapsed quickly into their former barbarism. On the advances of the west Saxons, Cornwall became the retreat of the Welsh, who were named by the English, Cornwelsh. Many of the British, however, fled to Brittany. A league was formed of the Cornwelsh, Bretons, Welsh and  Cumbrians, but they were not able to hold Cornwall against the English. In 680 Iver, a king of Brittany, for a time drove back the West Saxons, and held Devon and Somerset, but Kentwin, king of the West Saxons, defeated him. The West Saxons made themselves masters of East Cornwall and thickly populated it, and Athelstan brought Cornwall and the Scilly Isles fully under English sway.

Transcribed from Kellys Directory 1914