Cornwall

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Cornwall is a Duchy and (administratively speaking) the southern most county of The United Kingdom. Geographically it is a peninsula, with its border with the rest of Great Britain following the River Tamar, and has only two major road links with the rest of Britain: the A38 which crosses the Tamar at Plymouth via the Tamar Bridge, and the A30 which crosses the county border south of Launceston. A car ferry also links Plymouth with the town of Torpoint on the opposite side of the Hamoaze. A rail-bridge built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel provides the only other major physical transport link.

Cornwall was the principal source of tin to the civilisations of the ancient Mediterranean.

The Cornish people have always been distinct from the rest of the English although Cornwall's official administrative status is today no different to that of any other county in England. A political party, Mebyon Kernow, the MK, or 'Sons of Cornwall', has been formed in order to attempt to reassert Cornish independance, although this is currently a distinctly minority party.

Cornish continued as a living Celtic language until 1777 and the death of Dolly Pentreath, the last person thought to have used Cornish as her first language (although this is disputed on a number of counts). Cornish is a language closely related to Welsh and Breton, and less so to Irish and Scottish. Today efforts are being made to revive it.

The Patron Saint of Cornwall is Saint Piran, whose flag, a white cross on a black background, is the emblem of Cornish secessionists. Since the decline of tin mining, farming and fishing, the area has become economically depressed, and increasingly the flag of St Piran is seen across the county, at protests and demonstrations. The extreme state of Cornwall's economic deprivation has been recognised by the EU and the county has been granted Objective One status.

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