The Land’s End? The Great Sale of Cornwall by Bernard Deacon

This book should be required reading for all those who reside in Cornwall whose lives WILL be affected by the policy makers, and how the cultural effect of those policies are marginalising the Cornish people and threatening to destroy the very aspects of Cornishness.


“This book does three things. First, it outlines how Cornwall’s planners and local elites put the interests of future second home owners and in-migrants before those of current residents.  The economic failure of this policy is outlined and the environmental consequences of growth identified.  The book then moves on to discuss the cultural impact of policies that are marginalising the Cornish people and threatening to destroy aspects of Cornishness.

Ssh, don’t mention the Cornish: The cultural consequences of  endless growth

Second, it pursues the question of why a failed, unsustainable and damaging population-led policy is still being adopted.  It finds that some interests gain financially, others swallow a simple ideology of growth, while in addition central government and an over-reliance on tourism help lock us into a spiral of unsustainability.

Finally, it reveals the democratic deficit that exists in Cornwall, before exploring some potential strategies that could replace a developer-led agenda with democratically-led policies that put Cornwall and its people first.”

. . . policies that are marginalising the Cornish people and threatening to destroy aspects of Cornishness.

Back cover:

Cornwall is for sale. Its coastal communities are sold to second homeowners.  Its scenery is sold to tourists. Its fields are snapped up by developers hungry to profit form the demand to move to Cornwall that tourism fosters. Even its distinctive place names are swamped by the imposition of English names in the new developments.

We remain trapped in an insane spiral of housing and popuation growth that threatens the Cornishness of our land.

The built-up area of Cornwall has doubled since the 1960s. The population has risen by about two thirds. However, as the pressures on its environment, its culture, its communities, its wildlife and its infrastructure reach a tipping point, all that the policy-makers offer is more of the same.

This book spells out how we have not learnt the lessons of the past half century.  We remain trapped in an insane spiral of housing and popuation growth that threatens the Cornishness of our land.  It is a warning plea.  A warning that current policies must change before its too late. And a plea to people to help save our land. It is a book that not only policy-makers but all those who cherish the distinctivness of Cornwal should read and ponder on.

Bernard Deacon was Senior Lecturer in Cornish Studies at the University of Exeter and was one of the authors of Cornwall at the Crossroads, also published by the Cornish Social and Economic Research Group.

Tomorrow is the day that Cornwall celebrates its national hero, St Piran

March 5th is the day the Cornish population across the Duchy and further field, will be celebrating the rising popularity of St Piran’s Day. iu

St Piran’s Trust

It’s amazing how only a couple of decades ago, just seeing the back and white colours of St Piran flags were seen as something of a quirky novelty has now become a major occasion that sees those black and white flags, bunting and rosettes in abundance. At a local rugby derby game in Redruth, St Piran’s flags were flying around around the ground when a man with a group of Welsh supporters was prompted to making a comparison the Welsh St David’s Day:

“St Piran’s Day is where the full-time Cornish patriots take a well earned rest, while the part-time Cornish patriots take up the slack”

It’s a wonder what happens to all that patriotism for the other 364 days the year. Parade-Crowds.c1

(Image from myCornwall magazine)

That patriotism is continued involving a group of people who form the St Piran’s Trust / Trest Sen Peran. A non-profit-making charitable Trust which is committed to the development, protection and good administration of the historic sites on Gear Sands connected with St Piran. The Trust will promote awareness of the cultural, educational, historic and scientific significance of those sites for Cornwall and for Europe.

It was in January 2014, that the long-awaited work to uncover St Piran’s Oratory from the sand dunes at Perranporth is due to start on February 17 – with the launch of the excavation, plus a major fund-raising drive. Following a 15-year-campaign, the St Piran Trust plans to unearth and conserve St Piran’s Oratory, believed to be amongst the oldest Christian buildings on mainland Britain.  The site has been of central importance to Cornish people for over 1,400 years as a place of worship and pilgrimage, and as a focus for cultural expression. Today, many hundreds of people gather at the site annually to mark St Piran’s Day. The saint’s flag (which features in a stained-glass window installed in Westminster Abbey in 1888) – a white cross on a black field, is flown the length and breadth of Cornwall. Since Cornish ethnicity has at last been recognised officially, it is hoped that St Piran’s Day will be the most successful to date.

Gool Peran Lowen!   #HappyStPiran’sDay

April 2014: UK Government finally recognises Cornish ethnicity

Despite the UK Government blocking previous attempts by the Cornish, the UK Government finally recognised Cornish ethnicity in April 2014 by its inclusion within the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM)

The Cornish and Welsh are the oldest peoples on this island and as a proud Welshman I look forward to seeing St Piran’s Flag flying

What is the FCNM?

The Framework Convention is a legally binding instrument under international law, the word “Framework” highlights the scope for member states to translate the Convention’s provisions to their specific country situation through national legislation and appropriate governmental policies.

Communities Minister Stephen Williams said: “This is a great day for the people of Cornwall who have long campaigned for the distinctiveness and identity of the Cornish people to be recognised officially. The Cornish and Welsh are the oldest peoples on this island and as a proud Welshman I look forward to seeing St Piran’s Flag flying with extra Celtic pride on5 March next year.” It means that Cornish people will be afforded the same protections as the Welsh, Scottish and the Irish; with government departments and public bodies required to take Cornwall’s views into account when making decisions.

Market Jew Street Pensans





What commitments do states undertake when they ratify the FCNM?

The Framework Convention sets out principles to be respected as well as goals to be achieved by the states, in order to ensure the protection of national minorities, in this case the Cornish people. Parties to the Framework Convention undertake to promote full and effective equality of persons belonging to minorities in all areas of economic, social, political, public and cultural life together with conditions that will allow them to express, preserve and develop their culture, religion, language and traditions. They have to ensure their freedom of assembly, association, expression, thought, conscience, religion and their access to and use of media. The Convention also provides guidelines for their linguistic freedom and rights regarding education.