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Cornwall’s Prehistory to Industrial Revolution: Shaping a Unique Identity

Specialist Group Tour Operator for Bespoke Historic and Cultural Tours

Cornwall’s rich prehistory and history have played a pivotal role in shaping its distinct identity, setting it apart from the rest of Britain. The region’s remarkable preservation of Neolithic and Bronze Age remains, coupled with limited Roman influence, has contributed to Cornwall’s unique cultural landscape. Furthermore, Cornwall’s historical struggles with its place within England and its significant contribution to the industrial revolution have further solidified its distinctive character. Here we delve into Cornwall’s prehistory, limited Roman impact, medieval challenges, and its influential role in the industrial revolution.

We’d be pleased to answer any questions you have or to discuss the possibility of creating special interest, history and cultural tours for your group or your clients.

  1. Prehistory: A Legacy Preserved: Cornwall’s prehistory offers a window into ancient civilizations and their lasting impact on the region. More archaeological remains survive from the Neolithic and Bronze Ages in Cornwall than in any other part of mainland Britain. Stone circles like the famous Merry Maidens, hill forts such as Chun Castle, and ancient burial sites like Lanyon Quoit are testament to Cornwall’s enduring connection to its ancient past.
  2. Limited Roman Influence: While Roman influence spread across much of Britain, Cornwall experienced relatively little impact from Roman occupation. The Romans focused their attention on the richer resources found in other parts of the country, leaving Cornwall largely untouched by their cultural and architectural influence. This relative isolation preserved Cornwall’s distinct identity and traditions.
  3. Medieval Struggles with English Identity: During the Middle Ages, Cornwall grappled with its evolving relationship with England. Cornish people were proud of their distinct identity and struggled to come to terms with being perceived as merely part of “England.” The Cornish language, Celtic traditions, and a fierce sense of independence set Cornwall apart, fostering a unique cultural heritage that still resonates today.
  4. Cornwall and the Industrial Revolution: Contrary to popular belief, Cornwall played a significant role in the industrial revolution. Its abundant mineral resources, particularly tin and copper, made it a hotbed for mining and technological innovation. Cornwall’s pioneering spirit led to the development of groundbreaking mining techniques, such as steam-powered engines and efficient drainage systems. The region became a cradle of the industrial revolution, driving economic growth and technological advancements that transformed not only Cornwall but also the wider world.

By understanding Cornwall’s prehistory and history, we gain insight into the region’s enduring identity, making it a captivating destination that offers a glimpse into a rich and vibrant past.

About Us

Based in Cornwall we’re the only full service destination management company for our region. Recommended partner of Visit Cornwall, the official tourism board, we work with tour operators, travel agents and individual group leaders offering it as part of complete packages that can include London, Southern England and the rest of the UK & Ireland.

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