Culture and Tradition in Cornwall

Cornish culture and traditions are alive and well in many aspects of life in Cornwall. From traditional rural Cornish industries such as farming, fishing, tin streaming, thatching and the building of Cornish hedges to the Old Cornwall Societies, Cornish language and the Gorseth Kernow.

The Federation of Old Cornwall Societies (FOCS) was formed in the early part of the 20th century, around 1924, with the objective of collecting and maintaining "all those ancient things that make the spirit of Cornwall - its traditions, its old words and ways, and what remains to it of its Celtic language and nationality" ( R.Morton Nance, Old Cornwall 1925). This aim is enshrined in its motto "Kyntelleugh an brewyon es gesys na vo kellys travyth - Gather ye the fragments that are left, that nothing be lost".

The first Old Cornwall Society was pioneered by St Ives in 1920 and the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies today represents 47 groups spread throughout Cornwall from Bude and Stratton in the North to Saltash in the East, The Lizard in the South and St Buryan in West Cornwall.

Photos from the Gorseth Kernow 2004, Truro

On 21st September 1928, Pedrog, the Archdruid of Britain inagaurated the first Gorsedd of Cornwall to represent the Celtic and national aspects of Cornish culture. Henry Jenner was installed as Grand Bard and twelve bards were created to join the nucleus of eight Cornish men and women, who had, in
preparation, been made bards at the Welsh Gorsedd. Gorseth Kernow is an annual meeting of Cornwall's bards which celebrates Cornwall's Celtic traditions and awards the status of bard on those
individuals who have earned the honour through their services to Cornwall and its culture.

In September 2004 the Cornish Gorsedd was held at Lemon Quay, Truro. The ceremony begins with the sounding of the "Corn Gwlas" - horn - issuing a symbolic call to the four points of the compass. The Gorsedd prayer, written in 1924 by W. S. Gwynn Williams, is then heard. The Ceremony of Peace is performed by the Grand Bard and the Gorsedd is then declared open. The Ceremony offering Fruits of the Earth is made by the Lady of Cornwall. Former bards are commemorated and new bards are initated.

Awards are presented to individuals who have contributed to the promotion and furtherance of Cornish culture both in the U.K. and throughout the world.

For individuals undertaking research or for information on Cornish subjects, The Cornwall Centre at Redruth is home to the new Cornish Studies Library and contains a wealth of information from an archive of Cornish newspapers, periodicals, books and leaflets to maps, photographs and census returns.

Cornish Culture
Cornish Language
Cornish Dialect


Websites of interest:

Cornish Gorsedd

Old Cornwall Societies
Chacewater Old Cornwall Society
Newquay Old Cornwall Society
St Just & Pendeen Old Cornwall Society
Camelford & District Old Cornwall Society
Camborne Old Cornwall Society
Redruth Old Cornwall Society


Cornish Resources

Cornwall Centre (Kressen Kernow), Redruth

Agan Tavas (Our Language) The Society for the Promotion of the Cornish Language

Cornish Culture

Cornish Associations around the World
Bournemouth Cornish Association
London Cornish Association
South Australia's Kernewek Lowender (Cornish Festival)
Cornish Association of Victoria, Australia :
Cornish Association of Bendigo, Victoria Australia :

Culture and Tradition events


June Events:

Midsummer's Eve Bonfire

Date: 22 Jun / Time: 7.30pm

Organised by Redruth Old Cornwall Society.

Traditional Ceremony in Cornish and English
Lady of the Flowers
Pasty and tea £1.50

Pencoose Farm, Stithians TR3 7DN
By kind permission of Mr Paul Gluyas

more info...


Midsummer Eve Bonfire

Date: 23 Jun / Time: From 8.30pm

Organised by Callington Old Cornwall Society

Kit Hill

Traditional Ceremony 10pm

Cornish Dancing
Community singing

Further information: Keith Shaw 01579 370344

more info...


Midsummer Eve Bonfire

Date: 23 Jun / Time: From 6.30pm

Organised by Liskeard OCS

Bolitho Farm, Liskeard.

Rod Sheaff - Cornish speaker.

Father Gilmour of Liskeard RC Church is reading Psalm 19, verses 1-11, and a short homily.

Deputy Mayor Sue Pike is to light the fire followed by a Lady of the Flowers and Maids from two local schools casting their garlands.

Music, Dance and Theatre group Caradon Youth will provide half an hour's entertainment ending, of course, with Trelawny.

To end the evening saffron buns will be provided free of charge, visitors will need to bring their own drinks, with Zac Leon, Liskeard OCS secretary, and his pals on acoustic guitars in the background.

more info...


Midsummer Bonfire Celebrations

Date: 23 Jun / Time: Starts 8.30pm approx.

Organised by St Columb Old Cornwall Society

Red River Singers
Pasties and Tea available

Castle-an-Dinas, St Columb Major
Follow the signs from the Trekenning Roundabout
Plenty of free parking. Follow gravel track up to the car park.

more info...


Midsummer Eve Bonfire

Date: 23 Jun / Time: 8pm

Organised by St Ives Old Cornwall Society

Carnstabba Hill, Halsetown, St Ives

Free car parking in a private field behind the Halsetown Inn’s car park
Bring a torch to light your way back down the hill after the event.

At 8pm we are hoping to do some community singing. At 8.30pm hot pasties will be delivered for sale.

Fire will be lit at 9pm by Mr Vaughan Bennett from Penhalwyn Trekking stables, Halsetown who is setting and extinguishing the fire has kindly given us written permission to use his land. We all hope for is a warm dry evening!

more info...


Midsummer Eve Bonfire

Date: 23 Jun / Time: 8pm

Organised by St Just & Pendeen Old Cornwall Society

Fire to be lit at 8.00 p.m.
Our Mayor has been invited to light the bonfire, and we have a ‘Lady of the Flowers’ to complete our Ceremony.

Pasties will be on sale during the evening.

There will be music and singing, so do come along and share this special evening

On top of Chapel Carn Brea. Directions will be found at various points around St Just. From St Just you take the Sennen/Land’s End Road, the B3306.

Just past the aerodrome you turn left to Crows-an-Wra. Continue up the hill, and Chapel Carn Brea is on the right. There is a car park but, if full, you can park on the road. You then walk up to the top of the Carn.

If you are coming from the Penzance area on the A30, you continue towards Land’s End, and take the right hand turn once you reach Crows-an-Wra.

Chapel Carn Brea will then be on your left as you get to the top of the hill.

more info...


Find accommodation in Cornwall

Cornwall holiday accommodation directory search for hotels, holiday cottages, B&Bs, camp sites, self catering.

   Extra Options

Click here to find
accommodation for
Culture and Tradition


- click here -


Seasonal Events and Festivals
Photo Gallery

View more Seasonal Events and Festivals photos


Cultural events in Cornwall
Video Gallery

View more Cultural events in Cornwall videos



Things to do
in Cornwall



Maps of Cornwall :

The Ordnance Survey publishes the Explorer series of maps which are ideal for walkers.

Scale 1 : 25 000
2.5 inches to 1 mile /
4cm to 1km.

Available in local bookshops or click on the links below to order online.

Those covering Cornwall:

Map of Isles of Scilly:

101 Isles of Scilly


For more information:

Latest additions to into Cornwall: New Feature Pages - New Location Info - New Holiday Accommodation - New Business @ into Cornwall




Online advertising in Cornwall. Low cost high quality internet advertising for your accommodation or business


The above code is the QR Code for this page


© AWMP Creative Media, all rights reserved, modifications by Choughmountain Design