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Monday, 10 October 2016

Confusion...delving into the past

In conversation the other day himself & I were wondering about life a few hundred years ago and the far S.W. of Cornwall in particular.

Although it's now several years since we went there, one particular friend keeps us informed of the day-to-day goings on in and around St. Just (the one near Penzance). The area might be familiar to viewers of Poldark whichever series. Series one in particular was filmed partly around Botallack and Boscaswell (Pendeen).

One of the charming things about Cornwall is place names - Tre, Pol & Pen.

'By Tre, Pol and Pen shall ye know Cornishmen'. Indeed it takes quite a while to get to grips with some of the pronunciations. Men are often addressed as 'pard' and women of whatever age 'maid'.

Looking into family history for our Cornish friend, one soon finds that the biggest on-line archive well-known for wanting £££s has a cavalier attitude to spelling.
Not only spelling but also geography. It's most annoying when they lump together - Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and the Scilly Isles.

Cornish place names not only frequently begin with Tre, Pol or Pen but they are often named after Saints. St. Piran patron saint of Cornwall is remembered in place names. In Cornish he's known as St. Peran, Sen Peran.
Perranporth - St. Piran's port.
Perranarworthal - what a lovely place name!

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