The region of Brittany in north-west France has much in common with Cornwall, not least in the district of Cornouaille on the western tip. Like Cornwall, Brittany has a separate language of its own, Breton. In Breton, Cornouaille is known as Kernev, whilst Cornwall is known as Kernow in the Cornish language. Both languages are part of the Celtic tongue, along with Welsh and there are many similarities. Cornwall links with Brittany were very strong in the 18th century when trade between the two was undertaken much to the annoyance of the British and French governments.
In the 5th and 6th centuries there was a mass migration of people from Cornwall to the region of France known as Armorica, modern day Brittany and Normandy. Although Cornwall’s deep connections with Brittany are well known, this piece of history is still shrouded in mystery.
Like the Welsh and the Cornish the Bretons are ethnically Celtic and consider themselves one of the six celtic nations. Consequently Cornwall and Brittany really do have much in common. Our languages are closely related, our coastlines look so similar and Brittany even has its own St Michael’s Mount! But the connections go far deeper than this.