Celtic Revival

The history of Cornwall's Celtic Revival is being investigated by the Institute of Cornish Studies through the use of newspapers, written documents and oral histories. There are plans to organise a series of workshops and seminars on the subject as part of a community engagement project, while findings will be disseminated through a variety of platforms including the online Cornish Story, journal articles and a monograph. For the first stage there will be a particular emphasis on the origins of the Revival in the nineteenth century, with reference to events like the campaign for a separate Cornish diocese and the centenary of Dolly Pentreath’s death in 1877. In particular, we will also refer to individuals who investigated and wrote about Cornwall’s history, culture and language, the visual imagery of early pioneers, and links with the other Celtic nations.

The Institute is also working in partnership with Cornwall Record Office and MAGA, the Cornish language partnership, in a study of the Cornish language revival in the twentieth century. MAGA has been awarded £34,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to explore and share untold stories of this phenomenon. The project, 'Dasserghi Kernow', will catalogue archives including the papers of Henry Jenner, whose book “Handbook of the Cornish Language” published in 1904 is seen as the start of the modern Cornish language revival. As well as Jenner’s papers, other archives will be explored to share the stories of other figures in the revival. If you have any copies of early examples of revived Cornish, such as copies of World War I magazine An Houlsedhas, or Kernow, the 1930s magazine, or other evidence of the Cornish language revival, then we would like to hear from you!