Cornwall Crest

Cornish Firsts

Kernewek Kensa

Not known as the first and last county for nothing

International Mailing Service

The first international mailing service ran from the port of Falmouth via 'packet ships' in 1688.

Cross-Country Postal System

The first cross-country postal system was devised in 1720 by Ralph Allen born in St. Blazey, near St. Austell.

Cornwall Air Ambulance

The first of its kind in the UK, Cornwall's Air Ambulance started service as an experiment on the 1st of April 1987 and quickly proved its worth in a county with a widespread rural population.


Sir John Pender Installed the first international telegraph cable at Porthcurno in 1870. The first transatlantic wireless radio signal was sent by Guglielmo Marconi from Poldhu Wireless Station, near Mullion to Signal Hill in St. John's Newfoundland, Canada on December 12th 1901. The first international satellite link was made from Goonhilly Earth Station on July 11th 1962 (via Telstar) located on the Lizard Peninsula. And it was also the first site in Europe to receive live pictures from the Apollo moon landing. It is now a major hub for fibre optic cables carrying internet traffic in and out of the country.

Wind Farms

The first commercial wind farm was started at Delabole in 1991.


John Couch Adams from Laneast, near Launceston discovered the planet Neptune in 1846.

John Arnold from Bodmin, watchmaker and pioneer of the marine chronometer in 1771.

Fernley Hope Banbury from St. Germans invented a new type of mixing process for rubber manufacturing in 1916.

William Bickford from Camborne, inventor of the safety fuse in 1831.

William Cookworthy, discoverer of china clay (kaolinite) in the St. Austell area in 1746.

Sir Humphry Davy from Penzance, inventor of the miners lamp in 1815.

Robert Were Fox, from Falmouth discovered that the internal temperature of the earth increased with depth in 1834.

William Gregor from Tregony, discovered the elemental metal titanium in 1791.

Sir Goldsworthy Gurney from Bude, invented the steam jet in 1825 and the 'Limelight' used in lighthouses in 1859.

Lemon Hart from Penzance earned the distinction of being the first supplier of rum to the Royal Navy in 1804.

Reverend Robert Stephen Hawker, Vicar of Morwenstow, near Bude was the first to introduce the Harvest Festival Service in 1843.

Donald Healey from Perranporth transmitted the first air-to-ground radio message in 1920.

Anthony Hewish from Fowey was awarded a Noble Prize for discovering pulsars in 1974.

Paul Rapsey Hodge from St. Austell was the inventor of the fire engine in 1840 .

Jonathan Hornblower from Chacewater invented the compound steam engine in 1781.

Robert Hunt was a pioneeer photographer who lived in Penzance in 1843. He discovered the use of iron sulphate as a developer.

Sir Henry James from St. Agnes became director general of the Ordnance Survey and invented the photozincography process into the service in 1854.

Richard and John Lander from Truro discovered the source of the River Niger in 1830.

Michael Loam from Ludgvan, near Penzance, inventor of the man engine in 1841 which was first installed in Tresavean Mine, near Redruth.

Alexander Lodge from Newquay invented spark plugs for the motor car industry in 1919.

Richard Lower from St. Tudy, near Bodmin performed the first blood transfusion in 1666.

John Loudon Macadam built the first turnpike road between Truro and Tresillian in 1798. Most road surfaces are now macadamised using tar or asphalt, immortalizing the name.

William Murdoch from Redruth, inventor of domestic gas lighting in 1792.

Percy Lane Oliver from St. Ives was the founder of the first voluntary blood donor service in 1921.

Dr William Oliver from Trevarno, near Helston invented the Bath Oliver Biscuit in 1750.

Andrew Pears from Mevagissey, inventor of transparent soap in 1812.

James & Frederick Pool invented the ‘Cornish Gauge’ in 1862 in their Hayle factory to define the perforating sizes used in the production of mining screens that were shipped globally.

Adrian Stephens, from Penzance inventor of the steam whistle in 1833.

James Tangye from Illogan near Camborne invented a velocipede before 1855.

Richard Trevithick Tangye, from Redruth invented the hydraulic jack in 1857.

William Thomas Teagle from Truro was the inventor of several farming machines from 1943.

Henry Trengrouse from Helston, inventor of a rocket-powered maritime rescue system in 1807.

Richard Trevithick from Camborne, inventor, engineer and builder of the first road going steam locomotive in 1801.

Charles Warwick from Truro, built a boat covered with water-proof paper and sailed it around Falmouth harbour. It was hand cranked with two paddle wheels.

Arthur Woolf from Camborne, inventor of the high pressure compound steam engine in 1804.

Chris Woolf from Merrymeet near Liskeard, invented a new suspension system for microphones.

Bilbo the first ever UK canine lifeguard worked at Sennen Cove from 2005.

Famous Cornish People       Notable Cornish Families