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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

Famous Cornish People       Notable Cornish Families