Cornwall is a peninsula in the South West of England, its only boundary being with the County of Devon. The River Tamar forms most of that boundary with only a very few miles of "dry land" to the north of its source.
Many maps of Cornwall and its parishes are available online, so our "Select a Parish Map" facility has been discontinued. The map of the County (with approximate parish locations marked by dots) is still available for download.
1. To see individual parishes and their boundaries, go to Cornwall Council’s mapping website and select the Layers Tab, Government Boundaries. Many of the other Layers might also be of interest to family history researchers.
Any historical boundary changes, and the years in which they took place, are noted on our parish pages under Adjacent Parishes.
2. For maps and aerial photographs, Google Maps and MultiMap are two of the many websites available.
3. To enjoy "walks" around many Cornish parishes, search with its name at http://maps.google.co.uk/, then drag the person icon from above the zoom commands and place it at a specific location on the map.
4. Historical maps (mainly late 19th Century and early 20th Century) are available to view on the Old Maps website and can be purchased. Occasionally that website is not accessible.
5. An 1885 map, showing parliamentary boundaries and hundreds, is available here.
The landscape of Cornwall comprises a core of moorland, coastal rias (drowned river valleys which form natural sheltered harbours, such as that of Falmouth) and fertile valley slopes. The south-facing ones gave rise to the cultivation of fruit, flowers and vegetables, which are market-ready before those from most of the rest of the country.
Because of the many valleys, winding routes and lack of suitable land for bridge-building in some areas, often the actual distance between settlements has little relationship to the time taken to travel between them (e.g. for the Rame Peninsula in the extreme South East of the County).