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Foreign House Names in Cornwall: A Vanishing Socio-Cultural Heritage

Unless otherwise stated, all content is © Sharron P. Schwartz and may not be reproduced without permission



In this article, I revisit a theme that I wrote about almost two decades ago: the unusual stock of foreign house names that appear on some Late-Victorian and Edwardian properties in Cornwall’s former mining communities. I attempt to trace the origin of the names, who named them, when, and why. I argue that foreign house names are an important and overlooked aspect of Cornish socio-cultural heritage, illustrating the transnational nature of Cornish life over a century ago. Yet, the steady attrition of the names means that this vital aspect of our heritage is threatened. To ‘gather up the fragments that are left, that nothing be lost’, I have compiled a table to record the history and current status of every house (and street) with an obvious foreign name that I have been able to locate. Go to the end of this article to access my database.


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