Cornwall is a county with a long military history, and reminders of its past can be found scattered across the landscape, ranging from Iron Age hillforts to Cold War control centres. Surrounded by sea on three sides, Cornwall has been building fortifications to resist foreign invaders for centuries, with castles dating back to the early medieval period repurposed over the years to defend against the Holy Roman Empire, the Spanish Armada, Napoleon’s forces, and many more, all the way up to German troops and submarines during the Second World War.
The county has also had a complex relationship with the rest of Britain throughout its history: for example, as the site of several significant uprisings in the 15th and 16th centuries that shaped Cornwall’s unique identity, and as a Royalist stronghold in the largely Parliamentarian South-West during the English Civil War. This succinct, well-illustrated publication presents an engaging introduction to many of the key sites and events that are part of Cornwall’s extensive military past, which continues to be an important part of the county’s heritage to this day.
Review by AB.
Cornwall’s Military Heritage, Andrew Powell-Thomas, Amberley, £15.99, ISBN 978-1445695013.