Calico Jack’s Cornish Facts

Cornish Smuggling Stories at Pirate's Quest Newquay

Captain Calico Jack has given us a history lesson on everything Cornish and how it affects the region still today! Read on to find out more:

Heva Heva!

In Cornish history fishing was a major part of the county’s industry. A prime example of this and visible from Pirate’s Quest’s entrance is The Huers Hut over on Towan Head. The 19th century structure provided shelter for the Huer who would look out over the bay for shoals of fish in the sea below. The Huer would then shout ‘Heva Heva’ (‘here they are’) to alert the local fishermen of Towan Blystra, Newquay’s former name.

The Cornish Language

The Cornish language derives from the Celtic Cornvii tribe who settled in the region prior to Roman Conquest. Throughout the middle ages the people of Cornwall were considered a different race and belonging to an entirely different country- encouraging the Cornish language and culture to thrive. In modern day Cornwall the language is not widely spoken however it can still be heard in local dialect and signage across the county.

Here are a few phrases for you to learn:

Good Morning: “Metten daa”
Good Evening: “Gothewhar daa”
Hello: “You”
Goodbye: “Anowre”

More Ore!

Another very important industry in Cornwall’s history is tin mining. In the late 1900’s tin mining in Cornwall was the best place in the world to do so and at one point boasted 2,000 mines! Although the ore is a very important part of Cornwall’s history the industry it was also vital in the origin of the famed Cornish Pasty. Pastys are shaped like they are so the miners could hold the crust and eat the pasty without ingesting the harmful chemicals in the mines. Miners were also superstitious folk and used to forsake the corner of their pasty- find out what (or who) they were superstitious of at Pirate’s Quest.

Pasty please

In modern day Cornwall pastys are a busy business and a vital part of the Cornish economy. Pasty makers generate £300 million of trade per year! There are also strong links between the pasty makers and farmers too, as much as £15 million is paid to local farmers each year for the ingredients that go into making that favourite with Cornish locals and visitors.

The King of Prussia and the Killagrews

Prussia Cove has an extensive history and well known for it’s smuggling past. John Carter, a member of a famous smuggling family in Mounts Bay  became known as the ‘The King of Prussia’ and that’s how the cove got its name! Another infamous smuggling family based just along the coast in Falmouth were the Killagrews. This family have a long history connected with piracy and royalty! The Killigrew family convinced King Charles II to make the town the Royal Mail Packet Station conveying their influence on over Cornwall at the time.

Join us at Pirate’s Quest this summer where you’ll learn lots more about the history of privateers on the Cornish coast as well as some interesting tales of myth and legend!

See you on the ship deck mateys!