"Cornwall - maritime County of England, forming its SW extremity; is bounded by Devon on the East, and washed on all the other sides by the sea; length, NE and SW, 75 miles; average breadth, 22 miles; coast line, about 200 miles; area, 863,065 acres, population 330,686. The South coast is much and deeply indented, and has some good harbours. The principal openings from West to East are Mounts Bay, Falmouth Bay and Harbour, St Austell Bay, Fowey Harbour, Whitsand Bay, and Plymouth Sound. Falmouth is one of the finest harbours in Britain. The indentations on the North consist of shallow bays with few or no harbours. The chief promontories are Land's End, where the granite cliffs are about 60 ft. high; and the Lizard, the most southerly point of England. The Isles of Scilly lie off Land's End, 25 miles to the SW. The Devonian range extends NE and SW, rising in Brown Willy to an altitude of 1368 feet. The streams are numerous, but small. The principal are the Tamar (which forms the boundary with Devon), Lyhner, Fowey, and Camel. There is much barren moorland, but the soil in the valleys is fertile. The prevailing rock is granite, of a grey or bluish-grey colour, which often rises above the surface in huge, rugged masses; clay slate also abounds. The tin and copper mines of Cornwall have been celebrated from remote ages, having been known, it is supposed, to the Phoenicians. Some of them are of very great depth, and have been carried beneath the sea. Silver, lead, zinc, arsenic, antimony, and bismuth are also found in considerable quantities. The fisheries, especially of pilchard and mackerel, are extensive and valuable. The county comprises 9 Hundreds, plus the Isles of Scilly, 219 parishes, the parliamentary borough of Penryn and Falmouth (1 member), and the municipal boroughs of Bodmin, Falmouth, Helston, Launceston, Liskeard, Penryn, Penzance, St Ives, and Truro. It is entirely in the diocese of Truro."
From Bartholomew's Gazetteer 1887.
Cornwall is watered by six principal rivers: the Tamar, Lynher, Fowey, Camel (or Alan), Fal and Hayle. There are numerous minor rivers and streams in the county which serve to drain the land.