The passing of a great Cornishman, Craig Weatherhill (1950-2020), whose death ‘in the virtual saddle’ working alone in his home on Saturday 18th July, 2020 or Sunday 19th July, 2020 at the age of 69 years, is a huge blow to those who loved him and his beloved Duchy.
“Craig was so many things to so very many of us. A humble man but firmly and proudly Cornish, Craig was a widely published and award winning author of best selling historical and other reference books as well as novels, a retired planning officer and architect, a former semi professional footballer, a Bard of Gorseth Kernow, a practised and accomplished horseman, a recognised expert on Cornwall’s archaeology and history, an expert on Cornwall’s place names, a Cornish language speaker and life member of Agan Tavas – the society for the promotion and protection of the Cornish language, an inspirational and truthful campaigner for Cornish matters, a musician, a friend and an absolute authority on all things Cornish and relating to Cornwall. This list is far from exhaustive and could go on so much more”.
Craig was Barded as ‘;DELYNYER HENDHYSCANS’ at Nance, Illogan in 1981.
As Craig himself humbly said, just shortly before he left us: “Gorsedh Kernow has awarded me an Awen Community medal for “outstanding contribution to Penwith and to broader Cornish culture.” The medal, made by St Justin of Longrock, is of Cornish tin, and about 2 inches across. I’ve known for a month, but the official announcement was today. Very pleased, honoured and pleasantly surprised.”
The Gorsedh has outlined that his Bardic Name means Draughtsman of Archaeology and he conducted extensive archaeological surveys of West Cornwall under the tutelage of PAS POOL, the Cornish Historian.
His reconstruction of West Cornwall Courtyard Houses (drawings & artwork) is now the accepted form for these buildings.
He wrote extensively and just some of his work includes:
The Principal Antiquities of the Land’s End District with Pas. POOL MA, FSA & Professor Charles THOMAS (Cornwall Archaeological Society 1980)
Belerion: Ancient Sites of Land’s End (Alison HODGE 1981, 1985; Halsgrove 1989, 2000)
Cornovia: Ancient Sites of Cornwall & Scilly (Alison HODGE 1985; Halsgrove 1997, 2000, 2009)
Myths & Legends of Cornwall with Paul DEVEREUX (Sigma Press 1994, 1997)
Cornish Place Names in Cornwall & Scilly (Wessex/Westcountry Books 2005)
Cornish Place Names & Language completely revised edition (Sigma Press 2007) ISBN 978-85058-837-5
A Concise Dictionary of Cornish Place Names (Evertype 2009) ISBN 978-1-904808-22-0
The Place-names of the Land’s End Peninsula (Penwith Press, 2017) ISBN 978-1-9997775-0-0
They Shall Land – The Spanish Raid on Mount’s Bay, Cornwall, July 1595 (Penwith Press, 2019) ISBN 9781999777517
Perhaps his greatest contribution to Cornish History is The Promontory People, An Early History of the Cornish (Francis Boutle Publishers, 2018) ISBN 978-1-9164906-1-1 which is awaiting a fourth reprint, being required reading for those who want to know the true early history of their nation and land.
When he passed on to be free with his beloved horses he had completed a work on Late Cornish. We await this being in publication.
Craig was a truly great Cornishman who was feisty but humble, a stickler for detail but able to write for easy understanding. He was respected, admired and loved. A giant in his fields of expertise, and one who spoke with passion, unquestionable deep knowledge and with dignity. Generous of his time and knowledge, he was a mentor to many!
He worked selfessly as a volunteer and advisor for many groups over his life, both in public and behind the scenes – recently with his mobility curtailed by his respiratory illness groups such as Save Penwith Moors, Cornish Signage Panel, Penwith Landscape Partnership, and KMTU.
KMTU again, “To him, Kernow truly mattered. His presence touched the lives of so very many and his death leaves an enormous vacuum. We are in deep mourning for this son of Cornwall”.
Disqwitha yn cres (Rest in peace) 22 July, 2020