AN BRYTHEN KERNOW - The Cornish Tartan


for sales and hire of Kilts


Cornish Tartan and Tartan Wear
        Bespoke Tartan Wear
                Men’s Kilt Hire
                           Cornish Language Literature
                                    Books about Cornwall
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                                                                 Jewellery in Cornish Tin
                                                                           Tartan Design


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The Cornish National Tartan  Designed by Gwas Gwethnoc – Tony Morton-Nance   [Design rights: Cornish Tartans]  Designed in the 1950’s the Cornish National Tartan was the first Cornish tartan; black and gold were the colours of the Kings of Cornwall, the red is for the beak and legs of Cornwall’s national emblem - the Cornish Chough, central to the tartan is Cornwall’s flag, surrounded by the blue of the Atlantic and the River Tamer.The original kilt cloth was registered and described as "old gold", the ladies cloth was a smaller set and a brighter yellow and registered as "Saffron".


Today there are 19 registered Cornish tartans, four of these are “National Tartans”.- we design tartans. The “National Tartans” (as Scottish, Welsh and Irish tartans) have elements which represent the history of the Cornish nation

Tony''s ambition was to provide Cornwall, the land he loved, with something which was part of its heritage and not to make profit. After considerable research and with the support of the local Old Cornwall Society, Mebyon Kernow and the Cornish Gorsedd he formed Cornish Tartan Productions with Donald Rawe, Marie Prior and his youngest son Peter to market the Cornish National Tartan.
Since Don Rawe''s retirement in April 2004 the company has been run by Peter, his wife Clare and son Robin from Gwethnoc Parc. Although they need to make a living the company policy is to keep cost to the customer as low as possible, particularly with kilts, which Tony championed and thought Cornish men and women should be proud to wear.
 Gwas Gwethnoc means “Servant of Gwethnoc” - Tony came from Padstow, he was very much a Christian and proud of Cornwall’s very long Christian heritage. Saint Gwethnoc was one of the first to bring the Christian gospel to Cornwall, long before St Augustine landed in England and before St Piran came to Cornwall from Ireland. Early Christian historians, Tertulian and Eusebius, both recorded that there were churches in Cornwall in the time of the apostles. Gwethnoc came from Brittany in northern France where the language spoken was very similar to Cornish. He established a church at what is now Padstow, originally Lanwethnoc (church of Gwethnoc). He was succeeded by St Petroc—Petrocstow = Padstow. The recorded account of Petroc relates how Petroc and Gwethnoc drove away the monster (paganism) that was devouring the people of Padstow and as it’s punishment each year the monster has to return to be “teased” by the people, who are clothed in white, around the town. This is the annual celebration of the Padsta ‘obby ‘oss on May 1st (very close to the feast of St Petroc) which is probably an ancient miracle play celebrating St Petroc, which is the way Christianity was taught because Cornish was very much a spoken language.


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references made in this document are based on or quoted directly predominantly from the un-published historical research notes of Gwas Gwethnoc—E.E.Morton-Nance, designer of the original Cornish National Tartan but also from “Cornwall: A History” - Prof. Phillip Payton : Cornwall Editions Ltd. 2004 and “West Britons” – Prof Mark Stoyle - University Press Exeter 2002 . CornishTartans accept that there are variations of opinions about some aspects of Cornish History because of the loss or destruction of many early sources of Cornish History but regard these two sources as perhaps the most accurate available.

Porthleaven         © Peter R. Morton-Nance 2006

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Cornish Tartans, a family business,  was set up in the early 1960''s is the original Cornish Tartan marketing company, Cornish Tartans aims to make Cornish tartans accessible to the Cornish by maintaining reasonable prices. Although we need to make a modest living the company policy is to keep costs to the customer as low as possible, particularly with kilts, which “Tony” [E.E.Morton-Nance, designer of the Cornish National Tartan] championed and thought Cornish men and women should be proud to wear. Current prices start from about £130.

The design rights and copyrights of several of the original and genuine Cornish tartans belong to the family of Gwas Gwethnoc, this includes the Cornish National (both the Old Gold and the Saffron) , St Piran Dress, Cornish Atlantic Blue, the Cornish Day Tartan, the Blatchford and the Pengelly. These are available in our shop The Cornish Tartan Centre   in Redruth's Fore Street. Although Cornish Tartans will endeavour to maintain prices we reserve the right to alter the cost of items if the need arises, but will inform customers of any changes before accepting orders.  

We offer 2½% discount to Old Cornwall Society and Cornish Associations Members, Barth Kernow, and Mebyon Kernow Members.Prices include tax.

Post and PACKAGING costs are shown in a table at the back of the order form