The territories of the Cornovii encompassed Staffordshire, Shropshire and parts of Cheshire. Their capital being a large hillfort on top of The Wrekin. (Later destroyed by the Fourteenth Legion Germanicus.)
Their name is thought to mean “people of the horn” or “people of the horned one” which is possibly a reference to their worship of the horned god Cernunnos.
A few miles from The Wrekin, the Romans built a town at present-day Wroxeter, called Viroconium Cornoviorum meaning ‘The town of Viroco of the Cornovii’. (Viroco being the Cheiftain of the Cornovii.) The town was the fourth largest in Roman Britain. Remnants of many other hillforts in the Kingdom of the Cornovii are still visible today, including Castle Ring at Cannock Wood, Titterstone Clee in Bitterly, Caynham Camp in Poughnhill and Old Oswestry in Oswestry.
Cornivii was neighboured by the Brigantes to the north-east, the Coritani to the east, the Dobunni to the south, the Demetae and Ordovices to the west and the Deceangi to the north-west.
On the southern side of the Berwyn range, there is a hillfort at Craig Rhiwarth deep in the Tanat valley at the extreme nothern tip of Powys. This fort marks the boundary between the Cornovii and their less refined neighbours the Ordovices. This extreme outpost of the Cornovii was possibly founded by a renegade prince and his retinue, who traveled westwards along a tributary of the Sabrina from their Cornovian homelands in Shropshire.
The general aspect of the hillfort at Craig Rhiwarth fits in quite well with the description outlined by Tacitus as the last stand of Caratacus and his forces in Wales in 50 AD.
Industry within the Kingdom was composed mainly of copper from Powys, lead and silver from Shelve Hill and salt manufactured in Middlewich. The tribe’s lifestyle seems mainly pastoral, having no pottery industry to speak of and they were also remarkable in the fact that they produced no coinage of their own.
Other info: The tombstone of a thirty year old woman of the Cornovii called Vedica was found at Ilkley in Yorkshire. (Outside of known Cornovii territory.) Vedica may possibly have been the daughter of the aforementioned chieftain Viroco, who was killed in early 47AD during the western expansion commanded by Publius Ostorius Scapula.
The first of many (probably too many) of these types of post. I enjoy writing them and I figured the first one should be about the very tribe who resided in the area I come from.