Links between Menorca and Cornwall

If you have taken holidays or lived in both Menorca and Cornwall you may have wondered if there is a connection between the two places. Is there an ancient echo of the Phoenicians? Apparently no archeological evidence exists. Did people flee the lands to the east of the Mediterranean to escape the aftermath of the volcano on Thera (Now Santorini) in 1600BC and visit Menorca on their way around the west coast of Europe and continue up to Cornwall? Was tin traded on this route?

The blue green and white map shows Menorca and the black shading shows the Cornish coastline

Did the western hunter-gatherers who had settled the west coast of Spain, what is now Portugal and France move on up to Cornwall as invaders started farming inland?

 

Here is a guide to the similarities that can be found in both Menorca and Cornwall.

Firstly Mahon and Falmouth harbour, as this illustration shows, are the same size and angle and both claim to be the third deepest or largest natural harbour in the world.

Gins – Menorca is famous for its Xoriguer gin, originating under the British occupation of the island when sloes were introduced onto the island creating a dry gin, alongside which are different flavour liquers such as chocolate or coffee ones, whereas Cornwall has latched on more recently to gin

Pasties

Pasties seem to appear in both places and they look remarkably similar from the outside, although in Menorca, one variety contains tuna, not found in Cornwall.

Dry stone walling and steps, ancient villages, early Christian churches and Dolmens

Calamari, fish and chips and mussels

Both places having a coastline, Cornwall and Menorca both have plenty of fish and seafood on the menu, such as calamari, mussels, prawns and of course Fish and Chips. Hake features as a popular fish in both places alongside sea bass.

Dark and Stormy, a classic seaside mix of ginger ale, lime, bitters and rum.

Cheeses

Both Menorca and Cornwall have their own cheeses, named after towns such as Stithians in Corwall and Mercadal in Menorca.

 

 

 

 

Roman and Celtic occupation

Central road

In Cornwall it is the A30 that runs from Exeter to St Ives, whereas in Menorca, the Me-1 connects Mahon at one end to Ciutadella at the other. There is also a similarity in the central triangle where, in Menorca you can leave the Me-1 to go straight to Es Migjorn Gran in 3 places including junctions in Mercadal and Ferrerias and in Cornwall, you can leave the A30 to go through Truro, take the A390 or leave at Redruth to head to Falmouth. Lest not forget the remarkable length and angle of both Mahon and Falmouth harbours.

The Cami de Cavals is a coastal path that has been recently found to run around Menorca and Cornwall has a coastal path, which leads around its edge.

Natural water springs 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, both places are dotted with natural water springs. Santa Monica has its own spring and water is safe to drink from the tap. Similarly, houses in Cornwall have their own springs and with many ancient wells marked.

A map showing the many ancient sites, many made of stone, including ancient wells.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A 14th century chapel at Madron was sited near an ancient well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ice cream

With the array of dairy farmers based in Cornwall and Menorca, another favourite food they both specialise in is ice cream. Menorca had its own specialist ice cream company Menorquina, which sadly no longer exists and favourite puddings have since been bought by a large manufacturer, sold at many cafes and restaurants, whereas now new companies have sprung up with a wide range of flavours in Menorca, as enjoyed at Roskilly’s farm in Cornwall.

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