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The Cornish Pasty

Cornish flag

History & origins - III

Historical times - in the literature


The Cornish Pasty endeavours to give only the facts about pasties .....

There are only a few old references to the pasty that we have been able to verify

We present them on separate pages with the dates of the literary works .....


Devon and Cornwall "rivalry" over the origins of the pasty

It is claimed that Devon has a pasty recipe from 1510 AD (in fact, it is a list of ingredients from a book-keeper's accounts) and Cornwall has one from 1746 AD.

However ..... the pasty itself goes much further back than that e.g. in olde literature (to 1296 AD).

There are some interesting facts about the history of the pasty:


Some Devon & Cornwall pasty links


Being born and bred in West Cornwall and having worked all my life in Plymouth, Devon, I like to think my thoughts are well-balanced in this matter (KR)

There is no doubt that the home-made pasty was part of the life of the tin miners and farmers (and their families) in both Cornwall and Devon back into the far distant past

The Cornwall/Devon rivalry is perhaps irrelevant since Chretien de Troyes mentions the pasty in Romances about knights of the Round Table that were set in Arthurian Cornwall, written in 1170.

However - for the sake of balance - the land of Arthur (look at this link!) extended from Lyonesse through Cornwall, Devon and Somerset (was Cadbury Castle/Hill Fort the old Camelot?) including Glastonbury / Avalon with references all the way to Wales - in fact the earliest reference to Arthur (which is indirect) is in an old Welsh elegy about the fallen in a battle at Catraeth, c. 600 AD.

With the traditions of mining, abndfarming in all these Celtic lands, perhaps the pasty is a Celtic affair. After all, there is the Cornish Pasty, the Devon Pasty, the Welsh Pasty and the Scottish Pasty.

(The "Devon Pasty" link above was to a menu item from the The Ship Inn, Noss Mayo, March 2007: "Locally made Devon pasty with a mixed salad. £6.95". There seems to be no "Devon" pasty-maker links on the internet? If you can correct this, please email me. The only link I have found is to Ivor Dewdney - and they market "Cornish Pasties" in Plymouth, Devon)

..... ..... mind you, I have never seen a pasty tree in Devon like Father used to have in Hayle, Cornwall. Then again, there's lots that people don't really know about the Cornish Pasty .....