Before the war Cornwall Street used to link the market (situated to the west of Old Town Street) and Frankfort Street (which then ran approximately from where the sundial now is, down almost as far as the present pannier market). After the war, in the rebuilding of the city centre it was decided that the name should be used again, but this time it would apply to the new thoroughfare running parallel to the extended, and new, Frankfort Street.
Laid out at the beginning of the nineteenth century, a hundred years or so after what is now known as Cornwall Street in Devonport, it wasn’t until the early part of the twentieth century that Plymouth named any of its streets after its own home county (Devon Terrace).
The name itself, which is Kernow in Cornish, is said to hark back to the tribal name Cornowii and apparently means ‘the horn people’ – doubtless a reference to the tribe’s location at the end of a long peninsula. The Anglo-Saxons later came to refer to this group of Celtic people as the ‘corn-wealas’, that is the ‘corn-welsh’ or ‘corn-foreigners’, and this is what ultimately gave us Cornwalas in 891 and Cornwal a few centuries later.