THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.
PENLEE HOUSE GALLERY AND MUSEUM. Hurling was Cornwall's national sport before rugby and is still played at St Columb Major and St Ives. Carew in his Survey notes that goals were used in the east but in the Cornish speaking areas of the west the aim was to throw the ball 'to the country'. Hurling balls are the size of cricket balls and made of applewood with a silver outer skin held in place by studs.
This hurling ball is inscribed 'Paul Tuz whek Gware heb Tek heb ale buz Henwis' meaning 'Paul parish - Fair play is good play.' It belonged to the Pearce family of Kerris. Another hurling ball, which lacks its apple wood core, is also on display at Penlee House. Dated 1735, it belonged to Peter Williams, a wealthy St Just tin miner.
The Cornish language was used longest in fishing and mining communities. It ceased to be a community language by 1730 with only a few people using it thereafter.