At 420 meters above sea level, Brown Willy is the high point of Cornwall. Its name of course is guaranteed to make small immature British boys giggle until they are at least immature 50 year old men. American ones would get the same effect if it was called Brown Pecker.
There was a movement by some Cornish speakers in 2012 to get the name changed to the original ‘Bronn Wennili‘, which means ‘Hill of Swallows’ but – and perhaps wisely by the locals – the phonetically anglicised Brown Willy remains on the map so small boys can laugh at it and make sure their parents take them to see it.
I’m left wondering how it was named for Swallows, which, having just arrived in Cornwall over the spring weeks and being off again at the end of the summer, are not a permanent fixture here and are more often seen doing their swerving and swooping nearer sea level. At this height, and time of year, the slopes are more frequented by singing and acrobatically displaying Skylarks.