England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. It is the largest country of the British Isles.
The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, and since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world. The English language, the Anglican Church, and English law - the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world - developed in England, and the country's parliamentary system of government has been widely adopted by other nations. The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation.
England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the north (for example, the Lake District and Pennines) and in the west (for example, Dartmoor and the Shropshire Hills). The capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and, prior to Brexit, the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom, largely concentrated around London, the South East, and conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, and Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century.
The Kingdom of England - which after 1535 included Wales - ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland (through another Act of Union) to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Read more...
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Exmoor is loosely defined as an area of hilly open moorland in west Somerset and north Devon in South West England. It is named after the River Exe, the source of which is situated in the centre of the area, two miles north-west of Simonsbath. Exmoor is more precisely defined as the area of the former ancient royal hunting forest, also called Exmoor, which was officially surveyed 1815-1818 as 18,810 acres (7,610 ha) in extent. The moor has given its name to a National Park, which includes the Brendon Hills, the East Lyn Valley, the Vale of Porlock and 55 km (34 mi) of the Bristol Channel coast. The total area of the Exmoor National Park is 692.8 km2 (267.5 sq mi), of which 71% is in Somerset and 29% in Devon.
The upland area is underlain by sedimentary
rocks dating from the Devonian
and early Carboniferous
periods with Triassic
age rocks on lower slopes. Where these reach the coast, cliffs are formed which are cut with ravines and waterfalls. It was recognised as a heritage coast
in 1991. The highest point on Exmoor is Dunkery Beacon
; at 519 metres (1,703 ft) it is also the highest point in Somerset. The terrain supports lowland heath communities
, ancient woodland
and blanket mire
which provide habitats for scarce flora and fauna. There have also been reports of the Beast of Exmoor
, a cryptozoological cat
roaming Exmoor. Several areas have been designated as Nature Conservation Review
and Geological Conservation Review
sites. Read more...
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The following are images from various England-related articles on Wikipedia.
Apple pie originated in England and English apple pie recipes go back to the time of Chaucer.
Family-sized meat pie made by Sweeney & Todd of Reading
The landscape garden at Stourhead. Inspired by the great landscape artists of the seventeenth century, the landscape garden was described as a 'living work of art' when first opened in 1750s.
Stonehenge, erected in several stages from c.3000-1500BC
William Hogarth's depiction of a scene from Shakespeare's The Tempest is an example of how English literature influenced English painting in the 18th century
Elizabethan theatre costumes
The Spanish Armada and English ships in August 1588, (unknown, 16th-century, English School)
First English Civil War at the Battle of Marston Moor, 1644
The first general laws against child labour, the Factory Acts, were passed in Britain in the first half of the 19th century. Children younger than nine were not allowed to work and the work day of youth under the age of 18 was limited to twelve hours.
Sir Francis Drake's voyage 1585-86
First played in 1877, the Wimbledon Championships is the oldest tennis tournament in the world.
Edward Elgar is one of England's most celebrated classical composers.
Landing of the Romans on the Coast of Kent (Cassell's History of England, Vol. I - anonymous author and artists, 1909).
Kingdoms and tribes in Britain, c.600 AD
Countries where English has official status or is widely spoken
Alfred Hitchcock is often regarded as the greatest British filmmaker. He was described as "a straightforward middle-class Englishman who just happened to be an artistic genius."
Caesar's first invasion of Britain
The Procession Picture, c. 1600, showing Elizabeth I borne along by her courtiers.
The Great Fire London, 1666.
Brighton, The Palace Pier.
The Roman Baths in Bath; a temple was constructed on the site between 60-70CE in the first few decades of Roman Britain. It is a lasting monument from Roman Britain.
The rune stone U 344 was raised in memory of a Viking who went to England three times.
Silver brooch imitating a coin of Edward the Elder, c. 920, found in Rome, Italy. British Museum.
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Roderigo Lopes (also called Ruy Lopes, Ruy Lopez or Roger Lopez and also Rodrigo Lopes; c. 1517 - 7 June 1594) served as a physician-in-chief to Queen Elizabeth I of England from 1581 until his death by execution, having been found guilty of plotting to poison her. A Portuguese converso or New Christian of Jewish ancestry, he is the only royal doctor in English history to have been executed, and may have inspired the character of Shylock in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, which was written within four years of his death.
The son of a Portuguese royal physician of Jewish descent, Lopes was raised a Catholic and educated at the University of Coimbra
. Amid the Portuguese Inquisition
he was accused of secretly practising Judaism
, and compelled to leave the country. He settled in London in 1559, joined the Church of England
and became house physician at St Bartholomew's Hospital
. Gaining a reputation as a careful and skilled physician, he acquired several powerful clients, including the Earl of Leicester
and Sir Francis Walsingham
, and eventually the Queen of England herself. Read more...
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In the news
- 7 August 2020 -
- A 40 ha (99 acres) grass fire breaks out at the Chobham Common in Surrey, England, as the southeast experiences soaring temperatures. (BBC)
- 31 July 2020 - COVID-19 pandemic
- COVID-19 pandemic in England
- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson postpones lockdown easing in England, for at least two weeks, after an increase in coronavirus cases. (BBC)
- 29 July 2020 -
- Archeologists at Stonehenge pinpoint the origin of the structure's large Sarsen stones to a site 25 kilometers (16 mi) north near Marlborough, Wiltshire, England. (BBC)
- 16 July 2020 -
- In the United Kingdom, the Court of Appeal rules that 20-year-old British-born Shamima Begum, who left the country to join ISIL in 2015, can return to the UK to fight for her citizenship after the Home Office revoked it while she was living in a refugee camp in Syria, due to her joining a terrorist group. The Home Office says the court's decision is "very disappointing" and that it would apply for permission to appeal. (BBC)
- 10 July 2020 -
- Dame Vera Lynn, who died last month, receives a military funeral in East Sussex, England, on the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. (BBC)
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