50 Amazing Facts About England ( Part 1) | Amazing Facts 4U
Land & Geography
- England is amazing 74 times smaller than the USA, 59 times smaller than Australia and 3 times smaller than Japan. England is however 2.5 times more populous than Australia.
- England is bordered by Scotland to the north and Wales to the west.
- In fact no part of England is more than 75 miles from the sea.
- The Thames River is the longest river that flows through England. It has 200 bridges and 20 tunnels across its 346 kilometer course.
- The capital city of London has a population of approximately 12 million people, making it the largest city in all of Europe.
- There is in fact only a 34 kilometre (21 mile) gap between England and France and the countries are connected by the Channel Tunnel under sea which opened in 1994.
- The Slimbridge Wildlife & Wetlands Trust is the world’s largest and most diversified wildfowl centre. It has the largest collection of swans, geese, and ducks on Earth, and is the only place where all six species of Flamingo can still be observed.
- The stone circle at Avebury is the largest in the world. It was built between 5300 and 4600 years ago and covers 11 hectares (28 acres). The outer circle is surrounded by a bank and ditch long of 1.5 km (1 mile).
- Silburry Hill, in the English county of Wiltshire, is the largest man-made earthen mound in Europe. It was built about 4750 years ago.
- The Fossdyke, connecting the River Trent at Torksey to Lincoln, is the oldest canal in Britain. It was built by the Romans around 120 CE and is still navigable today.
- York was the first English city to become settled permanently by the Danish Vikings (in 867) and the last to remain under Viking rule (until 954).
- Winchester was the first capital of England, from 827 to 1066.
- Amazing Fact is that French was the official language of England for about 300 years, from 1066 till 1362.
- Amazingly in England the dates between the 2nd and 14th of September, 1752 did NOT exist! Adjustment was made to synchronize calendar with rest of Europe.
- One of the amazing historical fact is that Berengaria of Navarre, who was married to King Richard of England, had never once stepped on English soil!
- Amazing Fact is England invaded 90% of the world’s countries! It invaded 178 countries out of total 200.
- The shortest war against England was with Zanzibar in 1896. Amazingly Zanzibar surrendered after 38 minutes.
- There are many untouched plane wrecks in the UK, dating back to WWII. Removing them is forbidden under the Protection of Military Remains Act of 1986.
- The so-called British Imperial system of measurement (English units in the USA) has its roots in Roman units. The Romans also counted in feet, which they divided in 12 inches. 5 feet made a pace, and 1000 paces became a mile in English.
Places / Architecture
- The county of Kent is home to England’s oldest church (St Martin’s in Canterbury), oldest school (the King’s School, established in 600, also in Canterbury), and oldest brewery (Shepherd’s Neame Brewery in Faversham, founded in 1698).
- Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest royal residence in the world still in use. It was originally constructed in 1070 and rebuilt in stone in 1170.
- Berkeley Castle is the oldest English castle still inhabited by the family who built it.
- The founder of the Berkeley family was Robert Fitzharding (1095–1170). He started building the present castle from 1153.
- York Minster is Britain’s largest medieval cathedral, has the largest Gothic nave in the country, and the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world.
- The first building in the world to overtake the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt was Lincoln Cathedral, completed in 1280. Had its spired not been destroyed by a storm in 1549, it would have remained the highest construction ever built in the world until 1884, when the Washington Monument was erected.
- Founded in 1534, Cambridge University Press is the world’s oldest printing and publishing house, and the second largest university press in the world.
- Opened in 1660, the Royal Armouries in the Tower of London is the oldest museum in the United Kingdom, and one of the oldest in the world (the first in Europe outside Italy).
- The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, inaugurated in 1683, was the world’s first university museum.
- Established in 1734, Bennett’s of Irongate in Derby is the oldest department store in the world, pre-dating by over 100 years the first department stores in the USA, France or other parts of Britain. It is still trading in the original building.
- The Caen Hill Locks, a flight of 29 locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal (between Bath and Reading) rising 72 m in 3.2 km, making it the steepest flight of locks in the world. The locks were built in the early 1800s.
- The world’s oldest public zoo was opened in London in 1828.
- The world’s largest second-hand book market can be found at Hay-On-Wye, a small village at the border of England and Wales. The village is also famous for proclaiming itself independent from the UK in 1977.
- Liverpool Cathedral, Britain’s newest cathedral (completed in 1978) is the second longest church on Earth after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and the biggest cathedral in England.
- The London Eye is the tallest observation wheel in the world and each rotation takes about 30 minutes.
- The original London Bridge was shipped to Arizona USA in 1968. US customs labeled it ‘large antique’.
- Amazingly contrary to popular belief, the Big Ben is not the name of the clock tower, but actually the bell inside it. The tower is known as actually the Elizabeth Tower.
- 5 mile radius is how far the Big Ben, which chimes every fifteen minutes, can be heard.
- In 1945, a flock of starlings landed on the minute hand of Big Ben and put the time back by five minutes.
- The vintage lamps that light up the bridge are made from canons melted. The canons belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte.
- Did you know that the Buckingham Palace was built in 1702 on the site of an infamous brothel ? Buckingham Palace has its own police station.
- You can view a very special type of colouring pencil in Keswick at the Cumberland Pencil Museum – at nearly eight metres, it’s the longest in the world.
People Customs & Culture
- In Eighteenth century English gambling dens , there was an employee whose only job was to swallow the dice if there was a police raid.
- Amazing Fact is that until 1896, drivers in England had to warn of their presence by having a person precede their car on foot, waving a red flag.
- English people consume more tea per capita than anybody else in the world (2.5 times more than the Japanese and 22 times more than the Americans or the French).
- You may find people routinely wearing a suit in a pub.
- It is entirely acceptable to come to work with a hangover and is expected at least once a week.
- People know exactly to which social class others belong just from their accent, attitude, opinions and way of dressing. For English people your class is very important.
- Amazing Fact is that there are over 30,000 people with the name John Smith in England.
- People have habit of saying ‘lovely’ and not ‘nice’. You don’t say ‘really good’ but say ‘absolutely fantastic’.
- Public schools in England are in fact very exclusive and expensive ($22,500/year in average) private schools. Ordinary schools (which are free), are called state schools.
By Amazing Facts 4U Team