Tag Archives: England


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west 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.


  1. Toponymy
  2. History
    1. Prehistory and antiquity
    2. Middle Ages
    3. Early modern
    4. Late modern and contemporary
  3. Governance
    1. Politics
    2. Law
    3. Regions, counties, and districts
  4. 4 Geography
    1. Landscape and rivers
    2. Climate
    3. Major conurbations
  5. 5 Economy
    1. Science and technology
    2. Transport
      1. Water
  6. Healthcare
  7. Demography
    1. Population
    2. Language
    3. Religion
  8. Education
  9. Culture
    1. Architecture
    2. Folklore
    3. Cuisine
    4. Visual arts
    5. Literature, poetry, and philosophy
    6. Performing arts
    7. Cinema
    8. Museums, libraries, and galleries
  10. Sports
  11. National symbols


The name “England” is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means “land of the Angles”. The Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area (present-day German state of Schleswig–Holstein) of the Baltic Sea. The earliest recorded use of the term, as “Engla londe”, is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was then used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning “the land inhabited by the English”, and it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was then part of the English kingdom of Northumbria. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years later the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went “out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland”, thus using it in the more ancient sense.

The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used. The etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars; it has been suggested that it derives from the shape of the Angeln peninsula, an angular shape. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe that was less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons (Eald-Seaxe) of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England (Sasunn); similarly, the Welsh name for the English language is “Saesneg”. A romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England, Lloegr, and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend. Albion is also applied to England in a more poetic capacity, though its original meaning is the island of Britain as a whole.


Prehistory and Antiquity

The earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximately 780,000 years ago. The oldest proto-human bones discovered in England date from 500,000 years ago. Modern humans are known to have inhabited the area during the Upper Paleolithic period, though permanent settlements were only established within the last 6,000 years. After the last ice age only large mammals such as mammoths, bison and woolly rhinoceros remained. Roughly 11,000 years ago, when the ice sheets began to recede, humans repopulated the area; genetic research suggests they came from the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula. The sea level was lower than now and Britain was connected by land bridge to Ireland and Eurasia. As the seas rose, it was separated from Ireland 10,000 years ago and from Eurasia two millennia later.

Stonehenge, a Neolithic monument

The Beaker culture arrived around 2,500 BC, introducing drinking and food vessels constructed from clay, as well as vessels used as reduction pots to smelt copper ores. It was during this time that major Neolithic monuments such as Stonehenge and Avebury were constructed. By heating together tin and copper, which were in abundance in the area, the Beaker culture people made bronze, and later iron from iron ores. The development of iron smelting allowed the construction of better ploughs, advancing agriculture (for instance, with Celtic fields), as well as the production of more effective weapons.

Boudica led an uprising against the Roman Empire.

During the Iron Age, Celtic culture, deriving from the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, arrived from Central Europe. Brythonic was the spoken language during this time. Society was tribal; according to Ptolemy’s Geographia there were around 20 tribes in the area. Earlier divisions are unknown because the Britons were not literate. Like other regions on the edge of the Empire, Britain had long enjoyed trading links with the Romans. Julius Caesar of the Roman Republic attempted to invade twice in 55 BC; although largely unsuccessful, he managed to set up a client king from the Trinovantes.

The Romans invaded Britain in 43 AD during the reign of Emperor Claudius, subsequently conquering much of Britain, and the area was incorporated into the Roman Empire as Britannia province. The best-known of the native tribes who attempted to resist were the Catuvellauni led by Caratacus. Later, an uprising led by Boudica, Queen of the Iceni, ended with Boudica’s suicide following her defeat at the Battle of Watling Street. The author of one study of Roman Britain suggested that from 43 AD to 84 AD, the Roman invaders killed somewhere between 100,000 and 250,000 people from a population of perhaps 2,000,000. This era saw a Greco-Roman culture prevail with the introduction of Roman law, Roman architecture, aqueducts, sewers, many agricultural items and silk. In the 3rd century, Emperor Septimius Severus died at Eboracum (now York), where Constantine was subsequently proclaimed emperor.

There is debate about when Christianity was first introduced; it was no later than the 4th century, probably much earlier. According to Bede, missionaries were sent from Rome by Eleutherius at the request of the chieftain Lucius of Britain in 180 AD, to settle differences as to Eastern and Western ceremonials, which were disturbing the church. There are traditions linked to Glastonbury claiming an introduction through Joseph of Arimathea, while others claim through Lucius of Britain. By 410, during the Decline of the Roman Empire, Britain was left exposed by the end of Roman rule in Britain and the withdrawal of Roman army units, to defend the frontiers in continental Europe and partake in civil wars. Celtic Christian monastic and missionary movements flourished: Patrick (5th-century Ireland) and in the 6th century Brendan (Clonfert), Comgall (Bangor), David (Wales), Aiden (Lindisfarne) and Columba (Iona). This period of Christianity was influenced by ancient Celtic culture in its sensibilities, polity, practices and theology. Local “congregations” were centred in the monastic community and monastic leaders were more like chieftains, as peers, rather than in the more hierarchical system of the Roman-dominated church.

Middle Ages

Roman military withdrawals left Britain open to invasion by pagan, seafaring warriors from north-western continental Europe, chiefly the Saxons, Angles, Jutes and Frisians who had long raided the coasts of the Roman province and began to settle, initially in the eastern part of the country. Their advance was contained for some decades after the Britons’ victory at the Battle of Mount Badon, but subsequently resumed, over-running the fertile lowlands of Britain and reducing the area under Brythonic control to a series of separate enclaves in the more rugged country to the west by the end of the 6th century. Contemporary texts describing this period are extremely scarce, giving rise to its description as a Dark Age. The nature and progression of the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain is consequently subject to considerable disagreement. Roman-dominated Christianity had, in general, disappeared from the conquered territories, but was reintroduced by missionaries from Rome led by Augustine from 597 onwards. Disputes between the Roman- and Celtic-dominated forms of Christianity ended in victory for the Roman tradition at the Council of Whitby (664), which was ostensibly about haircuts and the date of Easter, but more significantly, about the differences in Roman and Celtic forms of authority, theology, and practice (Lehane).

During the settlement period the lands ruled by the incomers seem to have been fragmented into numerous tribal territories, but by the 7th century, when substantial evidence of the situation again becomes available, these had coalesced into roughly a dozen kingdoms including Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex, East Anglia, Essex, Kent and Sussex. Over the following centuries, this process of political consolidation continued. The 7th century saw a struggle for hegemony between Northumbria and Mercia, which in the 8th century gave way to Mercian preeminence. In the early 9th century Mercia was displaced as the foremost kingdom by Wessex. Later in that century escalating attacks by the Danes culminated in the conquest of the north and east of England, overthrowing the kingdoms of Northumbria, Mercia and East Anglia. Wessex under Alfred the Great was left as the only surviving English kingdom, and under his successors, it steadily expanded at the expense of the kingdoms of the Danelaw. This brought about the political unification of England, first accomplished under Æthelstan in 927 and definitively established after further conflicts by Eadred in 953. A fresh wave of Scandinavian attacks from the late 10th century ended with the conquest of this united kingdom by Sweyn Forkbeard in 1013 and again by his son Cnut in 1016, turning it into the centre of a short-lived North Sea Empire that also included Denmark and Norway. However, the native royal dynasty was restored with the accession of Edward the Confessor in 1042.

Replica of the 7th-century ceremonial Sutton Hoo helmet from the Kingdom of East Anglia

A dispute over the succession to Edward led to the Norman conquest of England in 1066, accomplished by an army led by Duke William of Normandy. The Normans themselves originated from Scandinavia and had settled in Normandy in the late 9th and early 10th centuries. This conquest led to the almost total dispossession of the English elite and its replacement by a new French-speaking aristocracy, whose speech had a profound and permanent effect on the English language.

Subsequently, the House of Plantagenet from Anjou inherited the English throne under Henry II, adding England to the budding Angevin Empire of fiefs the family had inherited in France including Aquitaine. They reigned for three centuries, some noted monarchs being Richard I, Edward I, Edward III and Henry V. The period saw changes in trade and legislation, including the signing of the Magna Carta, an English legal charter used to limit the sovereign’s powers by law and protect the privileges of freemen. Catholic monasticism flourished, providing philosophers, and the universities of Oxford and Cambridge were founded with royal patronage. The Principality of Wales became a Plantagenet fief during the 13th century and the Lordship of Ireland was given to the English monarchy by the Pope.

During the 14th century, the Plantagenets and the House of Valois both claimed to be legitimate claimants to the House of Capet and with it France; the two powers clashed in the Hundred Years’ War.[50] The Black Death epidemic hit England; starting in 1348, it eventually killed up to half of England’s inhabitants. From 1453 to 1487 civil war occurred between two branches of the royal family – the Yorkists and Lancastrians – known as the Wars of the Roses. Eventually it led to the Yorkists losing the throne entirely to a Welsh noble family the Tudors, a branch of the Lancastrians headed by Henry Tudor who invaded with Welsh and Breton mercenaries, gaining victory at the Battle of Bosworth Field where the Yorkist king Richard III was killed.

King Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt, fought on Saint Crispin’s Day and concluded with an English victory against a larger French army in the Hundred Years’ War

Early Modern

During the Tudor period, the Renaissance reached England through Italian courtiers, who reintroduced artistic, educational and scholarly debate from classical antiquity. England began to develop naval skills, and exploration to the West intensified.

Henry VIII broke from communion with the Catholic Church, over issues relating to his divorce, under the Acts of Supremacy in 1534 which proclaimed the monarch head of the Church of England. In contrast with much of European Protestantism, the roots of the split were more political than theological. He also legally incorporated his ancestral land Wales into the Kingdom of England with the 1535–1542 acts. There were internal religious conflicts during the reigns of Henry’s daughters, Mary I and Elizabeth I. The former took the country back to Catholicism while the latter broke from it again, forcefully asserting the supremacy of Anglicanism.

Competing with Spain, the first English colony in the Americas was founded in 1585 by explorer Walter Raleigh in Virginia and named Roanoke. The Roanoke colony failed and is known as the lost colony after it was found abandoned on the return of the late-arriving supply ship. With the East India Company, England also competed with the Dutch and French in the East. During the Elizabethan period, England was at war with Spain. An armada sailed from Spain in 1588 as part of a wider plan to invade England and re-establish a Catholic monarchy. The plan was thwarted by bad coordination, stormy weather and successful harrying attacks by an English fleet under Lord Howard of Effingham. This failure did not end the threat: Spain launched two further armadas, in 1596 and 1597, but both were driven back by storms. The political structure of the island changed in 1603, when the King of Scots, James VI, a kingdom which had been a long-time rival to English interests, inherited the throne of England as James I, thereby creating a personal union. He styled himself King of Great Britain, although this had no basis in English law. Under the auspices of King James VI and I the Authorised King James Version of the Holy Bible was published in 1611. It has not only been ranked with Shakespeare’s works as the greatest masterpiece of literature in the English language but also was the standard version of the Bible read by most Protestant Christians for four hundred years until modern revisions were produced in the 20th century.

King Henry VIII became Supreme Head of the Church of England.

Based on conflicting political, religious and social positions, the English Civil War was fought between the supporters of Parliament and those of King Charles I, known colloquially as Roundheads and Cavaliers respectively. This was an interwoven part of the wider multifaceted Wars of the Three Kingdoms, involving Scotland and Ireland. The Parliamentarians were victorious, Charles I was executed and the kingdom replaced by the Commonwealth. Leader of the Parliament forces, Oliver Cromwell declared himself Lord Protector in 1653; a period of personal rule followed. After Cromwell’s death and the resignation of his son Richard as Lord Protector, Charles II was invited to return as monarch in 1660, in a move called the Restoration. After the Glorious Revolution of 1688, it was constitutionally established that King and Parliament should rule together, though Parliament would have the real power. This was established with the Bill of Rights in 1689. Among the statutes set down were that the law could only be made by Parliament and could not be suspended by the King, also that the King could not impose taxes or raise an army without the prior approval of Parliament. Also since that time, no British monarch has entered the House of Commons when it is sitting, which is annually commemorated at the State Opening of Parliament by the British monarch when the doors of the House of Commons are slammed in the face of the monarch’s messenger, symbolising the rights of Parliament and its independence from the monarch. With the founding of the Royal Society in 1660, science was greatly encouraged.

In 1666 the Great Fire of London gutted the City of London but it was rebuilt shortly afterwards with many significant buildings designed by Sir Christopher Wren. In Parliament two factions had emerged – the Tories and Whigs. Though the Tories initially supported Catholic king James II, some of them, along with the Whigs, during the Revolution of 1688 invited Dutch prince William of Orange to defeat James and ultimately to become William III of England. Some English people, especially in the north, were Jacobites and continued to support James and his sons. After the parliaments of England and Scotland agreed, the two countries joined in political union, to create the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. To accommodate the union, institutions such as the law and national churches of each remained separate.

The English Restoration restored the monarchy under King Charles II and peace after the English Civil War.

Late Modern and Contemporary

Under the newly formed Kingdom of Great Britain, output from the Royal Society and other English initiatives combined with the Scottish Enlightenment to create innovations in science and engineering, while the enormous growth in British overseas trade protected by the Royal Navy paved the way for the establishment of the British Empire. Domestically it drove the Industrial Revolution, a period of profound change in the socioeconomic and cultural conditions of England, resulting in industrialised agriculture, manufacture, engineering and mining, as well as new and pioneering road, rail and water networks to facilitate their expansion and development. The opening of Northwest England’s Bridgewater Canal in 1761 ushered in the canal age in Britain. In 1825 the world’s first permanent steam locomotive-hauled passenger railway – the Stockton and Darlington Railway – opened to the public.

Saltaire, West Yorkshire, is a model mill town from the Industrial Revolution, and a World Heritage Site.

During the Industrial Revolution, many workers moved from England’s countryside to new and expanding urban industrial areas to work in factories, for instance at Birmingham and Manchester, dubbed “Workshop of the World” and “Warehouse City” respectively. England maintained relative stability throughout the French Revolution; William Pitt the Younger was British Prime Minister for the reign of George III. During the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon planned to invade from the south-east. However this failed to manifest and the Napoleonic forces were defeated by the British at sea by Lord Nelson and on land by the Duke of Wellington. The Napoleonic Wars fostered a concept of Britishness and a united national British people, shared with the Scots and Welsh.

Cotton mills in Manchester, the world’s “first industrial city”, circa 1820

London became the largest and most populous metropolitan area in the world during the Victorian era, and trade within the British Empire – as well as the standing of the British military and navy – was prestigious. Political agitation at home from radicals such as the Chartists and the suffragettes enabled legislative reform and universal suffrage. Power shifts in east-central Europe led to World War I; hundreds of thousands of English soldiers died fighting for the United Kingdom as part of the Allies. Two decades later, in World War II, the United Kingdom was again one of the Allies. At the end of the Phoney War, Winston Churchill became the wartime Prime Minister. Developments in warfare technology saw many cities damaged by air-raids during the Blitz. Following the war, the British Empire experienced rapid decolonisation, and there was a speeding up of technological innovations; automobiles became the primary means of transport and Frank Whittle’s development of the jet engine led to wider air travel. Residential patterns were altered in England by private motoring, and by the creation of the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948. The UK’s NHS provided publicly funded health care to all UK permanent residents free at the point of need, being paid for from general taxation. Combined, these changes prompted the reform of local government in England in the mid-20th century.

Since the 20th century there has been significant population movement to England, mostly from other parts of the British Isles, but also from the Commonwealth, particularly the Indian subcontinent. Since the 1970s there has been a large move away from manufacturing and an increasing emphasis on the service industry. As part of the United Kingdom, the area joined a common market initiative called the European Economic Community which became the European Union. Since the late 20th century the administration of the United Kingdom has moved towards devolved governance in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. England and Wales continues to exist as a jurisdiction within the United Kingdom. Devolution has stimulated a greater emphasis on a more English-specific identity and patriotism. There is no devolved English government, but an attempt to create a similar system on a sub-regional basis was rejected by referendum.

The Cenotaph, Whitehall, is a memorial to members of the British Armed Forces who died during the two World Wars.



As part of the United Kingdom, the basic political system in England is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system. There has not been a government of England since 1707, when the Acts of Union 1707, putting into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union, joined England and Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. Before the union England was ruled by its monarch and the Parliament of England. Today England is governed directly by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, although other countries of the United Kingdom have devolved governments. In the House of Commons which is the lower house of the British Parliament based at the Palace of Westminster, there are 532 Members of Parliament (MPs) for constituencies in England, out of the 650 total. As of the 2019 United Kingdom general election, England is represented by 345 MPs from the Conservative Party, 179 from the Labour Party, seven from the Liberal Democrats, one from the Green Party, and the Speaker, Lindsay Hoyle.

The Palace of Westminster, the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom

Since devolution, in which other countries of the United Kingdom – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – each have their own devolved parliament or assemblies for local issues, there has been debate about how to counterbalance this in England. Originally it was planned that various regions of England would be devolved, but following the proposal’s rejection by the North East in a 2004 referendum, this has not been carried out.

One major issue is the West Lothian question, in which MPs from Scotland and Wales are able to vote on legislation affecting only England, while English MPs have no equivalent right to legislate on devolved matters. This when placed in the context of England being the only country of the United Kingdom not to have free cancer treatment, prescriptions, residential care for the elderly and free top-up university fees, has led to a steady rise in English nationalism. Some have suggested the creation of a devolved English parliament, while others have proposed simply limiting voting on legislation which only affects England to English MPs.

Changing of the Queen’s Guard at the royal residence, Buckingham Palace


The English law legal system, developed over the centuries, is the basis of common law legal systems used in most Commonwealth countries and the United States (except Louisiana). Despite now being part of the United Kingdom, the legal system of the Courts of England and Wales continued, under the Treaty of Union, as a separate legal system from the one used in Scotland. The general essence of English law is that it is made by judges sitting in courts, applying their common sense and knowledge of legal precedent – stare decisis – to the facts before them.

The court system is headed by the Senior Courts of England and Wales, consisting of the Court of Appeal, the High Court of Justice for civil cases, and the Crown Court for criminal cases. The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is the highest court for criminal and civil cases in England and Wales. It was created in 2009 after constitutional changes, taking over the judicial functions of the House of Lords. A decision of the Supreme Court is binding on every other court in the hierarchy, which must follow its directions.

Crime increased between 1981 and 1995 but fell by 42% in the period 1995–2006. The prison population doubled over the same period, giving it the highest incarceration rate in Western Europe at 147 per 100,000. Her Majesty’s Prison Service, reporting to the Ministry of Justice, manages most prisons, housing over 85,000 convicts.

The Royal Courts of Justice

Regions, Counties, and Districts

The subdivisions of England consist of up to four levels of subnational division controlled through a variety of types of administrative entities created for the purposes of local government. The highest tier of local government were the nine regions of England: North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, East, South East, South West, and London. These were created in 1994 as Government Offices, used by the UK government to deliver a wide range of policies and programmes regionally, but there are no elected bodies at this level, except in London, and in 2011 the regional government offices were abolished.

After devolution began to take place in other parts of the United Kingdom it was planned that referendums for the regions of England would take place for their own elected regional assemblies as a counterweight. London accepted in 1998: the London Assembly was created two years later. However, when the proposal was rejected by the 2004 North East England devolution referendum in the North East, further referendums were cancelled. The regional assemblies outside London were abolished in 2010, and their functions transferred to respective Regional Development Agencies and a new system of Local authority leaders’ boards.

Below the regional level, all of England is divided into 48 ceremonial counties. These are used primarily as a geographical frame of reference and have developed gradually since the Middle Ages, with some established as recently as 1974. Each has a Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff; these posts are used to represent the British monarch locally. Outside Greater London and the Isles of Scilly, England is also divided into 83 metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties; these correspond to areas used for the purposes of local government and may consist of a single district or be divided into several.

There are six metropolitan counties based on the most heavily urbanised areas, which do not have county councils. In these areas the principal authorities are the councils of the subdivisions, the metropolitan boroughs. Elsewhere, 27 non-metropolitan “shire” counties have a county council and are divided into districts, each with a district council. They are typically, though not always, found in more rural areas. The remaining non-metropolitan counties are of a single district and usually correspond to large towns or sparsely populated counties; they are known as unitary authorities. Greater London has a different system for local government, with 32 London boroughs, plus the City of London covering a small area at the core governed by the City of London Corporation. At the most localised level, much of England is divided into civil parishes with councils; in Greater London only one, Queen’s Park, exists as of 2014 after they were abolished in 1965 until legislation allowed their recreation in 2007.

Road Map of The United Kingdom


Landscape and Rivers

Geographically England includes the central and southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain, plus such offshore islands as the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly. It is bordered by two other countries of the United Kingdom: to the north by Scotland and to the west by Wales. England is closer than any other part of mainland Britain to the European continent. It is separated from France (Hauts-de-France) by a 21-mile (34 km) sea gap, though the two countries are connected by the Channel Tunnel near Folkestone. England also has shores on the Irish Sea, North Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

The ports of London, Liverpool, and Newcastle lie on the tidal rivers Thames, Mersey and Tyne respectively. At 220 miles (350 km), the Severn is the longest river flowing through England. It empties into the Bristol Channel and is notable for its Severn Bore (a tidal bore), which can reach 2 metres (6.6 ft) in height. However, the longest river entirely in England is the Thames, which is 215 miles (346 km) in length. There are many lakes in England; the largest is Windermere, within the aptly named Lake District.

Most of England’s landscape consists of low hills and plains, with upland and mountainous terrain in the north and west of the country. The northern uplands include the Pennines, a chain of uplands dividing east and west, the Lake District mountains in Cumbria, and the Cheviot Hills, straddling the border between England and Scotland. The highest point in England, at 978 metres (3,209 ft), is Scafell Pike in the Lake District. The Shropshire Hills are near Wales while Dartmoor and Exmoor are two upland areas in the south-west of the country. The approximate dividing line between terrain types is often indicated by the Tees-Exe line.

Skiddaw massif, seen from Walla Crag in the Lake District

In geological terms, the Pennines, known as the “backbone of England”, are the oldest range of mountains in the country, originating from the end of the Paleozoic Era around 300 million years ago. Their geological composition includes, among others, sandstone and limestone, and also coal. There are karst landscapes in calcite areas such as parts of Yorkshire and Derbyshire. The Pennine landscape is high moorland in upland areas, indented by fertile valleys of the region’s rivers. They contain two national parks, the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District. In the West Country, Dartmoor and Exmoor of the Southwest Peninsula include upland moorland supported by granite, and enjoy a mild climate; both are national parks.

The English Lowlands are in the central and southern regions of the country, consisting of green rolling hills, including the Cotswold Hills, Chiltern Hills, North and South Downs; where they meet the sea they form white rock exposures such as the cliffs of Dover. This also includes relatively flat plains such as the Salisbury Plain, Somerset Levels, South Coast Plain and The Fens.

Terrain of Dartmoor, Devon


England has a temperate maritime climate: it is mild with temperatures not much lower than 0 °C (32 °F) in winter and not much higher than 32 °C (90 °F) in summer. The weather is damp relatively frequently and is changeable. The coldest months are January and February, the latter particularly on the English coast, while July is normally the warmest month. Months with mild to warm weather are May, June, September and October. Rainfall is spread fairly evenly throughout the year.

Important influences on the climate of England are its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, its northern latitude and the warming of the sea by the Gulf Stream. Rainfall is higher in the west, and parts of the Lake District receive more rain than anywhere else in the country. Since weather records began, the highest temperature recorded was 38.7 °C (101.7 °F) on 25 July 2019 at the Botanic Garden in Cambridge, while the lowest was −26.1 °C (−15.0 °F) on 10 January 1982 in Edgmond, Shropshire.

Major Conurbations

The Greater London Built-up Area is by far the largest urban area in England and one of the busiest cities in the world. It is considered a global city and has a population larger than other countries in the United Kingdom besides England itself. Other urban areas of considerable size and influence tend to be in northern England or the English Midlands. There are 50 settlements which have been designated city status in England, while the wider United Kingdom has 66.

While many cities in England are quite large, such as Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Bradford, Nottingham, population size is not a prerequisite for city status. Traditionally the status was given to towns with diocesan cathedrals, so there are smaller cities like Wells, Ely, Ripon, Truro and Chichester.


England’s economy is one of the largest in the world, with an average GDP per capita of £28,100 or $36,000. Usually regarded as a mixed market economy, it has adopted many free market principles, yet maintains an advanced social welfare infrastructure. The official currency in England is the pound sterling, whose ISO 4217 code is GBP. Taxation in England is quite competitive when compared to much of the rest of Europe – as of 2014 the basic rate of personal tax is 20% on taxable income up to £31,865 above the personal tax-free allowance (normally £10,000), and 40% on any additional earnings above that amount.

The economy of England is the largest part of the UK’s economy, which has the 18th highest GDP PPP per capita in the world. England is a leader in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors and in key technical industries, particularly aerospace, the arms industry, and the manufacturing side of the software industry. London, home to the London Stock Exchange, the United Kingdom’s main stock exchange and the largest in Europe, is England’s financial centre, with 100 of Europe’s 500 largest corporations being based there. London is the largest financial centre in Europe, and as of 2014 is the second largest in the world.

The City of London is the financial capital of the United Kingdom.

The Bank of England, founded in 1694 by Scottish banker William Paterson, is the United Kingdom’s central bank. Originally established as private banker to the government of England, since 1946 it has been a state-owned institution. The bank has a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in England and Wales, although not in other parts of the United Kingdom. The government has devolved responsibility to the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee for managing the monetary policy of the country and setting interest rates.

England is highly industrialised, but since the 1970s there has been a decline in traditional heavy and manufacturing industries, and an increasing emphasis on a more service industry oriented economy. Tourism has become a significant industry, attracting millions of visitors to England each year. The export part of the economy is dominated by pharmaceuticals, cars (although many English marques are now foreign-owned, such as Land Rover, Lotus, Jaguar and Bentley), crude oil and petroleum from the English parts of North Sea oil along with Wytch Farm, aircraft engines and alcoholic beverages.

The Bentley Mulsanne. Bentley is a well-known English car company.

Most of the UK’s £30 billion aerospace industry is primarily based in England. The global market opportunity for UK aerospace manufacturers over the next two decades is estimated at £3.5 trillion. GKN Aerospace – an expert in metallic and composite aerostructures is involved in almost every civil and military fixed and rotary wing aircraft in production is based in Redditch.

BAE Systems makes large sections of the Typhoon Eurofighter at its sub-assembly plant in Salmesbury and assembles the aircraft for the RAF at its Warton plant, near Preston. It is also a principal subcontractor on the F35 Joint Strike Fighter – the world’s largest single defence project – for which it designs and manufactures a range of components including the aft fuselage, vertical and horizontal tail and wing tips and fuel system. It also manufactures the Hawk, the world’s most successful jet training aircraft.

Rolls-Royce PLC is the world’s second-largest aero-engine manufacturer. Its engines power more than 30 types of commercial aircraft, and it has more 30,000 engines currently in service across both the civil and defence sectors. With a workforce of over 12,000 people, Derby has the largest concentration of Rolls-Royce employees in the UK. Rolls-Royce also produces low-emission power systems for ships; makes critical equipment and safety systems for the nuclear industry and powers offshore platforms and major pipelines for the oil and gas industry.

Much of the UK’s space industry is centred on EADS Astrium, based in Stevenage and Portsmouth. The company builds the buses – the underlying structure onto which the payload and propulsion systems are built – for most of the European Space Agency’s spacecraft, as well as commercial satellites. The world leader in compact satellite systems, Surrey Satellite Technology, is also part of Astrium. Reaction Engines Limited, the company planning to build Skylon, a single-stage-to-orbit spaceplane using their SABRE rocket engine, a combined-cycle, air-breathing rocket propulsion system is based Culham.

Agriculture is intensive and highly mechanised, producing 60% of food needs with only 2% of the labour force. Two-thirds of production is devoted to livestock, the other to arable crops.

Clarks was founded in 1825 and has since become a popular shoe brand internationally, seen as specialists in school shoes for children.

Science and Technology

Prominent English figures from the field of science and mathematics include Sir Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, Charles Darwin, Robert Hooke, James Prescott Joule, John Dalton, Lord Rayleigh, J. J. Thomson, James Chadwick, Charles Babbage, George Boole, Alan Turing, Tim Berners-Lee, Paul Dirac, Stephen Hawking, Peter Higgs, Roger Penrose, John Horton Conway, Thomas Bayes, Arthur Cayley, G. H. Hardy, Oliver Heaviside, Andrew Wiles, Francis Crick, Joseph Lister, Joseph Priestley, Thomas Young, Christopher Wren and Richard Dawkins. Some experts claim that the earliest concept of a metric system was invented by John Wilkins, the first secretary of the Royal Society, in 1668.

As the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, England was home to many significant inventors during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Famous English engineers include Isambard Kingdom Brunel, best known for the creation of the Great Western Railway, a series of famous steamships, and numerous important bridges, hence revolutionising public transport and modern-day engineering. Thomas Newcomen’s steam engine helped spawn the Industrial Revolution. The Father of Railways, George Stephenson, built the first public inter-city railway line in the world, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, which opened in 1830. With his role in the marketing and manufacturing of the steam engine, and invention of modern coinage, Matthew Boulton (business partner of James Watt) is regarded as one of the most influential entrepreneurs in history. The physician Edward Jenner’s smallpox vaccine is said to have “saved more lives … than were lost in all the wars of mankind since the beginning of recorded history.”

Inventions and discoveries of the English include: the jet engine, the first industrial spinning machine, the first computer and the first modern computer, the World Wide Web along with HTML, the first successful human blood transfusion, the motorised vacuum cleaner, the lawn mower, the seat belt, the hovercraft, the electric motor, steam engines, and theories such as the Darwinian theory of evolution and atomic theory. Newton developed the ideas of universal gravitation, Newtonian mechanics, and calculus, and Robert Hooke his eponymously named law of elasticity. Other inventions include the iron plate railway, the thermosiphon, tarmac, the rubber band, the mousetrap, “cat’s eye” road marker, joint development of the light bulb, steam locomotives, the modern seed drill and many modern techniques and technologies used in precision engineering.

Sir Isaac Newton is one of the most influential figures in the history of science.


The Department for Transport is the government body responsible for overseeing transport in England. There are many motorways in England, and many other trunk roads, such as the A1 Great North Road, which runs through eastern England from London to Newcastle (much of this section is motorway) and onward to the Scottish border. The longest motorway in England is the M6, from Rugby through the North West up to the Anglo-Scottish border, a distance of 232 miles (373 km). Other major routes include: the M1 from London to Leeds, the M25 which encircles London, the M60 which encircles Manchester, the M4 from London to South Wales, the M62 from Liverpool via Manchester to East Yorkshire, and the M5 from Birmingham to Bristol and the South West.

Bus transport across the country is widespread; major companies include National Express, Arriva and Go-Ahead Group. The red double-decker buses in London have become a symbol of England.

National Cycle Route offers cycling routes nationally. There is a rapid transit network in two English cities: the London Underground; and the Tyne and Wear Metro in Newcastle, Gateshead and Sunderland.There are several tram networks, such as the Blackpool tramway, Manchester Metrolink, Sheffield Supertram and Midland Metro, and the Tramlink system centred on Croydon in South London.

Heathrow Airport has more international passenger traffic than any other airport in the world.

Rail transport in England is the oldest in the world: passenger railways originated in England in 1825. Much of Britain’s 10,000 miles (16,000 km) of rail network lies in England, covering the country fairly extensively, although a high proportion of railway lines were closed in the second half of the 20th century. There are plans to reopen lines such as the Varsity Line between Oxford and Cambridge. These lines are mostly standard gauge (single, double or quadruple track) though there are also a few narrow gauge lines. There is rail transport access to France and Belgium through an undersea rail link, the Channel Tunnel, which was completed in 1994.

England has extensive domestic and international aviation links. The largest airport is Heathrow, which is the world’s busiest airport measured by number of international passengers. Other large airports include Manchester Airport, Stansted Airport, Luton Airport and Birmingham Airport.

The Metropolitan Railway, now part of the London Underground was the first underground railway in the world.


By sea there is ferry transport, both local and international, including from Liverpool to Ireland and the Isle of Man, and Hull to the Netherlands and Belgium. There are around 4,400 miles (7,100 km) of navigable waterways in England, half of which is owned by the Canal and River Trust, however, water transport is very limited. The Thames is the major waterway in England, with imports and exports focused at the Port of Tilbury in the Thames Estuary, one of the United Kingdom’s three major ports.


The National Health Service (NHS) is the publicly funded healthcare system in England responsible for providing the majority of healthcare in the country. The NHS began on 5 July 1948, putting into effect the provisions of the National Health Service Act 1946. It was based on the findings of the Beveridge Report, prepared by economist and social reformer William Beveridge. The NHS is largely funded from general taxation including National Insurance payments, and it provides most of its services free at the point of use, although there are charges for some people for eye tests, dental care, prescriptions and aspects of personal care.

The government department responsible for the NHS is the Department of Health, headed by the Secretary of State for Health, who sits in the British Cabinet. Most of the expenditure of the Department of Health is spent on the NHS—£98.6 billion was spent in 2008–2009. In recent years the private sector has been increasingly used to provide more NHS services despite opposition by doctors and trade unions.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham has the largest single floor critical care unit in the world.

The average life expectancy of people in England is 77.5 years for males and 81.7 years for females, the highest of the four countries of the United Kingdom. The South of England has a higher life expectancy than the North, however, regional differences do seem to be slowly narrowing: between 1991–1993 and 2012–2014, life expectancy in the North East increased by 6.0 years and in the North West by 5.8 years, the fastest increase in any region outside London, and the gap between life expectancy in the North East and South East is now 2.5 years, down from 2.9 in 1993.

Life expectancy at birth in England and Wales 2012 to 2014. Lighter colours indicate longer life expectancy.



With over 53 million inhabitants, England is by far the most populous country of the United Kingdom, accounting for 84% of the combined total. England taken as a unit and measured against international states has the fourth largest population in the European Union and would be the 25th largest country by population in the world. With a density of 424 people per square kilometre, it would be the second most densely populated country in the European Union after Malta.

The English people are a British people. Some genetic evidence suggests that 75–95% descend in the paternal line from prehistoric settlers who originally came from the Iberian Peninsula, as well as a 5% contribution from Angles and Saxons, and a significant Scandinavian (Viking) element. However, other geneticists place the Germanic estimate up to half. Over time, various cultures have been influential: Prehistoric, Brythonic, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Viking (North Germanic), Gaelic cultures, as well as a large influence from Normans. There is an English diaspora in former parts of the British Empire; especially the United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. Since the late 1990s, many English people have migrated to Spain.

The metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties, colour-coded to show population

In 1086, when the Domesday Book was compiled, England had a population of two million. About 10% lived in urban areas. By 1801, the population was 8.3 million, and by 1901 30.5 million. Due in particular to the economic prosperity of South East England, it has received many economic migrants from the other parts of the United Kingdom. There has been significant Irish migration. The proportion of ethnically European residents totals at 87.50%, including Germans and Poles.

Other people from much further afield in the former British colonies have arrived since the 1950s: in particular, 6% of people living in England have family origins in the Indian subcontinent, mostly India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. 2.90% of the population are black, from Africa and the Caribbean, especially former British colonies. There is a significant number of Chinese and British Chinese. In 2007, 22% of primary school children in England were from ethnic minority families, and in 2011 that figure was 26.5%. About half of the population increase between 1991 and 2001 was due to immigration. Debate over immigration is politically prominent; 80% of respondents in a 2009 Home Office poll wanted to cap it. The ONS has projected that the population will grow by nine million between 2014 and 2039.

England contains one indigenous national minority, the Cornish people, recognised by the UK government under the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities in 2014.

2009 estimates of ethnic groups in England
Population of England and Wales by administrative areas. Their size shows their population, with some approximation. Each group of squares in the map key is 20 % of total number of districts.


As its name suggests, the English language, today spoken by hundreds of millions of people around the world, originated as the language of England, where it remains the principal tongue spoken by 98% of the population. It is an Indo-European language in the Anglo-Frisian branch of the Germanic family. After the Norman conquest, the Old English language was displaced and confined to the lower social classes as Norman French and Latin were used by the aristocracy.

By the 15th century, English was back in fashion among all classes, though much changed; the Middle English form showed many signs of French influence, both in vocabulary and spelling. During the English Renaissance, many words were coined from Latin and Greek origins. Modern English has extended this custom of flexibility when it comes to incorporating words from different languages. Thanks in large part to the British Empire, the English language is the world’s unofficial lingua franca.

English language learning and teaching is an important economic activity, and includes language schooling, tourism spending, and publishing. There is no legislation mandating an official language for England, but English is the only language used for official business. Despite the country’s relatively small size, there are many distinct regional accents, and individuals with particularly strong accents may not be easily understood everywhere in the country.

As well as English, England has two other indigenous languages, Cornish and Welsh. Cornish died out as a community language in the 18th century but is being revived, and is now protected under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. It is spoken by 0.1% of people in Cornwall, and is taught to some degree in several primary and secondary schools.

When the modern border between Wales and England was established by the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542, many Welsh-speaking communities found themselves on the English side of the border. Welsh was spoken in Archenfield in Herefordshire into the nineteenth century, and by natives of parts of western Shropshire until the middle of the twentieth century if not later.

State schools teach students a second language, usually French, German or Spanish. Due to immigration, it was reported in 2007 that around 800,000 school students spoke a foreign language at home, the most common being Punjabi and Urdu. However, following the 2011 census data released by the Office for National Statistics, figures now show that Polish is the main language spoken in England after English.


In the 2011 census, 59.4% of the population of England specified their religion as Christian, 24.7% answered that they had no religion, 5% specified that they were Muslim, while 3.7% of the population belongs to other religions and 7.2% did not give an answer. Christianity is the most widely practised religion in England, as it has been since the Early Middle Ages, although it was first introduced much earlier in Gaelic and Roman times. This Celtic Church was gradually joined to the Catholic hierarchy following the 6th-century Gregorian mission to Kent led by St Augustine. The established church of England is the Church of England, which left communion with Rome in the 1530s when Henry VIII was unable to annul his marriage to the aunt of the king of Spain. The church regards itself as both Catholic and Protestant.

There are High Church and Low Church traditions and some Anglicans regard themselves as Anglo-Catholics, following the Tractarian movement. The monarch of the United Kingdom is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, which has around 26 million baptised members (of whom the vast majority are not regular churchgoers). It forms part of the Anglican Communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury acting as its symbolic worldwide head. Many cathedrals and parish churches are historic buildings of significant architectural importance, such as Westminster Abbey, York Minster, Durham Cathedral, and Salisbury Cathedral.

The 2nd-largest Christian practice is the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. Since its reintroduction after the Catholic Emancipation, the Church has organised ecclesiastically on an England and Wales basis where there are 4.5 million members (most of whom are English). There has been one Pope from England to date, Adrian IV; while saints Bede and Anselm are regarded as Doctors of the Church.

Westminster Abbey is a notable example of English Gothic architecture. The coronation of the British monarch traditionally takes place at the Abbey. A form of Protestantism known as Methodism is the third largest Christian practice and grew out of Anglicanism through John Wesley. It gained popularity in the mill towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire, and amongst tin miners in Cornwall. There are other non-conformist minorities, such as Baptists, Quakers, Congregationalists, Unitarians and The Salvation Army.

Canterbury Cathedral, seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury
Westminster Abbey is a notable example of English Gothic architecture. The coronation of the British monarch traditionally takes place at the Abbey.

The patron saint of England is Saint George; his symbolic cross is included in the flag of England, as well as in the Union Flag as part of a combination. There are many other English and associated saints; some of the best-known are: Cuthbert, Edmund, Alban, Wilfrid, Aidan, Edward the Confessor, John Fisher, Thomas More, Petroc, Piran, Margaret Clitherow and Thomas Becket. There are non-Christian religions practised. Jews have a history of a small minority on the island since 1070. They were expelled from England in 1290 following the Edict of Expulsion, only to be allowed back in 1656.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London, United Kingdom is the largest Hindu temple in England.
Especially since the 1950s, religions from the former British colonies have grown in numbers, due to immigration. Islam is the most common of these, now accounting for around 5% of the population in England. Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism are next in number, adding up to 2.8% combined, introduced from India and South East Asia.

A small minority of the population practise ancient Pagan religions. Neopaganism in the United Kingdom is primarily represented by Wicca and Witchcraft religions, Druidry, and Heathenry. According to the 2011 UK Census, there are roughly 53,172 people who identify as Pagan in England, and 3,448 in Wales, including 11,026 Wiccans in England and 740 in Wales.

Saint George is the patron saint of England.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London, United Kingdom is the largest Hindu temple in England.


The Department for Education is the government department responsible for issues affecting people in England up to the age of 19, including education. State-run and state-funded schools are attended by approximately 93% of English schoolchildren. Of these, a minority are faith schools (primarily Church of England or Roman Catholic schools). Children who are between the ages of 3 and 5 attend nursery or an Early Years Foundation Stage reception unit within a primary school. Children between the ages of 5 and 11 attend primary school, and secondary school is attended by those aged between 11 and 16. After finishing compulsory education, students take GCSE examinations. Students may then opt to continue into further education for two years. Further education colleges (particularly sixth form colleges) often form part of a secondary school site. A-level examinations are sat by a large number of further education students, and often form the basis of an application to university.

Although most English secondary schools are comprehensive, in some areas there are selective intake grammar schools, to which entrance is subject to passing the eleven-plus exam. Around 7.2% of English schoolchildren attend private schools, which are funded by private sources. Standards in state schools are monitored by the Office for Standards in Education, and in private schools by the Independent Schools Inspectorate.

The frontage of Warwick School, one of the oldest independent schools in England

Higher education students normally attend university from age 18 onwards, where they study for an academic degree. There are over 90 universities in England, all but one of which are public institutions. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is the government department responsible for higher education in England. Students are generally entitled to student loans to cover the cost of tuition fees and living costs. The first degree offered to undergraduates is the Bachelor’s degree, which usually takes three years to complete. Students are then able to work towards a postgraduate degree, which usually takes one year, or towards a doctorate, which takes three or more years. Since the establishment of Bedford College (London), Girton College (Cambridge) and Somerville College (Oxford) in the 19th century, women also can obtain a university degree.

England’s universities include some of the highest-ranked universities in the world;

  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Oxford
  • Imperial College London
  • University College London
  • King’s College London

are all ranked in the global top 30 in the 2018 QS World University Rankings. The London School of Economics has been described as the world’s leading social science institution for both teaching and research. The London Business School is considered one of the world’s leading business schools and in 2010 its MBA programme was ranked best in the world by the Financial Times. Academic degrees in England are usually split into classes: first class (1st), upper second class (2:1), lower second class (2:2), third (3rd), and unclassified.

The King’s School, Canterbury and King’s School, Rochester are the oldest schools in the English-speaking world. Many of England’s most well-known schools, such as Winchester College, Eton, St Paul’s School, Harrow School and Rugby School are fee-paying institutions.

Somerville College, University of Oxford



Many ancient standing stone monuments were erected during the prehistoric period; amongst the best known are Stonehenge, Devil’s Arrows, Rudston Monolith and Castlerigg. With the introduction of Ancient Roman architecture there was a development of basilicas, baths, amphitheaters, triumphal arches, villas, Roman temples, Roman roads, Roman forts, stockades and aqueducts. It was the Romans who founded the first cities and towns such as London, Bath, York, Chester and St Albans. Perhaps the best-known example is Hadrian’s Wall stretching right across northern England. Another well-preserved example is the Roman Baths at Bath, Somerset.

Early Medieval architecture’s secular buildings were simple constructions mainly using timber with thatch for roofing. Ecclesiastical architecture ranged from a synthesis of Hiberno–Saxon monasticism, to Early Christian basilica and architecture characterised by pilaster-strips, blank arcading, baluster shafts and triangular headed openings. After the Norman conquest in 1066 various Castles in England were created so law lords could uphold their authority and in the north to protect from invasion. Some of the best-known medieval castles are the Tower of London, Warwick Castle, Durham Castle and Windsor Castle.

A red telephone box in front of St Paul’s Cathedral, one of the most important buildings of the English Baroque period

Throughout the Plantagenet era, an English Gothic architecture flourished, with prime examples including the medieval cathedrals such as Canterbury Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and York Minster. Expanding on the Norman base there was also castles, palaces, great houses, universities and parish churches. Medieval architecture was completed with the 16th-century Tudor style; the four-centred arch, now known as the Tudor arch, was a defining feature as were wattle and daub houses domestically. In the aftermath of the Renaissance a form of architecture echoing classical antiquity synthesised with Christianity appeared, the English Baroque style of architect Christopher Wren being particularly championed.

Georgian architecture followed in a more refined style, evoking a simple Palladian form; the Royal Crescent at Bath is one of the best examples of this. With the emergence of romanticism during Victorian period, a Gothic Revival was launched. In addition to this, around the same time the Industrial Revolution paved the way for buildings such as The Crystal Palace. Since the 1930s various modernist forms have appeared whose reception is often controversial, though traditionalist resistance movements continue with support in influential places.

Bodiam Castle is a 14th-century moated castle near Robertsbridge in East Sussex.


English folklore developed over many centuries. Some of the characters and stories are present across England, but most belong to specific regions. Common folkloric beings include pixies, giants, elves, bogeymen, trolls, goblins and dwarves. While many legends and folk-customs are thought to be ancient, for instance the tales featuring Offa of Angel and Wayland the Smith, others date from after the Norman invasion; Robin Hood and his Merry Men of Sherwood and their battles with the Sheriff of Nottingham being, perhaps, the best known.

During the High Middle Ages tales originating from Brythonic traditions entered English folklore and developed into the Arthurian myth. These were derived from Anglo-Norman, Welsh and French sources, featuring King Arthur, Camelot, Excalibur, Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table such as Lancelot. These stories are most centrally brought together within Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain). Another early figure from British tradition, King Cole, may have been based on a real figure from Sub-Roman Britain. Many of the tales and pseudo-histories make up part of the wider Matter of Britain, a collection of shared British folklore.

Some folk figures are based on semi or actual historical people whose story has been passed down centuries; Lady Godiva for instance was said to have ridden naked on horseback through Coventry, Hereward the Wake was a heroic English figure resisting the Norman invasion, Herne the Hunter is an equestrian ghost associated with Windsor Forest and Great Park and Mother Shipton is the archetypal witch. On 5 November people make bonfires, set off fireworks and eat toffee apples in commemoration of the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot centred on Guy Fawkes. The chivalrous bandit, such as Dick Turpin, is a recurring character, while Blackbeard is the archetypal pirate. There are various national and regional folk activities, participated in to this day, such as Morris dancing, Maypole dancing, Rapper sword in the North East, Long Sword dance in Yorkshire, Mummers Plays, bottle-kicking in Leicestershire, and cheese-rolling at Cooper’s Hill. There is no official national costume, but a few are well established such as the Pearly Kings and Queens associated with cockneys, the Royal Guard, the Morris costume and Beefeaters.

Robin Hood illustrated in 1912 wearing Lincoln green


Since the early modern period the food of England has historically been characterised by its simplicity of approach and a reliance on the high quality of natural produce. During the Middle Ages and through the Renaissance period, English cuisine enjoyed an excellent reputation, though a decline began during the Industrial Revolution with the move away from the land and increasing urbanisation of the populace. The cuisine of England has, however, recently undergone a revival, which has been recognised by food critics with some good ratings in Restaurant’s best restaurant in the world charts. An early book of English recipes is the Forme of Cury from the royal court of Richard II.

Traditional examples of English food include the Sunday roast, featuring a roasted joint (usually beef, lamb, chicken or pork) served with assorted vegetables, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. Other prominent meals include fish and chips and the full English breakfast (generally consisting of bacon, sausages, grilled tomatoes, fried bread, black pudding, baked beans, mushrooms and eggs). Various meat pies are consumed, such as steak and kidney pie, steak and ale pie, cottage pie, pork pie (usually eaten cold) and the Cornish pasty.

Sausages are commonly eaten, either as bangers and mash or toad in the hole. Lancashire hotpot is a well-known stew originating in the northwest. Some of the more popular cheeses are Cheddar, Red Leicester, Wensleydale, Double Gloucester and Blue Stilton. Many Anglo-Indian hybrid dishes, curries, have been created, such as chicken tikka masala and balti. Traditional English dessert dishes include apple pie or other fruit pies; spotted dick – all generally served with custard; and, more recently, sticky toffee pudding. Sweet pastries include scones (either plain or containing dried fruit) served with jam or cream, dried fruit loaves, Eccles cakes and mince pies as well as a wide range of sweet or spiced biscuits.

Common non-alcoholic drinks include tea, the popularity of which was increased by Catherine of Braganza, and coffee; frequently consumed alcoholic drinks include wine, ciders and English beers, such as bitter, mild, stout and brown ale.

Fish and chips is a very popular dish in England.
Apple pie has been consumed in England since the Middle Ages
Chicken tikka masala, 1971, adapted from Indian chicken tikka and called “a true British national dish.”
In the 1850s, Englishman Joseph Fry invented the world’s first solid chocolate.

Visual Arts

The earliest known examples are the prehistoric rock and cave art pieces, most prominent in North Yorkshire, Northumberland and Cumbria, but also feature further south, for example at Creswell Crags. With the arrival of Roman culture in the 1st century, various forms of art such as statues, busts, glasswork and mosaics were the norm. There are numerous surviving artefacts, such as those at Lullingstone and Aldborough. During the Early Middle Ages the style favoured sculpted crosses and ivories, manuscript painting, gold and enamel jewellery, demonstrating a love of intricate, interwoven designs such as in the Staffordshire Hoard discovered in 2009. Some of these blended Gaelic and Anglian styles, such as the Lindisfarne Gospels and Vespasian Psalter. Later Gothic art was popular at Winchester and Canterbury, examples survive such as Benedictional of St. Æthelwold and Luttrell Psalter.

The Tudor era saw prominent artists as part of their court, portrait painting which would remain an enduring part of English art, was boosted by German Hans Holbein, natives such as Nicholas Hilliard built on this. Under the Stuarts, Continental artists were influential especially the Flemish, examples from the period include Anthony van Dyck, Peter Lely, Godfrey Kneller and William Dobson. The 18th century was a time of significance with the founding of the Royal Academy, a classicism based on the High Renaissance prevailed, with Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds becoming two of England’s most treasured artists.

The Norwich School continued the landscape tradition, while the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, led by artists such as Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Everett Millais, revived the Early Renaissance style with their vivid and detailed style. Prominent amongst 20th-century artists was Henry Moore, regarded as the voice of British sculpture, and of British modernism in general. Contemporary painters include Lucian Freud, whose work Benefits Supervisor Sleeping in 2008 set a world record for sale value of a painting by a living artist.

The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse in the Pre-Raphaelite style

The Norwich School continued the landscape tradition, while the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, led by artists such as Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Everett Millais, revived the Early Renaissance style with their vivid and detailed style. Prominent amongst 20th-century artists was Henry Moore, regarded as the voice of British sculpture, and of British modernism in general. Contemporary painters include Lucian Freud, whose work Benefits Supervisor Sleeping in 2008 set a world record for sale value of a painting by a living artist.

Literature, Poetry, and Philosophy

Early authors such as Bede and Alcuin wrote in Latin. The period of Old English literature provided the epic poem Beowulf and the secular prose of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, along with Christian writings such as Judith, Cædmon’s Hymn and hagiographies. Following the Norman conquest Latin continued amongst the educated classes, as well as an Anglo-Norman literature.

Middle English literature emerged with Geoffrey Chaucer, author of The Canterbury Tales, along with Gower, the Pearl Poet and Langland. William of Ockham and Roger Bacon, who were Franciscans, were major philosophers of the Middle Ages. Julian of Norwich, who wrote Revelations of Divine Love, was a prominent Christian mystic. With the English Renaissance literature in the Early Modern English style appeared. William Shakespeare, whose works include Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, remains one of the most championed authors in English literature.

Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, Philip Sydney, Thomas Kyd, John Donne, and Ben Jonson are other established authors of the Elizabethan age. Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes wrote on empiricism and materialism, including scientific method and social contract. Filmer wrote on the Divine Right of Kings. Marvell was the best-known poet of the Commonwealth, while John Milton authored Paradise Lost during the Restoration.

Geoffrey Chaucer was an English author, poet and philosopher, best remembered for his unfinished frame narrative The Canterbury Tales.

Some of the most prominent philosophers of the Enlightenment were John Locke, Thomas Paine, Samuel Johnson and Jeremy Bentham. More radical elements were later countered by Edmund Burke who is regarded as the founder of conservatism. The poet Alexander Pope with his satirical verse became well regarded. The English played a significant role in romanticism: Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, John Keats, Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Blake and William Wordsworth were major figures.

In response to the Industrial Revolution, agrarian writers sought a way between liberty and tradition; William Cobbett, G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc were main exponents, while the founder of guild socialism, Arthur Penty, and cooperative movement advocate G. D. H. Cole are somewhat related. Empiricism continued through John Stuart Mill and Bertrand Russell, while Bernard Williams was involved in analytics. Authors from around the Victorian era include Charles Dickens, the Brontë sisters, Jane Austen, George Eliot, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy, H. G. Wells and Lewis Carroll. Since then England has continued to produce novelists such as George Orwell, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, C. S. Lewis, Enid Blyton, Aldous Huxley, Agatha Christie, Terry Pratchett, J. R. R. Tolkien, and J. K. Rowling.

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle, this earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, this other Eden, demi-paradise; this fortress, built by nature for herself. This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
William Shakespeare.

Performing Arts

The traditional folk music of England is centuries old and has contributed to several genres prominently; mostly sea shanties, jigs, hornpipes and dance music. It has its own distinct variations and regional peculiarities. Wynkyn de Worde printed ballads of Robin Hood from the 16th century are an important artefact, as are John Playford’s The Dancing Master and Robert Harley’s Roxburghe Ballads collections. Some of the best-known songs are Greensleeves, Pastime with Good Company, Maggie May and Spanish Ladies amongst others. Many nursery rhymes are of English origin such as Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, Roses are red, Jack and Jill, London Bridge Is Falling Down, The Grand Old Duke of York, Hey Diddle Diddle and Humpty Dumpty. Traditional English Christmas carols include “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, “The First Noel”, “I Saw Three Ships” and “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen”.

Early English composers in classical music include Renaissance artists Thomas Tallis and William Byrd, followed up by Henry Purcell from the Baroque period. German-born George Frideric Handel spent most of his composing life in London and became a national icon in Britain, creating some of the most well-known works of classical music, especially his English oratorios, The Messiah, Solomon, Water Music, and Music for the Royal Fireworks. One of his four Coronation Anthems, Zadok the Priest, composed for the coronation of George II, has been performed at every subsequent British coronation, traditionally during the sovereign’s anointing. There was a revival in the profile of composers from England in the 20th century led by Edward Elgar, Benjamin Britten, Frederick Delius, Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams and others. Present-day composers from England include Michael Nyman, best known for The Piano, and Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose musicals have achieved enormous success in the West End and worldwide.

In the field of popular music, many English bands and solo artists have been cited as the most influential and best-selling musicians of all time. Acts such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Queen, Rod Stewart and The Rolling Stones are among the highest selling recording artists in the world. Many musical genres have origins in (or strong associations with) England, such as British invasion, progressive rock, hard rock, Mod, glam rock, heavy metal, Britpop, indie rock, gothic rock, shoegazing, acid house, garage, trip hop, drum and bass and dubstep.

Large outdoor music festivals in the summer and autumn are popular, such as Glastonbury, V Festival, and the Reading and Leeds Festivals. The most prominent opera house in England is the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden. The Proms – a season of orchestral classical concerts held primarily at the Royal Albert Hall in London – is a major cultural event in the English calendar, and takes place yearly. The Royal Ballet is one of the world’s foremost classical ballet companies, its reputation built on two prominent figures of 20th-century dance, prima ballerina Margot Fonteyn and choreographer Frederick Ashton.

The Boishakhi Mela is a Bengali New Year festival celebrated by the British Bangladeshi community. It is the largest open-air Asian festival in Europe. After the Notting Hill Carnival, it is the second-largest street festival in the United Kingdom attracting over 80,000 visitors from across the country.

The Beatles are the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed band in popular music.


England (and the UK as a whole) has had a considerable influence on the history of the cinema, producing some of the greatest actors, directors and motion pictures of all time, including Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin, David Lean, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, John Gielgud, Peter Sellers, Julie Andrews, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet and Daniel Day-Lewis. Hitchcock and Lean are among the most critically acclaimed filmmakers. Hitchcock’s first thriller, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1926), helped shape the thriller genre in film, while his 1929 film, Blackmail, is often regarded as the first British sound feature film.

Major film studios in England include Pinewood, Elstree and Shepperton. Some of the most commercially successful films of all time have been produced in England, including two of the highest-grossing film franchises (Harry Potter and James Bond). Ealing Studios in London has a claim to being the oldest continuously working film studio in the world. Famous for recording many motion picture film scores, the London Symphony Orchestra first performed film music in 1935. The Hammer Horror films starring Christopher Lee saw the production of the first gory horror films showing blood and guts in colour.

The BFI Top 100 British films includes Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979), a film regularly voted the funniest of all time by the UK public. English producers are also active in international co-productions and English actors, directors and crew feature regularly in American films. The UK film council ranked David Yates, Christopher Nolan, Mike Newell, Ridley Scott and Paul Greengrass the five most commercially successful English directors since 2001. Other contemporary English directors include Sam Mendes, Guy Ritchie and Richard Curtis. Current actors include Tom Hardy, Daniel Craig, Benedict Cumberbatch and Emma Watson. Acclaimed for his motion capture work, Andy Serkis opened The Imaginarium Studios in London in 2011. The visual effects company Framestore in London has produced some of the most critically acclaimed special effects in modern film. Many successful Hollywood films have been based on English people, stories or events. The ‘English Cycle’ of Disney animated films include Alice in Wonderland, The Jungle Book and Winnie the Pooh.

Ridley Scott was among a group of English filmmakers, including Tony Scott, Alan Parker, Hugh Hudson and Adrian Lyne, who emerged from making 1970s UK television commercials.

Museums, Libraries, and Galleries

English Heritage is a governmental body with a broad remit of managing the historic sites, artefacts and environments of England. It is currently sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The charity National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty holds a contrasting role. 17 of the 25 United Kingdom UNESCO World Heritage Sites fall within England. Some of the best-known of these are: Hadrian’s Wall, Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites, Tower of London, Jurassic Coast, Saltaire, Ironbridge Gorge, Studley Royal Park and various others.

There are many museums in England, but perhaps the most notable is London’s British Museum. Its collection of more than seven million objects is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world, sourced from every continent, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginning to the present. The British Library in London is the national library and is one of the world’s largest research libraries, holding over 150 million items in all known languages and formats; including around 25 million books. The most senior art gallery is the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, which houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. The Tate galleries house the national collections of British and international modern art; they also host the famously controversial Turner Prize.

The Natural History Museum in London


England has a strong sporting heritage, and during the 19th century codified many sports that are now played around the world. Sports originating in England include association football, cricket, rugby union, rugby league, tennis, boxing, badminton, squash, rounders, hockey, snooker, billiards, darts, table tennis, bowls, netball, thoroughbred horseracing, greyhound racing and fox hunting. It has helped the development of golf, sailing and Formula One.

Football is the most popular of these sports. The England national football team, whose home venue is Wembley Stadium, played Scotland in the first ever international football match in 1872. Referred to as the “home of football” by FIFA, England hosted the 1966 FIFA World Cup, and won the tournament by defeating West Germany 4–2 in the final, with Geoff Hurst scoring a hat-trick. With a British television audience peak of 32.30 million viewers, the final is the most watched television event ever in the UK.

Queen Elizabeth II presenting the World Cup trophy to 1966 World Cup winning England captain Bobby Moore

At club level, England is recognised by FIFA as the birthplace of club football, due to Sheffield F.C. founded in 1857 being the world’s oldest club. The Football Association is the oldest governing body in the sport, with the rules of football first drafted in 1863 by Ebenezer Cobb Morley. The FA Cup and The Football League were the first cup and league competitions respectively. In the modern day, the Premier League is the world’s most-watched football league, most lucrative, and amongst the elite.

As is the case throughout the UK, football in England is notable for the rivalries between clubs and the passion of the supporters, which includes a tradition of football chants. The European Cup (now UEFA Champions League) has been won by several English clubs. The most successful English football team in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League is Liverpool F.C. who have won the competition on six occasions. Other English success has come from Manchester United F.C., winning the competition on 3 occasions; Nottingham Forest F.C. on 2 occasions, Aston Villa F.C. and Chelsea F.C. have both won the trophy once.

Cricket is generally thought to have been developed in the early medieval period among the farming and metalworking communities of the Weald. The England cricket team is a composite England and Wales, team. One of the game’s top rivalries is The Ashes series between England and Australia, contested since 1882. The climax of the 2005 Ashes was viewed by 7.4 million as it was available on terrestrial television. England has hosted five Cricket World Cups (1975, 1979, 1983, 1999 and 2019), winning the 2019 edition in a final regarded as one of the greatest one day internationals ever played.They hosted the ICC World Twenty20 in 2009, winning this format in 2010 beating rivals Australia in the final. In the domestic competition, the County Championship, Yorkshire are by far the most successful club having won the competition 32 times outright and sharing it on 1 other occasion. Lord’s Cricket Ground situated in London is sometimes referred to as the “Mecca of Cricket”.

William Penny Brookes was prominent in organising the format for the modern Olympic Games. In 1994, then President of the IOC, Juan Antonio Samaranch, laid a wreath on Brooke’s grave, and said, “I came to pay homage and tribute to Dr Brookes, who really was the founder of the modern Olympic Games”. London has hosted the Summer Olympic Games three times, in 1908, 1948, and 2012. England competes in the Commonwealth Games, held every four years. Sport England is the governing body responsible for distributing funds and providing strategic guidance for sporting activity in England.

England playing Australia at Lord’s Cricket Ground in the 2009 Ashes series. After winning the 2019 Cricket World Cup, England became the first country to win the World Cups in football, rugby union and cricket.

Rugby union originated in Rugby School, Warwickshire in the early 19th century. The England rugby union team won the 2003 Rugby World Cup, with Jonny Wilkinson scoring the winning drop goal in the last minute of extra time against Australia. England was one of the host nations of the competition in the 1991 Rugby World Cup and also hosted the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The top level of club participation is the English Premiership. Leicester Tigers, London Wasps, Bath Rugby and Northampton Saints have had success in the Europe-wide Heineken Cup.

Rugby league was born in Huddersfield in 1895. Since 2008, the England national rugby league team has been a full test nation in lieu of the Great Britain national rugby league team, which won three World Cups but is now retired. Club sides play in Super League, the present-day embodiment of the Rugby Football League Championship. Rugby League is most popular among towns in the northern English counties of Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria. The vast majority of English clubs in Super League are based in the north of England. Some of the most successful clubs include Wigan Warriors, Hull F.C. St. Helens, Leeds Rhinos and Huddersfield Giants; the former three have all won the World Club Challenge previously.

The England rugby union team during their victory parade after winning the 2003 Rugby World Cup

Golf has been prominent in England; due in part to its cultural and geographical ties to Scotland, the home of Golf. There are both professional tours for men and women, in two main tours: the PGA and the European Tour. England has produced grand slam winners: Cyril Walker, Tony Jacklin, Nick Faldo, and Justin Rose in the men’s and Laura Davies, Alison Nicholas, and Karen Stupples in the women’s. The world’s oldest golf tournament, and golf’s first major is The Open Championship, played both in England and Scotland. The biennial golf competition, the Ryder Cup, is named after English businessman Samuel Ryder who sponsored the event and donated the trophy. Nick Faldo is the most successful Ryder Cup player ever, having won the most points (25) of any player on either the European or US teams.

Tennis was created in Birmingham in the late 19th century, and the Wimbledon Championships is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and widely considered the most prestigious. Wimbledon is a tournament that has a major place in the British cultural calendar. Fred Perry was the last Englishman to win Wimbledon in 1936. He was the first player to win all four Grand Slam singles titles and helped lead the Great Britain team to four Davis Cup wins. English women who have won Wimbledon include: Ann Haydon Jones in 1969 and Virginia Wade in 1977.

In boxing, under the Marquess of Queensberry Rules, England has produced many world champions across the weight divisions internationally recognised by the governing bodies. World champions include Bob Fitzsimmons, Ted “Kid” Lewis, Randolph Turpin, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, Frank Bruno, Lennox Lewis, Ricky Hatton, Naseem Hamed, Amir Khan, Carl Froch, and David Haye. In women’s boxing, Nicola Adams became the world’s first woman to win an Olympic boxing Gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Originating in 17th and 18th-century England, the thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. The National Hunt horse race the Grand National, is held annually at Aintree Racecourse in early April. It is the most watched horse race in the UK, attracting casual observers, and three-time winner Red Rum is the most successful racehorse in the event’s history. Red Rum is also the best-known racehorse in the country.

Centre Court at Wimbledon. First played in 1877, the Wimbledon Championships is the oldest tennis tournament in the world.

The 1950 British Grand Prix at Silverstone was the first race in the newly created Formula One World Championship. Since then, England has produced some of the greatest drivers in the sport, including; John Surtees, Stirling Moss, Graham Hill (only driver to have won the Triple Crown), Nigel Mansell (only man to hold F1 and IndyCar titles at the same time), Damon Hill, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. It has manufactured some of the most technically advanced racing cars, and many of today’s racing companies choose England as their base of operations for its engineering knowledge and organisation. McLaren Automotive, Williams F1, Team Lotus, Honda, Brawn GP, Benetton, Renault, and Red Bull Racing are all, or have been, located in the south of England. England also has a rich heritage in Grand Prix motorcycle racing, the premier championship of motorcycle road racing, and produced several World Champions across all the various class of motorcycle: Mike Hailwood, John Surtees, Phil Read, Geoff Duke, and Barry Sheene.

Former Formula One world champion Nigel Mansell driving at Silverstone in 1990. The circuit hosted the first ever Formula One race in 1950.

Darts is a widely popular sport in England; a professional competitive sport, darts is a traditional pub game. The sport is governed by the World Darts Federation, one of its member organisations is the BDO, which annually stages the Lakeside World Professional Championship, the other being the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC), which runs its own world championship at Alexandra Palace in London. Phil Taylor is widely regarded as the best darts player of all time, having won 187 professional tournaments, and a record 16 World Championships.Trina Gulliver is the ten-time Women’s World Professional Darts Champion of the British Darts Organisation. Another popular sport commonly associated with pub games is Snooker, and England has produced several world champions, including Steve Davis and Ronnie O’Sullivan.

The English are keen sailors and enjoy competitive sailing; founding and winning some of the world’s most famous and respected international competitive tournaments across the various race formats, including the match race, a regatta, and the America’s Cup. England has produced some of the world’s greatest sailors, including Francis Chichester, Herbert Hasler, John Ridgway, Robin Knox-Johnston, Ellen MacArthur, Mike Golding, Paul Goodison, and the most successful Olympic sailor ever Ben Ainslie.

Mo Farah is the most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games history, winning the 5000 m and 10,000 m events at two Olympic Games.

National Symbols

The St George’s Cross has been the national flag of England since the 13th century. Originally the flag was used by the maritime Republic of Genoa. The English monarch paid a tribute to the Doge of Genoa from 1190 onwards so that English ships could fly the flag as a means of protection when entering the Mediterranean. A red cross was a symbol for many Crusaders in the 12th and 13th centuries. It became associated with Saint George, along with countries and cities, which claimed him as their patron saint and used his cross as a banner. Since 1606 the St George’s Cross has formed part of the design of the Union Flag, a Pan-British flag designed by King James I. During the English Civil War and Interregnum, the New Model Army’s standards and the Commonwealth’s Great Seal both incorporated the flag of Saint George.

The Royal Arms of England

There are numerous other symbols and symbolic artefacts, both official and unofficial, including the Tudor rose, the nation’s floral emblem, and the Three Lions featured on the Royal Arms of England. The Tudor rose was adopted as a national emblem of England around the time of the Wars of the Roses as a symbol of peace. It is a syncretic symbol in that it merged the white rose of the Yorkists and the red rose of the Lancastrians—cadet branches of the Plantagenets who went to war over control of the nation. It is also known as the Rose of England. The oak tree is a symbol of England, representing strength and endurance. The Royal Oak symbol and Oak Apple Day commemorate the escape of King Charles II from the grasp of the parliamentarians after his father’s execution: he hid in an oak tree to avoid detection before safely reaching exile.

The Royal Arms of England, a national coat of arms featuring three lions, originated with its adoption by Richard the Lionheart in 1198. It is blazoned as gules, three lions passant guardant or and it provides one of the most prominent symbols of England; it is similar to the traditional arms of Normandy. England does not have an official designated national anthem, as the United Kingdom as a whole has God Save the Queen. However, the following are often considered unofficial English national anthems: Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory (used for England during the 2002 Commonwealth Games), and I Vow to Thee, My Country. England’s National Day is 23 April which is St George’s Day: St George is the patron saint of England.

The Tudor rose, England’s national floral emblem


Queen . Biography

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Queen adalah grup band rock dari Britania Raya yang dibentuk tahun 1970 di London. Semula terdiri dari

  • Freddie Mercury (vokal, piano),
  • Brian May (gitar, vokal).

Karya awal Queen dipengaruhi oleh rock progresif, hard rock dan heavy metal, namun perlahan-lahan berubah menuju musik yang lebih konvensional dan bersahabat dengan pendengar radio, mencakup gaya musik yang lebih beragam ke dalam musik mereka.


Queen sempat Vakum pada 1990-an dikarenakan Kematian Freddie Mercury pada 24 November 1991 akibat Penyakit AIDS, Meskipun begitu Queen sempat merilis album Studio berjudul Made In Heaven pada 1995.

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Awal Berdiri (1968 – 1974)

Berawal dari dua mahasiswa yang ingin membuat band, Tim Staffell (vokalis dan basis) dan Brian May (gitaris). Mereka mengaudisi mahasiswa yang akan menjadi drumer dan mendapatkan Roger Taylor dan membentuk band Smile, namun band tersebut hanya bertahan 2 tahun. Tim Staffell keluar dan membentuk band baru bernama Humpy Bong. Freddie Mercury masuk dan kemudian menguubah nama “Smile” menjadi “Queen”.[3] Queen mengaudisi pemain bass dan mendapatkan John Deacon (1971).

Pada tahun 1973, Queen merilis album “Queen” dengan pengaruh dari Led Zeppelin dan The Who. Di album ini, Queen merilis dua single, yaitu Keep Yourself Alive dan Liar. Tahun berikutnya pun Queen merilis album Queen II dengan single Seven Seas of Rhye. Roger Taylor tidak menyukai nama album ini karena tidak kreatif. Pada kedua album ini, musik Queen menjadi lebih heavy metal dan hard rock, namun ada beberapa lagu yang ballad dan rock opera.

Sukses Pertama kali

Pada 8 September 1974 Queen merilis albumnya yg Ke-3 yaitu Sheer Heart Attack. Saat itu Queen meraih kesuksesan untuk pertama kalinya dan terkenal di tingkat Internasional lewat singel “Killer Queen”. Dalam lagu ini terdapat lagu pertama ciptaan John Deacon, Misfire.

Pada 1975 Queen meminta bantuan pada John Reid (Manager Elton John) untuk mengatur ekonomi band yg kacau akibat perselisihan band dengan Trident Studio. Queen kemudian merilis album keempat yaitu A Night at the Opera. Pada saat itu A Night at the Opera adalah album termahal yang pernah dibuat.[4] Pada tahun 2004, rakyat Inggris memilih album ini sebagai album terbaik ke -13 sepanjang masa.[5]

Anggota Band

Anggota saat ini

  • Brian May – guitar, keyboards, vocals (1970–sekarang)
  • Roger Taylor – drums, guitar, keyboards, vocals (1970–sekarang)

Mantan Anggota

  • Freddie Mercury – lead vocals, keyboards (1970–1991; kematiannya)
  • John Deacon – bass, guitar, keyboards (1971–1997)

Queen + vokalis jangka panjang

  • Paul Rodgers (2004–2009)
  • Adam Lambert (2011–sekarang)

Vokalis tamu lainnya

  • David Bowie (1981, 1992)
  • Annie Lennox (1992)
  • Lisa Stansfield (1992–1993)
  • George Michael (1992–1993)
  • Elton John (1992, 1997)
  • Zucchero (1992, 1998)
  • Robbie Williams (2001)
  • Kris Allen (2009)
  • Jessie J (2012)
  • Nate Ruess (2013)
  • Lady Gaga (2014) [6]

Anggota tur

  • Morgan Fisher – kibor, piano (1982)
  • Fred Mandel – kibor, piano (1982)
  • Spike Edney – kibor, piano, gitar ritme, vokal latar (1984–sekarang)
  • David Grosman – gitar bass (1998–2004)
  • Jamie Moses – gitar ritme, vokal latar (1998–2009)
  • Danny Miranda – gitar bass, vokal latar (2005–2009)
  • Rufus Tiger Taylor – perkusi, drum,vokal latar (2011–sekarang)
  • Neil Fairclough – gitar bass, vokal latar (2011–sekarang)

Anggota awal

  • Mike Grose – bass (1970)
  • Barry Mitchell – bass (1970–1971)
  • Doug Ewood Bogie – bass (1971)

Garis Waktu




  • Queen (1973)
  • Queen II (1974)
  • Sheer Heart Attack (1974)
  • A Night at the Opera (1975)
  • A Day at the Races (1976)
  • News Of The World (1977)
  • Jazz (1978)
  • Live Killers (1979)
  • The Game (1980)
  • Flash Gordon (1980)
  • Hot Space (1982)
  • The Works (1984)
  • A Kind Of Magic (1986)
  • Live Magic (1986)
  • The Miracle (1989)
  • Innuendo (1991)
  • Live at Wembley ’86 (1992)
  • Made In Heaven (1995)
  • Queen on fire – Live at the Bowl (2004)
  • Cosmos Rocks (2008)


  • Greatest Hits [Elektra] (1981)
  • The Complete Works (1985) – all albums from 1973-1985 plus bonus material
  • Queen at the Beeb (1989)
  • Greatest Hits, Vol. II (1991)
  • Classic Queen (1992)
  • Greatest Hits [Hollywood] (1992)
  • Greatest Hits [Parlophone] (1994
  • At the BBC (1995)
  • Greatest Hits, Vols. 1-2 (1995)
  • Queen Rocks (1997)
  • Dragon Attack – A Tribute to Queen (1997) – tribute album
  • The Crown Jewels (1998)
  • Greatest Hits III (1999)
  • Platinum Collection, Vols. 1-3 (2000)
  • Greatest Hits: We Will Rock You Edition (2004)
  • Killer Queen: A Tribute to Queen (2005) – tribute album
  • Queen Forever (2014)


  1. ^ “Heritage award to mark Queen’s first gig”. Bbc.co.uk. 5 March 2013.
  2. ^ “QOL F.A.Q.” Queen Online. Are Queen still active as a band? Very much so.
  3. ^ Hodkinson, Mark (2009). “Queen: The Early Years”. p.118
  4. ^ “A Night at the Opera”. Acoustic Sounds.
  5. ^ “100 Greatest Albums”. Channel 4. Diarsipkan dari versi asli tanggal 29 April 2009. Diakses tanggal 21 November 2006.
  6. ^ Angermiller, Michele Amabile (27 August 2014). “Watch Lady Gaga Join Adam Lambert Onstage in Homage to the Queen “Mothership””. The Hollywood Reporter. Diakses tanggal 26 September 2014.


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Related Post: London

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Inggris (bahasa Inggris: England) adalah sebuah negara yang merupakan bagian dari Britania Raya. Negara ini berbatasan dengan Skotlandia di sebelah utara dan Wales di sebelah barat, Laut Irlandia di barat laut, Laut Keltik di barat daya, serta Laut Utara di sebelah timur dan Selat Inggris, yang memisahkannya dari benua Eropa, di sebelah selatan. Sebagian besar wilayah Inggris terdiri dari bagian tengah dan selatan Pulau Britania Raya di Atlantik Utara. Inggris juga mencakup lebih dari 100 pulau-pulau kecil seperti Isles of Scilly dan Isle of Wight.

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Wilayah yang saat ini bernama Inggris pertama kali dihuni oleh manusia modern selama periode Paleolitikum, namun nama England ini berasal dari kata Angles, yang merupakan salah satu suku Jermanik yang menetap di sana pada abad ke-5 dan ke-6. Inggris menjadi negara yang bersatu pada tahun 927 M, dan sejak Zaman Penjelajahan yang dimulai pada abad ke-15, Inggris telah memberikan pengaruh budaya dan hukum yang signifikan ke berbagai belahan dunia. Bahasa Inggris, Gereja Anglikan, dan hukum Inggris-yang menjadi dasar sistem hukum umum bagi negara lain di seluruh dunia-berasal dan dikembangkan di Inggris, dan sistem parlementer negara ini juga telah banyak diadopsi oleh negara-negara lain. Revolusi Industri yang dimulai pada abad ke-18 menjadikan Inggris sebagai negara industri pertama di dunia. Royal Society Inggris juga berperan penting dalam meletakkan dasar-dasar sains eksperimental modern terhadap ilmu pengetahuan dan teknologi.

Topografi Inggris sebagian besar terdiri dari perbukitan dan dataran rendah, terutama di Inggris bagian tengah dan selatan. Dataran tinggi terdapat di bagian utara (misalnya, pegunungan Danau District, Pennines, serta Yorkshire Dales) dan di barat daya (misalnya Dartmoor dan Cotswolds). Ibu kota Inggris dahulunya adalah Winchester, kemudian digantikan oleh London pada tahun 1066. Saat ini London merupakan daerah metropolitan terbesar di Britania Raya dan zona perkotaan terbesar di Uni Eropa berdasarkan luas wilayah. Penduduk Inggris berjumlah sekitar 53 juta jiwa, atau sekitar 84% dari total populasi Britania Raya, sebagian besarnya terkonsentrasi di London, Inggris Tenggara, dan kawasan-kawasan konurbasi di Midlands, Barat Laut, Timur Laut dan Yorkshire, masing-masing wilayah ini dikembangkan sebagai daerah industri utama selama abad ke-19. Sedangkan kawasan padang rumput terdapat di luar wilayah kota-kota besar.

Kerajaan Inggris (setelah tahun 1284 juga termasuk Wales) adalah sebuah negara berdaulat sampai tanggal 1 Mei 1707. Kemudian Undang-Undang Kesatuan yang menyatakan bahwa Kerajaan Inggris dan Kerajaan Skotlandia disatukan secara politik untuk membentuk Kerajaan Britania Raya disahkan pada tahun 1707. Pada tahun 1801, Britania Raya bersatu dengan Kerajaan Irlandia dengan disahkannya Undang-Undang Kesatuan 1800 dan kemudian namanya berganti menjadi Kerajaan Bersatu Britania Raya dan Irlandia. Pada tahun 1922, Negara Bebas Irlandia berdiri sebagai suatu domini yang terpisah, namun enam county di Irlandia Utara tetap memilih untuk menjadi bagian dari Britania Raya, yang kemudian namanya diubah lagi menjadi Kerajaan Bersatu Britania Raya dan Irlandia Utara, yaitu konteks negara Britania Raya yang dikenal hingga sekarang ini.

Daftar isi
1 Etimologi
2 Sejarah
3 Pemerintahan
4 Geografi
5 Ekonomi
6 Ilmu pengetahuan dan teknologi
7 Transportasi
8 Kesehatan
9 Demografi
10 Pendidikan
11 Kebudayaan
12 Olahraga
13 Simbol nasional


Nama “Inggris” (England) berasal dari kata Englaland dalam bahasa Inggris kuno, yang berarti “tanah Angles”. Angles ini adalah salah satu dari suku-suku Jermanik yang menetap di Britania Raya selama Abad Pertengahan Awal. Suku Angles ini berasal dari semenanjung Angeln di Teluk Kiel, wilayah Laut Baltik. Menurut Oxford English Dictionary, penggunaan pertama yang diketahui dari kata “England” untuk merujuk pada bagian selatan dari Pulau Britania Raya terjadi pada tahun 897, dan ejaan modern untuk kata ini pertama kali digunakan pada tahun 1538.

Penyebutan awal untuk kata England secara tertulis terdapat dalam karya Tacitus yang berjudul Germania pada abad ke-1, yang menggunakan kata Anglii. Etimologi dari nama itu sendiri masih diperdebatkan oleh para sejarawan, dikatakan bahwa nama England ini sebenarnya berasal dari kata Angeln. Sedangkan istilah yang digunakan untuk menyebut nama Saxons, yang digunakan untuk menyebut keseluruhan negara dan penduduknya tidak diketahui asalnya, namun diperkirakan bahwa kata ini digunakan karena kebiasaan memanggil orang-orang Jermanik yang menetap di Pulau Britania Raya dengan sebutan Angli Saxones atau English Saxons. Perlu dicatat juga bahwa dalam bahasa Gaelik Skotlandia (bahasa lain yang berkembang di Pulau Britania), sebutan untuk Saxon ini adalah “Sasunn”, diperkirakan bahwa kata ini diberikan oleh suku Saxon.

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Miskonsepsi antara England (Inggris) dengan United Kingdom (Britania Raya).

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Nama alternatif untuk Inggris adalah Albion. Kata ini awalnya digunakan untuk merujuk ke seluruh Pulau Britania Raya. Catatan paling awal dari nama ini muncul dalam karya Aristoteles, Corpus Aristotelicum pada abad ke-4 SM. Disebutkan bahwa: “Di luar pilar-pilar Herkules terdapat lautan yang mengalir di sepanjang bumi dan di dalamnya ada dua pulau sangat besar yang disebut Britannia; yang terdiri dari Albion dan Ierne”. Kata Albion (Ἀλβίων) atau Pulau Albionum kemungkinan memiliki dua asal-usul; dari kata Latin albus, yang berarti putih, untuk merujuk ke tebing putih Dover, yang merupakan satu-satunya bagian dari Pulau Britania yang terlihat dari daratan Eropa, atau bisa juga kata ini berasal dari frasa di dalam manuskrip Massaliote Periplus, yaitu “Pulau Albiones”. Kata Albion saat ini digunakan untuk menyebut Inggris dalam kapasitas yang lebih puitis. Nama roman lain untuk Inggris adalah Loegria, yang terkait dengan sebutan dalam bahasa Wales untuk Inggris (Lloegr), dan penggunaannya ini dipopulerkan dalam legenda Raja Arthur.

Penggunaan istilah England (Inggris) terkadang dikaitkan dengan entitas lain semisal Great Britain atau United Kingdom (Britania Raya), walaupun entitas-entitas tersebut memiliki perbedaan mendasar.


Zaman prasejarah


Stonehenge, sebuah monumen Neolitikum.

Bukti awal yang berkenaan dengan keberadaan manusia di wilayah yang saat ini dikenal sebagai Inggris diperkirakan dihuni oleh Homo antecessor sekitar 780.000 tahun yang lalu. Kerangka proto-manusia tertua ditemukan di Inggris dan diduga berasal dari 500.000 tahun yang lalu. Manusia modern diketahui telah menghuni wilayah Inggris pada periode Paleolitikum Atas, meskipun pemukiman permanen baru terbentuk dalam 6000 tahun terakhir. Setelah akhir periode zaman es, hanya mamalia besar seperti mammoth, bison dan badak purba yang menghuni wilayah ini. Kira-kira 11.000 tahun yang lalu, ketika lapisan es mulai surut, manusia kembali menghuni Inggris. Penelitian genetik menunjukkan bahwa mereka datang dari bagian utara Semenanjung Iberia. Saat permukaan laut lebih rendah dari sekarang ini, Pulau Britania bersatu dengan Pulau Irlandia dan Eurasia. Namun saat permukaan laut naik, Britania terpisah dari Irlandia 10.000 tahun yang lalu, dan selanjutnya juga terpisah dari Eurasia dua milenium kemudian.

Kebudayaan Beaker memasuki Britania kira-kira tahun 2500 SM. Kebudayaan ini memperkenalkan perkakas makanan dan minuman yang terbuat dari tanah liat dan tembaga. Periode ini juga merupakan periode dibangunnya monumen Neolitikum seperti Stonehenge dan Avebury. Dengan teknik pemanasan timah dan tembaga yang ketersediaannya melimpah di wilayah itu, orang-orang Beaker ini mulai membuat perunggu, dan kemudian memproduksi besi dari bijih besi. Berkembangnya teknik peleburan besi menyebabkan pembuatan mesin bajak, dan pada akhirnya menghasilkan pertanian yang lebih maju serta produksi senjata yang lebih efektif.

Menurut John T. Koch dan sejarawan lainnya, Inggris pada periode Zaman Perunggu Akhir adalah bagian dari kebudayaan jaringan perdagangan maritim yang disebut sebagai Zaman Perunggu Atlantik yang mencakup seluruh Kepulauan Britania dan sebagian besar wilayah-wilayah yang saat ini dikenal dengan nama Perancis dan Iberia. Bahasa Keltik juga berkembang di wilayah-wilayah tersebut.

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Boudica memimpin pemberontakan melawan Kekaisaran Romawi.

Selama periode Zaman Besi, budaya Keltik, yang berasal dari budaya Hallstatt dan budaya La Tène, tiba dari Eropa Tengah. Britonik adalah bahasa lisan yang digunakan pada masa itu. Masyarakat menetap secara kesukuan. Menurut Ptolemy dalam manuskrip Geographia, terdapat kurang lebih 20 suku berbeda yang menetap di wilayah tersebut. Namun, suku-suku yang terbentuk sebelum itu tidak diketahui karena orang-orang Britonik ini buta huruf. Seperti wilayah lainnya yang berada di batas Kekaisaran, Britania telah lama menjalin hubungan perdagangan dengan bangsa Romawi. Julius Caesar dari Republik Romawi berusaha untuk menyerang Pulau Britania dua kali pada tahun 55 SM, namun sebagian besar tidak berhasil. Pada akhirnya Caesar berhasil mendirikan kerajaan klien di Trinovantes.

Romawi menginvasi Britania pada tahun 43 M pada masa pemerintahan Kaisar Claudius, dan wilayah itu selanjutnya dimasukkan ke dalam Kekaisaran Romawi dengan nama Provinsi Britania. Suku-suku lokal yang berusaha melawan di antaranya adalah suku Catuvellauni yang dipimpin oleh Caratacus. Kemudian, pemberontakan yang dipimpin oleh Boudica, Ratu Iceni, yang berakhir dengan aksi bunuh diri Boudica menyusul kekalahannya dalam Pertempuran Watling Street. Selama periode ini, terjadi dominasi dari kebudayaan Yunani-Romawi dengan diperkenalkannya hukum Romawi, arsitektur Romawi, sistem pembuangan, alat-alat pertanian, dan sutra. Pada abad ke-3, Kaisar Septimius Severus meninggal dunia di Eboracum, dan Konstantinus kemudian memproklamasikan kekaisarannya atas wilayah Britania.

Ada perdebatan mengenai kapan agama Kristen pertama kali diperkenalkan, diperkirakan waktunya selambat-lambatnya pada abad ke-4, namun ada juga pendapat yang menyatakan bahwa agama Kristen telah masuk ke Britania lebih awal. Menurut St. Beda, misionaris dikirim dari Roma oleh Paus Eleutherius atas permintaan raja Lucius dari Britania pada tahun 180. Pada tahun 410, kekuasaan Romawi di Britania mulai menurun, tentara Romawi yang ada di Britania ditarik kembali untuk mempertahankan perbatasan di benua Eropa dan ikut serta dalam perang sipil.

Zaman Pertengahan


Helm seremonial Anglo Saxon dari abad ke-7 yang ditemukan di Sutton Hoo.

Penarikan tentara Romawi membuat Inggris terbuka atas serangan dari suku-suku pagan dan tentara pelaut yang berasal dari barat daya Eropa, terutama suku Angles, Saxon, dan Jute, yang sudah lama menduduki pesisir timur Britania dan selanjutnya mulai membangun pemukiman. Pengaruh mereka tetap bertahan selama berdekade-dekade lamanya hingga suku Briton berhasil memenangkan Pertempuran Gunung Badon. Setelah itu, Britania kembali jatuh ke tangan Briton pada akhir abad ke-6. Agama Kristen turut menghilang seiring jatuhnya Romawi, namun diperkenalkan kembali oleh para misionaris dari Romawi yang dipimpin oleh Agustinus sejak tahun 597 dan seterusnya, serta oleh misionaris Irlandia bernama Aidan pada periode yang sama.

Selama periode ini, Britania diperintah oleh para pendatang yang kemudian juga terpecah menjadi beberapa suku, namun pada abad ke-7, suku-suku ini bergabung menjadi beberapa kerajaan seperti Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex, Anglia Timur, Essex, Kent, dan Sussex. Dalam beberapa abad kemudian, proses konsolidasi politik terus berlanjut. Pada abad ke-7, terjadi perebutan hegemoni antara Northumbria dan Mercia, perselisihan ini diakhiri dengan kemenangan Mercia pada abad ke-8. Pada abad ke-9, kejayaan Mercia digantikan oleh kebangkitan Wessex. Pada abad itu juga terjadi peningkatan serangan-serangan yang dilancarkan oleh Denmark, yang kemudian berhasil menaklukkan Inggris bagian utara dan timur serta menggulingkan pemerintahan Northumbria, Mercia, dan Anglia Timur. Wessex, di bawah pemerintahan Alfred yang Agung, tersisa sebagai satu-satunya kerajaan Inggris yang masih berdiri. Setelah Alfred wafat, Wessex terus berkembang dan diperluas lagi dengan menaklukkan Kerajaan Danelaw. Perkembangan Wessex ini membuat kesempatan untuk menyatukan Inggris secara politik semakin besar. Penyatuan ini pada akhirnya berhasil dilakukan oleh Athelstan pada tahun 953 setelah berdamai dengan Eadred. Gelombang serangan baru dari bangsa Skandinavia pada akhir abad ke-10 berakhir dengan ditaklukkannya kerajaan bersatu ini oleh Sweyn Forkbeard pada tahun 1013 dan kemudian oleh putranya, Knut, pada tahun 1016. Penaklukan ini membuat Inggris memasuki periode singkat sebagai bagian dari imperium Laut Utara yang juga terdiri dari Denmark dan Norwegia. Namun, pada tahun 1042, Edward sang Pengaku berhasil merebut kembali tanah Inggris.


Raja Henry V pada Pertempuran Agincourt, yang berakhir dengan kemenangan Inggris atas Perancis dalam Perang Seratus Tahun.

Setelah pemerintahan Edward, pasukan Normandia, di bawah pimpinan William sang Penakluk, berhasil menaklukkan Inggris pada tahun 1066. Bangsa Normandia ini sendiri berasal dari Skandinavia dan telah menetap di Norman (Perancis Utara) pada akhir abad ke-9 dan awal abad ke-10. Penaklukan ini menyebabkan jatuhnya periode budaya berbahasa Inggris dan digantikan oleh aristokrasi baru yang berbahasa Perancis. Perubahan ini pada akhirnya memiliki efek yang mendalam dan permanen terhadap perkembangan bahasa Inggris kedepannya.

Wangsa Plantagenet dari Anjou mewarisi takhta Inggris, dengan Henry II yang menjabat sebagai Raja Inggris. Pada periode ini, Inggris berhasil memperluas kerajaannya hingga ke Perancis dan juga mewarisi takhta dari Kerajaan Perancis, termasuk Aquitaine. Inggris memerintah Perancis selama tiga abad lamanya, di bawah pemerintahan raja-raja seperti: Richard I, Edward I, Edward III dan Henry V. Pada periode ini juga terjadi perubahan besar dalam bidang perdagangan dan undang-undang, termasuk pengesahan Magna Carta, yang merupakan piagam hukum Inggris yang digunakan untuk membatasi kekuasaan raja berdasarkan hukum dan juga melindungi hak-hak penduduk merdeka. Monastisisme Katolik juga berkembang pada periode ini, yang menghasilkan filsuf-filsuf serta dibangunnya universitas-universitas seperti Universitas Oxford dan Cambridge oleh patronase kerajaan. Kerajaan Wales diambil alih oleh Plantagenet pada abad ke-13, sedangkan Ketuanan Irlandia dihadiahkan kepada monarki Inggris oleh Paus.

Selama abad ke-14, Plantagenet dan Wangsa Valois dari Perancis sama-sama mengklaim sebagai pewaris sah atas Wangsa Kapet, yang menyebabkan kedua negara tersebut terlibat konflik yang berkelanjutan dalam Perang Seratus Tahun. Musibah Kematian Hitam yang melanda Inggris pada tahun 1348 menewaskan kurang lebih setengah dari total populasi Inggris pada saat itu. Dari tahun 1453-1487, perang saudara antara dua wangsa keluarga kerajaan terjadi (Wangsa York dan Wangsa Lancaster). Perang ini dikenal dengan sebutan Perang Mawar, yang berakhir dengan kekalahan York dan harus merelakan takhta jatuh ke tangan Wangsa Tudor dari Wales, yaitu penerus Lancaster. Tudor, yang dipimpin oleh Henry Tudor, menginvasi Inggris bersama tentara-tentara Breton dan Wales. Tentara ini berhasil memperoleh kemenangan dalam Pertempuran Bosworth dengan tewasnya raja York terakhir; Richard III.

Zaman Modern Awal


Raja Henry VIII menjadi Kepala Tertinggi Gereja Inggris.

Selama periode Tudor, Renaisans mencapai Inggris melalui budaya Italia, yang memperkenalkan kembali seni serta debat pendidikan dan ilmiah dari zaman klasik. Selama periode ini, Inggris mulai mengembangkan keterampilan angkatan laut, dan penjelajahan lautan untuk membangun koloni.

Henry VIII memisahkan diri dari persekutuan dengan Gereja Katolik, ia kemudian mengesahkan Undang-Undang Supremasi pada tahun 1534 yang menyatakan bahwa raja adalah kepala dari Gereja Inggris. Berbeda dengan sebagian besar Protestanisme Eropa lainnya, akar dari pemisahan Inggris dari Gereja Katolik ini lebih ke arah politis ketimbang alasan teologis. Henry juga secara hukum menggabungkan negeri leluhurnya, Wales, menjadi bagian dari Kerajaan Inggris dengan mengesahkan Undang-Undang Wales 1535-1542. Ada beberapa konflik agama internal yang terjadi selama masa pemerintahan putri Henry, Mary I dan Elizabeth I. Mary menghantarkan Inggris kembali ke pelukan Katolik, sedangkan Elizabeth memisahkannya sekali lagi, lalu menegaskan supremasi Gereja Inggris lebih kuat lagi dengan membentuk Anglikan.

Armada Inggris di bawah pimpinan Francis Drake berhasil mengalahkan armada Spanyol pada periode Elizabethan. Setelah persaingan panjang dengan Spanyol, koloni pertama Inggris di Amerika akhirnya berhasil didirikan pada 1585 oleh penjelajah Walter Raleigh di Virginia dan menamakannya Roanoke. Pemanfaatan koloni Roanoke ini gagal dan dikenal sebagai “koloni yang hilang”, koloni ini kemudian ditinggalkan karena kurangnya persediaan makanan. Bersama East India Company, Inggris juga bersaing dengan Belanda dan Perancis di Timur. Struktur politik Inggris berubah pada tahun 1603 saat Wangsa Stuart, dengan rajanya James VI dari Skotlandia, kerajaan yang menjadi musuh lama Kerajaan Inggris, mewarisi takhta Inggris. James kemudian menciptakan persatuan personal antara Kerajaan Inggris dan Kerajaan Skotlandia. James menobatkan dirinya sebagai Raja Britania Raya, meskipun hal tersebut tidak diakui oleh hukum Inggris. Di bawah pemerintahannya, Alkitab Versi Raja James diterbitkan pada tahun 1611. Alkitab ini tidak hanya mengalahkan karya-karya Shakespeare sebagai karya sastra terbesar dalam bahasa Inggris, namun juga menjadi versi standar dari Alkitab yang paling banyak dibaca oleh umat Kristiani selama empat ratus tahun.


Restorasi Inggris pada masa Raja Charles II berhasil memulihkan kembali monarki dan perdamaian setelah Perang Saudara Inggris.

Akibat posisi politik, agama dan sosial yang saling bertentangan, Perang Saudara Inggris terjadi antara para pendukung Parlemen dan pendukung Raja Charles I, yang masing-masingnya dikenal dengan sebutan Roundhead dan Cavalier. Perang ini adalah bagian dari rangkaian perang berkelanjutan yang dikenal sebagai Perang Tiga Kerajaan, yang juga melibatkan Skotlandia dan Irlandia. Pada akhirnya, parlemen berhasil menang, Charles I kemudian dieksekusi dan pemerintahan kerajaan diganti menjadi Persemakmuran Inggris. Pemimpin pasukan Parlemen, Oliver Cromwell, menobatkan dirinya sebagai Lord Protector pada tahun 1653. Setelah kematian Cromwell, putranya, Richard mengundurkan diri dan tidak bersedia menjabat sebagai Lord Protector. Kemudian, Charles II dipanggil kembali untuk menempati jabatan sebagai Raja Inggris pada tahun 1660. Pada masa Charles II, melalui Restorasi Inggris, konstitusi kerajaan dirombak. Konstitusi baru ini menyatakan bahwa Raja dan Parlemen harus memerintah Inggris bersama-sama, meskipun pada kenyataannya parlemen akan memiliki kekuasaan yang lebih nyata. Kebijakan ini disahkan dalam Undang-Undang Deklarasi Hak 1689. Undang-undang ini juga menyatakan bahwa undang-undang hanya bisa dibuat oleh Parlemen dan tidak bisa ditangguhkan oleh Raja, dan Raja tidak diperkenankan memungut pajak atau menambah tentara tanpa persetujuan dari parlemen. Dengan didirikannya Royal Society pada tahun 1660, ilmu pengetahuan di Inggris juga mengalami perkembangan yang pesat.

Kebakaran Besar London yang terjadi pada tahun 1666 menghanguskan sebagian besar kota London, namun dibangun kembali tidak lama sesudahnya. Dalam Parlemen, dua faksi muncul sebagai kekuatan utama, yaitu Tory dan Whig. Tory merupakan pendukung kerajaan (royalis), sedangkan Whig beraliran liberal klasik. Faksi Tory pada awalnya mendukung James II. Namun, bersama Whig, kedua faksi ini kemudian berbalik menggulingkan takhta James dalam Revolusi Agung pada tahun 1688. Setelah jatuhnya takhta James, pangeran Belanda, William III, diundang untuk meneruskan takhta sebagai Raja Inggris. Di Skotlandia, muncul gerakan-gerakan yang menamakan dirinya sebagai Jacobites. Gerakan ini menolak kepemimpinan William dan menginginkan takhta tetap dipegang oleh keturunan dari James II. Setelah diadakan perundingan, Parlemen Inggris dan Parlemen Skotlandia sepakat untuk menggabungkan masing-masing kerajaan dalam sebuah kesatuan politik bernama Kerajaan Britania Raya pada tahun 1707. Untuk menegaskan “persatuan politik” tersebut, lembaga-lembaga seperti hukum dan gereja nasional di masing-masing kerajaan tetap terpisah.

Zaman Kontemporer


Coalbrookdale by Night oleh Philip James de Loutherbourg, 1801. Suasana malam hari di Coalbrookdale pada masa Revolusi Industri.

Di bawah Kerajaan Britania Raya yang baru terbentuk, peranan dari Royal Society yang dikombinasikan dengan sedang berlangsungnya era Pencerahan di Inggris dan Skotlandia menghasilkan inovasi yang berkembang pesat dalam bidang sains dan teknologi. Perkembangan ini selanjutnya membuka jalan bagi terbentuknya Imperium Britania. Sedangkan di dalam negeri, hal tersebut memicu munculnya Revolusi Industri, yaitu suatu periode terjadinya perubahan besar dalam bidang sosial ekonomi dan kebudayaan di Inggris, menghasilkan sistem pertanian, manufaktur, teknik, dan pertambangan yang terindustrialisasi serta memelopori pembangunan jalan-jalan baru dan jaringan kereta api untuk memfasilitasi revolusi ini. Dibukanya Kanal Bridgewater di Inggris Utara pada tahun 1761 menghantarkan Inggris ke era kanal Britania. Pada tahun 1825, lokomotif uap kereta penumpang permanen pertama, Stockton and Darlington Railway, dibuka untuk umum.

Pada masa Revolusi Industri, banyak penduduk pedesaan di Inggris yang pindah ke wilayah perkotaan untuk bekerja di pabrik-pabrik seperti London, Manchester, dan Birmingham. Kota-kota ini selanjutnya dijuluki sebagai “Kota Gudang” dan “Bengkel Dunia”. Inggris berhasil mempertahankan kestabilan pemerintahannya saat Revolusi Perancis meletus. William Pitt menjadi Perdana Menteri Britania Raya pada usia 24 tahun saat pemerintahan George III. Saat terjadinya Perang Napoleon, Napoleon Bonaparte berencana untuk menyerang Inggris dari tenggara. Namun rencana ini gagal. Tentara Britania di bawah pimpinan Horatio Nelson berhasil mengalahkan Tentara Napoleon di laut. Sedangkan di darat tentara Napoleon juga berhasil dikalahkan di bawah pimpinan Arthur Wellesley. Perang Napoleon ini menumbuhkan konsep “Britishness” dan identitas nasional “British”, bersama dengan orang-orang Skotlandia dan Wales.


The Cenotaph, Whitehall, memorial untuk mengenang Tentara Britania Raya yang gugur dalam Perang Dunia.

London menjadi kawasan metropolitan terbesar dan terpadat di dunia pada era Victoria, serta juga menjadi kota perdagangan paling prestisius dalam Imperium Britania. Pergolakan politik di dalam negeri memunculkan gerakan-gerakan seperti Chartisme dan Suffragette menyebabkan dilakukannya reformasi legislatif dan pemberlakuan hak pilih universal. Pergesekan kekuasaan di Eropa tengah dan timur mengakibatkan meletusnya Perang Dunia I. Ratusan ribu tentara Inggris tewas karena berjuang untuk Britania Raya sebagai bagian dari Blok Sekutu. Dua dekade kemudian, dalam Perang Dunia II, Inggris sekali lagi menjadi bagian dari Blok Sekutu. Pada akhir Perang Phoney, Winston Churchill menjadi Perdana Menteri. Berkembangnya teknologi perang menyebabkan banyak kota yang hancur akibat serangan udara dalam peristiwa The Blitz. Setelah perang usai, Imperium Britania menerapkan kebijakan dekolonisasi terhadap negara-negara jajahannya. Perang juga menyebabkan pesatnya perkembangan teknologi; automobil menjadi sarana utama transportasi dan mesin jet yang dikembangkan oleh Frank Whittle menyebabkan inovasi perjalanan udara menjadi lebih luas. Perusahaan-perusahaan nasional di Inggris dinasionalisasi, dan National Health Service (NHS) didirikan pada tahun 1948. NHS Inggris menyediakan layanan kesehatan yang didanai oleh pemerintah bagi semua warga Inggris secara gratis sesuai kebutuhan, namun tetap dibayar melalui pajak umum. Dalam bidang pemerintahan, reformasi pemerintahan daerah dilakukan pada pertengahan abad ke-20.

Sejak abad ke-20, terjadi perpindahan penduduk secara besar-besaran ke Inggris, sebagian besar berasal dari bagian lain Kepulauan Britania, tetapi juga ada yang berasal dari negara-negara Persemakmuran, terutama dari Asia Selatan. Sejak tahun 1970 juga terjadi perubahan besar dalam sektor manufaktur dan pertumbuhan sektor industri jasa. Sebagai bagian dari Britania Raya, Inggris bergabung dengan organisasi Masyarakat Ekonomi Eropa, yang selanjutnya menjadi Uni Eropa. Pada akhir abad ke-20, pemerintahan daerah di Britania Raya mengalami perubahan dengan diberikannya devolusi pada Skotlandia, Wales, dan Irlandia Utara. Namun, Inggris tetap menjadi bagian dari yurisdiksi Britania Raya. Devolusi atau pelimpahan kekuasaan ini mendorong terbentuknya identitas “English” dan rasa patriotisme yang lebih kuat. Akibatnya, tidak ada devolusi yang diberikan kepada Inggris, upaya untuk menciptakan sebuah sistem serupa dalam hal pemerintahan daerah juga ditolak dalam referendum.




Istana Westminster, kursi Parlemen Britania Raya.

Sebagai bagian dari Britania Raya, sistem politik dasar bagi Inggris adalah monarki konstitusional dan sistem parlementer. Inggris tidak memiliki pemerintahan sendiri sejak tahun 1707. Berdasarkan Undang-Undang Kesatuan 1707, Inggris dan Skotlandia bersatu menjadi Kerajaan Britania Raya. Sebelum penyatuan tersebut, Inggris diperintah oleh monarki dan Parlemen Inggris. Saat ini, Inggris diatur langsung oleh Parlemen Britania Raya, meskipun negara-negara Britania lainnya diserahi pemerintahan sendiri (devolusi). Pada House of Commons, yaitu Majelis Rendah dalam Parlemen Britania Raya, terdapat 532 dari total 650 anggota Parlemen (MP) yang mewakili konstituensi Inggris.

Dalam pemilihan umum Britania Raya 2010 Partai Konservatif berhasil memenangkan mayoritas suara mutlak di Inggris, yakni 532 kursi; 61 kursi lebih banyak daripada gabungan kursi dari partai-partai lainnya. Namun, Konservatif tidak memperoleh jumlah kursi mayoritas dalam parlemen, sehingga menghasilkan “parlemen yang menggantung”. Untuk bisa memperoleh mayoritas suara di parlemen, Konservatif yang dipimpin oleh David Cameron berkoalisi dengan partai terbesar ketiga di Britania Raya, yaitu Partai Liberal Demokratik pimpinan Nick Clegg. Selanjutnya, pemimpin Partai Buruh, Gordon Brown, terpaksa meletakkan jabatannya sebagai perdana menteri. Saat ini, Partai Buruh dipimpin oleh Ed Miliband.


Pengawal Ratu di kediaman kerajaan, Istana Buckingham.

Sebagai konsekuensi atas keanggotaan Britania Raya di Uni Eropa, pemilu untuk menentukan siapa wakil Britania yang akan dikirim sebagai anggota Parlemen Eropa juga diselenggarakan secara regional di Inggris. Dalam pemilihan umum Parlemen Eropa 2009, hasil dari pemilu di region-region di Inggris untuk anggota Parlemen Eropa adalah sebagai berikut: 23 dari Konservatif, 10 dari Partai Kemerdekaan, 10 dari Liberal Demokratik, dua dari Partai Hijau, dan dua dari Partai Nasional Britania.

Sejak devolusi, negara-negara lain yang berada dalam kedaulatan Britania Raya (Skotlandia, Wales dan Irlandia Utara), masing-masing memiliki parlemen terdevolusi sendiri atau majelis untuk isu-isu lokal. Ada perdebatan mengenai status devolusi di Inggris. Awalnya direncanakan bahwa seluruh region di Inggris akan didevolusikan juga, namun setelah adanya penolakan dari region di Inggris Timur Laut dalam referendum, rencana ini akhirnya berhenti diajukan.

Salah satu isu utama yang muncul dari kebijakan devolusi ini adalah “pertanyaan West Lothian (West Lothian question), yaitu istilah yang digunakan untuk menggambarkan kondisi dimana anggota parlemen Skotlandia dan Wales dapat memberikan suara atas undang-undang yang terkait dengan Inggris, sedangkan Inggris tidak memiliki hak yang setara. Akibat tidak memiliki devolusi kekuasaan, Inggris menjadi satu-satunya negara di Britania Raya yang tidak diberi hak untuk merumuskan kebijakan mengenai pengobatan kanker gratis, perawatan perumahan untuk penduduk usia tua, dan biaya pendidikan tinggi gratis. Hal ini mengakibatkan semakin meningkatnya rasa “nasionalisme Inggris”. Beberapa pihak telah menyarankan pembentukan Parlemen Inggris yang terdevolusi, sedangkan yang lainnya juga mengusulkan agar pemberian suara yang terkait dengan Inggris dibatasi, dengan artian hanya berhak dilakukan oleh anggota parlemen yang berasal dari daerah pemilihan Inggris.



Royal Courts of Justice

Sistem hukum Inggris yang berkembang selama berabad-abad adalah dasar dari sistem hukum umum yang digunakan di sebagian besar negara-negara Persemakmuran dan Amerika Serikat (kecuali Louisiana). Meskipun telah menjadi negara bagian dari Britania Raya, sistem hukum Pengadilan Inggris dan Wales tetap digunakan. Berdasarkan Perjanjian Kesatuan, sistem hukum yang digunakan di Inggris dan Wales terpisah dengan sistem hukum yang digunakan di Skotlandia. Esensi umum dari hukum Inggris adalah bahwa hukum dibuat oleh hakim yang berkedudukan di pengadilan, yang menerapkannya menurut akal sehat dan pengetahuan mereka (preseden).

Sistem pengadilan dikepalai oleh Pengadilan Senior Inggris dan Wales, yang terdiri dari Pengadilan Tinggi, Pengadilan Tinggi Kehakiman untuk kasus perdata, dan Pengadilan Mahkota untuk kasus pidana. Sedangkan Mahkamah Agung Britania Raya merupakan lembaga peradilan tertinggi untuk kasus-kasus perdata maupun pidana di Inggris dan Wales. Mahkamah ini dibentuk pada tahun 2009 setelah perubahan konstitusi, yang mengambil alih fungsi yudisial dari House of Lords. Keputusan dari Mahkamah Agung ini mengikat setiap pengadilan lainnya dalam hierarki dan harus sesuai dengan petunjuknya.

Kriminalitas meningkat antara tahun 1981 sampai 1995, namun mengalami penurunan sekitar 42% pada periode 1995-2006. Populasi penjara naik dua kali lipat pada periode yang sama. Hal ini menjadikan Inggris sebagai negara dengan tingkat penahanan tertinggi di Eropa Barat, dengan perbandingan 147 tahanan per 100.000 jiwa. Layanan Tahanan Yang Mulia (Her Majesty’s Prison Service) bertugas melaporkan kepada Menteri Kehakiman sekaligus mengelola penjara di Inggris yang dihuni oleh lebih dari 80.000 narapidana.

Pembagian Administratif

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Subdivisi pemerintahan daerah di Inggris terdiri dari empat tingkat divisi administratif yang dikendalikan oleh berbagai tipe entitas administratif dan diciptakan dengan tujuan kepemerintahan daerah. Tingkat tertinggi dari pemerintahan daerah di Inggris terdiri dari sembilan wilayah, yakni: Inggris Timur Laut, Inggris Barat Laut, Yorkshire dan Humber, Midlands Timur, Midlands Barat, Inggris Timur, Inggris Tenggara, Inggris Barat Daya, dan London. Pembagian ini ditetapkan pada tahun 1994 dengan status sebagai Region Kantor Pemerintahan (Government Office Region) untuk mendistribusikan berbagai kebijakan dan program regional Pemerintah Britania Raya, namun tidak ada badan-badan terpilih yang didelegasikan pada tingkat ini, kecuali di London. Kemudian pada tahun 2011, status Kantor Pemerintahan ini dihapuskan. Meskipun demikian, batas-batas yang sama tetap digunakan sebagai daerah pemilihan anggota Parlemen Eropa secara regional.

Setelah devolusi, ada rencana untuk menciptakan sebuah majelis regional tersendiri di masing-masing region di Inggris. Rencana ini diwujudkan melalui referendum. London menyetujui referendum pada tahun 1998. Dua tahun kemudian, Majelis London dibentuk. Namun, ketika usulan tersebut ditolak oleh referendum devolusi Inggris utara 2004 di Inggris Timur Laut, rencana tersebut akhirnya dibatalkan. Majelis regional di luar London dihapuskan pada tahun 2010, dan fungsinya dialihkan menjadi Badan Pembangunan Regional dan sebuah sistem baru dari badan otoritas daerah.

Di bawah tingkat regional, Inggris dibagi menjadi 48 county seremonial. Pembagian ini digunakan khususnya sebagai kerangka acuan geografis dan telah dikembangkan secara bertahap sejak Abad Pertengahan, ada juga beberapa county yang didirikan baru-baru ini pada tahun 1974. Masing-masing county memiliki seorang Lord Lieutenant dan High Sheriff; jabatan ini dimaksudkan untuk mewakili Monarki Britania Raya lokal. Di luar London Raya dan Isles of Scilly, Inggris juga terbagi menjadi 83 county metropolitan dan non-metropolitan, pembagian ini sesuai dengan kawasan yang digunakan untuk kepentingan kepemerintahan daerah, dan county-county ini bisa saja terdiri dari satu ataupun banyak distrik.

Terdapat enam county metropolitan berdasarkan wilayah perkotaan yang berpenduduk paling padat, county-county ini tidak memiliki Dewan County. Di wilayah ini, otoritas utama dipegang oleh dewan subdivisi, yaitu borough metropolitan. Sedangkan di wilayah lain, 27 county non-metropolitan “shire” memiliki dewan county dan terbagi menjadi beberapa distrik, masing-masing distrik juga memiliki Dewan Distrik. County-county ini biasanya (meskipun tidak selalu) terdapat di kawasan perdesaan. County non-metropolitan yang selebihnya terdiri dari satu distrik dan biasanya merupakan sebuah kota kecil atau county yang berpenduduk jarang, county ini dikenal sebagai otoritas kesatuan (unitary authorities). London Raya memiliki sistem pemerintahan daerah yang berbeda; dengan 32 borough London, ditambah City of London yang mencakup kawasan kecil di pusat London dan diatur oleh Korporasi City of London. Pada tingkat pemerintahan daerah terendah, Inggris terbagi menjadi paroki-paroki sipil yang masing-masingnya memiliki dewan paroki tersendiri. Paroki-paroki ini tidak terdapat di London Raya.


Lanskap dan Sungai


Citra satelit Inggris.

Secara geografis, Inggris mencakup dua pertiga dari Pulau Britania Raya di bagian tengah dan selatan, ditambah pulau-pulau lepas pantai seperti Isle of Wight dan Isles of Scilly. Inggris berbatasan dengan dua negara lainnya di Britania Raya; Skotlandia di sebelah utara dan Wales di sebelah barat. Inggris merupakan negara yang lokasinya paling dekat ke benua Eropa dibandingkan dengan negara-negara lainnya di Kepulauan Britania. Negara ini berjarak 34-kilometer (21 mi) dari Perancis, yang dipisahkan oleh Selat Inggris dan dihubungkan oleh terowongan bawah laut Channel di dekat Folkestone. Inggris juga memiliki pantai di Laut Irlandia, Laut Utara dan Samudera Atlantik.

Pelabuhan London, Liverpool, dan Newcastle masing-masingnya berlokasi di sungai-sungai pasang surut Thames, Mersey dan Tyne. Dengan panjang sekitar 354 kilometer (220 mi), Sungai Severn adalah sungai terpanjang yang mengalir melintasi Inggris. Sungai ini bermuara di Selat Bristol dan terkenal karena air pasangnya yang mencapai ketinggian hingga 2 meter (6,6 ft). Sungai terpanjang di Inggris berikutnya adalah Sungai Thames (346 kilometer (215 mi)). Ada banyak danau di Inggris, yang terbesar adalah Windermere di Danau District.


Wastwater di Danau District.

Dalam istilah geologi, Pennines, yang dikenal sebagai “tulang punggung Inggris”, adalah pegunungan tertua di negara ini, yang berasal dari akhir Zaman Paleozoikum, sekitar 300 juta tahun yang lalu. Komposisi geologis pegunungan ini terdiri dari batu pasir, batu kapur, serta batubara. Terdapat lanskap karst di wilayah kalsit seperti di bagian Yorkshire dan Derbyshire. Lanskap Pennine merupakan tegalan tinggi di kawasan dataran tinggi, terkenal karena lembah suburnya di kawasan-kawasan tepi sungai. Di Pennines terdapat tiga taman nasional, yaitu Yorkshire Dales, Northumberland, dan Peak District. Titik tertinggi di Inggris berada pada 978 meter (3.209 ft) di Scafell Pike, Cumbria. Bukit Cheviot membentang melintasi perbatasan antara Inggris dan Skotlandia.

Dataran rendah di Inggris terdapat di sebelah selatan Pennines, yang terdiri dari perbukitan hijau seperti Bukit Cotswold, Bukit Chiltern, North Downs dan South Downs. Semenanjung Barat Daya di West Country juga mencakup tegalan dataran tinggi yang beriklim sedang seperti Dartmoor dan Exmoor. Kedua kawasan ini ditetapkan sebagai taman nasional.


Inggris memiliki iklim laut sedang, dengan suhu tidak lebih rendah dari 0 °C (32 °F) pada musim dingin dan tidak lebih tinggi dari 32 °C (90 °F) pada musim panas. Cuacanya relatif lembab dan seringkali berubah-ubah. Cuaca terdingin terjadi pada bulan Januari dan Februari, terutama di wilayah pesisir. Sedangkan cuaca terpanas berlangsung pada bulan Juli. Bulan dengan cuaca sedang dan hangat adalah bulan Mei, Juni, September dan Oktober. Curah hujan tersebar cukup merata sepanjang tahun.

Pengaruh terpenting pada iklim Inggris adalah kedekatannya dengan Samudera Atlantik. Inggris berlokasi di lintang utara dan pemanasan laut dihantarkan oleh Arus Gulf. Curah hujan yang lebih tinggi terdapat di wilayah bagian barat, dan kawasan di bagian Danau District menerima hujan yang lebih sering dibandingkan dengan tempat manapun di Inggris. Sejak pencatatan cuaca mulai dilakukan, suhu tertinggi yang tercatat adalah 38,5 °C (101,3 °F) pada tanggal 10 Agustus 2003 di Brogdale, Kent. Sedangkan suhu terendah adalah −26,1 °C (−15,0 °F) pada tanggal 10 Januari 1982 di Edgmond, Shropshire.

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Sejauh ini, Kawasan Perkotaan London Raya adalah kawasan perkotaan terbesar di Inggris, dan juga merupakan salah satu kota tersibuk di dunia. London merupakan kota global dan memiliki populasi terbesar di Britania Raya. Kawasan perkotaan besar lainnya yang cukup berpengaruh terdapat di Inggris bagian utara atau di Midlands. Ada enam puluh enam permukiman yang telah diberi status sebagai kota di Britania Raya. Lima puluh di antaranya terdapat di Inggris.

Cukup banyak kota di Inggris yang tergolong besar dari segi ukuran, kota-kota ini antara lain: Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Bradford, Nottingham, dan sebagainya. Jumlah populasi yang besar bukanlah prasyarat utama agar suatu permukiman diberi status kota. Secara tradisional, status kota diberikan kepada permukiman-permukiman yang telah memiliki katedral keuskupan. Akibatnya, kota-kota kecil seperti Wells, Ely, Ripon, Truro dan Chichester juga berstatus kota. Menurut Office for National Statistics, sepuluh kawasan perkotaan terbesar di Inggris adalah sebagai berikut:

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London adalah pusat keuangan terbesar di dunia.

Perekonomian Inggris merupakan salah satu perekonomian terbesar di dunia, dengan PDB per kapita rata-rata £ 22.907. Inggris menerapkan sistem ekonomi pasar campuran; yang mengadopsi sebagian besar prinsip-prinsip pasar bebas, namun tetap mempertahankan infrastruktur kesejahteraan soaial. Mata uang resmi di Inggris adalah pound sterling (ISO 4217, GBP). Perpajakan di Inggris cukup kompetitif bila dibandingkan dengan kebanyakan negara Eropa lainnya. Pada tahun 2009, tarif dasar pajak perseorangan adalah 20% dengan penghasilan kena pajak mencapai £ 37.400, dan 40% bagi yang berpenghasilan di atas jumlah tersebut.

Ekonomi Inggris menyumbangkan bagian terbesar bagi ekonomi Britania Raya, yang PDB (PPP) per kapitanya merupakan tertinggi ke-18 dunia. Inggris merupakan pemimpin dalam industri kimia dan farmasi, juga dalam industri-industri penting seperti kedirgantaraan, industri senjata, dan industri perangkat lunak. Bursa efek London, yang berlokasi di London, merupakan bursa saham terbesar di Eropa. London juga merupakan pusat keuangan di Britania Raya, 100 dari 500 perusahaan terbesar di Eropa bermarkas di London. Di samping itu, London merupakan pusat keuangan terbesar di Eropa, dan pada tahun 2009 juga dinobatkan sebagai salah satu pusat bisnis dan keuangan terbesar di dunia.


Bentley Continental GT. Bentley merupakan salah satu perusahaan mobil Inggris yang terkemuka.

Bank of England, yang didirikan pada tahun 1694 oleh bankir Skotlandia bernama William Paterson adalah bank sentral Britania Raya. Pada awalnya, bank ini didirikan sebagai bank swasta, namun sejak tahun 1946, bank ini telah dinasionalisasi menjadi milik negara. Bank of England memiliki hak monopoli untuk mencetak uang kertas di Inggris dan Wales, namun hak ini tidak berlaku di Skotlandia dan Irlandia Utara. Pemerintah Britania Raya menyerahkan tanggung jawab kepada Komite Kebijakan Moneter Bank of England untuk mengelola kebijakan moneter negara dan menetapkan suku bunga.

Inggris pada dasarnya adalah sebuah negara industri. Namun, sejak tahun 1970-an terjadi penurunan dalam sektor-sektor industri berat dan manufaktur, dan terjadi peningkatan dalam sektor industri jasa. Sektor pariwisata juga menjadi andalan bagi perekonomian Inggris. Sektor ini menarik jutaan wisatawan mancanegara ke Inggris setiap tahunnya. Ekspor Inggris didominasi oleh obat-obatan, mobil (meskipun sebagian besar perusahaan otomotif Inggris seperti Rolls-Royce, Lotus, Jaguar dan Bentley saat ini dimiliki oleh asing), minyak mentah yang dihasilkan dari penambangan minyak di Laut Utara, mesin pesawat, serta minuman beralkohol. Sektor pertanian sudah sangat intensif dan termekanisasi. Sektor ini memproduksi sekitar 60% bagi kebutuhan makanan dan menyerap sekitar 2% angkatan kerja di Inggris. Dua pertiga produksi dikhususkan untuk sektor peternakan, selebihnya untuk pertanian.

Ilmu Pengetahuan dan Teknologi


Isaac Newton adalah salah satu tokoh yang paling berpengaruh dalam sejarah ilmu pengetahuan.

Tokoh terkemuka yang berasal dari Inggris di bidang sains dan matematika antara lain Sir Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle, Joseph Priestley, J. J. Thomson, Charles Babbage, Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking, Christopher Wren, Alan Turing, Francis Crick, Joseph Lister, Tim Berners-Lee, Paul Dirac, Andrew Wiles dan Richard Dawkins. Beberapa ahli mengklaim bahwa konsep awal dari sistem metrik diciptakan oleh John Wilkins, sekretaris pertama Royal Society pada tahun 1668. Sebagai tempat kelahiran Revolusi Industri, Inggris adalah kediaman bagi penemu-penemu terkemuka pada akhir abad ke-18 dan awal abad ke-20. Insinyur Inggris yang terkemuka pada masa Revolusi Industri di antaranya adalah Isambard Kingdom Brunel, yang terkenal karena menciptakan rangkaian kapal uap bernama Great Western Railway dan sejumlah jembatan-jembatan penting yang mengakibatkan perkembangan angkutan umum dan teknik modern. Mesin uap yang diciptakan oleh Thomas Newcomen juga turut membantu menelurkan Revolusi Industri. Vaksin cacar yang ditemukan oleh Edward Jenner dikatakan telah “menyelamatkan lebih banyak nyawa umat manusia”.

Penemuan dan penciptaan yang berasal dari Inggris di antaranya adalah mesin jet, mesin pemintal pertama, komputer pertama dan komputer modern pertama, World Wide Web dan HTML, transfusi darah manusia yang berhasil pertama, mesin penghisap debu, mesin pemotong rumput, sabuk pengaman, kapal bantalan udara, motor listrik, mesin uap, dan teori-teori seperti teori evolusi Darwin dan teori atom. Newton mengembangkan teori gravitasi universal, mekanika klasik, dan infinitesimal kalkulus, serta Robert Hooke dengan hukum elastisitasnya. Penemuan lainnya termasuk kereta api plat besi, termosipon, aspal, karet gelang, perangkap tikus, bola lampu, lokomotif uap, garis jalan, garukan traktor, dan lain sebagainya.


Department for Transport adalah badan pemerintah yang bertanggung jawab untuk mengawasi transportasi di Inggris. Ada banyak jalan tol dan jalan raya nasional di Inggris, di antaranya A1 Great North Road, yang melintasi bagian timur Inggris, dari London ke Newcastle hingga ke perbatasan Skotlandia, sebagian besar dari jalan ini adalah jalan tol. Jalan tol terpanjang di Inggris adalah M6, yang membentang dari Rugby ke Inggris Barat Laut hingga ke perbatasan Inggris-Skotlandia. Rute-rute utama lainnya di antaranya M1 dari London ke Leeds, M25 yang mengelilingi London, M60 yang mengelilingi Manchester, M4 dari London ke South Wales, M62 dari Liverpool via Manchester ke East Yorkshire, dan M5 dari Birmingham ke Bristol dan Inggris Barat Daya.


Bandar Udara London Heathrow memiliki lalu lintas penumpang tertinggi dibandingkan dengan bandar udara manapun di seluruh dunia.

Transportasi bus tersebar luas di seluruh Inggris, perusahaan-perusahaan bus besar di antaranya National Express, Arriva, dan Go-Ahead Group. Bus tingkat berwarna merah yang terdapat di London telah menjadi ikon transportasi Inggris. Terdapat juga jaringan kereta cepat di dua kota, yaitu London Underground di London, dan Tyne and Wear Metro di Newcastle, Gateshead dan Sunderland. Selain itu, juga ada beberapa jaringan trem seperti Blackpool Tramway, Manchester Metrolink, Sheffield Supertram dan Midland Metro. Sistem Tramlink ini berpusat di Croydon, London Selatan.

Transportasi kereta api di Inggris adalah yang tertua di dunia. Kereta api penumpang berasal dari Inggris pada tahun 1825. Sekitar 16.116 kilometer (10.014 mi) dari panjang total rel di Britania Raya terdapat di Inggris, yang melintas ke berbagai penjuru negara. Ada rencana untuk membuka kembali jalur-jalur lama yang ditutup seperti Varsity Line yang menghubungkan Oxford dan Cambridge. Jalur-jalur kereta di Inggris kebanyakan berukuran standar (jalur tunggal, jalur ganda atau jalur empat). Terdapat juga transportasi kereta api yang menghubungkan akses ke Perancis dan Belgia melalui jalur kereta api bawah laut di Terowongan Channel yang pembangunannya selesai pada tahun 1994.

Inggris memiliki jaringan penerbangan domestik dan internasional yang luas. Bandar udara terbesar adalah London Heathrow yang merupakan bandar udara tersibuk di dunia berdasarkan jumlah penumpang internasional. Bandar udara besar lainnya di antaranya Bandar Udara Manchester, Bandar Udara London Stansted, Bandar Udara London Luton, dan Bandar Udara Birmingham. Di laut ada transportasi feri, baik lokal maupun internasional. Transportasi ini melayani rute ke Irlandia, Belanda, Belgia, dan sebagainya. Inggris memiliki jalur air ternavigasi kira-kira sepanjang 7.100 km (4.400 mi), setengahnya dikelola oleh Canal & River Trust. Namun, transportasi air ini juga sangat terbatas. Sungai Thames adalah jalur air utama di Inggris. Aktivitas ekspor dan impor difokuskan di Pelabuhan Tilbury. Pelabuhan ini merupakan salah satu dari tiga pelabuhan utama di Britania Raya.



Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, salah satu rumah sakit NHS.

National Health Service (NHS) adalah lembaga kesehatan pemerintah yang didanai oleh publik di Inggris. Lembaga ini bertanggung jawab untuk menyediakan sebagian besar pelayanan kesehatan di negara ini. NHS ini didirikan pada tanggal 5 Juli 1948 melalui National Health Service Act 1946 setelah adanya Laporan Beveridge mengenai kesehatan di Britania Raya yang diteliti oleh ekonom William Beveridge. Dalam pengoperasiannya, NHS sebagian besar didanai dari pajak umum, termasuk pembayaran Asuransi Nasional. Hampir keseluruhan layanan yang disediakan oleh NHS ini tidak dipungut bayaran sama sekali, meskipun beberapa layanan seperti pemeriksaan mata, perawatan gigi, resep, dan perawatan pribadi juga dipungut bayaran khusus.

Departemen pemerintah yang mengelola NHS adalah Departemen Kesehatan. Departemen ini dipimpin oleh Sekretaris Negara untuk Kesehatan yang duduk di Kabinet Britania Raya. Total anggaran Departemen Kesehatan yang dikeluarkan untuk mendanai NHS pada tahun 2008–2009 adalah sekitar £98,6 miliar. Dalam beberapa tahun terakhir, sektor swasta juga telah berkembang dan menyediakan layanan kesehatan yang lebih banyak daripada NHS, namun hal ini ditentang oleh dokter dan serikat pekerja di Inggris. Rata-rata harapan hidup penduduk Inggris adalah 77,5 tahun untuk pria dan 81,7 tahun untuk wanita, yang tertinggi dibandingkan dengan tiga negara Britania lainnya.



County non-metropolitan dan otoritas kesatuan, kode warna untuk menunjukkan populasi.

Dengan jumlah penduduk lebih dari 53 juta jiwa, Inggris adalah negara dengan populasi terpadat di Britania Raya. Jumlah tersebut setara dengan 84% dari total keseluruhan penduduk Britania Raya. Secara personal, Inggris merupakan negara dengan jumlah populasi terbesar keempat di Uni Eropa dan terbesar ke-25 di dunia. Inggris memiliki kepadatan penduduk 407 jiwa per kilometer persegi, terpadat di Uni Eropa setelah Malta.

Bangsa Inggris (English) secara otomatis juga tergolong bangsa Britania (British). Beberapa bukti genetik menunjukkan bahwa 75-95% keturunan dari garis ayah bangsa Inggris berasal dari pemukim zaman prasejarah dari Semenanjung Iberia, sedangkan 5% lebihnya berasal dari bangsa Angles and Saxons serta sedikit keturunan bangsa Norse. Namun, studi genetik lainnya memperkirakan bahwa setengah dari gen bangsa Inggris terdiri dari Norse-Jermanik. Seiring waktu, berbagai kebudayaan juga turut memengaruhi asal usul bangsa Inggris, kebudayaan ini di antaranya berasal dari Britania Prasejarah, Britonik, Romawi, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Gaelik, serta pengaruh besar dari bangsa Normandia. Terdapat diaspora bangsa Inggris di wilayah-wilayah bekas jajahan Britania, khususnya di Amerika Serikat, Kanada, Australia, Chili, Afrika Selatan, dan Selandia Baru. Sejak akhir 1990-an, banyak warga Inggris yang bermigrasi ke Spanyol.


Perkiraan kelompok etnis di Inggris dan Wales pada tahun 2009.

Pada saat Domesday Book disusun pada tahun 1086, lebih dari 90% populasi Inggris, atau sekitar dua juta jiwa, tinggal di pedesaan. Pada tahun 1801, jumlah populasi Inggris membengkak menjadi 8,3 juta, dan pada tahun 1901 telah tumbuh mencapai 30,5 juta. Karena alasan kesejahteraan ekonomi, Inggris Tenggara telah menerima lebih banyak imigran dibandingkan dengan wilayah lainnya di Britania Raya, termasuk dari Irlandia. Proporsi penduduk dari etnis Eropa berjumlah sekitar 87,50% dari total penduduk Inggris, terutama keturunan Jerman dan Polandia.

Para pendatang dari negara-negara bekas jajahan Britania telah tiba sejak tahun 1950. Sekitar 6% dari penduduk Inggris berasal dari Asia Selatan, kebanyakan dari India dan Pakistan, sementara 2,90% populasi Inggris lainnya adalah kulit hitam, terutama dari Karibia dan negara-negara Afrika yang pernah menjadi koloni Britania Raya. Ada juga sejumlah besar etnis Tionghoa di Inggris. pada tahun 2007, sekitar 22% dari siswa sekolah dasar di Inggris berasal dari keluarga minoritas. Sekitar setengah dari peningkatan populasi antara tahun 1991 hingga 2001 disebabkan oleh imigrasi. Masalah migrasi ini sudah menjadi perdebatan politis sepanjang tahun. Berdasarkan jajak pendapat yang dilakukan oleh Home Office, 80% warga Inggris menginginkan agar imigrasi ke Inggris dibatasi. ONS memprediksi bahwa populasi Inggris akan tumbuh menjadi enam juta jiwa antara tahun 2004 hingga 2029.



Persebaran bahasa Inggris. Negara-negara dengan warna biru tua memiliki mayoritas penutur asli bahasa Inggris; biru muda menjadikan bahasa Inggris sebagai bahasa resmi tetapi bukan bahasa utama. Bahasa Inggris juga merupakan salah satu Bahasa Resmi Uni Eropa dan PBB.

Sesuai dengan namanya, bahasa Inggris adalah bahasa utama di Inggris. Saat ini, bahasa Inggris dituturkan oleh ratusan juta orang di seluruh dunia. Bahasa Inggris merupakan rumpun bahasa Indo-Eropa cabang Anglo-Frisian dari kelompok bahasa Jermanik. Setelah penaklukan Normandia, bahasa Inggris kuno tersingkirkan dan hanya dituturkan oleh masyarakat kelas bawah sebagai akibat dari meluasnya penggunaan bahasa Norman dan Latin dalam aristokrasi.

Pada abad ke-15, Inggris kembali pada era mode yang berlaku di seluruh jajaran kelas sosial. Meskipun banyak berubah, bentuk bahasa Inggris Pertengahan menunjukkan dominannya pengaruh bahasa Perancis, baik dari segi kosakata maupun ejaan. Selama masa Renaisans Inggris, banyak kata yang “dipinjam” dari bahasa Latin dan Yunani. Bahasa Inggris Modern semakin memperluas metode “peminjaman” kata ini. Imperium Britania juga bertanggung jawab atas meluasnya persebaran bahasa Inggris. Saat ini, secara tidak resmi bahasa Inggris merupakan lingua franca di seluruh dunia.

Bahasa Inggris telah menjadi bahasa ekonomi, pariwisata, dan penerbitan. Tidak ada undang-undang resmi yang mewajibkan bahasa resmi untuk Inggris, namun bahasa Inggris-lah yang umumnya digunakan sebagai bahasa resmi bisnis dan pemerintahan. Meskipun Inggris adalah negara kecil, terdapat banyak aksen lokal yang saling berbeda. Aksen Inggris secara umum cenderung mengucapkan suatu kata atau kalimat dengan jelas sehingga mudah untuk dipahami dan lebih “terikat” pada grammar.

Bahasa Kernowek atau Cornish, bahasa daerah yang sempat punah pada abad ke-18, dihidupkan kembali, dan saat ini dilindungi di bawah Piagam Eropa untuk Bahasa Regional atau Minoritas. Bahasa ini dituturkan oleh sekitar 0,1% dari total populasi di Cornwall, dan juga diajarkan di beberapa sekolah dasar dan sekolah menengah. Sekolah-sekolah negeri juga mengajari siswanya bahasa kedua, biasanya bahasa Perancis, Spanyol atau Jerman. Akibatnya banyaknya imigran, pada tahun 2007 dilaporkan bahwa sekitar 800.000 anak sekolahan menuturkan bahasa asing di rumah mereka, yang paling banyak adalah bahasa Punjabi dan Urdu.



Katedral Canterbury, kursi dari Uskup Agung Canterbury

Kristen adalah agama yang paling banyak dianut di Inggris sejak Abad Pertengahan, namun agama ini sudah diperkenalkan pertama kalinya pada masa Romawi dan Gaelik. Saat ini, sekitar 72% dari penduduk Inggris teridentifikasi sebagai Kristiani. Denominasi terbesar yang dianut adalah Anglikan. Anglikan ini berasal dari periode Reformasi Inggris pada abad ke-6 saat Raja Henry VIII memisahkan negara dari Gereja Katolik Roma karena tidak diizinkan bercerai dengan istrinya, Catharina dari Aragon, serta kebutuhan akan Alkitab berbahasa Inggris. Dalam pandangan agama, Henry VIII ini dianggap sebagai penganut Katolik dan Anglikan.

Di Inggris, terdapat tradisi Gereja Tinggi dan Gereja Rendah, dan beberapa penganut Anglikan menganggap dirinya sebagai “Anglo-Katolik” setelah adanya Gerakan Traktarian. Raja atau Ratu Britania Raya adalah pemimpin tituler Gereja yang bertindak sebagai Gubernur Agung. Anglikan merupakan agama resmi di Inggris. Ada sekitar 26 juta penganut agama ini yang tergabung menjadi Komuni Anglikan, dan Uskup Agung Canterbury bertindak sebagai kepala simbolis komuni di seluruh dunia. Banyak katedral dan gereja-gereja paroki yang merupakan bangunan dan arsitektur bersejarah yang terkemuka di Inggris. Bangunan-bangunan ini antara lain: Westminster Abbey, York Minster, Katedral Durham, Katedral Santo Paulus dan Katedral Salisbury.


Santo George, santo pelindung Inggris.

Penganut Kristen terbesar kedua adalah denominasi Ritus Latin dari Gereja Katolik. Kepercayaan ini memasuki Inggris pada abad ke-6 melalui misi Agustinus dan menjadi agama utama di seluruh pulau selama seribu tahun. Sejak munculnya Emansipasi Katolik, Gereja ini dijalankan secara eklesiologikal di Inggris dan Wales. Terdapat kurang lebih 4,5 juta penganut Gereja ini (sebagian besarnya penduduk Inggris). Sampai saat ini, tercatat ada seorang Paus yang berasal dari Inggris, yaitu Adrian IV. Sedangkan santo Beda dan Anselm dianggap sebagai Doktor Gereja.

Denominasi Protestan yang dikenal dengan Methodisme adalah praktik Kristen terbesar ketiga dan tumbuh dari Anglikanisme melalui John Wesley. Ajaran ini mencapai popularitas di kota-kota pabrik seperti Lancashire, Yorkshire, dan Cornwall. Terdapat juga penganut non-konformis minoritas lainnya seperti Gereja Baptis, Quaker, Unitarianisme, Kongregasionalisme, dan Bala Keselamatan.

Santo pelindung Inggris adalah Santo George. Simbol salibnya disertakan dalam bendera Inggris, juga dalam Union Flag sebagai bagian dari kombinasi Britania Raya. Selain itu, terdapat banyak santo Inggris lainnya. Beberapa yang paling terkenal di antaranya: Cuthbert, Alban, Wilfrid, Aidan, Edward sang Pengaku, John Fisher, Thomas More, Petroc, Piran, Margaret Clitherow, dan Thomas Becket. Disamping Kristen, Inggris juga memiliki penganut agama lainnya. Yahudi telah memiliki penganut minoritas di Pulau Britania sejak tahun 1070. Penganut Yahudi diusir dari Inggris pada tahun 1290 menyusul diberlakukannya Edict of Expulsion, dan baru diizinkan kembali memasuki Inggris pada tahun 1656.

Sejak tahun 1950-an, agama-agama Timur yang berasal dari bekas koloni Britania mulai masuk ke Inggris akibat imigrasi. Islam adalah yang paling menonjol, sekitar 3,1% dari total populasi Inggris adalah Muslim. Penganut Islam terbanyak terdapat di London. Hindu, Sikh, dan Budha adalah urutan berikutnya; kombinasi total dari penganut ketiga agama ini mencapai 2% dari total penduduk Inggris. Agama-agama ini terutama sekali dibawa oleh para imigran dari India dan Asia Tenggara. Selebihnya, sekitar 14,6% penduduk Inggris adalah Atheis.



Senate House of the University of London.

Gedung Senat Universitas London, pusat administratif dari Universitas London.
Departemen Pendidikan adalah departemen pemerintah yang bertanggung jawab untuk masalah-masalah yang memengaruhi hajat hidup orang banyak di Inggris sampai dengan usia 19 tahun, termasuk pendidikan. Sekolah-sekolah negeri dihadiri oleh sekitar 93% pelajar di Inggris. Dari jumlah tersebut, terdapat minoritas sekolah-sekolah keagamaan, terutama sekolah Katolik dan Gereja Inggris. Anak-anak yang berusia antara tiga dan empat tahun menghadiri TK, 4 sampai 11 tahun menghadiri sekolah dasar, dan usia 11 sampai 16 tahun menghadiri sekolah menengah. Setelah menyelesaikan wajib belajar, siswa mengikuti ujian GCSE. Setelah itu mereka bisa memutuskan untuk melanjutkan pendidikan lanjutan selama dua tahun. Pendidikan lanjutan ini ada yang terpisah ataupun menyatu dengan institusi-institusi sekolah menengah yang mempersiapkan para siswa dalam mengikuti ujian A-Level untuk masuk ke universitas.

Meskipun sebagian besar sekolah menengah di Inggris adalah sekolah komprehensif, di beberapa daerah juga terdapat sekolah grammar yang selektif. Sektar 7,2% pelajar di Inggris menghadiri sekolah swasta yang didanai oleh swasta. Standar di sekolah negeri dipantau oleh Kantor Standar Pendidikan, sedangkan di sekolah swasta dipantau oleh Inspektorat Sekolah Independen.


King’s College, Universitas Cambridge.

Siswa biasanya melanjutkan ke jenjang universitas pada usia 18 tahun lebih, di mana mereka belajar untuk meraih gelar akademik. Ada lebih dari 90 universitas di Inggris, semuanya, kecuali satu, merupakan universitas negeri. Departemen untuk Bisnis, Inovasi dan Keterampilan adalah departemen pemerintah yang bertanggung jawab untuk permasalahan pendidikan tinggi di Inggris. Tingkat pertama yang ditawarkan kepada mahasiswa adalah gelar sarjana, biasanya lama pendidikannya tiga tahun. Lulusan yang memenuhi syarat kemudian diperbolehkan mengambil gelar pascasarjana dan master, yang membutuhkan waktu satu tahun, serta gelar doktor (tiga tahun).

Beberapa universitas di Inggris merupakan universitas dengan peringkat tertinggi di dunia. Universitas Cambridge, Imperial College London, Universitas Oxford dan University College London adalah beberapa dari 10 universitas dengan peringkat teratas di dunia berdasarkan Peringkat Universitas Dunia THE-QS. London School of Economics digambarkan sebagai salah satu sekolah bisnis terkemuka untuk bidang pengajaran dan penelitian. Selain itu, London Business School juga dianggap sebagai salah satu sekolah bisnis terkemuka dan pada tahun 2010, program MBA-nya menduduki peringkat terbaik di dunia berdasarkan pemeringkatan yang dirilis oleh Financial Times. Gelar akademik di Inggris biasanya dibagi menjadi tiga kelas, yaitu: kelas pertama (I), kelas kedua atas (II:1), kelas kedua yang lebih rendah (II:2), dan kelas ketiga (III).

The King’s School, Canterbury dan King’s School, Rochester adalah sekolah berbahasa Inggris tertua di dunia. Banyak sekolah-sekolah di Inggris yang terkemuka, di antaranya Winchester College, Eton College, St Paul’s School, Rugby School, dan Harrow School.




Katedral Santo Paulus yang bergaya Barok Inggris

Banyak monumen-monumen kuno yang dibangun pada masa prasejarah, yang paling terkenal adalah Stonehenge, Devil’s Arrows, Rudston Monolith dan Castlerigg. Dengan diperkenalkannya arsitektur Romawi Kuno, bangunan-bangunan seperti basilika, pemandian, amfiteater, villa, kuil Romawi, benteng, dan saluran air model Romawi juga makin berkembang.

Romawi mendirikan kota-kota pertama seperti London, Bath, York, Chester dan St Albans. Contoh arsitektur terpentingnya adalah Tembok Hadrian, yang membentang di bagian utara Inggris. Peninggalan lainnya yang cukup terpelihara dengan baik adalah pemandian Romawi di Bath, Somerset.

Bangunan dan arsitektur pada Awal Abad Pertengahan biasanya berupa konstruksi sederhana yang menggunakan kayu dengan atap dari ilalang. Arsitektur gereja bergaya sintesis Hiberno-Saxon monastisisme. Setelah penaklukan Norman pada tahun 1066, berbagai kastil di Inggris diciptakan agar para penguasa bisa menegakkan otoritas mereka serta untuk melindungi invasi dari arah utara. Beberapa kastil abad pertengahan yang terkenal adalah Menara London, Kastil Warwick, Kastil Durham, dan Kastil Windsor.


Kastil Windsor di Berkshire.

Selama era Plantagenet, arsitektur Gothik katedral abad pertengahan berkembang pesat. Katedral Canterbury, Westminster Abbey dan York Minster adalah contoh utamanya. Selain itu juga dibangun berbagai kastil, istana, gedung universitas dan gereja paroki. Arsitektur abad pertengahan ini berakhir pada abad ke-16 saat era Tudor dimulai. Sebagai buntut dari Renaissance, bentuk arsitektur bergaya klasik berbaur dengan era kekristenan. Arsitek dengan gaya Barok Inggris yang terkenal salah satunya adalah Christopher Wren.

Arsitektur pada era George bergaya lebih halus dan membangkitkan kembali bentuk Palladian sederhana. Royal Crescent di Bath adalah salah satu contoh terbaik dari arsitektur pada era ini. Dengan munculnya romantisisme selama periode Victoria, gaya Gothik kembali dibangkitkan. Revolusi Industri juga turut membuka jalan bagi arsitektur-arsitektur seperti The Crystal Palace. Sejak tahun 1930-an, berbagai arsitektur bergaya modernis juga telah muncul, meskipun hal ini banyak dipertentangkan oleh para penganut tradisionalis.

Cerita Rakyat


Robin Hood, illustrasi pada tahun 1912.

Cerita rakyat Inggris telah berkembang selama berabad-abad. Beberapa karakter dan cerita mewakili seluruh Inggris, tetapi ada juga sebagian yang mewakili daerah tertentu. Makhluk-makhluk mitos dalam cerita rakyat Inggris di antaranya Pixies, raksasa, peri, bogeymen, troll, goblin, dan kurcaci. Cerita-cerita rakyat kuno yang berasal dari Inggris antara lain termasuk cerita yang menampilkan Offa dari Angel dan Wayland the Smith. Kisah Robin Hood dan Merry Men dari Sherwood dan pertarungan mereka dengan Sheriff dari Nottingham mungkin adalah cerita rakyat Inggris yang paling terkenal di dunia.

Selama Abad Pertengahan, cerita-cerita yang berasal dari tradisi Britonik menjadi bagian dari cerita rakyat Inggris. Cerita-cerita ini berasal dari sumber-sumber Anglo-Norman, Perancis dan Weales, mengisahkan tentang Raja Arthur, Camelot, Excalibur, Merlin dan Kesatria Meja Bundar seperti Lancelot. Cerita-cerita ini muncul bersamaan dengan cerita-cerita Geoffrey dari Monmouth dalam Historia Regum Britanniae. Tokoh lainnya dari cerita rakyat Inggris, Raja Cole, mungkin didasarkan pada tokoh nyata dari era Britania Romawi.


Tari Morris, tari tradisional Inggris.

Beberapa tokoh dalam cerita rakyat didasarkan pada tokoh-tokoh sejarah semi ataupun aktual yang kisahnya telah diwariskan selama berabad-abad. Lady Godiva misalnya, dikatakan bahwa ia mengendarai kuda dengan bertelanjang melewati Coventry, Hereward the Wake adalah seorang tokoh heroik Inggris yang melawan invasi Norman, sedangkan Herne the Hunter dipercaya sebagai seorang hantu penunggang kuda yang berasal dari hutan dan taman di Windsor. Setiap tanggal 5 November, orang-orang membuat api unggun, menyalakan kembang api dan memakan tofe apel dalam rangka memperingati upaya Guy Fawkes dalam menggagalkan konspirasi Plot Bubuk Mesiu. Selain itu, terdapat juga sejumlah identitas dan kegiatan tradisional, baik yang bersifat regional ataupun nasional. Beberapa di antaranya adalah tari Morris, tari Maypole, Rapper sword di Inggris Timur Laut, Long Sword dance di Yorkshire, Mummers Play, bottle-kicking di Leicestershire, dan cheese-rolling di Cooper’s Hill. Inggris tidak memiliki kostum nasional resmi, namun kostum-kostum yang dikenakan oleh Raja dan Ratu, pengawal Ratu, kostum Morris, dan Beefeater dianggap sebagai kostum tradisional tidak resmi.



Fish and chips adalah salah satu kuliner Inggris yang dikonsumsi secara umum.

Sejak Periode Modern Awal, kuliner Inggris secara historis ditandai oleh kesederhanaan dan ketergantungan pada produk-produk alami yang berkualitas tinggi. Sejak Abad Pertengahan dan Abad Pencerahan, masakan Inggris menerima reputasi yang sangat baik, namun penurunan kualitas terjadi selama masa Revolusi Industri dengan banyaknya penduduk yang pindah dari pulau dan meningkatnya gelombang urbanisasi. Baru-baru ini, kuliner Inggris kembali mengalami kebangkitan yang telah diakui oleh para kritikus sebagai salah satu kuliner dengan kualitas terbaik. Majalah Restaurant baru-baru ini menobatkan restoran Inggris sebagai salah satu restoran terbaik di dunia. Buku resep mengenai kuliner Inggris yang paling awal adalah Forme of Cury, yang diterbitkan pada masa pemerintahan Richard II.


Pai apel sudah dikonsumsi di Inggris sejak Abad Pertengahan.

Beberapa contoh makanan tradisional Inggris di antaranya: Sunday roast, yang terdiri dari daging sapi, domba, atau ayam panggang yang disajikan dengan berbagai macam sayuran rebus, puding Yorkshire, dan kuah. Makanan terkenal lainnya termasuk Fish and chips dan full English breakfast, yang terdiri dari bacon, tomat panggang, roti goreng, sosis hitam, kacang panggang, jamur goreng, sosis, dan telur. Berbagai variasi pai daging dikonsumsi sebagai steak and kidney pie, cottage pie, Cornish pasty, dan pork pie, yang terakhir dikonsumsi secara dingin.

Sosis adalah makanan yang dikonsumsi secara umum, baik yang divariasikan sebagai bangers and mash ataupun toad in the hole. Lancashire hotpot adalah masakan rebus yang terkenal. Beberapa varian keju yang terkenal adalah keju cheddar dan Wensleydale. Banyak juga variasi makanan Inggris-India, misalnya kari, yang kemudian diolah menjadi kuliner-kuliner seperti chicken tikka masala dan balti. Hidangan rasa manis Inggris di antaranya pai apel, pai mince, spotted dick, scone, kue eccles, custard, dan puding sticky toffee. Minuman yang dikonsumsi secara umum adalah teh, yang dipopulerkan oleh Catherine dari Braganza. Sedangkan minuman beralkohol antara lain wine, cider, dan bir Inggris seperti bitter, mild, stout, dan brown ale.

Seni Rupa


Salah satu seri Marriage a la Mode oleh William Hogarth.

Contoh-contoh awal yang dikenal sebagai karya seni prasejarah batu dan gua yang paling menonjol terdapat di North Yorkshire, Northumberland dan Cumbria, serta di kawasan selatan seperti Creswell Crags. Dengan kedatangan kebudayaan Romawi pada abad ke-1, berbagai bentuk seni seperti patung, lukisan dan mosaik mulai berkembang. Ada banyak artefak yang saat ini masih berdiri kokoh, seperti yang terdapat di di Lullingstone dan Aldborough. Selama Abad Pertengahan awal, gaya seni ukir salib dan gading, lukisan naskah, emas dan perhiasan enamel juga berkembang, seperti yang terdapat dalam Staffordshire Hoard, yang ditemukan pada tahun 2009. Beberapa gaya Gaelik bercampur dengan gaya Anglian, gaya ini dapat dijumpai dalam Injil Lindisfarne dan Vespasian Psalter. Era berikutnya, seni Gotik mulai populer di Winchester dan Canterbury, contoh yang saat ini masih bertahan di antaranya Benedictional of St. Æthelwold dan Luttrell Psalter.

Selama era Tudor, beberapa seniman terkemuka menghasilkan karya-karya lukisan yang kemudian akan tetap menjadi bagian abadi dari seni Inggris. Era ini dipelopori oleh seniman Jerman Hans Holbein, dan seniman-seniman pribumi seperti Nicholas Hilliard. Di bawah pemerintahan Stuart, seniman Kontinental sangat berpengaruh dalam seni Inggris, seniman-seniman yang lahir dari era ini di antaranya adalah Anthony van Dyck, Peter Lely, Godfrey Kneller, dan William Dobson. Abad ke-18 menjadi periode terpenting bagi perkembangan seni Inggris dengan didirikannya Royal Academy. Thomas Gainsborough dan Joshua Reynolds adalah beberapa seniman terkemuka yang muncul dari era ini.

Norwich School meneruskan tradisi seni lanskap, sedangkan gerakan Persaudaraan Pra-Raphaelite dengan gaya mereka yang jelas dan rinci menghidupkan kembali gaya Pencerahan awal. Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti dan John Everett Millais adalah pelopor dari gerakan ini. Seniman terkemuka pada abad ke-20 seperti Henry Moore, dianggap sebagai pelopor seni patung Inggris, dan pelopor modernisme Inggris pada umumnya. Pelukis kontemporer Inggris yang terkemuka termasuk Lucian Freud, dengan karyanya Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, yang pada tahun 2008 memecahkan rekor dunia sebagai lukisan seniman hidup termahal yang pernah dijual.

Sastra, puisi dan filsafat


William Shakespeare

Penulis awal seperti Beda dan Alcuin menulis karya-karyanya dalam bahasa Latin. Periode sastra Inggris Kuno menghasilkan karya puisi epik Beowulf dan prosa sekuler Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, serta tulisan-tulisan Kristen seperti Judith, karya Cædmon: Hymn dan hagiografi. Setelah penaklukan Norman, sastra Latin mulai berkembang, terutama di antara kelas-atas terdidik.

Sastra Inggris Pertengahan yang terkemuka diwakili oleh Geoffrey Chaucer, penulis The Canterbury Tales, bersama dengan Gower, Penyair Pearl dan Langland. William dari Ockham dan Roger Bacon, yang merupakan seorang Fransiskan, adalah filsuf utama yang muncul dari dari Abad Pertengahan. Julian dari Norwich, yang menulis Revelations of Divine Love, adalah seorang mistikus Kristen terkemuka. Kemunculan sastra Inggris pencerahan pada periode Modern Awal juga menghasilkan beberapa penyair dan filsuf terkemuka. Salah satunya adalah William Shakespeare, dengan karya-karyanya seperti Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, dan A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, Philip Sydney, Thomas Kyd, John Donne, dan Ben Jonson adalah penulis terkemuka yang berasal dari era Elizabethan. Francis Bacon dan Thomas Hobbes, memelopori gaya penulisan empirisme dan materialisme, termasuk metode ilmiah dan kontrak sosial. Filmer menulis tentang Divine Right of Kings. Marvell adalah penyair terkemuka yang muncul dari era Persemakmuran, sedangkan John Milton menulis Paradise Lost selama era Restorasi.

Beberapa filsuf yang paling menonjol dari era Pencerahan adalah John Locke, Thomas Paine, Samuel Johnson dan Jeremy Bentham. Elemen yang lebih radikal kemudian dipelopori oleh Edmund Burke yang dianggap sebagai pendiri konservatisme. Penyair Alexander Pope dengan ayat satir nya yang sangat dihormati. Bangsa Inggris memainkan peran penting dalam perkembangan romantisisme: Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, John Keats, Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Blake, dan William Wordsworth adalah tokoh utamanya.

Sebagai tanggapan terhadap Revolusi Industri, penulis agraria muncul dengan topik-topik kebebasan dan tradisionalis; William Cobbett, G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc adalah pelopor utamanya, sedangkan pendiri serikat sosialisme, Arthur Penty, dan gerakan koperasi advokat G. D. H. Cole adalah beberapa tokoh yang juga berkaitan. Empirisme terus berlanjut dengan munculnya penulis dan penyair seperti John Stuart Mill dan Bertrand Russell, dan Bernard Williams, yang mengembangkan gaya analitikal. Penulis terkemuka dari era Victoria antara lain Charles Dickens, Brontë bersaudari, Jane Austen, George Eliot, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy, H. G. Wells, Lewis Carroll dan Evelyn Underhill. Hingga saat ini, Inggris terus memproduksi novelis-novelis terkemuka seperti C. S. Lewis, George Orwell, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Enid Blyton, Aldous Huxley, Agatha Christie, Terry Pratchett, J. R. R. Tolkien, dan J. K. Rowling.

Musik rakyat tradisional Inggris sudah berusia berabad-abad dan telah memberikan kontribusi terhadap beberapa genre musik seperti sea shanties, jig, hornpipe dan musik dansa. Genre-genre ini memiliki variasi tersendiri yang berbeda sesuai dengan kekhasan daerah. Wynkyn de Worde menciptakan balada Robin Hood pada abad ke-16 dan merupakan salah satu artefak penting, sama halnya dengan The Dancing Master karya John Playford dan koleksi Roxburghe Ballads karya Robert Harley. Beberapa lagu rakyat yang terkenal adalah The Good Old Way, Pastime with Good Company, Maggie May, dan Spanish Ladies. Banyak juga sajak yang berasal dari Inggris, antara lain Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Roses are red, Jack and Jill, Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, dan Humpty Dumpty.

Komposer musik klasik Inggris yang paling awal antara lain termasuk seniman Renaisans Thomas Tallis dan William Byrd, diikuti oleh Henry Purcell dari periode Barok. Musikus kelahiran Jerman, George Frideric Handel juga merupakan salah satu komposer terkemuka asal Inggris, yang menciptakan beberapa karya yang paling terkenal dalam musik klasik, di antaranya: The Messiah, Water Music, dan Music for the Royal Fireworks. Pada abad ke-20, terjadi kebangkitan dalam dunia musik Inggris dengan munculnya komposer-komposer seperti Benjamin Britten, Frederick Delius, Edward Elgar, Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams, dan lain sebagainya. Saat ini, salah satu komposer Inggris terkemuka di antaranya termasuk Michael Nyman, yang dikenal dengan karyanya The Piano.

Dalam bidang musik populer, banyak grup musik dan artis solo asal Inggris yang tercatat sebagai musisi paling berpengaruh dan terlaris sepanjang masa. Musisi-musisi dan grup seperti The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Queen, Rod Stewart, dan The Rolling Stones adalah beberapa musisi Inggris dengan penjualan album rekaman tertinggi di dunia. Banyak juga fenomena dan genre musik yang berasal ataupun berkaitan dengan Inggris, misalnya British invasion, hard rock, glam rock, heavy metal, mod, britpop, drum and bass, progressive rock, punk rock, indie rock, gothic rock, shoegazing, acid house, UK garage, trip hop, dan dubstep.

Festival musik besar di luar ruangan pada musim panas dan musim gugur yang populer di antaranya adalah Glastonbury, Festival V, serta Festival Reading dan Leeds. Rumah opera yang paling terkemuka di Inggris adalah Royal Opera House di Covent Garden, London. The Proms, konser musik klasik orkestra yang digelar di Royal Albert Hall merupakan event musik terkemuka yang diadakan setiap tahun. The Royal Ballet adalah salah satu lembaga balet klasik terkemuka di dunia, yang dibangun oleh Margot Fonteyn dan koreografer Frederick Ashton.

Museum, perpustakaan dan galeri


British Museum di London

English Heritage adalah sebuah badan pemerintah yang memiliki kewenangan yang luas untuk mengelola situs-situs bersejarah, artefak dan lingkungan di Inggris. Badan ini berada di bawah naungan Departemen Kebudayaan, Media dan Olahraga. Badan amal National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty juga memegang peran serupa. 17 dari 25 Situs Warisan Dunia UNESCO di Britania Raya berada di Inggris. Beberapa yang paling terkenal di antaranya adalah; Tembok Hadrian, Stonehenge, Menara London, Pantai Jurassic, Saltaire, Ironbridge Gorge, Studley Royal Park, dan lain sebagainya.

Inggris memiliki banyak museum, namun yang paling terkemuka adalah British Museum di London. Museum ini memiliki koleksi lebih dari tujuh juta objek, dan merupakan salah satu museum terbesar dan terlengkap di dunia. Perpustakaan Britania di London adalah perpustakaan nasional dan juga merupakan salah satu perpustakaan terbesar di dunia, dengan jumlah item lebih dari 150 juta yang tersedia dalam berbagai bahasa dan format, termasuk sekitar 25 juta koleksi buku. Galeri seni tertua adalah Galeri Nasional di Trafalgar Square, yang menyimpan koleksi lebih dari 2.300 lukisan yang berasal dari abad ke-13 hingga tahun 1900-an. Galeri Tate merupakan galeri nasional Britania Raya untuk seni modern. Galeri ini juga merupakan penyelenggara ajang Turner Prize.



Tim nasional Inggris bermain di Stadion Wembley. Wembley adalah salah satu stadion termahal yang pernah dibangun.

Inggris adalah salah satu negara dengan kekuatan olahraga yang terkemuka. Cabang olahraga yang berasal dari Inggris antara lain: sepak bola, kriket, uni rugbi, liga rugbi, tenis, bulu tangkis, squash, hoki, tinju, snooker, biliar, panahan, tenis meja, bola jaring, Pacuan kuda thoroughbred, balap greyhound dan fox hunting. Inggris juga berperan penting dalam perkembangan Formula Satu. Sepak bola adalah cabang olahraga yang paling populer di Inggris. Tim nasional sepak bola Inggris yang bermarkas di Stadion Wembley memenangkan Piala Dunia FIFA 1966 melawan Tim nasional sepak bola Jerman Barat dengan skor 4–2 saat Inggris menjadi tuan rumah.

Di tingkat klub, Inggris diakui oleh FIFA sebagai tempat kelahiran klub sepak bola, karena Sheffield FC dibentuk pada tahun 1857 sebagai klub sepak bola tertua di dunia. The Football Association adalah asosiasi sepak bola tertua, sedangkan FA Cup dan The Football League juga merupakan kompetisi liga pertama di dunia. Saat ini, Premier League adalah liga sepak bola yang paling menguntungkan dan paling elit di dunia. Piala Eropa (sekarang Piala Champions UEFA) telah dimenangkan oleh klub sepak bola asal Inggris seperti Liverpool, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa dan Chelsea, sedangkan Arsenal, dan Leeds United sudah pernah mencapai final.


Tim kriket Inggris saat mengalahkan Australia dalam seri The Ashes pada tahun 2009 di Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Kriket dikembangkan selama periode abad pertengahan awal oleh komunitas petani dan pekerja pabrik di Weald. Tim kriket Inggris adalah tim gabungan antara tim Inggris dengan tim Wales. Salah satu pertandingan kriket terkemuka adalah seri The Ashes antara tim Inggris dan tim Australia yang dipertandingkan sejak tahun 1882. Ajang final The Ashes pada tahun 2009 disaksikan oleh hampir 2 juta orang. Inggris adalah pemegang trofi saat ini dan menempati peringkat pertama dalam test cricket serta peringkat keempat secara internasional.


Tim nasional uni rugbi Inggris saat parade kemenangan mereka setelah memenangkan Piala Dunia Rugbi 2003.

Inggris telah menjadi tuan rumah Piala Dunia Kriket sebanyak empat kali (1975, 1979, 1983, 1999) dan ICC World Twenty20 pada tahun 2009. Ada juga beberapa kompetisi lokal, termasuk Kejuaraan County. Sejauh ini, Yorkshire merupakan klub paling sukses yang memenangkan kompetisi sebanyak 31 kali. Lord’s Cricket Ground berlokasi di London dan terkadang juga disebut sebagai “Mecca of Cricket”. William Penny Brookes adalah salah satu tokoh yang turut memelopori perkembangan Olimpiade modern. London telah menjadi tuan rumah Olimpiade Musim Panas sebanyak tiga kali, yaitu pada tahun 1908, 1948, dan 2012. Inggris juga berkompetisi dalam Pesta Olahraga Persemakmuran, yang diselenggarakan setiap empat tahun sekali. Sport England adalah badan pemerintah yang bertanggung jawab untuk mendistribusikan dana dan memberikan bimbingan strategis bagi kegiatan olahraga di Inggris. Ajang Grand Prix diadakan di sirkuit Silverstone.

Tim nasional uni rugbi Inggris memenangkan Piala Dunia Rugbi 2003. Inggris juga merupakan tuan rumah ajang Piala Dunia Rugbi 1991 dan akan menjadi tuan rumah lagi pada tahun 2015. Klub rugbi tingkat atas berkompetisi di kejuaraan English Premiership. Leicester Tigers, London Wasps, Bath Rugby dan Northampton Saints adalah klub-klub Inggris yang sukses dalam kejuaraan Eropa Piala Heineken.

Tim nasional liga rugbi Inggris menempati peringkat ketiga di dunia dan peringkat pertama di Eropa. Kejuaraan klub untuk liga rugbi adalah Liga Super. Beberapa klub yang paling sukses di antaranya Wigan Warriors, St Helens, Leeds Rhinos, dan Huddersfield Giants. Inggris akan menjadi tuan rumah Piala Dunia Liga Rugbi 2013. Dalam cabang tenis, Kejuaraan Wimbledon adalah turnamen tenis tertua dan salah satu yang paling bergengsi di dunia.

Simbol Nasional


Lambang negara Inggris.

Bendera nasional Inggris dikenal sebagai St. George Cross dan telah menjadi bendera negara sejak abad ke-13. Sebenarnya, bendera tersebut dipakai oleh wilayah maritim dari Republik Genoa. Kerajaan Inggris membayar upeti kepada Pemerintah Genoa dari tahun 1190, sehingga kapal-kapal Inggris dapat memakai bendera tersebut sebagai simbol perlindungan ketika melewati perairan Mediterania. Salib merah adalah simbol bagi Perang Salib pada abad ke-12 dan 13. Lambang ini dikaitkan dengan Santo George yang diklaim sebagai santo pelindung Inggris dan kemudian menggunakan salibnya sebagai bendera. Sejak tahun 1606, Salib St George juga membentuk bagian dari desain Union Flag, bendera Britania Raya yang dirancang oleh Raja James I.


Mawar Tudor, flora identitas Inggris.

Ada sejumlah simbol dan artefak simbolik lainnya, baik yang resmi maupun tidak resmi, termasuk mawar Tudor, flora identitas bangsa, naga putih, dan tiga ekor singa yang ditampilkan di lambang nasional Inggris. Mawar tudor diadopsi sebagai lambang nasional Inggris pada waktu terjadinya Perang Mawar sebagai simbol perdamaian. Simbol ini merupakan simbol sinkretis yang menggabungkan mawar putih yang melambangkan Wangsa York, dan mawar merah, yang melambangkan Wangsa Lancaster (penerus Wangsa Plantagenet). Simbol ini juga dikenal sebagai “Mawar dari Inggris”. Pohon oak juga ditetapkan sebagai simbol nasional Inggris, yang melambangkan kekuatan dan daya tahan. Istilah “Royal Oak” merujuk pada usaha melarikan diri Raja Charles II dari cengkeraman para anggota parlemen setelah ayahnya dieksekusi. Konon ia bersembunyi di sebuah pohon oak untuk menghindari penangkapan.

Lambang Nasional Inggris menampilkan tiga ekor singa yang ditetapkan oleh Raja Richard si Hati Singa pada tahun 1198. Inggris tidak memiliki lagu kebangsaan resmi. Sebagai bagian dari Britania Raya, lagu kebangsaan de facto adalah God Save the Queen. Namun, lagu Jerusalem, I Vow to Thee, My Country dan Land of Hope and Glory sering dianggap sebagai lagu kebangsaan tidak resmi Inggris. Lagu-lagu tersebut dikumandangkan dalam ajang Pesta Olahraga Persemakmuran 2002. Hari kebangsaan Inggris diperingati setiap tanggal 23 April, yang bertepatan dengan Hari St George.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Brighton Palace Pier at dusk

map brighton 1

  • Sovereign state: United Kingdom
  • Constituent country: England
  • Region: South East England
  • Ceremonial county: East Sussex
  • Unitary authority: Brighton and Hove
  • Admin HQ: Hove Town Hall
  • Town charter: 1313
  • Incorporated 1854
  • Unitary authority: 1997
  • City status: 2000
  • Government
    • Type: Unitary authority
    • Governing body: Brighton and Hove City Council
    • Leader: Warren Morgan (Lab)
    • Mayor: Mo Marsh (Lab)
    • MPs: Lloyd Russell-Moyle (Lab, Brighton Kemptown), Caroline Lucas (Green, Brighton Pavilion)
  • Area
    • Total 31.97 sq mi (82.79 km2)
  • Population (mid-2016 est.)
    • Total 289,200 (Ranked 42nd)
    • Density 9,050/sq mi (3,493/km2)
  • Demonym(s): Brightonian
  • Time zone: GMT (UTC0)
    • Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
  • Postcode area: BN
  • Area code(s): 01273
  • ISO: 3166-2 GB-BNH
  • ONS code: 00ML (ONS), E06000043 (GSS)
  • OS grid reference: TQ315065
  • NUTS: 3 UKJ21
  • Website: brighton-hove gov uk

Brighton /ˈbraɪtən/ (About this sound listen) is a seaside resort on the south coast of England.It is part of the city of Brighton and Hove and the ceremonial county of East Sussex, within the historic county of Sussex.

Archaeological evidence of settlement in the area dates back to the Bronze Age, Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods. The ancient settlement of “Brighthelmstone” was documented in the Domesday Book (1086). The town’s importance grew in the Middle Ages as the Old Town developed, but it languished in the early modern period, affected by foreign attacks, storms, a suffering economy and a declining population. Brighton began to attract more visitors following improved road transport to London and becoming a boarding point for boats travelling to France. The town also developed in popularity as a health resort for sea bathing as a purported cure for illnesses.

In the Georgian era, Brighton developed as a fashionable seaside resort, encouraged by the patronage of the Prince Regent, later King George IV, who spent much time in the town and constructed the Royal Pavilion in the Regency era. Brighton continued to grow as a major centre of tourism following the arrival of the railways in 1841, becoming a popular destination for day-trippers from London. Many of the major attractions were built in the Victorian era, including the Grand Hotel, the West Pier, and the Brighton Palace Pier. The town continued to grow into the 20th century, expanding to incorporate more areas into the town’s boundaries before joining the town of Hove to form the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove in 1997, which was granted city status in 2000.

Brighton’s location has made it a popular destination for tourists, renowned for its diverse communities, quirky shopping areas, large cultural, music and arts scene and its large LGBT population, leading to its recognition as the “unofficial gay capital of the UK”. Brighton attracted 7.5 million day visitors in 2015/16 and 4.9 million overnight visitors, and is the most popular seaside destination in the UK for overseas tourists. Brighton has also been called the UK’s “hippest city”, and “the happiest place to live in the UK”.

1 Etymology
2 History
3 Homelessness in Brighton
4 Geography and topography
4.1 Climate
4.2 Boundaries and areas
5 Governance and politics
6 Economy
6.1 Commerce and industry
6.2 Retail
7 Landmarks
7.1 Churches and places of worship
7.2 Beaches
8 Culture
8.1 Cinema
8.2 Festivals and rallies
8.3 Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community
8.4 Museums
8.5 Night-life and popular music
8.6 Notable residents
8.7 Restaurants
8.8 Theatre
9 Education
10 Sport
11 Transport



Queens Road, one of the oldest streets in Brighton

Brighton’s earliest name was Bristelmestune, recorded in the Domesday Book. Although more than 40 variations have been documented, Brighthelmstone (or Brighthelmston) was the standard rendering between the 14th and 18th centuries.

Brighton was originally an informal shortened form, first seen in 1660; it gradually supplanted the longer name, and was in general use from the late 18th century. Brighthelmstone was the town’s official name until 1810, though. The name is of Anglo-Saxon origin. Most scholars believe that it derives from Beorthelm + tūn—the homestead of Beorthelm, a common Old English name associated with villages elsewhere in England. The tūn element is common in Sussex, especially on the coast, although it occurs infrequently in combination with a personal name. An alternative etymology taken from the Old English words for “stony valley” is sometimes given but has less acceptance. Brighthelm gives its name to, among other things, a church and a pub in Brighton and some halls of residence at the University of Sussex. Writing in 1950, historian Antony Dale noted that unnamed antiquaries had suggested an Old English word “brist” or “briz”, meaning “divided”, could have contributed the first part of the historic name Brighthelmstone. The town was originally split in half by the Wellesbourne, a winterbourne which was culverted and buried in the 18th century.

Brighton has several nicknames. Poet Horace Smith called it “The Queen of Watering Places”, which is still widely used, and “Old Ocean’s Bauble”. Novelist William Makepeace Thackeray referred to “Doctor Brighton”, calling the town “one of the best of Physicians”. “London-by-Sea” is well-known, reflecting Brighton’s popularity with Londoners as a day-trip resort, a commuter dormitory and a desirable destination for those wanting to move out of the metropolis. “The Queen of Slaughtering Places”, a pun on Smith’s description, became popular when the Brighton trunk murders came to the public’s attention in the 1930s. The mid 19th-century nickname “School Town” referred to the remarkable number of boarding, charity and church schools in the town at the time.



Brighton, The Front and the Chain Pier Seen in the Distance, Frederick William Woledge, 1840.

The first settlement in the Brighton area was Whitehawk Camp, a Neolithic encampment on Whitehawk Hill which has been dated to between 3500 BC and 2700 BC. It is one of six causewayed enclosures in Sussex. Archaeologists have only partially explored it, but have found numerous burial mounds, tools and bones, suggesting it was a place of some importance. There was also a Bronze Age settlement at Coldean. Brythonic Celts arrived in Britain in the 7th century BC, and an important Brythonic settlement existed at Hollingbury Camp on Hollingbury Hill. This Celtic Iron Age encampment dates from the 3rd or 2nd century BC and is circumscribed by substantial earthwork outer walls with a diameter of c. 1,000 feet (300 m). Cissbury Ring, roughly 10 miles (16 km) from Hollingbury, is suggested to have been the tribal “capital”.

Later, there was a Roman villa at Preston Village, a Roman road from London ran nearby, and much physical evidence of Roman occupation has been discovered locally. From the 1st century AD, the Romans built a number of villas in Brighton and Romano-British Brythonic Celts formed farming settlements in the area. After the Romans left in the early 4th century AD, the Brighton area returned to the control of the native Celts. Anglo-Saxons then invaded in the late 5th century AD, and the region became part of the Kingdom of Sussex, founded in 477 AD by king Ælle.

Anthony Seldon identified five phases of development in pre-20th century Brighton. The village of Bristelmestune was founded by these Anglo-Saxon invaders, probably in the early Saxon period. They were attracted by the easy access for boats, sheltered areas of raised land for building, and better conditions compared to the damp, cold and misty Weald to the north. By the time of the Domesday survey in 1086 it was a fishing and agricultural settlement, a rent of 4,000 herring was established, and its population was about 400. Its importance grew from the Norman era onwards. By the 14th century there was a parish church, a market and rudimentary law enforcement (the first town constable was elected in 1285). Sacked and burnt by French invaders in the early 16th century—the earliest depiction of Brighton, a painting of c. 1520, shows Admiral Pregent de Bidoux’s attack of June 1514—the town recovered strongly based on a thriving mackerel-fishing industry. The grid of streets in the Old Town (the present Lanes area) were well developed and the town grew quickly: the population rose from c. 1,500 in 1600 to c. 4,000 in the 1640s. By that time Brighton was Sussex’s most populous and important town. Having lost the Battle of Worcester, King Charles II, after hiding for 42 days in various places, fled on the evening of the 15th October 1651 in the “Surprise” from Brighthelmstone to his exile in Fécamp, France.

Over the next few decades, though, events severely affected its local and national standing, such that by 1730 “it was a forlorn town decidedly down on its luck”. More foreign attacks, storms (especially the devastating Great Storm of 1703), a declining fishing industry, and the emergence of nearby Shoreham as a significant port caused its economy to suffer. By 1708 other parishes in Sussex were charged rates to alleviate poverty in Brighton, and Daniel Defoe wrote that the expected £8,000 cost of providing sea defences was “more than the whole town was worth”. The population declined to 2,000 in the early 18th century.

From the 1730s, Brighton entered its second phase of development—one which brought a rapid improvement in its fortunes. The contemporary fad for drinking and bathing in seawater as a purported cure for illnesses was enthusiastically encouraged by Dr Richard Russell from nearby Lewes. He sent many patients to “take the cure” in the sea at Brighton, published a popular treatise[note 1] on the subject, and moved to the town soon afterwards (the Royal Albion, one of Brighton’s early hotels, occupies the site of his house). Others were already visiting the town for recreational purposes before Russell became famous, and his actions coincided with other developments which made Brighton more attractive to visitors. From the 1760s it was a boarding point for boats travelling to France; road transport to London was improved when the main road via Crawley was turnpiked in 1770; and spas and indoor baths were opened by other entrepreneurial physicians such as Sake Dean Mahomed and Anthony Relhan (who also wrote the town’s first guidebook).


Photochrom of Brighton aquarium, 1890–1900

From 1780, development of the Georgian terraces had started, and the fishing village developed as the fashionable resort of Brighton. Growth of the town was further encouraged by the patronage of the Prince Regent (later King George IV) after his first visit in 1783. He spent much of his leisure time in the town and constructed the Royal Pavilion during the early part of his Regency. In this period the modern form of the name Brighton came into common use.

A permanent military presence was established in the city with the completion of Preston Barracks in 1793.

The arrival of the London and Brighton Railway in 1841 brought Brighton within the reach of day-trippers from London. The population grew from around 7,000 in 1801 to more than 120,000 by 1901. Many of the major attractions were built during the Victorian era, such as the Grand Hotel (1864), the West Pier (1866), and the Palace Pier (1899). Prior to either of these structures, the famous Chain Pier was built, to the designs of Captain Samuel Brown. It lasted from 1823 to 1896, and is featured in paintings by both Turner and Constable.

Because of boundary changes, the land area of Brighton expanded from 1,640 acres (7 km2) in 1854 to 14,347 acres (58 km2) in 1952. New housing estates were established in the acquired areas, including Moulsecoomb, Bevendean, Coldean and Whitehawk. The major expansion of 1928 also incorporated the villages of Patcham, Ovingdean and Rottingdean, and much council housing was built in parts of Woodingdean after the Second World War. In 1997, Brighton and Hove were joined to form the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove, which was granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II as part of the millennium celebrations in 2000.

Homelessness in Brighton

In 2016, Government figures analysed by the charity Shelter revealed that Brighton and Hove had the worst rate for homelessness outside London and is worse than some boroughs in the capital. Based on the Freedom of Information data there are 4,095 people sleeping rough or in emergency or temporary accommodation in the city, suggesting that one in 69 people in Brighton and Hove was homeless. In a charity report issued in November 2016, three areas in Brighton & Hove, East Brighton, Queen’s Park, and Moulsecoomb & Bevendean ranked in the top ten per cent nationally for deprivation.

Although deprivation in Brighton is distributed across the whole of the city it is more concentrated in some areas than others. The highest concentration of deprivation is in the Whitehawk, Moulsecoomb, and Hollingbury areas of the city but is also found around the St. James’s Street and Eastern Road areas. A 2015 government statistic showed that the area around Brighton’s Palace Pier roundabout and to the east towards St James’s Street in Kemptown is the seventh worst ‘living environment’ in England. On 19 January 2017, Brighton council announced they were looking at certain initiatives to try and alleviate some of the increasing homelessness seen on Brighton’s streets and were hoping to open the first in-house temporary housing for homeless people in the city.

Geography and Topography


To the east of Brighton, chalk cliffs protected by a sea-wall rise from the beach.


The underground Wellesbourne can rise to the surface during heavy rain, as in November 2000 when it flooded the London Road in Preston village.

Brighton lies between the South Downs and the English Channel to the north and south, respectively. The Sussex coast forms a wide, shallow bay between the headlands of Selsey Bill and Beachy Head; Brighton developed near the centre of this bay around a seasonal river, the Wellesbourne (or Whalesbone), which flowed from the South Downs above Patcham. This emptied into the English Channel at the beach near the East Cliff, forming “the natural drainage point for Brighton”.

Behind the estuary was a stagnant pond called the Pool or Poole, so named since the medieval era.[note 2] This was built over with houses and shops from 1793, when the Wellesbourne was culverted to prevent flooding, and only the name of the road (Pool Valley, originally Pool Lane) marks its site. One original house survives from the time of the pool’s enclosure. Behind Pool Valley is Old Steine (historically The Steyne), originally a flat and marshy area where fishermen dried their nets. The Wellesbourne occasionally reappears during times of prolonged heavy rain; author Mark Antony Lower referred to an early 19th-century drawing of the Royal Pavilion showing “quite a pool of water across the Steyne”.

Despite 16th-century writer Andrew Boorde’s claim that “Bryght-Hempston [is] among the noble ports and havens of the realm”, Brighton never developed as a significant port: rather, it was considered as part of Shoreham. Nevertheless, the descriptions “Port of Brighthelmston” or “Port of Brighton” were sometimes used between the 14th and 19th centuries, as for example in 1766 when its notional limits were defined for customs purposes.

The East Cliff runs for several miles from Pool Valley towards Rottingdean and Saltdean, reaching 24 metres (80 ft) above sea level. The soil beneath it, a mixture of alluvium and clay with some flint and chalk rubble, has experienced erosion for many years. The cliff itself, like the rest of Brighton’s soil, is chalk. Below this are thin layers of Upper and Lower Greensand separated by a thicker band of Gault clay. The land slopes upwards gradually from south to north towards the top of the Downs.

Main transport links developed along the floor of the Wellesbourne valley, from which the land climbs steeply—particularly on the east side. The earliest settlement was by the beach at the bottom of the valley, which was partly protected from erosion by an underwater shale-bar. Changes in sea level affected the foreshore several times: 40 acres (16 ha) disappeared in the first half of the 14th century, and the Great Storm of 1703 caused widespread destruction. The first sea defences were erected in 1723, and a century later a long sea-wall was built.


Brighton has a temperate climate: its Köppen climate classification is Cfb. It is characterised by mild, calm weather with high levels of sunshine, sea breezes and a “healthy, bracing air” attributed to the low level of tree cover. Average rainfall levels increase as the land rises: the 1958–1990 mean was 740 millimetres (29 in) on the seafront and about 1,000 millimetres (39 in) at the top of the South Downs above Brighton. Storms caused serious damage in 1703, 1806, 1824, 1836, 1848, 1850, 1896, 1910 and 1987. Snow is rare, but particularly severe falls were recorded in 1881 and 1967.

Climate data for Brighton

Climate data for Brighton

Average Sea Temperature

Average sea temperature

Boundaries and Areas

Boundaries and areas

At the time of the Domesday survey in 1086, Brighton was in the Rape of Lewes and the Hundred of Welesmere. The new Hundred of Whalesbone, which covered the parishes of Brighton, West Blatchington, Preston and Hove, was formed in 1296. Parishes moved in and out several times, and by 1801 only Brighton and West Blatchington were included in the Hundred.

Brighton’s ecclesiastical and civil parish boundaries were coterminous until 1873. Since then, the latter have changed several times as the urban area has expanded. In its original form, Brighton covered about 1,640 acres (660 ha) between the English Channel, Hove, Preston, Ovingdean and Rottingdean. The civil parish was first extended from 31 October 1873, when 905 acres (366 ha) was annexed from Preston. Its ecclesiastical parish was not affected.

On 1 October 1923, 94 acres (38 ha) were added to Brighton from Patcham parish: Brighton Corporation was developing the Moulsecoomb council estate there at the time. On 1 April 1928, Brighton became a county borough and grew by nearly five times by adding Ovingdean and Rottingdean parishes in their entirety and parts of Falmer, Patcham and West Blatchington. From 1 April 1952, more of Falmer and part of the adjacent Stanmer parish were added; 20 years later, land and marine territory associated with the new Brighton Marina development also became part of Brighton. Except for a small addition of rural land in 1993 (from Pyecombe parish), Brighton Borough’s boundaries remained the same until it was joined to Hove Borough in 1997 to form the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove.

The old boundary between Brighton and Hove is most clearly seen on the seafront, where the King Edward Peace Statue (1912) straddles the border, and in a twitten called Boundary Passage which runs northwards from Western Road to Montpelier Road. There is a Grade II-listed parish boundary marker stone in this passageway. Between Western Road and the seafront, the boundary runs up Little Western Street (pavement on eastern side, in Brighton), but it is not visible. Northwards from Western Road, it runs to the west of Norfolk Road, Norfolk Terrace, Windlesham Road and Windlesham Gardens in the Montpelier area, then along the south side of Davigdor Road to Seven Dials. From there it runs along the west side of Dyke Road as far as Withdean Road in Withdean, at which point it crosses Dyke Road so that the section north of that is part of Hove parish. The boundary continues to follow Dyke Road towards Devil’s Dyke on the South Downs.

Panorama of Brighton seen from Tenantry Down to the east


December 2013 panorama of Brighton seen from Tenantry Down (to the east).

Governance and Politics


Brighton Town Hall dates from 1830.

Brighton is covered by two constituencies in the Parliament of the United Kingdom: Brighton Kemptown and Brighton Pavilion. Both are marginal constituencies which were held by Labour from 1997 to 2010. At the 2017 general election, Brighton Kemptown elected the Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, while Brighton Pavilion re-elected Caroline Lucas, the first Green Party MP elected to Westminster. In European elections, Brighton is part of the European Parliament constituency of South-East England.

As of 2017, there are 21 wards in the city of Brighton and Hove, of which 12 are in Brighton. Regency, St Peter’s & North Laine, Preston Park, Withdean, Patcham, Hollingdean & Stanmer and Hanover & Elm Grove are part of the Brighton Pavilion constituency; Moulsecoomb & Bevendean, Queen’s Park, East Brighton, Woodingdean and Rottingdean Coastal are covered by the Brighton Kemptown constituency.

The newly created Borough of Brighton consisted of six wards in 1854: St Nicholas, St Peter, Pier, Park, Pavilion and West. When the territory was extended to include part of Preston parish in 1873, the new area became a seventh ward named Preston. The seven were split into 14 in 1894: Hanover, Kemp Town (renamed King’s Cliff in 1908), Lewes Road, Montpelier, Pavilion, Pier, Preston, Preston Park, Queen’s Park, Regency, St John, St Nicholas, St Peter, and West. Preston ward was extended in 1923 to incorporate the area taken into the borough from Patcham parish in 1923 for the construction of the Moulsecoomb estate, and in 1928 the ward was divided into four: Hollingbury, Moulsecoomb, Preston and Preston Park. Elm Grove and Patcham wards were created at the same time, bringing the total to 19. There were further changes in 1952, 1955 and 1983, at which time there were 16 wards. This situation continued until 1 April 1997, when Hove and its wards became part of the new unitary authority of Brighton and Hove.

Brighton Town Hall occupies a large site in The Lanes. Medieval Brighthelmston had a town hall, although it was called the Townhouse and functioned more like a market hall. A later building (1727) known as the Town Hall was principally used as a workhouse. Work on the first purpose-built town hall began in 1830; Thomas Read Kemp laid the first stone, and Thomas Cooper designed it on behalf of the Brighton Town Commissioners (of which he was a member). Brighton Corporation spent £40,000 to extend it in 1897–99 to the Classical design of Brighton Borough Surveyor Francis May. Despite this, the building was too small for municipal requirements by the mid-20th century, and extra council buildings were built in various locations throughout Brighton Borough Council’s existence: the most recent, Bartholomew House and Priory House next to the town hall, were finished in 1987. The town hall ceased to be responsible solely for Brighton’s affairs when Brighton and Hove were united in 1997, but it is still used by Brighton & Hove City Council—particularly for weddings and civil ceremonies.

The presence of a British subsidiary of the United States arms company EDO Corporation on the Home Farm Industrial Estate in Moulsecoomb has been the cause of protests since 2004. The premises were significantly damaged in January 2009 when protesters broke in.


In 1985, the Borough Council described three “myths” about Brighton’s economy. Common beliefs were that most of the working population commuted to London every day; that tourism provided most of Brighton’s jobs and income; or that the borough’s residents were “composed entirely of wealthy theatricals and retired businesspeople” rather than workers. Brighton has been an important centre for commerce and employment since the 18th century. It is home to several major companies, some of which employ thousands of people locally; as a retail centre it is of regional importance; creative, digital and new media businesses are increasingly significant; and, although Brighton was never a major industrial centre, its railway works contributed to Britain’s rail industry in the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly in the manufacture of steam locomotives.

Since the amalgamation of Brighton and Hove, economic and retail data has been produced at a citywide level only. Examples of statistics include: Brighton and Hove’s tourism industry contributes £380m to the economy and employs 20,000 people directly or indirectly; the city has 9,600 registered companies; and a 2001 report identified it as one of five “supercities for the future”. In the past couple of years tourists to Brighton and Hove have fallen in numbers. Over 2016, day visitors to Brighton and Hove dropped by an average of 2,400 per day. In August 2017, new figures for the year showed Brighton’s tourism had fallen by a further 1% on the previous year.

Commerce and Industry


Events at the Brighton Centre are important to Brighton’s economy.

Brighton’s largest private sector employer is American Express, whose European headquarters are at John Street. As of 2012, about 3,000 people work there. Planning permission to demolish the old Amex offices and build a replacement was granted in 2009, and work started in March 2010. Other major employers include Lloyds Bank, Asda (which has hypermarkets at Hollingbury and Brighton Marina), Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company and call-centre operator Inkfish. In 2012, it was reported that about 1,500 of Gatwick Airport’s 21,000 workers lived in the city of Brighton and Hove.

Brighton is a popular destination for conferences, exhibitions and trade fairs, and has had a purpose-built conference centre—the Brighton Centre—since 1977. Direct income from the Brighton Centre’s 160 events per year is £8 million,[note 4] and a further £50 million is generated indirectly by visitors spending money during their stay. Events range from political party conferences to concerts.



The Hollingbury Industrial Estate has large industrial, commercial and retail buildings such as Sussex House (left) and Exion 27 (right).

The Hollingbury Industrial Estate is one of the largest such facilities in Brighton; in its early days about 6,000 people were employed, principally in industrial jobs, but in the late 20th and early 21st centuries its focus has switched to commercial and retail development, limiting Brighton’s potential for industrial growth. Brighton Corporation laid out the estate on 18 acres (7.3 ha) of land around Crowhurst Road in 1950. By 1956, large-scale employment was provided at a bakery, a typewriter factory and a machine tools manufacturer among others. Most of the large factories closed during the recessions of the 1980s and 1990s, employment fell to 1,000, and structural changes started in the mid-1980s with a move towards small-scale industrial units (the Enterprise Estate was finished in October 1985) and then retail warehouses. Asda’s superstore opened in November 1987, MFI followed two years later, and other retail units were built in the 1990s. Two large headquarters buildings were vacated in quick succession when British Bookshops left in March 2011 and The Argus newspaper moved out of its headquarters in 2012—although the Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company signed a contract to move its 1,250 employees into the latter building.

Brighton has a high density of businesses involved in the media sector, particularly digital or “new media”, and since the 1990s has been referred to as “Silicon Beach”. By 2007, over 250 new media business had been founded in Brighton. Brandwatch is a social media monitoring company based in offices near Brighton station. Computer game design company Black Rock Studio was founded in 1998 and was taken over by Disney Interactive Studios, who closed it down in 2011. The Gamer Network, whose portfolio of websites relating to computer gaming (including Eurogamer) and creative industries was founded in 1999, is based in Brighton.

By the early 21st century, the market for office accommodation in the city was characterised by fluctuating demand and a lack of supply of high-quality buildings. As an example, the Trafalgar Place development (c. 1990), “now considered a prime office location”, stood partly empty for a decade. Exion 27 (built in 2001), a high-tech, energy-efficient office development at Hollingbury, remained empty for several years and is still not in commercial use: it houses some administrative departments of the University of Brighton. It was Brighton’s first ultramodern commercial property and was intended for mixed commercial and industrial use, but its completion coincided with a slump in demand for high-tech premises.


The Lanes form a retail, leisure and residential area near the seafront, characterised by narrow alleyways following the street pattern of the original fishing village. The Lanes contain predominantly clothing stores, jewellers, antique shops, restaurants and pubs. The North Laine area is a retail, leisure and residential area immediately north of the Lanes. Its name derives from the Anglo-Saxon “Laine” meaning “fields”, although the misnomer “North Lanes” is often used to describe the area. The North Laine contains a mix of businesses dominated by cafés, independent and avant-garde shops, bars and theatres.

Churchill Square is a shopping centre with a floor space of 470,000 sq ft (44,000 m2) and over 80 shops, several restaurants and 1,600 car-parking spaces. It was built in the 1960s as an open-air, multi-level pedestrianised shopping centre, but was rebuilt and enlarged in 1998 and is no longer open-air. Further retail areas include Western Road and London Road, the latter of which is currently undergoing extensive regeneration in the form of new housing and commercial properties.



Royal Pavilion


Brighton Pier

The Royal Pavilion is a former royal palace built as a home for the Prince Regent during the early 19th century, under the direction of the architect John Nash, and is notable for its Indo-Saracenic architecture and Oriental interior. Other Indo-Saracenic buildings in Brighton include the Sassoon Mausoleum, now, with the bodies reburied elsewhere, in use as a chic supper club.

Brighton Marine Palace and Pier (long known as the Palace Pier) opened in 1899. It features a funfair, restaurants and arcade halls. The West Pier was built in 1866 and is one of only two Grade I listed piers in the United Kingdom. It has been closed since 1975. For some time it was under consideration for restoration, but two fires in 2003, and other setbacks, led to these plans being abandoned. The Brighton i360 observation tower opened on 4 August 2016. At 162 metres (531.49 feet) high, and with an observation pod rising to 138 metres (452.75 feet), the i360 is Britain’s highest observation tower outside London – taller even than the London Eye.

Brighton clocktower, built in 1888 for Queen Victoria’s jubilee, stands at the intersection of Brighton’s busiest thoroughfares.


Clock Tower, Brighton



Volk’s Electric Railway runs along the inland edge of the beach from Brighton Pier to Black Rock and Brighton Marina. It was created in 1883 and is the world’s oldest operating electric railway.

The Grand Hotel was built in 1864. The Brighton hotel bombing occurred there. Its nighttime blue lighting is particularly prominent along the foreshore.

Churches and Places of Worship

The 11th century (1086) St Nicholas Church is the oldest building in Brighton, commonly known as “The Mother Church”. Other notable churches include the very tall brick-built St Bartholomew’s (1874) designed by the architect Edmund Scott, St Peter’s (1828), and St. Martin’s, noted for its decorated interior. Brighton’s Quakers run the Friends’ Meeting House in the Lanes. There is an active Unitarian community based in a Grade 2 listed building in New Road, and a Spiritualist church in Norfolk Square. There are also a number of New Age outlets and groups.

Brighton-Hove has five synagogues: New Church Road Synagogue, Hove; Holland Road Synagogue, Hove; Brighton & Hove Progressive Synagogue, Hove; Brighton & Hove Reform Synagogue, Hove; Middle Street Synagogue; Brighton. The Middle Street Synagogue is a Grade II-listed building built in 1874–75. It is being gradually restored by English Heritage. There are also several mosques and Buddhist centres.

Brighton has become known as one of the least religious places in the UK, based upon analysis of the 2011 census which revealed that 42 per cent of the population profess no religion, far higher than the national average of 25%. As part of the Jedi census phenomenon, 2.6 per cent claimed their religion was Jedi Knight, the largest percentage in the country.



Cliff Beach: Britain’s first naturist beach


Boats on Brighton Beach

Brighton has a 5.4-mile (8.7 km) expanse of shingle beach, part of the unbroken 8-mile (13 km) section within the city limits.[note 5] Neighbouring Hove is known for its hundreds of painted timber beach huts, but brick-walled chalets are also available on Brighton seafront, especially towards Rottingdean and Saltdean. Especially east of the Palace Pier, a flat sandy foreshore is exposed at low tide. The Palace Pier section of the beach has been awarded blue flag status. Part of the beach adjoining Madeira Drive, to the east of the city centre, has been redeveloped into a sports complex and opened to the public in March 2007, with courts for pursuits such as beach volleyball and ultimate Frisbee among others.

The city council owns all the beaches, which are divided into named sections by groynes—the first of which were completed in 1724. Eastwards from the Hove boundary, the names are Boundary, Norfolk, Bedford, Metropole, Grand (referring to the four hotels with those names), Centre, King’s, Old Ship, Volk’s, Albion, Palace Pier, Aquarium, Athina (where the MS Athina B ran aground), Paston, Banjo, Duke’s, Cliff, Crescent and Black Rock. Cliff Beach is a nudist beach. Beyond Black Rock, the cliffs (part of the Brighton to Newhaven Cliffs Site of Special Scientific Interest) rise to more than 100 feet (30 m) and there are three small beaches at Ovingdean Gap, Rottingdean Gap and Saltdean Gap. All are connected by the Undercliff Walk, which has been affected by several cliff falls since 2000.

Since the demolition in 1978 of the Black Rock open-air lido at the eastern end of Brighton’s seafront, the area has been developed and now features one of Europe’s largest marinas. However, the site of the pool itself remains empty except for a skate park and graffiti wall. Since 2003 a series of developments have been proposed but have come to nothing, including housing, a five-star hotel with a winter garden, and an 11,000-seat sports arena.

The seafront is also home to many restaurants, sports facilities, amusement arcades, nightclubs and bars.




Odeon Kingswest on Brighton seafront opened in 1973

Brighton featured in a number of popular movies including Quadrophenia (1979), The End of the Affair (1999), Wimbledon (2004), MirrorMask (2005), Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008), The Young Victoria (2009), Brighton Rock (2010 and 1947) and The Boat that Rocked (2009).

The Duke of York’s Picturehouse, dating from 1910, was opened by Mrs Violet Melnotte-Wyatt. It is the country’s oldest purpose-built cinema and was Brightons first Electric Bioscope, which still operates as an arthouse cinema. The Duke of York’s Picturehouse expanded in 2012, adding two additional screens in a different location. The company is now occupying the upstairs of Komedia, situated on Gardner Street, central Brighton. There are two multiplex cinemas, the Odeon on North Street and Cineworld in the Marina.

Festivals and Rallies


“The Big Beach Boutique II”: over 250,000 watched Fatboy Slim (July 2002)


Seafront display of Minis after a London to Brighton drive

Each May the city hosts the Brighton Festival and Brighton Fringe, the second largest arts festival in the UK (after Edinburgh). This includes processions such as the Children’s Parade, outdoor spectaculars often involving pyrotechnics, and theatre, music and visual arts in venues throughout the city, some brought into this use exclusively for the festival. The earliest feature of the festival, the Artists’ Open Houses, are homes of artists and craftspeople opened to the public as galleries, and usually selling the work of the occupants. Since 2002, these have been organised independently of the official Festival and Fringe.

Brighton Fringe runs alongside Brighton Festival, and has grown to be one of the largest fringe festivals in the world. Together with the street performers from Brighton Festival’s “Streets of Brighton” events, and the Royal Mile-esque outdoor performances that make up “Fringe City”, outdoor spectacles and events more than double during May.

Other festivals include The Great Escape, featuring three nights of live music in venues across the city; the Soundwaves Festival in June, which shows classical music composed in the 21st Century, and involves both amateur and professional performers; Paddle Round the Pier; Brighton Live which each September stages a week of free gigs in pubs to show local bands; Burning the Clocks, a winter solstice celebration; and Brighton Pride (see lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, below). For a number of years, Andrew Logan’s Alternative Miss World extravaganza was held in the city.

The Kemptown area has its own small annual street festival, the Kemptown Carnival, and the Hanover area similarly has a “Hanover Day”. Local resident Fatboy Slim puts on a “Big Beach Boutique” show most years. An inaugural White Nights (Nuit Blanche) all-night arts festival took place in October 2008 and continued for 4 years until it was postponed in 2012 due to a lack of European funding. 2009 saw the first Brighton Zine Fest celebrating zine and DIY culture within the city.

Brighton is the terminus of a number of London-to-Brighton rides, and runs, such as the veteran car run and bike ride. Transport rallies are also hosted on the seafront. Groups of mods and Rockers still bring their scooters and motorbikes to the town, but their gatherings are now much more sedate than the violent 1960s confrontations depicted in Quadrophenia.

Food and drink related festivals include the traditional Blessing of the Fisheries, where barbecued mackerel are eaten on the beach and the more recent Fiery Foods Chilli Festival. There is also a twice-yearly general food festival. The main Sussex beer festival is held in nearby Hove, and there is a smaller beer festival in the Hanover area.

Brighton is the home of the UK’s first Walk of Fame which celebrates the many rich and famous people associated with the city.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community

Even amid all of this Gaiety the Southdown livery looks colourful and cheerful

Brighton Pride 2014 bus

Brighton records LGBT history in the city since the 19th century. Many LGBT pubs, clubs, bars, restaurants, cafés and shops are located around Brighton and in particular around St James’s Street in Kemptown. Several LGBT charities, publishers, social and support groups are also based in the city. Brighton Pride is usually celebrated at the start of August. Brighton also hosts an annual trans pride event, which is the first of its kind in the UK. In a 2014 estimate, 11–15% of the city’s population aged 16 or over is thought to be lesbian, gay or bisexual. The city also had the highest percentage of same-sex households in the UK in 2004 and the largest number of civil partnership registrations outside London in 2013.


Brighton museums include Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Preston Manor, Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton Toy and Model Museum, and Brighton Fishing Museum, the long established social epicentre of the seafront, which includes artefacts from the West Pier. The Royal Pavilion is also open to the public, serving as a museum to the British Regency.

Night-life and Popular Music


Theatre Royal, city centre

Brighton has many night-life hotspots and is associated with popular musicians including Fatboy Slim, Kirk Brandon, Tim Booth, Nick Cave, David Van Day from Dollar, and Robert Smith. Live music venues include the Concorde2, Brighton Centre and the Brighton Dome, where ABBA received a substantial boost to their career when they won the Eurovision Song Contest 1974. Many events and performance companies operate in the city. Brighton’s has produced several successful bands & music artists including Royal Blood, the Kooks, Fatboy Slim, the Freemasons, the Levellers and the Maccabees, British Sea Power, the Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and the Rizzle Kicks. Brighton is also home to several independent record labels.

Notable residents


Brighton has about 400 restaurants.


Theatres include the Brighton Dome and associated Pavilion Theatre, the expanded Komedia (primarily a comedy and music venue but also a theatre), the Old Market which was renovated and re-opened in 2010 and the Theatre Royal which celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2007. There are also smaller theatres such as the Marlborough Theatre, the New Venture, and the Brighton Little Theatre. The city has the new purpose built Brighton Open Air Theatre, or B•O•A•T, which is due to open for the Brighton Festival in May 2015. It is unique in that its programme will be chosen by lottery to ensure that it remains accessible and open to all comers.



University of Sussex campus from above


Roedean School.

Brighton & Hove City Council is responsible for 80 schools, of which 54 are in Brighton.
The University of Sussex established in 1961 is a campus university between Stanmer Park and Falmer, four miles (6 km) from the city centre. Served by frequent trains (to Falmer railway station) and 24-hour buses, it has a student population of 12,500 of which 70% are undergraduates. The university is currently ranked 18th in the UK and 110th in the world by the World University Rankings.

The University of Brighton, the former Brighton Polytechnic, has a student population of 20,017 of which 80% are undergraduates. The university is on several sites with additional buildings in Falmer, Moulsecoomb, Eastbourne and Hastings.

In 2003, the universities of Sussex and Brighton formed a medical school, known as Brighton and Sussex Medical School. The school was one of four new medical schools to be created as part of a government programme to increase the number of qualified NHS doctors. The school is based in Falmer and works closely with the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.

A range of non-university courses for students over 16, mainly in vocational education subjects, is provided at the further education college, City College Brighton and Hove. More academic subjects can be studied by 16–18-year-olds at Brighton Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College (BHASVIC) in the Seven Dials area. Varndean College in North Brighton occupies a commanding position. The 1920s building is celebrated for its façade and internal quads. The college offers academic A levels, The International Baccalaureate and vocational courses.

There are state schools and some faith schools. Notable state schools include Longhill High School, Varndean School, Patcham High School, Dorothy Stringer High School, Blatchington Mill School and Sixth Form College and Brighton Aldridge Community Academy.

There are a number of independent schools, including Brighton College, Roedean School, Steiner School, BHHS and a Montessori School. As with the state schools, some independents are faith-based; Torah Academy, the last Jewish primary school, became a Pre-K/Nursery School at the end of the 2007. The Brighton Institute of Modern Music, a fully accredited music college, opened in 2001 and has since expanded to five locations throughout the UK.

In spring and summer, thousands of students from all over Europe gather to attend language courses at the many language schools.



Falmer Stadium, home of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club


Brighton Marina

Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club is the city’s professional football team. After playing at the Goldstone Ground for 95 years, the club spent two years ground-sharing at Gillingham before returning to the town as tenants of the Withdean Athletics Stadium. However, in 2011 the club permanently moved to Falmer Stadium in Falmer at the start of the 2011–12 season, with the first match being played there in July 2011. The club’s notable achievements including winning promotion to the Football League First Division for the first time in 1979, staying there for four seasons, during the last of which they reached the FA Cup Final and took Manchester United to a replay before losing 4-0. The 2017-18 Football season will see Brighton’s debut in the Premier League, after a win against Wigan Athletic guaranteed automatic promotion to the top flight. Notable former managers of the club include Brian Clough, Peter Taylor (born 1928), Peter Taylor (born 1953), Jimmy Melia, Liam Brady, Jimmy Case, Steve Gritt, Brian Horton, Steve Coppell and Mark McGhee. Notable former players include Gareth Barry, Dave Beasant, Justin Fashanu, Dennis Mortimer, Gordon Smith, Frank Stapleton, Howard Wilkinson and Bobby Zamora.

Whitehawk Football Club is a semi-professional football club based in the Whitehawk suburb of Brighton. Currently, they play in the Conference South having won promotion three times in the space four years between 2009–13. Whitehawk play their games at The Enclosed Ground, beautifully set into the South Downs, close to Brighton Marina. Notable former/current players include Sergio Torres, Jake Robinson, Matthew Lawrence and Darren Freeman.

Brighton and Hove is home to the Sussex County Cricket Club at Eaton Road in Hove.
Brighton Football Club (RFU) is one of the oldest Rugby Clubs in England.

Brighton & Hove Hockey Club is a large hockey club, with a homeground based in Hove. The men’s 1XI gained promotion to the England Hockey League system, Conference East, in 2013.

Throughout the year many events take place on Madeira Drive (a piece of roadway on Brighton’s seafront), which was constructed to host what is commonly held to be the world’s oldest motor race, the Brighton Speed Trials, which has been running since 1905. The event is organised by the Brighton and Hove Motor Club and normally takes place on the second Saturday in September each year.

There is also an from time to time a beach soccer competition in a temporary stadium on imported sand on the beach. The inaugural contest in June 2002 featured football stars such as Eric Cantona and Matt Le Tissier.

Brighton has a horse-racing course, Brighton Racecourse, with the unusual feature that when the full length of the course is to be used, some of the grass turf of the track has to be laid over the tar at the top of Wilson Avenue, a public road, which therefore has to be closed for the races.

There is a greyhound racing circuit – the Brighton & Hove Greyhound Stadium – in Hove, run by Coral, at which Motorcycle speedway racing was staged in 1928.

Brighton Sailing Club has been operating since the 1870s.

The Brighton and Hove Pétanque Club runs an annual triples, doubles and singles competition, informal KOs, winter and summer league, plus Open competitions with other clubs. The club is affiliated to Sussex Pétanque, the local region of the English Pétanque Association, so they can also play at a Regional and National level. The Peace Statue terrain is the official pétanque terrain situated on the seafront near the West Pier.

Brighton has two competitive swimming clubs. Brighton SC formed in 1860 claims to be the oldest swimming club in England. Brighton Dolphin SC was formed in 1891 as Brighton Ladies Swimming.

Brighton was chosen as one of the one of the 13 Rugby World Cup 2015 host cities, with two games being played at the 30,750 capacity American Express Community Stadium (Although it was named the “Brighton Community Stadium” throughout the tournament for sponsorship reasons.) One of the two games played was one of the biggest shocks in the history of Rugby Union, with Japan defeating South Africa 34 points to 32, with a try in the dying minutes of the game. The other game was between Samoa and the United States.



The Brighton Main Line railway (left) and A23 road link Brighton to London.

Brighton has several railway stations, many bus routes, coach services and taxis. A Rapid Transport System has been under consideration for some years. Trolleybuses, trams, ferries and hydrofoil services have operated in the past.

Brighton is connected to the national road network by the A23 (London Road) northwards, and by two east–west routes: the A259 along the coast and the A27 trunk route inland. The A23 joins the M23 motorway at Pease Pottage near Gatwick Airport. The A27 originally ran through the urban area along Old Shoreham Road and Lewes Road, but it now follows the route of the Brighton Bypass (opened in 1990) and the old alignment has become the A270.

A bypass was first proposed in 1932, six routes were submitted for approval in 1973, and the Department of the Environment published its recommended route in 1980. Public enquiries took place in 1983 and 1987, construction started in 1989 and the first section—between London Road at Patcham and the road to Devil’s Dyke—opened in summer 1991. By 1985 there were about 5,000 parking spaces in central Brighton. The largest car parks are at London Road, King Street, and the Churchill Square/Regency Road/Russell Road complex. In 1969, a 520-space multi-storey car park was built beneath the central gardens of Regency Square.


Brighton Station Concourse

Frequent trains operate from Brighton railway station. Many Brighton residents commute to work in London and destinations include London Victoria, London Bridge and St Pancras International. Most trains serve Gatwick Airport, and those operated by Thameslink continue to St Albans, Luton, Luton Airport Parkway and Bedford. The fastest service from London Victoria takes 51 minutes. The West Coastway Line serves stations to Hove, Worthing, Portsmouth and Southampton; and the East Coastway Line runs via Lewes to Newhaven, Eastbourne, Hastings and Ashford, Kent, crossing the landmark London Road viaduct en route and providing “a dramatic high-level view” of Brighton. A wider range of long-distance destinations was served until 2007–08 when rationalisation caused the ending of InterCity services via Kensington (Olympia) and Reading to Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh. Twice-daily long-distance services to Bristol and Great Malvern are operated by Great Western Railway via the West Coastway Line.

Until deregulation in 1986, bus services in Brighton were provided by Southdown Motor Services and Brighton Borough Transport under a joint arrangement called “Brighton Area Transport Services”. Southdown were part of the nationalised NBC group and were based at Freshfield Road in the Kemptown area; Brighton Borough Transport were owned by the council and used the former tram depot at Lewes Road as their headquarters. Joint tickets were available and revenue was shared. The Brighton & Hove Bus Company, owned by the Go-Ahead Group since 1993, now runs most bus services in Brighton. Its fleet has about 280 buses. Compass Travel, The Big Lemon, Metrobus, Stagecoach South and The Sussex Bus also operate some services to central Brighton. The city had 1,184 bus stops in 2012, 456 of which had a shelter. Real-time travel information displays are provided at many stops.


A Brighton & Hove bus service to East Moulsecoomb

The only park and ride facility in Brighton is based at the Withdean Stadium. It does not offer a dedicated shuttle bus service: intending passengers must join the Brighton & Hove Bus Company’s route 27 service to Saltdean—which travels via Brighton railway station, the Clock Tower and Old Steine—and pay standard fares. The 20-year City Plan released in January 2013 ruled out an official park-and-ride facility, stating it would be an “inefficient use of public money, particularly in an era of declining car use”. Councillors and residents in Woodingdean and Rottingdean have claimed that streets and car parks in those areas have become unofficial park-and-ride sites: drivers park for free and take buses into the city centre.

Shoreham Airport is 9 miles (14 km) west of Brighton near the town of Shoreham-by-Sea. The airport has since rebranded Brighton (Shoreham) Airport.

Gatwick Airport is 22 miles (35 km) north on the A23; and regular coach and rail services operate from Brighton to the Airport.


Maps of Brighton










The Beatles

The Beatles . Biography


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The Beginning

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How do you begin a biography of the Beatles? I mean honestly, what can you say that can summarize such a spectacular revolution, not only in music but in world consciousness? Their scope of influence stretches from music to film and even dabbles in politics and the art of friendship. Their story is inspiring, sparking many to get up out of their chairs and try something new. The Beatles pioneered so much in their short time together, changing the world for generations to come.

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It all began in 1957, Liverpool England, the second most unlikely place in the world to give birth to stardom (the first being Demorest, Georgia). John Lennon had learned the banjo at a young age, moving quickly to the guitar and then starting his own band. Dubbed “The Quarry Men”, this high school skiffle group played around Liverpool, changing members more frequently than they changed socks. Soon, a young Mr. Paul McCartney sauntered up to John in between concerts. After hearing him play the guitar, John said “Hey. Join me band, we?ll become the most popular group in the world.” Not wanting to appear anxious, Paul waited a day before saying “Alright, sure.” The famous Lennon-McCartney duo was born.

09 The-Beatles

Eight months later Paul had a suggestion for a new recruit. Three years their junior, George Harrison was nonetheless a wizard on the guitar. John was hesitant to allow such a young person into the band, but George won him over. Two weeks before his 15th birthday, George officially became a member of the band. I don’t know about you, but my fifteenth birthday wasn’t nearly as productive as his…

The Beatles 003

The Quarry Men continued to play in and around Liverpool. Their name went through several changes over the coming months. After using and discarding the Quarry Men label, Johnny and the Moondogs enjoyed a brief stint, followed by The Nerk Twins. Finally, John hit upon something when he conjured “The Beatals” as their new official title, wanting an insect reference similar to Buddy Holly’s “The Crickets”, the whole beetle theme continued through their next five names: The Silver Beetles, The Silver Beats, The Beatles, The Silver Beatles. At last, after going through more metamorphoses than a caterpillar, the ‘silver’ was dropped (again), leaving the short and sweet, ultra catchy and very rememberable, The Beatles.

Their logo was based on an impromptu sketch by instrument retailer and designer Ivor Arbiter. The Beatles 001-02
Their logo was based on an impromptu sketch by instrument retailer and designer Ivor Arbiter.
The Beatles 001-02

The Beatles 016Some phenomenal changes were in the air as the universe began to stitch together the group that would spark so much change throughout the world. Though they didn’t know it at the time, but this group of young men were setting their foundation for their climb to the top of the world. All they needed was a big break.

Abbey Road Studios main entrance
Abbey Road Studios main entrance.

Abbey Road Studios has been home to countless landmark recordings and pioneering advances in recording technology. We excel in recording, mixing, editing, mastering and audio restoration.

Our facilities are some of the best in the world with award-winning engineers, wonderful acoustic rooms, an unrivalled microphone collection and a highly sought-after mixture of unique, historic audio equipment and cutting-edge recording technology.

The studios are also a unique venue and we host a limited number of exclusive events per annum.

 Top Ten most Technically Innovative Beatles Songs 28 April 2014 Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan, co-authors of 'Recording the Beatles', have compiled a list of the top ten most technically innovative Beatles songs for Mojo magazine. As they explain,

Top Ten most Technically Innovative Beatles Songs
28 April 2014
Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan, co-authors of ‘Recording the Beatles’, have compiled a list of the top ten most technically innovative Beatles songs for Mojo magazine.
As they explain, “The group’s remarkable thirst for newness, allied with the ingenuity of their producers and engineers at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios, gave rise to cutting-edge sonics and daring studio exploration – now often taken for granted.”
Check out the top ten here.
Brian and Kevin will be speaking at ‘The Sound of Abbey Road Studios’ events this weekend, along with Beatles engineer Ken Scott. The last few tickets are available here.

Abbey Road Meets... Ken Scott 27 March 2014 We put your questions to renowned former Abbey Road engineer Ken Scott this week. Ken is one of the speakers at ‘The Sound of Abbey Road Studios’ events, where he will return to the very room where he worked on his first session nearly 50 years ago: The Beatles putting the finishing touches to their album ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ in Studio Two. An esteemed engineer, producer and pivotal figure in Abbey Road Studios’ history, Ken has also worked with Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Lou Reed, to name but a few. Thank you to everyone who participated and sent in questions; the standard was high and it was tough choosing which ones to put to him. Here is the interview in full.
Abbey Road Meets… Ken Scott
27 March 2014
We put your questions to renowned former Abbey Road engineer Ken Scott this week.
Ken is one of the speakers at ‘The Sound of Abbey Road Studios’ events, where he will return to the very room where he worked on his first session nearly 50 years ago: The Beatles putting the finishing touches to their album ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ in Studio Two.
An esteemed engineer, producer and pivotal figure in Abbey Road Studios’ history, Ken has also worked with Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Lou Reed, to name but a few.
Thank you to everyone who participated and sent in questions; the standard was high and it was tough choosing which ones to put to him. Here is the interview in full.

Visit Abbey Road's legendary Studio Two 11 March 2014 We are pleased to announce ‘The Sound of Abbey Road Studios’, unique talks taking place in April and May featuring special guest former Abbey Road Studios Engineer Ken Scott. The talks mark a new opportunity to visit Abbey Road Studios’ world famous Studio Two, where many iconic artists have recorded including The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Kate Bush, Elton John, Oasis and Adele. Event hosts Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan, authors of critically acclaimed book Recording the Beatles, return for the third instalment of this fascinating talks series with a brand new lecture exploring the evolution of recording techniques and equipment, many of which were pioneered at Abbey Road Studios. In addition to the informative and entertaining stories behind these techniques, the lectures will include demonstrations using both new and vintage equipment, some of which has been used on many landmark recordings over the studios’ 82 year history. For the first time in the series, Brian and Kevin welcome a special guest. Renowned former Abbey Road engineer Ken Scott will be returning to speak in the very room where he recorded tracks by legendary artists including Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck and the Beatles. An esteemed producer and pivotal figure in Abbey Road Studios’ history, Ken has also made records with The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Lou Reed, to name but a few. With Brian and Kevin’s incredible knowledge of Abbey Road Studios’ history and its role in the development of audio production plus Ken’s unique insight into life at the world’s first purpose built recording studios, these talks promise to be a captivating experience for all classical, rock, pop and film score fans.
Visit Abbey Road’s Legendary Studio Two
11 March 2014
We are pleased to announce ‘The Sound of Abbey Road Studios’, unique talks taking place in April and May featuring special guest former Abbey Road Studios Engineer Ken Scott.
The talks mark a new opportunity to visit Abbey Road Studios’ world famous Studio Two, where many iconic artists have recorded including The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Kate Bush, Elton John, Oasis and Adele.
Event hosts Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan, authors of critically acclaimed book Recording the Beatles, return for the third instalment of this fascinating talks series with a brand new lecture exploring the evolution of recording techniques and equipment, many of which were pioneered at Abbey Road Studios. In addition to the informative and entertaining stories behind these techniques, the lectures will include demonstrations using both new and vintage equipment, some of which has been used on many landmark recordings over the studios’ 82 year history.
For the first time in the series, Brian and Kevin welcome a special guest. Renowned former Abbey Road engineer Ken Scott will be returning to speak in the very room where he recorded tracks by legendary artists including Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck and the Beatles. An esteemed producer and pivotal figure in Abbey Road Studios’ history, Ken has also made records with The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Lou Reed, to name but a few.
With Brian and Kevin’s incredible knowledge of Abbey Road Studios’ history and its role in the development of audio production plus Ken’s unique insight into life at the world’s first purpose built recording studios, these talks promise to be a captivating experience for all classical, rock, pop and film score fans.

The Ride to the Top

The Beatles did not immediately jump out to stardom. In fact, their climb was somewhat like a roller coaster, a slow clanking to the top, the suspense building and waiting for that first plunge over the hill. For months they toured Liverpool and the surrounding towns trying to build a fan base. Eventually they made their way Hamburg, playing to a particularly rowdy crowd. The boys were forced to rev-up their performance for the demanding audience, teaching them how to become true showmen. Upon returning to Liverpool, they discovered some of their fame had preceded them.

Brian Epstein, a record store owner in Liverpool, got wind of the Beatles about this time. His interest was piqued, so he went to watch them perform one night. At first glance, they appeared like most young Liverpudlians at the time: uncouth hair, leather jackets and dark trousers. But when they played, their synthesis created something marvelous. Something about their energy when together inspired Brian to become their manager. He pulled some strings and got the boys a few auditions. Sadly, they were unfruitful. This didn’t dampen their resolve, however, and Epstein continued lobbying for the band until he finally secured an audition with George Martin at Parlophone records.

Martin, as it turns out, loved their sound. He, too, was an early victim of the Beatles’ undeniable charm and catchy beats, succumbing to their charismatic energy like Bugs Bunny to a carrot. He cleaned them up, put them in tailored suits and gave them a resounding thumbs-up (It was Brian Epstein who suggested they wear suits). The only part of the package he didn’t seem to like was their drummer, Pete Best. In a move that still raises eyebrows to this day, Epstein was asked to replace Pete before the deal would be complete. Richard Starkey, our beloved Ringo Starr, would take his place, completing the rock and roll quartet. The Beatles were complete.

Being the superstar producer like he was, Martin decided these lanky Liverpudlians should take over the world. After consulting history books and noting that marching over mountains with elephants was not successful, he decided to take the musical route. After several mildly-successful singles released in the UK, the album Please Please Me was recorded in a 12-hour studio session and released in March of 1963. It was a hit, topping the charts for over 6 months. Not too shabby for one day’s worth of work; much nicer than minimum wage.

I Want To Hold Your Hand hit the enterprising shores of America at the end of 1963, floating to number one like a rubber ducky. Their new look was also a big hit. Teens loved their off-kilter appearance, collarless suits, mop-top hair and quirky personalities. The Beatles quickly became known for their plucky sense of humor and constant silliness. In an interview conducted in February 1964, a reporter informed the Beatles that Detroit University had a ‘Stamp out the Beatles’ movement. The boys nodded, and Paul replied with his characteristic head bob “We’ve got a Stamp out Detroit movement!” After laughing, the interviewer continued. “They think your haircuts are un-American.” John retorted, “Well, it was very observant of them because we aren’t American, actually.” Such flippant and unrestrained joy in life was infectious, only increasing their charm and lovability.

The Beatles then hopped on a boat and sailed over to the U.S. (via jet plane) for their famous appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. In what was the highest rated program to that date, the famous words “Ladies and gentlemen, the Beatles!” introduced the rag-tag bunch to the television world. They hopped, they sang, they played, they laughed. People loved it. The souls of the world were opening up to a new era of thought, instigated by the quartet of young clowns from Liverpool. Their songs were simple but touching, the tunes catchy and enjoyable. America fell for the Beatles’, and their success was only beginning.

I Can See My House from Here (or “being on the top)

A sure-sign of being “on the top” would be having a lunchbox with your image on the front. Or a pencil sharpener. Or a pair of socks. Or bubblegum. Or all of the above and much more. Beatlemania settled upon the world, nestling us in the warm winged comfort of the four boys from Liverpool. Their timing couldn’t have been better to start their ascent up the pedestal of stardom. The world was on the verge of an enormous change, and the Beatles, with their budding creativity, would foster the revolution.

As any comic book teaches us, good never comes without evil. Critics reared their ugly heads and had their say, proclaiming the Beatles were nothing but a fad that would die as soon as the next group of cute guys with guitars came along. Shortly after being proved embarrassingly wrong, the same critics tucked their tails and ran, beginning lives of insurance salesmen to retain a shred of their dignity.

The Beatles’ answer to the critics: make a movie. Nothing short of borrowing Santa’s magic sleigh could allow the group to tour every city on earth, so, A Hard Day’s Night was created, sending their images to even the smallest towns and earning them a world-wide reputation for being the happy-go-lucky fab-four they were. Accompanying the movie was an album of the same name, a soundtrack of sorts, launching their career even higher into orbit as thousands of teenage girls watched the movie and swooned.

On the personal side, the band members were molding together in an even tighter knit than before. They were growing up and growing together, stepping into their own personalities more deeply than before. A Hard Day’s Night was the first Beatles album written entirely by the band, showcasing their creativity and ingenuity even this early in their career. John and Paul flexed their lyric-writing muscles in preparation for the records to come.

Since becoming household names, John, Paul, George and Ringo had unwittingly become workaholics. Touring schedules were hectic, hopping the boys across cities, states and countries in a matter of months. And being stars comes with its fair share of responsibility; now they had fans to attend to, those loyal people who could never get enough Beatlemania. The first few years of their success gave them little time to relax and enjoy the fruits of their labors. Beatles for Sale was released in early December 1964, but contained only a handful of original songs. By the end of 1964, the consensus was clear–-slow down and concentrate on the music.

With a bigger budget and more explorative souls, the Beatles produced another movie/album combo six months later. Help! was released to glowing fans, featuring Ringo as the “Starr” of the show. (Yes, that was a bad joke, but I had to!) The album featured more original hits by the Lennon-McCartney duo, including the most-covered song in the history of music, Yesterday. This record also showed off John’s vocal abilities and range, his heart rising and falling with his voice to enchant everyone.

The Beatles were only getting better. They established a pattern of constantly pushing the limits of both society and themselves (and the music industry) and setting ever-higher standards for their work. Each successive album built upon the last as they continued to mesh as a group, their personalities growing more integrated by the day. The universe had stitched them together as if they were destined to be, now they just had to grow as a group to become a whole. Much like a ball of yarn becomes a sock, actually.

Rubber Soul has been called the first true Beatles album, symbolizing their break from traditional love songs and moving into a more eclectic form of songwriting. Every tune was an original, and a few were more original than others. In My Life has been called the greatest song ever written, giving haunting memories of that ruggedly familiar feeling of nostalgia explicated so poetically by John. Norwegian Wood featured an instrument unfamiliar to most western ears, the sitar, played by George Harrison. Such a blending of cultures and sounds was indicative of the group’s collective charm and charisma as well as the budding movement of non-violence and love growing throughout the world.

Never satisfied with milking old formulas, the experiments continued. After Rubber Soul came Revolver, a veritable fruit smoothie of melody, harmony, love, traditional style and something very new. If Rubber Soul was a single step into originality, Revolver was a full game of hopscotch. Songs such as Eleanor Rigby, Yellow Submarine and Tomorrow Never Knows showcased the talent waking up from a long winter’s nap within the group. Fully comfortable with themselves, with each other, and with their music, the Beatles had shoved their sticks in the ground and were preparing to pole vault across the lines of normality even farther.

The renaissance of culture and consciousness was in full-swing at this point. Hippies, those free-willed 15-25 year olds with a penchant for peace, were leaving their homes and striking out on their own, rejecting the old and forging into the new. The Beatles were doing similar things at this time, releasing the traditional styles of music and breaking into their own style. Were the Beatles a catalyst for this movement of change or did they just ride the universal waves? The answer is, undoubtedly, a little bit of both.

After turning up the creativity in exponential notches for their previous albums, the Beatles did their most creative work to date with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The brainchild of Paul, the name was a nom de plume of sorts for the Beatles, giving them an excuse to wear crazy outfits. The album features many musical firsts, as per the usual Beatles’ style. Each song blends smoothly into the next, creating the impression that the whole album is one grand concert, complete with applause and screaming fans.

Sgt. Pepper was also the “coming-out” album for the Beatles. Although they had been innovative on their previous recordings, Sgt. Pepper proved they were never out of fresh ideas to experiment with. Their voices can really be heard on this album; they sound more aware, more grown up and more settled in their roles as world musicians. At this time, psychedelic drugs were in full swing in many countries around the world, and the Beatles experimented with their effects as well. While many say this was the source of their creativity in the later years, at best it only contributed to their inherent innovation. Still, Sgt. Pepper was inventive and fresh, becoming an instant hit and long-term inspiration for many.

The Beatles’ were about to embark upon a gauntlet of changes beginning in 1967. Paul sketched out a plan for a new movie, this one completely unscripted. The idea was that a group of actors would be placed on a bus with the Beatles and taken for a ride through their imagination. A “magical mystery tour” of sorts. Work began on the album and movie in the spring of ’67, but was interrupted by several major events. Their manager since the beginning, the man who discovered the Beatles, Brian Epstein, passed away. This was not only an emotional blow to the group, having lost a trusted companion and friend, but a work-related strain as well. Without a manager to handle the business details of the band, the work fell onto the members. Paul had a very proactive attitude toward the process, immediately taking responsibility and encouraging the others to do so as well. John and George had very different opinions, and Ringo didn’t seem to mind either way. The first internal strain had begun to form, one that would, in combination with many other factors, lead to the eventual breakup of the Beatles.

The Beatles also visited Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the man becoming famous in America for bringing an ancient Indian technique of meditation to the world. Seeking spiritual knowledge just as we all were, the Beatles traveled to India with the hopes of gaining enlightenment. Each band member had a different experience there, creating a larger rift between them. They came back unfulfilled on one level but full of creativity on another. Magical Mystery Tour was finished shortly after, releasing both the movie and the album before the end of the year.

The tension created by the loss of their manager and by the varied experiences in India was taking its toll. This combined with John’s insistence on having his new love interest Yoko Ono present at the studio (despite his band-mate’s wishes) made the situation more harrowing. At one point, Ringo actually left the group. The Beatles were far from through with their creative streak, however, as their very next album would show.

In stark contrast to their previous two works, the The Beatles (The White Album) featured a simple white cover with “The Beatles” inconspicuously written on the front. Its simplicity was a foil to the complex music found within. Over two dozen songs filled the inside of this plain white wrapper, each more different than the last. From crazy psychedelic songs such as Wild Honey Pie to somber melodies in Julia, Blackbird and I Will, the White Album would become famous for containing more musical styles than many artists had dabbled with in their entire careers. Such was the nature of the Beatles’ free spirit and inventiveness, the four personalities melding together to allow the freedom and ingenuity for the various styles to come forward.

The band owed United Artists another movie (thanks to those fun things called ‘contracts’), so it was decided to make an animated movie based on the song Yellow Submarine (Songtrack) previously released on Revolver. The soundtrack by the same name featured only four new songs by the Beatles, George Martin creating the orchestral pieces and arranging the other songs.

The Breakup

Unfortunately, the band felt they were running out of steam. Tensions had grown and the overall feeling was that the Beatles were near their end. A final album was planned, but even the details of it could not be agreed upon. The producer favored Paul’s ideas, causing John to withdraw from many sessions in resentment. George and Ringo felt unneeded and refused to show up at many rehearsals. Though the band’s problems were increasing, their music did not seem to suffer the same fate. Abbey Road, planned as a farewell album, featured tight vocals, haunting harmonies and the famous You Never Give Me Your Money medley, pulling many songs together in one long enjoyable ride. Abbey Road was released in the fall of 1969, but the Beatles still were not done with the world, or so it seemed.

Lennon McCartney Harrison Starr

Paul tried to convince the others to do a handful of concerts to re-establish their core group of fans. John and George were against the idea. What resulted was the famous rooftop concert staged in London. At its conclusion, John said the famous line “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition!”. They still had their magic. Songs recorded here were combined with other Beatles material and mixed by Phil Spector. Let It Be (recorded before Abbet Rd) was pieced together and released to the world, an unintended finale to the Beatles’ tromp through the world.

Their end officially came on December 29, 1970. The Beatles, the world’s most influential group of musicians, had been through it all. From rising from obscurity to a serendipitous beginning, they floated on the waves of fame and rode them all the way to America. There they delighted fans and critics alike, awing them with their playful sense of life and harmonious music. They had merchandise, millions of fans, and even a mass album burning in the mid 60’s when John stated they were “more popular than Jesus”. Up and down, side to side, the Beatles traversed it all. It was the symbolic end of an era the Beatles had helped create. The world was changed because of them, and it would never be the same. As John said at the conclusion of the rooftop concert, “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition!”


The four men went their separate directions. John became known for his political activism and his own music career, often combining efforts with wife Yoko Ono. His most famous post-Beatles song, Imagine (from the album of the same name), encouraged unity and peace between nations. It was a ballad for world harmony, encouraging everyone to imagine a world free from war, united as one.

Though his career after the Beatles was successful, it did not reach the height of what he had accomplished in the band. His final album was released in late 1980, rising straight to number one almost everywhere in the world. In December of the same year, John Lennon was tragically murdered by a gunman outside his Manhattan apartment. The world cried collectively when they heard the news, as one of the greatest revolutionary songwriters had moved on from this world and to the next. His work would live on, affecting the lives of billions of people throughout time.

George Harrison, often referred to as the “quiet Beatle”, slowly came into his own after the breakup of the band. He released several albums and singles sporadically, including rock’s first triple album, All Things Must Pass. He had a growing interest in Hinduism and eastern meditation techniques spurred by his meetings with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Throughout the 90’s he fought a battle with lung cancer, one that would eventually take his life in November of 2001. This gentle soul, one who was forever advocating love and spirituality, was cremated, his ashes rumored having been spread on the holy river Ganges in India.

Paul enjoyed a successful solo career after the splitting of the Beatles, continuing to produce albums to this day. Ringo released an album that topped the charts in the late 80’s but was otherwise not very active in the music industry. In the mid 1990’s, coming together for the closest thing to a Beatles’ reunion possible, Paul, George and Ringo agreed to allow a three volume six CD Beatles’ Anthology 1, Anthology 2, Anthology 3 (with accompanying television shows) to be produced, containing unreleased recordings, demos, and two new songs. Free as a Bird and Real Love, originally written by John but re-recorded from his demo tapes. It was both a tribute and a retrospection for the Beatles, reminding the world and a new generation that they were the most influential band ever to grace our globe.

John Lennon once said in reference to the Beatles’ popularity, “We were just a band that made it very very big, that’s all.” In some ways he’s correct. The Beatles was a band, four men from Liverpool, that rose to fame as any band would. When they made it to the top, the world was ready for change. The combined energies of these four created something spectacular, something undeniably unique. This allowed for unmatched creativity and ingenuity, the pinnacle of human potential expressed in their group. Their message is timeless, their songs unique and dear to everyone’s heart. They are sure to delight and inspire listeners for the rest of time.

~by John Bardinelli © 2004 Beatlesnumber9


Founded in Liverpool during the late ’50s by guitarists John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, with drummer Pete Best and Stu Sutcliffe on bass,the Beatles were initially a skiffle band, playing a British variation of American folk music. The band — which went under several names before arriving at the Beatles — incorporated numerous American rock & roll, rhythm & blues, and pop music influences in their playing and songwriting, most notably the sounds of Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Arthur Alexander. By the early ’60s, they had developed significant popularity in Hamburg, Germany, where dozens of Liverpool bands were booked into local clubs, and this soon translated into success in their hometown, where the band’s mixture of solid American rock & roll and careful music articulation made them stand out from the rest of the city’s music scene. Sutcliffe left the band in 1961 and McCartney took over on bass. After finding their manager Brian Epstein — who got them an audition with George Martin, the head of EMI Records’ tiny Parlophone label — the band was signed to a recording contract in 1962. Ringo Starr replaced Best on drums soon thereafter, and the group’s lineup was set.

By the spring of 1963, the Beatles’ singles and albums were breaking sales records in England, and they were officially introduced to America in February 1964 with an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show followed by a whirlwind tour. The group had been signed the year before to do a movie, and, through a stroke of good luck, they were turned over to producer Walter Shenson, director Richard Lester, and screenwriter Alun Owen, who together created A Hard Day’s Night, probably the best rock & roll movie ever made. This film, a black-and-white, documentary-style, fictionalized account of the fishbowl lives that the Beatles were leading during the first wave of Beatlemania, was popular with parents as well as their teenage children, and critics loved it, too. (Andrew Sarris called it “the Citizen Kane of jukebox movies.”) The mix of the four personalities — Starr’s honest, earthy, clownish presence; Harrison’s cutting, funny personality; McCartney’s pleasant, engaging presence; and Lennon’s snide, sarcastic wit — won over audiences around the world.

…You’ve landed at Beatlesnumber9 A burning HOT Beatles Fan Site Where Beatlemaniacs Pay their respects To John, Paul, George and Ringo…

The band’s follow-up movie, Help! was made on a much bigger budget and in color, but it failed to repeat A Hard Day’s Night’s success, suffering from an unfocused script and a good, but not great, selection of songs. The group was generally as unhappy with the results as everyone else, although the film did make money and have some entertaining moments. The Beatles tried directing and producing their own television film, 1967’s Magical Mystery Tour, but the result — outside of a couple of scenes and a handful of good songs — were amateurish. In 1968, they provided the songs for the psychedelic animated feature Yellow Submarine, and made a brief onscreen appearance at the movie’s conclusion. The divisions that would eventually lead to the group’s break-up were chronicled in the 1969 documentary Let It Be, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, with impressive results.

The Beatles’ exposure to movie-making whetted their appetites for filmmaking on a variety of levels. Lennon had an acting role in Richard Lester’s anti-war satire How I Won the War, while McCartney wrote the score for the John and Roy Boulting comedy The Family Way. Meanwhile, Starr acted in the film Candy, while Harrison produced the soundtrack to the Indian movie Wonderwall. During the late ’60s and early ’70s, the Beatles’ corporate entity, Apple, acquired the distribution rights to various movies, including El Topo and La Grande Bouffe, and made a number of films, most notably Born to Boogie, directed and produced by Starr, and The Concert for Bangladesh, co-produced by Harrison. Starr also took an occasional acting role, most notably in the David Puttnam-produced period drama That’ll Be the Day. McCartney also composed and performed the title song for the 1973 James Bond movie Live and Let Die, but it was ultimately Harrison who became the most active of the Beatles in filmmaking. Through his company Handmade Films, he helped produce such hit pictures as Monty Python’s Life of Brian – Criterion Collection and the fantasy Time Bandits (Special Edition). The end of the ’70s also saw the lingering mystique of the Beatles parodied by Monty Python alumnus Eric Idle and Bonzo Dog Band-founder Neil Innes in the film The Rutles – All You Need Is Cash, in which Harrison made a cameo. ~ Bruce Eder.


Original UK LPs

  1. Please Please Me (1963)
  2. With the Beatles (1963)
  3. A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
  4. Beatles for Sale (1964)
  5. Help! (1965)
  6. Rubber Soul (1965)
  7. Revolver (1966)
  8. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
  9. The Beatles (White Album) (1968)
  10. Yellow Submarine (1969)
  11. Abbey Road (1969)
  12. Let It Be (1970)

Compiled from many sources


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From upper left: City of London, Tower Bridge and London Eye, Palace of Westminster
Nickname(s): the (big) smoke, the Great Wen

London region in the United Kingdom

Coordinates: 51°30′26″N 0°7′39″WCoordinates: 51°30′26″N 0°7′39″W
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country England
County Greater London
Districts City and 32 boroughs
Settled by Romans as Londinium, c. 43 AD
 • Regional authority Greater London Authority
 • Regional assembly London Assembly
 • Mayor Boris Johnson
 • UK Parliament 74 constituencies
 • London Assembly
• European Parliament
14 constituencies
London constituency
 • City 606.95 sq mi (1,572.00 km2)
 • Urban 671.0 sq mi (1,737.9 km2)
 • Metro 3,236.31 sq mi (8,382.00 km2)
Elevation 79 ft (24 m)
Population (2012)
 • City 8,308,369
 • Density 13,690/sq mi (5,285/km2)
 • Urban 9,787,426
 • Urban zone 11,905,500
 • Metro 15,010,295
Demonym Londoner
Time zone GMT (UTC±0)
 • Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Postcode areas E, EC, N, NW, SE, SW, W, WC, BR, CM, CR, DA, EN, HA, IG, KT, RM, SM, TN, TW, UB, WD
Area code(s) 020, 01322, 01689, 01708, 01737, 01895, 01923, 01959, 01992
Website londongovuk

London /ˈlʌndən/ is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom. With an estimated 8,308,369 residents in 2012, London is the most populous region, urban zone and metropolitan area in the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who named it Londinium. London’s ancient core, the City of London, largely retains its 1.12-square-mile (2.9 km2) mediaeval boundaries. With its population of 7,375 in 2011, it is the smallest city in England. Since at least the 19th century, the term London has also referred to the metropolis developed around this core. The bulk of this conurbation forms the London region and the Greater London administrative area, governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

aerial photograph by www.webbaviation.co.uk

London is a leading global city, with strengths in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transport all contributing to its prominence. It is one of the world’s leading financial centres and has the fifth- or sixth-largest metropolitan area GDP in the world depending on measurement. London is a world cultural capital. It is the world’s most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the world’s largest city airport system measured by passenger traffic. London’s 43 universities form the largest concentration of higher education in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to host the modern Summer Olympic Games three times.


London has a diverse range of peoples and cultures, and more than 300 languages are spoken within its boundaries. London had an official population of 8,174,100, making it the most populous municipality in the European Union, and accounting for 12.5% of the UK population. The Greater London Urban Area is the second-largest in the EU with a population of 9,787,426 according to the 2011 census, while the London metropolitan area is the largest in the EU with a total population of 15,010,295, the Greater London Authority puts the population of London metropolitan region at 21 million. London had the largest population of any city in the world from around 1831 to 1925.

River_Thames_and_Lambeth_Bridge-7July2007 (2)

London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; the site comprising the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and St Margaret’s Church; and the historic settlement of Greenwich (in which the Royal Observatory marks the Prime Meridian, 0° longitude, and GMT). Other famous landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, and The Shard. London is home to numerous museums, galleries, libraries, sporting events and other cultural institutions, including the British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Modern, British Library and 40 West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world.





The etymology of London is uncertain. It is an ancient name and can be found in sources from the 2nd century. It is recorded c. 121 as Londinium, which points to Romano-British origin. The earliest attempted explanation, now disregarded, is attributed to Geoffrey of Monmouth in Historia Regum Britanniae. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had allegedly taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.

From 1898, it was commonly accepted that the name was of Celtic origin and meant place belonging to a man called *Londinos; this explanation has since been rejected. Richard Coates put forward an explanation in 1998 that it is derived from the pre-Celtic Old European *(p)lowonida, meaning ‘river too wide to ford’, and suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London; from this, the settlement gained the Celtic form of its name, *Lowonidonjon; this requires quite a serious amendment however. The ultimate difficulty lies in reconciling the Latin form Londinium with the modern Welsh Llundain, which should demand a form *(h)lōndinion (as opposed to *londīnion), from earlier *loundiniom. The possibility cannot be ruled out that the Welsh name was borrowed back in from English at a later date, and thus cannot be used as a basis from which to reconstruct the original name.

Until 1889, the name “London” officially only applied to the City of London but since then it has also referred to the County of London and now Greater London.

Prehistory and Antiquity

In 1300 the City was still confined within the Roman walls.

Two recent discoveries indicate that London could be much older than previously thought. In 1999, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the foreshore north of Vauxhall Bridge. This bridge either crossed the Thames, or went to a (lost) island in the river. Dendrology dated the timbers to 1500BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to 4500BC, were found on the Thames foreshore, south of Vauxhall Bridge. The function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on South Bank, at a natural crossing point where the River Effra flows into the River Thames.

Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans in 43 AD. This lasted for just seventeen years and around 61, the Iceni tribe led by Queen Boudica stormed it, burning it to the ground. The next, heavily planned, incarnation of Londinium prospered and superseded Colchester as the capital of the Roman province of Britannia in 100. At its height during the 2nd century, Roman London had a population of around 60,000.

Anglo-Saxon London

The Lancastrian siege of London in 1471 is attacked by a Yorkist sally.
The Lancastrian siege of London in 1471 is attacked by a Yorkist sally.

With the collapse of Roman rule in the early 5th century, London ceased to be a capital and the walled city of Londinium was effectively abandoned, although Roman civilisation hung on in the St Martin-in-the-Fields area until around 450. From around 500, an Anglo-Saxon settlement known as Lundenwic developed in the same area, slightly to the west of the old Roman city. By about 680, it had revived sufficiently to become a major port, although there is little evidence of large-scale production of goods. From the 820s the town declined because of repeated Viking attacks, and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that it was “refounded” by Alfred the Great in 886. Archaeological research shows that this involved abandonment of Lundenwic and a revival of life and trade within the old Roman walls. London then grew slowly until about 950, after which activity increased dramatically.

By the 11th century, London was beyond all comparison the largest town in England. Westminster Abbey, rebuilt in the Romanesque style by King Edward the Confessor, was one of the grandest churches in Europe. Winchester had previously been the capital of Anglo-Saxon England, but from this time on, London became the main forum for foreign traders and the base for defence in time of war. In the view of Frank Stenton: “It had the resources, and it was rapidly developing the dignity and the political self-consciousness appropriate to a national capital.”

Middle Ages

Westminster Abbey, as seen in this painting (Canaletto, 1749), is a World Heritage Site and one of London’s oldest and most important buildings

Following his victory in the Battle of Hastings, William, Duke of Normandy, was crowned King of England in the newly finished Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066. William constructed the Tower of London, the first of the many Norman castles in England to be rebuilt in stone, in the southeastern corner of the city, to intimidate the native inhabitants. In 1097, William II began the building of Westminster Hall, close by the abbey of the same name. The hall became the basis of a new Palace of Westminster.

The Great Fire of London destroyed many parts of the city in 1666.
The Great Fire of London destroyed many parts of the city in 1666.

During the 12th century, the institutions of central government, which had hitherto accompanied the royal English court as it moved around the country, grew in size and sophistication and became increasingly fixed in one place. In most cases this was Westminster, although the royal treasury, having been moved from Winchester, came to rest in the Tower.

While the City of Westminster developed into a true capital in governmental terms, its distinct neighbour, the City of London, remained England’s largest city and principal commercial centre, and it flourished under its own unique administration, the Corporation of London. In 1100, its population was around 18,000; by 1300 it had grown to nearly 100,000.

Disaster struck during the Black Death in the mid-14th century, when London lost nearly a third of its population.London was the focus of the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381.

Early Modern

During the Tudor period the Reformation produced a gradual shift to Protestantism, with much of London passing from church to private ownership. The traffic in woollen cloths shipped undyed and undressed from London to the nearby shores of the Low Countries, for use by well-to-do wearers chiefly in the interior of the continent. But the tentacles of English maritime enterprise hardly extended beyond the seas of north-west Europe. The commercial route to Italy and the Mediterranean Sea normally lay through Antwerp and over the Alps; any ships passing through the Strait of Gibraltar to or from England were likely to be Italian or Ragusan. Upon the re-opening of the Netherlands to English shipping in January 1565 there at once ensued a strong outburst of commercial activity. The Royal Exchange was founded. Mercantilism grew and monopoly trading companies such as the East India Company were established, with trade expanding to the New World. London became the principal North Sea port, with migrants arriving from England and abroad. The population rose from an estimated 50,000 in 1530 to about 225,000 in 1605.

London in 1806
London in 1806

In the 16th century William Shakespeare and his contemporaries lived in London at a time of hostility to the development of the theatre. By the end of the Tudor period in 1603, London was still very compact. There was an assassination attempt on James I in Westminster, through the Gunpowder Plot on 5 November 1605. London was plagued by disease in the early 17th century, culminating in the Great Plague of 1665–1666, which killed up to 100,000 people, or a fifth of the population.

The Great Fire of London broke out in 1666 in Pudding Lane in the city and quickly swept through the wooden buildings. Rebuilding took over ten years and was supervised by Robert Hooke as Surveyor of London. In 1708 Christopher Wren‘s masterpiece, St Paul’s Cathedral was completed. During the Georgian era new districts such as Mayfair were formed in the west; and new bridges over the Thames encouraged development in South London. In the east, the Port of London expanded downstream.

In 1762, George III acquired Buckingham House and it was enlarged over the next 75 years. During the 18th century, London was dogged by crime and the Bow Street Runners were established in 1750 as a professional police force. In total, more than 200 offences were punishable by death, and women and children were hanged for petty theft. Over 74 per cent of children born in London died before they were five. The coffeehouse became a popular place to debate ideas, with growing literacy and the development of the printing press making news widely available; and Fleet Street became the centre of the British press.

According to Samuel Johnson:

You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.

Samuel Johnson, 1777

Late Modern and Contemporary


London was the world’s largest city from about 1831 to 1925. London’s overcrowded conditions led to cholera epidemics, claiming 14,000 lives in 1848, and 6,000 in 1866. Rising traffic congestion led to the creation of the world’s first local urban rail network. The Metropolitan Board of Works oversaw infrastructure expansion in the capital and some of the surrounding counties; it was abolished in 1889 when the London County Council was created out of those areas of the counties surrounding the capital. London was bombed by the Germans during the First World War while during the Second World War the Blitz and other bombing by the German Luftwaffe killed over 30,000 Londoners and destroyed large tracts of housing and other buildings across the city. Immediately after the war, the 1948 Summer Olympics were held at the original Wembley Stadium, at a time when London had barely recovered from the war.


In 1951, the Festival of Britain was held on the South Bank. The Great Smog of 1952 led to the Clean Air Act 1956, which ended the “pea soup fogs” for which London had been notorious. From the 1940s onwards, London became home to a large number of immigrants, largely from Commonwealth countries such as Jamaica, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, making London one of the most diverse cities in Europe.

Primarily starting in the mid-1960s, London became a centre for the worldwide youth culture, exemplified by the Swinging London subculture associated with the King’s Road, Chelsea and Carnaby Street. The role of trendsetter was revived during the punk era. In 1965 London’s political boundaries were expanded to take into account the growth of the urban area and a new Greater London Council was created. During The Troubles in Northern Ireland, London was subjected to bombing attacks by the Provisional IRA. Racial inequality was highlighted by the 1981 Brixton riot. Greater London’s population declined steadily in the decades after the Second World War, from an estimated peak of 8.6 million in 1939 to around 6.8 million in the 1980s. The principal ports for London moved downstream to Felixstowe and Tilbury, with the London Docklands area becoming a focus for regeneration as the Canary Wharf development. This was borne out of London’s ever-increasing role as a major international financial centre during the 1980s.

The Thames Barrier was completed in the 1980s to protect London against tidal surges from the North Sea. The Greater London Council was abolished in 1986, which left London as the only large metropolis in the world without a central administration. In 2000, London-wide government was restored, with the creation of the Greater London Authority. To celebrate the start of the 21st century, the Millennium Dome, London Eye and Millennium Bridge were constructed. On 6 July 2005 London was awarded the 2012 Summer Olympics, making London the first city to stage the Olympic Games three times.


Local Government

This article is part of the series: Politics and government of London
  • Sovereign
    • Elizabeth II
  • Greater London Authority
    • Mayor
      • Boris Johnson
    • Deputy
      • Victoria Borwick
  • London Assembly
    • Mayoral elections
    • Constituencies
  • City of London Corporation
    • Lord Mayor
    • Sheriff
    • Wards
    • Court of Aldermen
  • Parliament of the United Kingdom
    • 1998 referendum
    • GLA Act 1999
    • GLA Act 2007
    • Elections
    • Constituencies
  • European Parliament
    • Elections
    • European Parliament constituency
    • Committee of the Regions
    • Subsidiarity
  • Boroughs
  • Middle Temple
  • Inner Temple

The administration of London is formed of two tiers—a city-wide, strategic tier and a local tier. City-wide administration is coordinated by the Greater London Authority (GLA), while local administration is carried out by 33 smaller authorities. The GLA consists of two elected components; the Mayor of London, who has executive powers, and the London Assembly, who scrutinise the mayor’s decisions and can accept or reject his budget proposals each year. The headquarters of the GLA is City Hall, Southwark; the mayor is Boris Johnson. The mayor’s statutory planning strategy is published as the London Plan, which was most recently revised in 2011. The local authorities are the councils of the 32 London boroughs and the City of London Corporation. They are responsible for most local services, such as local planning, schools, social services, local roads and refuse collection. Certain functions, such as waste management, are provided through joint arrangements. In 2009–2010 the combined revenue expenditure by London councils and the GLA amounted to just over £22 billion (£14.7 billion for the boroughs and £7.4 billion for the GLA)

Policing in Greater London, with the exception of the City of London, is provided by the Metropolitan Police Force, overseen by the Mayor through the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC). The City of London has its own police force – the City of London Police. The British Transport Police are responsible for police services on National Rail and London Underground services.

The London Fire Brigade is the statutory fire and rescue service for Greater London. It is run by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority and is the third-largest fire service in the world. National Health Service ambulance services are provided by the London Ambulance Service (LAS) NHS Trust, the largest free at the point of use emergency ambulance service in the world. The London Air Ambulance charity operates in conjunction with the LAS where required. Her Majesty’s Coastguard and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution operate on the River Thames.

National Government

London is the seat of the Government of the United Kingdom, which is located around the Palace of Westminster. Many government departments are located close to Parliament, particularly along Whitehall, including the Prime Minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street. The British Parliament is often referred to as the “Mother of Parliaments” (although this sobriquet was first applied to England itself by John Bright) because it has been the model for most other parliamentary systems, and its Acts have created many other parliaments.



Satellite view of inner London
Satellite view of inner London

Greater London is the top-level administrative subdivision covering London. The small, ancient City of London at its core once contained the whole settlement, but as the urban area grew the City Corporation resisted attempts to amalgamate it with its suburbs, causing “London” to be defined in a number ways for different purposes; and the situation was once open to legal debate. Forty per cent of Greater London is covered by the London post town, within which ‘LONDON’ forms part of postal addresses.

The London telephone area code (020) covers a larger area, similar in size to Greater London, although some outer districts are omitted and some places just outside are included. The area within the orbital M25 motorway is normally what is referred to as ‘London’. and the Greater London boundary has been aligned to it in places.

Outward urban expansion is now prevented by the Metropolitan Green Belt, although the built-up area extends beyond the boundary in places, resulting in a separately defined Greater London Urban Area. Beyond this is the vast London commuter belt. Greater London is split for some purposes into Inner London and Outer London. The city is split by the River Thames into North and South, with an informal central London area in its interior. The coordinates of the nominal centre of London, traditionally considered to be the original Eleanor Cross at Charing Cross near the junction of Trafalgar Square and Whitehall, are approximately 51°30′26″N 00°07′39″W.


Within London, both the City of London and the City of Westminster have city status and both the City of London and the remainder of Greater London are the ceremonial counties. The area of Greater London has incorporated areas that were once part of the historic counties of Middlesex, Kent, Surrey, Essex and Hertfordshire. London’s status as the capital of England, and later the United Kingdom, has never been granted or confirmed officially—by statute or in written form.

Its position was formed through constitutional convention, making its status as de facto capital a part of the UK’s unwritten constitution. The capital of England was moved to London from Winchester as the Palace of Westminster developed in the 12th and 13th centuries to become the permanent location of the royal court, and thus the political capital of the nation. More recently, Greater London has been defined as a region of England and in this context known as London.



Greater London encompasses a total area of 1,583 square kilometres (611 sq mi), an area which had a population of 7,172,036 in 2001 and a population density of 4,542 inhabitants per square kilometre (11,760 /sq mi). The extended area known as the London Metropolitan Region or the London Metropolitan Agglomeration, comprises a total area of 8,382 square kilometres (3,236 sq mi) has a population of 13,709,000 and a population density of 1,510 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,900 /sq mi). Modern London stands on the Thames, its primary geographical feature, a navigable river which crosses the city from the south-west to the east. The Thames Valley is a floodplain surrounded by gently rolling hills including Parliament Hill, Addington Hills, and Primrose Hill. The Thames was once a much broader, shallower river with extensive marshlands; at high tide, its shores reached five times their present width.

Primrose Hill Panorama, London - April 2011
Primrose Hill Panorama, London – April 2011

Since the Victorian era the Thames has been extensively embanked, and many of its London tributaries now flow underground. The Thames is a tidal river, and London is vulnerable to flooding. The threat has increased over time because of a slow but continuous rise in high water level by the slow ’tilting’ of Britain (up in the north and down in the south) caused by post-glacial rebound.

In 1974, a decade of work began on the construction of the Thames Barrier across the Thames at Woolwich to deal with this threat. While the barrier is expected to function as designed until roughly 2070, concepts for its future enlargement or redesign are already being discussed.


London has a temperate oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb ), similar to much of southern Britain. Despite its reputation as being a rainy city, London receives less precipitation (with 601 mm (24 in) in a year), than Rome (at 834 mm (33 in)), Bordeaux (at 923 mm (36 in)), Toulouse (at 668 mm (26 in)), and Naples (at 1,006 mm (40 in) per year). Winters are generally chilly to cold with frost usually occurring in the suburbs on average twice a week from November to March. Snow usually occurs about four or five times a year mostly from December to February. Snowfall during March and April is rare but does occur every two or three years. Winter temperatures seldom fall below −4 °C (24.8 °F) or rise above 14 °C (57.2 °F). During the winter of 2010, London experienced its lowest temperature on record (−14 °C (6.8 °F)) in Northolt and the heaviest snow seen for almost two decades, a huge strain on the city’s transport infrastructure. Temperature extremes for all sites in the London area range from 38.1 °C (100.6 °F) at Kew during August 2003, (which has been proposed to be the UK’s highest ‘accurate’ temperature) down to −16.1 °C (3.0 °F) at Northolt during January 1962. Temperatures of below −20 °C (−4.0 °F) have been noted prior to the 20th century, but the accuracy cannot be validated.

Summers are generally warm and sometimes hot, the heat being boosted by the urban heat island effect making the Centre of London at times 5 °C (9 °F) warmer than the suburbs and outskirts. London’s average July high is 24 °C (75.2 °F). During the 2003 European heat wave there were 14 consecutive days above 30 °C (86.0 °F) and 2 consecutive days where temperatures soared up to 38 °C (100.4 °F), leading to hundreds of heat related deaths. Rain generally occurs on around 2 out of 10 summer days. Spring and Autumn are mixed seasons and can be pleasant. On 1 October 2011, the air temperature attained 30 °C (86.0 °F) and in April 2011 it reached 28 °C (82.4 °F). However in recent years both of these months have also had snowfall. Temperature extremes range from −10 °C (14.0 °F) to 37.9 °C (100.2 °F).

[hide]Climate data for London (Heathrow airport 1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8.1
Average low °C (°F) 2.3
Precipitation mm (inches) 55.2
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 11 9 9 9 8 8 8 8 8 11 10 10 109
Mean monthly sunshine hours 61.5 77.9 114.6 168.7 198.5 204.3 212.0 204.7 149.3 116.5 72.6 52.0 1,632.6
Source:  Met Office


The City of London and the 32 London boroughs

London’s vast urban area is often described using a set of district names, such as Bloomsbury, Mayfair, Wembley and Whitechapel. These are either informal designations, reflect the names of villages that have been absorbed by sprawl, or are superseded administrative units such as parishes or former boroughs.

Such names have remained in use through tradition, each referring to a local area with its own distinctive character, but without official boundaries. Since 1965 Greater London has been divided into 32 London boroughs in addition to the ancient City of London. The City of London is the main financial district, and Canary Wharf has recently developed into a new financial and commercial hub in the Docklands to the east.

The West End is London’s main entertainment and shopping district, attracting tourists. West London includes expensive residential areas where properties can sell for tens of millions of pounds. The average price for properties in Kensington and Chelsea is £894,000 with similar average outlay in most of central London.

The East End is the area closest to the original Port of London, known for its high immigrant population, as well as for being one of the poorest areas in London. The surrounding East London area saw much of London’s early industrial development; now, brownfield sites throughout the area are being redeveloped as part of the Thames Gateway including the London Riverside and Lower Lea Valley, which was developed into the Olympic Park for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.


The Tower, with Tower Bridge built 800 years later on the River Thames
The Tower, with Tower Bridge built 800 years later on the River Thames

London’s buildings are too diverse to be characterised by any particular architectural style, partly because of their varying ages. Many grand houses and public buildings, such as the National Gallery, are constructed from Portland stone. Some areas of the city, particularly those just west of the centre, are characterised by white stucco or whitewashed buildings. Few structures in central London pre-date the Great Fire of 1666, these being a few trace Roman remains, the Tower of London and a few scattered Tudor survivors in the City. Further out is, for example, the Tudor period Hampton Court Palace, England’s oldest surviving Tudor palace, built by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey c. 1515. Wren’s late 17th-century churches and the financial institutions of the 18th and 19th centuries such as the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England, to the early 20th century Old Bailey and the 1960s Barbican Estate form part of the varied architectural heritage.

Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the British monarch
Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the British monarch

The disused, but soon to be rejuvenated,1939 Battersea Power Station by the river in the south-west is a local landmark, while some railway termini are excellent examples of Victorian architecture, most notably St. Pancras and Paddington. The density of London varies, with high employment density in the central area, high residential densities in inner London and lower densities in Outer London.

30 St Mary Axe, also known as the Gherkin, towers over St Andrew Undershaft
30 St Mary Axe, also known as the Gherkin, towers over St Andrew Undershaft

The Monument in the City of London provides views of the surrounding area while commemorating the Great Fire of London, which originated nearby. Marble Arch and Wellington Arch, at the north and south ends of Park Lane respectively, have royal connections, as do the Albert Memorial and Royal Albert Hall in Kensington. Nelson’s Column is a nationally recognised monument in Trafalgar Square, one of the focal points of the city centre. Older buildings are mainly brick built, most commonly the yellow London stock brick or a warm orange-red variety, often decorated with carvings and white plaster mouldings.

Three icons: Big Ben clock tower with a red telephone box and London double-decker bus in front
Three icons: Big Ben clock tower with a red telephone box and London double-decker bus in front

In the dense areas, most of the concentration is achieved with medium- and high-rise buildings. London’s skyscrapers such as 30 St Mary Axe, Tower 42, the Broadgate Tower and One Canada Square are usually found in the two financial districts, the City of London and Canary Wharf. High-rise development is restricted at certain sites if it would obstruct protected views of St Paul’s Cathedral and other historic buildings. Nevertheless there are a number of very tall skyscrapers to be found in central London (see Tall buildings in London), including the 72-storey Shard London Bridge, the tallest building in the European Union.

Other notable modern buildings include City Hall in Southwark with its distinctive oval shape, and the British Library in Somers Town/Kings Cross. What was formerly the Millennium Dome, located by the Thames to the east of Canary Wharf, is now used as an entertainment venue called The O2 Arena.

Parks and Pardens

Aerial view of Hyde Park
Aerial view of Hyde Park

The largest parks in the central area of London are three of the Royal Parks, namely Hyde Park and its neighbour Kensington Gardens at the western edge of central London, and Regent’s Park on the northern edge. Regent’s Park contains London Zoo, the world’s oldest scientific zoo, and is located near the tourist attraction of Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.

Closer to central London are the smaller Royal Parks of Green Park and St. James’s Park. Hyde Park in particular is popular for sports and sometimes hosts open-air concerts. A number of large parks lie outside the city centre, including the remaining Royal Parks of Greenwich Park to the south-east and Bushy Park and Richmond Park (the largest) to the south-west, as well as Victoria Park, London to the east. Primrose Hill to the north of Regent’s Park is a popular spot to view the city skyline.

Some more informal, semi-natural open spaces also exist, including the 320-hectare (790-acre) Hampstead Heath of North London. This incorporates Kenwood House, the former stately home and a popular location in the summer months where classical musical concerts are held by the lake, attracting thousands of people every weekend to enjoy the music, scenery and fireworks.


2011 United Kingdom CensusWith increasing industrialisation, London’s population grew rapidly throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, and it was for some time in the late 19th and early 20th centuries the most populous city in the world until overtaken by New York in 1925. Its population peaked at 8,615,245 in 1939 immediately before the outbreak of the Second World War, but had declined to 7,192,091 at the 2001 Census. However, the population then grew by just over a million between the 2001 and 2011 Censuses, to reach 8,173,941 in the latter enumeration.

However, London’s continuous urban area extends beyond the borders of Greater London and was home to 9,787,426 people in 2011, while its wider metropolitan area has a population of between 12 and 14 million depending on the definition used. According to Eurostat, London is the most populous city and metropolitan area of the European Union and the second most populous in Europe (or third if Istanbul is included). During the period 1991–2001 a net 726,000 immigrants arrived in London.

The region covers an area of 1,579 square kilometres (610 sq mi). The population density is 5,177 inhabitants per square kilometre (13,410 /sq mi), more than ten times that of any other British region. In terms of population, London is the 19th largest city and the 18th largest metropolitan region in the world. It is also ranked 4th in the world in number of billionaires (United States Dollars) residing in the city. London ranks as one of the most expensive cities in the world, alongside Tokyo and Moscow.

Ethnic Groups

According to the Office for National Statistics, based on the 2011 Census estimates,

  • 59.8% of the 8,173,941 inhabitants of London were White, with
  • 44.9% White British,
  • 2.2% White Irish,
  • 0.1% gypsy/Irish traveler and
  • 12.1% classified as Other White.
  • 20.9% of Londoners are of Asian and mixed-Asian descent.
  • 19.7% of Londoners are of full Asian descent, with those of mixed-Asian heritage comprising 1.2 of the population.
  • Indians account for 6.6% of the population, followed by
  • Pakistanis and Bangladeshis at 2.7% each.
  • Chinese peoples account for 1.5% of the population, with
  • Arabs comprising 1.3%.
  • A further 4.9% of Londoners are classified as “Other Asian”.

15.6% of London’s population are of Black and mixed-Black descent. 13.3% of Londoners are of full Black descent, with those of mixed-Black heritage comprising 2.3% of the population. Black Africans account for 7.0% of London’s population, with 4.2% as Black Caribbean and 2.1% as “Other Black”. 5% of Londoners are of mixed race.

Across London, Black and Asian children outnumber White British children by about six to four in state schools. However, White children represented 62% of London’s 1,498,700 population aged 0 to 15 according to estimates from the Office for National Statistics from 2009, with 55.7% of the population aged 0 to 15 being White British, 0.7% being White Irish and 5.6% being from other EU White backgrounds. In January 2005, a survey of London’s ethnic and religious diversity claimed that there were more than 300 languages spoken and more than 50 non-indigenous communities which have a population of more than 10,000 in London. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that, in 2010, London’s foreign-born population was 2,650,000 (33%), up from 1,630,000 in 1997.

The 2011 census showed that 36.7% of Greater London’s population were born outside the UK. The table to the right shows the 20 most common foreign countries of birth of London residents in 2011, the date of the last published UK Census. A portion of the German-born population are likely to be British nationals born to parents serving in the British Armed Forces in Germany. Estimates produced by the Office for National Statistics indicate that the five largest foreign-born groups living in London in the period July 2009 to June 2010 were those born in India, Poland, the Republic of Ireland, Bangladesh and Nigeria.


St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral

According to the 2011 Census, the largest religious groupings are Christians (48.4 per cent), followed by those of no religion (20.7 per cent), Muslims (12.4 per cent), no response (8.5 per cent), Hindus (5.0 per cent), Jews (1.8 per cent), Sikhs (1.5 per cent), Buddhists (1.0 per cent) and other (0.6 per cent).

Religion in LondonLondon has traditionally been Christian, and has a large number of churches, particularly in the City of London. The well-known St Paul’s Cathedral in the City and Southwark Cathedral south of the river are Anglican administrative centres, while the Archbishop of Canterbury, principal bishop of the Church of England and worldwide Anglican Communion, has his main residence at Lambeth Palace in the London Borough of Lambeth.

Important national and royal ceremonies are shared between St Paul’s and Westminster Abbey. The Abbey is not to be confused with nearby Westminster Cathedral, which is the largest Roman Catholic cathedral in England and Wales. Despite the prevalence of Anglican churches, observance is very low within the Anglican denomination. Church attendance continues on a long, slow, steady decline, according to Church of England statistics.

London is also home to sizeable Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and Jewish communities. Many Muslims live in Tower Hamlets and Newham; the most important Muslim edifice is London Central Mosque on the edge of Regent’s Park. Following the oil boom, increasing numbers of wealthy Middle-Eastern Muslims have based themselves around Mayfair and Knightsbridge in west London. London is home to the largest mosque in western Europe, the Baitul Futuh Mosque, of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. London’s large Hindu community is found in the north-western boroughs of Harrow and Brent, the latter of which is home to Europe’s largest Hindu temple, Neasden Temple. London is also home to 42 Hindu temples. Sikh communities are located in East and West London, which is also home to the largest Sikh temple in the world outside India.

The majority of British Jews live in London, with significant Jewish communities in Stamford Hill, Stanmore, Golders Green, Finchley, Hampstead, Hendon and Edgware in North London. Bevis Marks Synagogue in the City of London is affiliated to London’s historic Sephardic Jewish community. It is the only synagogue in Europe which has held regular services continuously for over 300 years. Stanmore and Canons Park Synagogue has the largest membership of any single Orthodox synagogue in the whole of Europe, overtaking Ilford synagogue (also in London) in 1998. The community set up the London Jewish Forum in 2006 in response to the growing significance of devolved London Government.


The City of London is the largest financial centre in the world
The City of London is the largest financial centre in the world

London generates approximately 20 per cent of the UK’s GDP (or $446 billion in 2005); while the economy of the London metropolitan area—the largest in Europe—generates approximately 30 per cent of the UK’s GDP (or an estimated $669 billion in 2005). London is one of the pre-eminent financial centres of the world and vies with New York City as the most important location for international finance.

Canary Wharf is a major business and financial centre and is home to some of the UK's tallest buildings
Canary Wharf is a major business and financial centre and is home to some of the UK’s tallest buildings

London’s largest industry is finance, and its financial exports make it a large contributor to the UK’s balance of payments. Around 325,000 people were employed in financial services in London until mid-2007. London has over 480 overseas banks, more than any other city in the world. Over 85% (3.2 million) of the employed population of greater London works in the services industries. Because of its prominent global role, London’s economy has been affected by the Late-2000s financial crisis. The City of London estimates that 70,000 jobs in finance will be cut within a year. The City of London is home to the Bank of England, London Stock Exchange, and Lloyd’s of London insurance market.

Over half of the UK’s top 100 listed companies (the FTSE 100) and over 100 of Europe’s 500 largest companies have their headquarters in central London. Over 70 per cent of the FTSE 100 are located within London’s metropolitan area, and 75 per cent of Fortune 500 companies have offices in London.

Along with professional services, media companies are concentrated in London and the media distribution industry is London’s second most competitive sector. The BBC is a significant employer, while other broadcasters also have headquarters around the City. Many national newspapers are edited in London. London is a major retail centre and in 2010 had the highest non-food retail sales of any city in the world, with a total spend of around £64.2 billion. The Port of London is the second-largest in the United Kingdom, handling 45 million tonnes of cargo each year.

London has five major business districts: the City, Westminster, Canary Wharf, Camden & Islington and Lambeth & Southwark. One way to get an idea of their relative importance is to look at relative amounts of office space: Greater London had 27 million m2 of office space in 2001, and the City contains the most space, with 8 million m2 of office space. London has some of the highest real estate prices in the world.


London is a popular centre for tourism, one of its prime industries, employing the equivalent of 350,000 full-time workers in 2003, while annual expenditure by tourists is around £15 billion. London attracts over 14 million international visitors per year, making it Europe’s most visited city. London attracts 27 million overnight-stay visitors every year. In 2010 the ten most-visited attractions in London were:

  1. British Museum
  2. Tate Modern
  3. National Gallery
  4. Natural History Museum
  5. London Eye
  6. Science Museum
  7. Victoria and Albert Museum
  8. Madame Tussauds
  9. National Maritime Museum
  10. Tower of London


A black London taxi, also known as a hackney carriage.
A black London taxi, also known as a hackney carriage.

Transport is one of the four main areas of policy administered by the Mayor of London, however the mayor’s financial control does not extend to the longer distance rail network that enters London. In 2007 he assumed responsibility for some local lines, which now form the London Overground network, adding to the existing responsibility for the London Underground, trams and buses. The public transport network is administered by Transport for London (TfL) and is one of the most extensive in the world. Cycling is an increasingly popular way to get around London. The London Cycling Campaign lobbies for better provision.

The lines that formed the London Underground, as well as trams and buses, became part of an integrated transport system in 1933 when the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) or London Transport was created. Transport for London (TfL), is now the statutory corporation responsible for most aspects of the transport system in Greater London, and is run by a board and a commissioner appointed by the Mayor of London.


Heathrow (Terminal 5 pictured) is the busiest airport in the world for international traffic
Heathrow (Terminal 5 pictured) is the busiest airport in the world for international traffic

London is a major international air transport hub with the largest city airspace in the world. Eight airports use the word London in their name, but most traffic passes through six of these. London Heathrow Airport, in Hillingdon, West London, is the busiest airport in the world for international traffic, and is the major hub of the nation’s flag carrier, British Airways. In March 2008 its fifth terminal was opened. There were plans for a third runway and a sixth terminal however these were cancelled by the Coalition Government on 12 May 2010. In September 2011 a personal rapid transit system was opened at Heathrow to connect to a nearby car park.

Similar traffic, with the addition of some low-cost short-haul flights, is also handled at Gatwick Airport, located south of London in West Sussex.

Stansted Airport, situated north east of London in Essex, is the main UK hub for Ryanair and Luton Airport to the north of London in Bedfordshire, caters mostly for low-cost short-haul flights. London City Airport, the smallest and most central airport, is focused on business travellers, with a mixture of full service short-haul scheduled flights and considerable business jet traffic.

London Southend Airport, east of London in Essex, is a smaller, regional airport that mainly caters for low-cost short-haul flights. It recently went through a large redevelopment project including a brand new terminal, extended runway and a new railway station offering fast links into the capital. EasyJet have a base at the airport.

Buses and Trams

The red double-decker bus is an iconic symbol of London
The red double-decker bus is an iconic symbol of London

London’s bus network is one of the largest in the world, running 24 hours a day, with 8,000 buses, 700 bus routes, and over 6 million passenger journeys made every weekday. In 2003, the network had an estimated 1.5 billion commuter trips per annum, more than the Underground. Around £850 million is taken in revenue each year. London has the largest wheelchair accessible network in the world and, from the 3rd quarter of 2007, became more accessible to hearing and visually impaired passengers as audio-visual announcements were introduced. The distinctive red double-decker buses are internationally recognised, and are a trademark of London transport along with black cabs and the Tube.

London has a modern tram network, known as Tramlink, based in Croydon in South London. The network has 39 stops, three routes and carried 26.5 million people in 2008. Since June 2008 Transport for London has completely owned Tramlink and plans to spend £54m by 2015 on maintenance, renewals, upgrades and capacity enhancements. Since April 2009 all trams have been refurbished.


Cycling in London has enjoyed a renaissance since the turn of the Millennium. Cyclists enjoy a cheaper, and often quicker, way around town than those using public transport or cars, and the launch of the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme in July 2010 has been successful and generally well received.


From being the largest port in the world, the Port of London is now only the second-largest in the United Kingdom, handling 45 million tonnes of cargo each year. Most of this actually passes through the Port of Tilbury, outside the boundary of Greater London.


The London Underground is the world's oldest and second-longest rapid transit system
The London Underground is the world’s oldest and second-longest rapid transit system

The London Underground — all of which is now commonly referred to as the Tube, though originally this designation referred only to the deep-level lines, as distinct from the sub-surface lines — is the oldest, and second longest metro system in the world, dating from 1863. The system serves 270 stations and was formed from several private companies, including the world’s first underground electric line, the City and South London Railway.

Over three million journeys are made every day on the Underground network, over 1 billion each year. An investment programme is attempting to address congestion and reliability problems, including £7 billion (€10 billion) of improvements planned for the 2012 Summer Olympics. London has been commended as the city with the best public transport. The Docklands Light Railway, which opened in 1987, is a second, more local metro system using smaller and lighter tram-type vehicles which serve Docklands and Greenwich.

There is an extensive above-ground suburban railway network, particularly in South London, which has fewer Underground lines. London houses Britain’s busiest station – Waterloo, with over 184 million people using the interchange station complex (which includes Waterloo East station) each year. The stations have services to South East and South West London, and also parts of South East and South West England. Most rail lines terminate around the centre of London, running into eighteen terminal stations with the exception of the Thameslink trains connecting Bedford in the north and Brighton in the south via Luton and Gatwick airports.

Since 2007 high-speed Eurostar trains link St. Pancras International with Lille, Paris, and Brussels. Journey times to Paris and Brussels of two-and-a-quarter hours and one hour 50 minutes respectively make London closer to continental Europe than the rest of Britain by virtue of the High Speed 1 rail link to the Channel Tunnel while the first high speed domestic trains started in June 2009 linking Kent to London.


The A102, near Greenwich. This was one of the few routes proposed in the Ringways Plan within Inner London to be built.
The A102, near Greenwich. This was one of the few routes proposed in the Ringways Plan within Inner London to be built.

Although the majority of journeys involving central London are made by public transport, car travel is common in the suburbs. The inner ring road (around the city centre), the North and South Circular roads (in the suburbs), and the outer orbital motorway (the M25, outside the built-up area) encircle the city and are intersected by a number of busy radial routes—but very few motorways penetrate into inner London. The M25 is the longest ring-road motorway in the world at 195.5 km (121.5 mi) long. The A1 and M1 connect London to Edinburgh, Leeds and Newcastle.

A plan for a comprehensive network of motorways throughout the city (the Ringways Plan) was prepared in the 1960s but was mostly cancelled in the early 1970s. In 2003, a congestion charge was introduced to reduce traffic volumes in the city centre. With a few exceptions, motorists are required to pay £10 per day to drive within a defined zone encompassing much of congested central London. Motorists who are residents of the defined zone can buy a vastly reduced season pass which is renewed monthly and is cheaper than a corresponding bus fare. London is notorious for its traffic congestion, with the M25 motorway the busiest stretch in the country. The average speed of a car in the rush hour is 10.6 mph (17.1 km/h). London government initially anticipated the Congestion Charge Zone to increase daily peak period Underground and bus users by 20,000 people, reduce traffic by 10 to 15 per cent, increase traffic speeds by 10 to 15 per cent, and reduce queues by 20 to 30 per cent. Over the course of several years, the average number of cars entering the centre of London on a weekday was reduced from 195,000 to 125,000 cars – this is a 35-per-cent reduction of vehicles driven per day.


Tertiary Education

University College London
University College London

London is a major centre of higher education teaching and research and its 43 universities form the largest concentration of higher education in Europe. In 2008/09 it had a higher education student population of around 412,000 (approximately 17 per cent of the UK total), of whom around 287,000 were registered for undergraduate degrees and 118,000 were studying at postgraduate level. In 2008/09 there were around 97,150 international students in London, approximately 25 per cent of all international students in the UK.

A number of world-leading education institutions are based in London. In the 2012 QS World University Rankings, University College London (UCL) is ranked 4th in the world, Imperial College London 6th, and King’s College London 26th. The London School of Economics has been described as the world’s leading social science institution for both teaching and research. The London Business School is considered one of the world’s leading business schools and in 2010 its MBA programme was ranked best in the world by the Financial Times.

The front façade of the Royal College of Music
The front façade of the Royal College of Music

With 125,000 students, the federal University of London is the largest contact teaching university in Europe. It includes four large multi-faculty universities – King’s College London, Queen Mary, Royal Holloway and UCL – and a number of smaller and more specialised institutions including Birkbeck, the Courtauld Institute of Art, Goldsmiths, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Institute of Education, the London Business School, the London School of Economics, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the Royal Academy of Music, the Central School of Speech and Drama, the Royal Veterinary College and the School of Oriental and African Studies. Members of the University of London have their own admissions procedures, and some award their own degrees.

There are a number of universities in London which are outside of the University of London system, including Brunel University, City University London, Imperial College London, Kingston University, London Metropolitan University (with over 34,000 students, the largest unitary university in London), London South Bank University, Middlesex University, University of the Arts London (the largest university of art, design, fashion, communication and the performing arts in Europe), University of East London, the University of West London and the University of Westminster. In addition there are three international universities in London – Regent’s College, Richmond University and Schiller International University.

London is home to five major medical schools – Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry (part of Queen Mary), King’s College London School of Medicine (the largest medical school in Europe), Imperial College School of Medicine, UCL Medical School and St George’s, University of London – and has a large number of affiliated teaching hospitals. It is also a major centre for biomedical research, and three of the UK’s five academic health science centres are based in the city – Imperial College Healthcare, King’s Health Partners and UCL Partners (the largest such centre in Europe). There are a number of business schools in London, including Cass Business School (part of City University London), ESCP Europe, European Business School London, Imperial College Business School and the London Business School. London is also home to many specialist arts education institutions, including the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, the London Contemporary Dance School, RADA, the Royal College of Art, the Royal College of Music and Trinity Laban.

Primary and Secondary Education

The majority of primary and secondary schools in London are state schools and are controlled by the London boroughs, although there are also a number of private schools in London, including old and famous schools such as the City of London School, Harrow, St Paul’s School, University College School, Highgate School and Westminster School.



The London accent long ago acquired the Cockney label, and was similar to many accents of the South East of England. The accent of a 21st-century ‘Londoner’ varies widely; what is becoming more and more common amongst the under-30s however is some fusion of Cockney with a whole array of ‘ethnic’ accents, in particular Caribbean, which form an accent labelled Multicultural London English (MLE).

Leisure and Entertainment

Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus

Within the City of Westminster, the entertainment district of the West End has its focus around Leicester Square, where London and world film premieres are held, and Piccadilly Circus, with its giant electronic advertisements. London’s theatre district is here, as are many cinemas, bars, clubs and restaurants, including the city’s Chinatown district (in Soho), and just to the east is Covent Garden, an area housing speciality shops. The city is the home of Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose musicals have dominated the West End theatre since the late 20th century. The United Kingdom’s Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Royal Opera and English National Opera are based in London and perform at the Royal Opera House, the London Coliseum, Sadler’s Wells Theatre and the Royal Albert Hall as well as touring the country.

Harrods in Knightsbridge
Harrods in Knightsbridge

Islington’s 1 mile (1.6 km) long Upper Street, extending northwards from the Angel, has more bars and restaurants than any other street in the United Kingdom. Europe’s busiest shopping area is Oxford Street, a shopping street nearly 1 mile (1.6 km) long, making it the longest shopping street in the United Kingdom. Oxford Street is home to vast numbers of retailers and department stores, including the world-famous Selfridges flagship store. Knightsbridge, home to the equally renowned Harrods department store, lies to the south-west.

London is home to designers Vivienne Westwood, Galliano, Stella McCartney, Manolo Blahnik, and Jimmy Choo among others; its renowned art and fashion schools make it an international centre of fashion alongside Paris, Milan and New York. London offers a great variety of cuisine as a result of its ethnically diverse population. Gastronomic centres include the Bangladeshi restaurants of Brick Lane and the Chinese food restaurants of Chinatown.

There is a variety of annual events, beginning with the relatively new New Year’s Day Parade, fireworks display at the London Eye, the world’s second largest street party, the Notting Hill Carnival is held during the late August Bank Holiday each year. Traditional parades include November’s Lord Mayor’s Show, a centuries-old event celebrating the annual appointment of a new Lord Mayor of the City of London with a procession along the streets of the City, and June’s Trooping the Colour, a formal military pageant performed by regiments of the Commonwealth and British armies to celebrate the Queen’s Official Birthday.

Literature, Film and Television

Sherlock Holmes Museum, Baker Street, London, bearing the number 221B
Sherlock Holmes Museum, Baker Street, London, bearing the number 221B

London has been the setting for many works of literature. The literary centres of London have traditionally been hilly Hampstead and (since the early 20th century) Bloomsbury. Writers closely associated with the city are the diarist Samuel Pepys, noted for his eyewitness account of the Great Fire, Charles Dickens, whose representation of a foggy, snowy, grimy London of street sweepers and pickpockets has been a major influence on people’s vision of early Victorian London, and Virginia Woolf, regarded as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the 20th century.

Keats House, where Keats wrote his Ode to a Nightingale. The village of Hampstead has historically been a literary centre in London.
Keats House, where Keats wrote his Ode to a Nightingale. The village of Hampstead has historically been a literary centre in London.

The pilgrims in Geoffrey Chaucer’s late 14th-century Canterbury Tales set out for Canterbury from London – specifically, from the Tabard inn, Southwark. William Shakespeare spent a large part of his life living and working in London; his contemporary Ben Jonson was also based there, and some of his work—most notably his play The Alchemist—was set in the city. A Journal of the Plague Year (1722) by Daniel Defoe is a fictionalisation of the events of the 1665 Great Plague. Later important depictions of London from the 19th and early 20th centuries are Dickens’ novels, and Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. Modern writers pervasively influenced by the city include Peter Ackroyd, author of a “biography” of London, and Iain Sinclair, who writes in the genre of psychogeography.

London has played a significant role in the film industry, and has major studios at Ealing and a special effects and post-production community centred in Soho. Working Title Films has its headquarters in London. London has been the setting for films including Oliver Twist (1948), Peter Pan (1953), The Ladykillers (1955), The 101 Dalmatians (1961), Mary Poppins (1964), Blowup (1966), The Long Good Friday (1980), Secrets & Lies (1996), Notting Hill (1999), Match Point (2005), V For Vendetta (2005) and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street (2008). London is a major centre for television production, with studios including BBC Television Centre, The Fountain Studios and The London Studios. Many television programmes have been set in London, including the popular television soap opera EastEnders, broadcast by the BBC since 1985.

Museums and Art Galleries