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[Portal] England

The England portal

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Royal Standard of England
Location of England within the United Kingdom.

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. Read more...

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Ramsgate Tunnel.jpg

The Tunnel Railway (also known as the Ramsgate Cliff Railway, the Ramsgate Tunnel Railway, the Ramsgate Underground Railway and the World Scenic Railway) was a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow-gauge underground railway in Ramsgate, Kent, England. Following the restructuring of railway lines in Ramsgate in 1926, the section of line between Broadstairs and Ramsgate Harbour including a tunnel to the seafront at Ramsgate was abandoned. The narrow-gauge Tunnel Railway was opened within the disused tunnel in 1936 to connect tourist attractions and shops near Ramsgate harbour with the new railway main line at Dumpton Park.

Except for its two stations—one at each end of the tunnel—the line ran entirely underground. The line was built in less than three months, and on its completion in 1936 was one of the shortest independent railway lines in the country. It was open for only three years before being converted to a major air-raid shelter during World War II. After the war's end, it was not included in the 1948 nationalisation of British railways but remained in private hands. Read more...
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A 19th century man wearing a jacket, trousers and waistcoat, with his hands in his pockets and a cigar in mouth, wearing a tall stovepipe top hat, standing in front of giant iron chains on a drum.
Brunel by the launching chains of the SS Great Eastern
by Robert Howlett, 1857

Isambard Kingdom Brunel FRS (/ˈɪzəmbɑːrdbrˈnɛl/; 9 April 1806 – 15 September 1859) was a British civil engineer who is considered "one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history", "one of the 19th-century engineering giants", and "one of the greatest figures of the Industrial Revolution, [who] changed the face of the English landscape with his groundbreaking designs and ingenious constructions". Brunel built dockyards, the Great Western Railway, a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship, and numerous important bridges and tunnels. His designs revolutionised public transport and modern engineering.

Though Brunel's projects were not always successful, they often contained innovative solutions to long-standing engineering problems. During his career, Brunel achieved many engineering firsts, including assisting in the building of the first tunnel under a navigable river and development of SS Great Britain, the first propeller-driven, ocean-going, iron ship, which, when built in 1843, was the largest ship ever built. Read more...
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Map of the Bristol Channel and the Severn Estuary (shown here as "Mouth of the Severn")
The Severn Estuary (Welsh: Aber Hafren) is the estuary of the River Severn, the longest river in Great Britain. It is the confluence of four major rivers, being the Severn, Wye, Usk and Avon, and other smaller rivers. Its high tidal range, approximately 50 feet (15 m), means that it has been at the centre of discussions in the UK regarding renewable energy. Read more...
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Did you know?

  • ...that the HMS Queen (1902) was fitted with Babcock and Wilcox cylindrical boilers due to service problems with the water service boilers?
  • ...that the Charter Roll is the administrative record created by the medieval office of the chancery that recorded all the charters issued by the chancery?
  • ...that Canterbury in eastern Kent was abandoned at the end of the Roman period, but was resettled by the Saxons?
  • ...that English singer-songwriter Robbie Williams has sold more albums in the United Kingdom than any other British solo artist in history?

In the news

In the news


26 February 2020 –
Bob Weighton, aged 111, of Alton, Hampshire, England, is named the oldest living man in the world after the death of Chitetsu Watanabe of Japan at the age of 112. (The Guardian)
23 February 2020 – 2020 Dominican Republic municipal elections
Protests begin in New York and Massachusetts in the United States, Paris in France, Toronto in Canada, Madrid, Navarre, and Barcelona in Spain, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and London in England. (Dominican Today)
16 February 2020 – Storm Dennis
The bomb cyclone claims another victim, bringing the death toll to three. 198 flood warnings have been placed across England. (CNN)
13 February 2020 – 2020 British cabinet reshuffle
The Attorney General for England and Wales Geoffrey Cox is sacked by Johnson. (The Independent)
10 February 2020 –
Mohiussunnath Chowdhury is convicted of planning terrorist attacks in London. (BBC)
9 February 2020 – Storm Ciara
Thousands of homes and businesses have been flooded across northern England after Storm Ciara brought sustained heavy rainfall to the region. Worst affected were the Calder Valley settlements of Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd in Yorkshire. (BBC)

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Culture: The Football AssociationRugby Football UnionEngland and Wales Cricket BoardEnglish inventions and discoveries

Geography: GeologyClimateMountains and hillsIslandsRivers

Economy: Bank of EnglandLondon Stock ExchangeChancellor of the ExchequerMonetary Policy CommitteeHM Treasury

History: Timeline of English historyPrehistoric BritainRoman BritainAnglo-Saxon EnglandNorman EnglandPlantagenet EnglandHouse of LancasterHouse of YorkHouse of TudorHouse of Stuart

Governance: Kingdom of EnglandPrime Minister of the United KingdomParliament of the United KingdomHome SecretaryLocal Government Boundary Commission for EnglandAdministrative divisions of EnglandEnglish law

Symbols: FlagsFlag of EnglandSt George's CrossTudor roseCoat of arms of England

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