Portal:England

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Location of England within the United Kingdom.

England (About this sound /ˈɪŋɡlənd/ ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Its mainland is on the central and southern part of the island of Great Britain in the North Atlantic. England shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; and adjoins the Irish Sea to the north-west, the Celtic Sea to the south-west and the North Sea to the east. The English Channel separates it from continental Europe. In addition to the mainland, England includes over 100 smaller islands, including the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. England's population is about 51 million, around 84% of the United Kingdom.

England has been settled by humans of various cultures for over 29,000 years but it takes its name from the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes who settled Great Britain during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in AD 927 and after the Age of Discovery has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world. England was where the English language, the Anglican Church and English law, which forms the basis of the common law legal systems of countries around the world, developed. The innovations that came from England have been widely adopted by other nations, such as its parliamentary system, which is the world's oldest. During the 18th century England underwent the Industrial Revolution and became the first country in the world to industrialise. Its Royal Society laid the foundations of modern experimental science.

Most of England is lowland but there are upland regions in the north (such as the Lake District, Pennines and Yorkshire Moors) and in the south and south west (such as Dartmoor, the Cotswolds, and the North and South Downs). London, a global city and England's capital, is the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. The population of England is concentrated in London and the South East, as well as the conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East and Yorkshire, which developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century.

The Kingdom of England (which included Wales) was a sovereign state until 1 May 1707 when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year and resulted in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland that created the united Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1800 Great Britain was united with Ireland through another Act of Union 1800 to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 the Irish Free State was established as a separate dominion but the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act in 1927 reincorporated into the kingdom six Irish counties to officially create the current United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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The River Chew

The Chew Valley is an area in North Somerset, England, named after the River Chew, which rises at Chewton Mendip, and joins the River Avon at Keynsham. Technically, the area of the valley is bounded by the water catchment area of the Chew and its tributaries; however, the name Chew Valley is often used less formally to cover other nearby areas, for example, Blagdon Lake and its environs, which by a stricter definition are part of the Yeo Valley. The valley is an area of rich arable and dairy farmland, interspersed with a number of villages.

The landscape consists of the valley of the River Chew and is generally low-lying and undulating. It is bounded by higher ground ranging from Dundry Down to the north, the Lulsgate Plateau to the west, the Mendip Hills to the south and the Hinton Blewett, Marksbury and Newton Saint Loe plateau areas to the east. The valley's boundary generally follows the top of scarp slopes except at the southwestern and southeastern boundaries where flat upper areas of the Chew Valley grade gently into the Yeo Valley and eastern Mendip Hills respectively. The River Chew was dammed in the 1950s to create Chew Valley Lake, which provides drinking water for the nearby city of Bristol and surrounding areas. The lake is a prominent landscape feature of the valley, a focus for recreation, and is internationally recognised for its nature conservation interest, because of the bird species, plants and insects.

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White Cliffs of Dover

Photo credit: Michael Rowe

The white cliffs of Dover cliffs which form part of the English coastline facing the Strait of Dover and France. The cliffs are part of the North Downs formation. The cliff face, which reaches up to 106 metres high, owes its striking façade to its composition of chalk (pure white calcium carbonate) accentuated by streaks of black flint.


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Mary II of England
Mary II (30 April 1662 – 28 December 1694) reigned as Queen of England and Ireland from 13 February 1689, and as Queen of Scots (as Mary II) from 11 April 1689 until her death. Mary, a Protestant, came to the thrones following the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in the deposition of her Roman Catholic father, James II and VII. Mary reigned jointly with her husband and first cousin, William III and II, who became the sole ruler of both countries upon her death in 1694. Popular histories usually refer to the joint reigns as those of "William and Mary". Mary, the blood sovereign, wielded less power than William during the parts of her reign when William remained in England, ceding most of her authority to her husband, though he heavily relied on her. She did, however, govern the realms alone when William was engaged in military campaigns abroad, proving herself to be a powerful, firm, and effective ruler. She was very active in the Church of England, which she ruled as its Supreme Governor. Though she shared the post with her husband, she largely exercised its power alone.

Mary, born at St. James Palace in London on 30 April 1662, was the eldest daughter of James, Duke of York (the future James II of England) and of his first wife, Lady Anne Hyde. Mary's uncle was Charles II; her maternal grandfather, Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, served for a lengthy period as Charles's chief advisor. Although her mother bore eight children, only Mary and her younger sister Anne survived into adulthood.

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?

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