EnglandCopyright:  Philip Bird 123rf.com

England

Capital: London
Currency: Pound Sterling (GBP)
Language: English
Listen to the national anthem

The land that is England has been inhabited by what we call modern humans as early as 780,000 years. Modern humans settled the land some 6,000 years ago.

During periods of hot and cold, England has experienced ice several miles thick with Woolly Mammoth and Woolly Rhinoceros roaming at the edges of huge ice sheets and warm, balmy periods where we would see Hippopotamus' in modern London. When the world was one great continent called Pangea, it is believed that the region we call England was on the Equator!

England takes its name from the Angles, one of many Germanic tribes that decided England was a good place during the 5th and 6th centuries.

Not since the invasion by the Normans in 1066, has the proud nation of England been invaded but it has not been a peaceful 1,000 years. The Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey, both British territories, were captured by the Nazi's in the Second World War, the closest any aggressor has been to occupying England.

England has much to thank the Romans and Normans for. The Romans gave us roads and a taste for civilised living and the Normans gave us a legal system and incredible Gothic architecture. We still use Roman roads to this day such as ermine Street, Watling Street and the Fosse Way. There are others that are not used by vehicles but are by hikers. The Normans however left us with more imposing structures like castles and forts and of course Hadrians Wall and those cavernous monasteries and cathedrals.

England is famous for engineering and engineers like Isambard Kingdom Brunel who was responsible for some mega structures of the Victorian Age like for example the SS Great Eastern the biggest ship of its kind at the time, made even more special as it was made of iron in a time when t he favoured materials were still wood and sail.

England has been a country of innovation and firsts in science and industry. Florence Nightingale who went on to save countless lives on the battlefield, nursing. Joseph Bazelgette who realised the cause Cholera outbreaks in certain parts of London. He went on to design the London Sewer system as well as pumping stations to rid London of human waste and to restore clean drinking water. England can boast countless firsts like the inventor of the Mine Detector, Polish Józef Kosaki who was never fully recognised for his achievements. His identity was kept an official secret for fear that he and his family might be assassinated by German spies.

England is also brimming with folklore and tradition, such as Robin Hood, Queen Boudicca and not forgetting King Arthur. England is also responsible for the seaside favourite, fish and chips. Did you know that the first ever fish and chip shop opened in 1860 in London. Morris dancing is a tradition that can be traced back to the mid 5th century. The steps of the dance is performed over a pair of crossed clay tobacco pipes. A record still exists t hat in 1448 Morris dancers were paid seven shillings by the Goldsmiths Company in London.

Morris DancersCopyright:  Natasha Walton 123rf.com

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