England became a unified state in AD 927 and, since the 15th century, has had a significant impact on the wider world, developing the English language, the Anglican Church, and English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world. Its beautiful and varied countryside is interspersed with quaint villages and cosmopolitan cities including the capital, London.
The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Engla land, which means "land of the Angles". The Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages.
Should we save Britain’s oldest Bowling Green?
Elizabethan sea captain Sir Francis Drake first received news of the Spanish Armada while playing at the Plymouth Hoe bowling green.
He famously kept his cool, insisting on finishing his game before taking to the seas – where of course he successfully routed the would-be invaders.
The bowling green had already been around for some time at this point. After all, bowls has a long history of popularity in Britain.
We know that Henry VIII did his best to ban it, as he wanted young men to be practicing their archery instead – but by Drake’s time it was evidently very much back in fashion.
The bowling green at Plymouth Hoe had its own particular drama in the 20th century, during WWII: the clubhouse was damaged by a German bomb, and the green itself was occupied by an anti-aircraft battery.
Today, having survived the vicissitudes of monarchs and the worst British bombings in history, the bowling green is under threat from budget cuts.
The city council has proposed cuts amounting to £10 million as part of the government’s plan to reduce the deficit and foster Cameron’s Big Society. The suggestion is that members of the bowling club should pay for the green’s upkeep, rather than the tax payer; but as most members are quite elderly this is hardly feasible.
What do you think should happen? Let us know in the comments below
Bath in 100 objects
The museums of Bath have nominated the most significant objects in their collections for ‘Bath in 100 Objects’
The objects tell the story of the people of Bath and their achievements, and the evolution of the city from Roman times to the present day.The museums of Bath have nominated the most significant objects in their collections for ‘Bath in 100 Objects’. The objects tell the story of the people of Bath and their achievements, and the evolution of the city from Roman times to the present day.
Objects range from a Bath chair to a fizzy pop factory; a wig scratcher to a giant plug and a collection of corsets, to the telescope used to discover Uranus.
Some of the treasures are well-known whilst others will truly surprise. The 99 objects have been chosen by a varied and independent panel. However, if you feel that a key object has been omitted, then you are able to put forward your own suggestion.
The object that receives the most votes will then become the hundredth object as chosen for by the people of Bath and announced at the end of the 2011.
Find out more about the 99 objects currently on display in Bath at http://visitbath.co.uk/site/100-objects
Treasures at auction: from The Cotswolds to The Kasbah
This October there’s the chance to pick up a treasure from Christie’s South Kensington when the famous auction house offers items from one of Britain’s highly respected interior
This Autumn there’s the chance to pick up a treasure from two sales at Christie’s South Kensington. On 27 October, the famous auction house features property from one of Britain’s highly respected interior decorators – Robert Kime, alongside featuring property from a Cotswold Manor House. The two diverse yet complementary collections offer a vast array of wonderful works of art from colourful Ottoman textiles, carpets and carvings to Ming porcelain and ancient English oak furniture. Including over 400 lots, with estimates from £300 to £40,000, the sale provides collectors and aspiring interior decorators the opportunity to add to, or even start their own collection.
Robert Kime is one of Britain’s most esteemed interior decorators, with clients including HRH The Prince of Wales, John Taylor of Duran Duran and his wife Gela of fashion label Juicy Couture. His charming and diffident style has earned him a wide and enthusiastic following. Kime began trading in antiques whilst reading history at Oxford University and today his businesses encompass fabric production alongside his natural calling – interior decorating with hand-picked antiques. The sale will feature a wealth of Islamic and Eastern influenced furniture and works of art, porcelain, pictures, photographs, carpets and antique textiles. These are offered alongside a selection of Robert Kime’s own range of elegant furniture and lighting.
The second part of the sale comes from a charming manor in the Cotswold hills, which hid a trove of works of art ranging in date from the 17th to 20th centuries, lovingly collected by the present owners over the last 25 years. Juxtaposing antique and modern, property from this Cotswold Manor includes an oak refectory table originally from Leeds Castle, Kent, a 17th-century blue and white jar from the Ming dynasty through to an 18th century equestrian portrait of a Jockey traditionally identified as wearing the Duke of Devonshire’s colours.
Public viewings are from 23 to 26 October, and the Ecatalogue is available now at www.christies.com/calendar. Further information on Christie’s South Kensington, 85 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 at at www.christies.com.