East Anglia

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Flag of East Anglia Flag of East Anglia.svg
Flag of East Anglia
East Anglia: with the administrative counties of Norfolk and Suffolk (in red) to the north and south and Cambridgeshire (in pink) to the west East Anglia UK Locator Map.svg
East Anglia: with the administrative counties of Norfolk and Suffolk (in red) to the north and south and Cambridgeshire (in pink) to the west

East Anglia is a geographical area in the East of England. The area included has varied [1] but the legally defined NUTS 2 statistical unit comprises the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, including the City of Peterborough unitary authority area. [2] The name derives from the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the East Angles, a tribe whose name originated in Anglia, northern Germany.

East of England region of England in United Kingdom

The East of England is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It was created in 1994 and was adopted for statistics from 1999. It includes the ceremonial counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. Essex has the highest population in the region.

Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics or NUTS is a geocode standard for referencing the subdivisions of countries for statistical purposes. The standard, adopted in 2003, is developed and regulated by the European Union, and thus only covers the member states of the EU in detail. The Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics is instrumental in the European Union's Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund delivery mechanisms and for locating the area where goods and services subject to European public procurement legislation are to be delivered.

Norfolk County of England

Norfolk is a county in East Anglia in England. It borders Lincolnshire to the northwest, Cambridgeshire to the west and southwest, and Suffolk to the south. Its northern and eastern boundaries are the North Sea and to the north-west, The Wash. The county town is Norwich. With an area of 2,074 square miles (5,370 km2) and a population of 859,400, Norfolk is a largely rural county with a population density of 401 per square mile. Of the county's population, 40% live in four major built up areas: Norwich (213,000), Great Yarmouth (63,000), King's Lynn (46,000) and Thetford (25,000).

Contents

Area

Definitions of what constitutes East Anglia vary. The Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of East Anglia, established in the 6th century, originally consisted of the modern counties of Norfolk and Suffolk and expanded west into at least part of Cambridgeshire. The modern NUTS 2 statistical unit of East Anglia comprises Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire (including the City of Peterborough unitary authority). [2] Those three counties have formed the Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia since 1976, and were the subject of a possible government devolution package in 2016. [3] [4]

Anglo-Saxons Germanic tribes who started to inhabit parts of Great Britain from the 5th century onwards

The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group who inhabited Great Britain from the 5th century. They comprise people from Germanic tribes who migrated to the island from continental Europe, their descendants, and indigenous British groups who adopted many aspects of Anglo-Saxon culture and language; the cultural foundations laid by the Anglo-Saxons are the foundation of the modern English legal system and of many aspects of English society; the modern English language owes over half its words – including the most common words of everyday speech – to the language of the Anglo-Saxons. Historically, the Anglo-Saxon period denotes the period in Britain between about 450 and 1066, after their initial settlement and up until the Norman conquest. The early Anglo-Saxon period includes the creation of an English nation, with many of the aspects that survive today, including regional government of shires and hundreds. During this period, Christianity was established and there was a flowering of literature and language. Charters and law were also established. The term Anglo-Saxon is popularly used for the language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons in England and eastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century. In scholarly use, it is more commonly called Old English.

Kingdom of East Anglia Anglo-Saxon kingdom in southeast Britain

The Kingdom of the East Angles, today known as the Kingdom of East Anglia, was a small independent kingdom of the Angles comprising what are now the English counties of Norfolk and Suffolk and perhaps the eastern part of the Fens. The kingdom formed in the 6th century in the wake of the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain. It was ruled by the Wuffingas in the 7th and 8th centuries, but fell to Mercia in 794, and was conquered by the Danes in 869, to form part of the Danelaw. It was conquered by Edward the Elder and incorporated into the Kingdom of England in 918.

Suffolk County of England

Suffolk is an East Anglian county of historic origin in England. It has borders with Norfolk to the north, Cambridgeshire to the west and Essex to the south. The North Sea lies to the east. The county town is Ipswich; other important towns include Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket, and Felixstowe, one of the largest container ports in Europe.

Essex has sometimes been included in definitions of East Anglia, including by the London Society of East Anglians. [note 1] However, the Kingdom of Essex to the south, was a separate element of the Heptarchy of Anglo-Saxon England and did not identify as Angles but Saxons. The county of Essex by itself forms a NUTS 2 statistical unit in the East of England region.

Essex County of England

Essex is a county in the south-east of England, north-east of London. One of the home counties, it borders Suffolk and Cambridgeshire to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent across the estuary of the River Thames to the south, and London to the south-west. The county town is Chelmsford, the only city in the county. For government statistical purposes Essex is placed in the East of England region.

Kingdom of Essex former kingdom on the island of Britain (527 CE - 825 CE)

The Kingdom of the East Saxons, today referred to as the Kingdom of Essex, was one of the seven traditional kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. It was founded in the 6th century and covered the territory later occupied by the counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, Middlesex and Kent. Kings of Essex were frequently subservient to foreign overlords. The last king of Essex was Sigered and in 825, he ceded the kingdom to Ecgberht, King of Wessex.

Heptarchy Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of south, east, and central Great Britain during late antiquity and the early Middle Ages

The Heptarchy is a collective name applied to the seven kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England from the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain in the 5th century until their unification into the Kingdom of England in the early 10th century.

Great Britain around the year 800 showing the East Angles Anglo-Saxon England 2.svg
Great Britain around the year 800 showing the East Angles
Redcliffe-Maud proposed provinces; East Anglia is marked 7 England RedcliffeMaud Provinces.png
Redcliffe-Maud proposed provinces; East Anglia is marked 7

Other definitions of the area have been used or proposed over the years. For example, the Redcliffe-Maud Report in 1969, which followed the Royal Commission on the Reform of Local Government, recommended the creation of eight provinces in England. The proposed East Anglia province would have included northern Essex, southern Lincolnshire and a small part of Northamptonshire as well as Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Redcliffe-Maud Report

The Redcliffe-Maud Report was published by the Royal Commission on Local Government in England 1966–1969 under the chairmanship of Lord Redcliffe-Maud.

Lincolnshire County of England

Lincolnshire is a county in eastern England, with a long coastline on the North Sea to the east. It borders Norfolk to the south east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south west, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to the west, South Yorkshire to the north west, and the East Riding of Yorkshire to the north. It also borders Northamptonshire in the south for just 20 yards (19 m), England's shortest county boundary. The county town is the city of Lincoln, where the county council has its headquarters.

Northamptonshire County of England

Northamptonshire, archaically known as the County of Northampton, is a county in the East Midlands of England. In 2015 it had a population of 723,000. The county is administered by Northamptonshire County Council and by seven non-metropolitan district councils. It is known as "The Rose of the Shires".

History

The kingdom of East Anglia initially consisted of Norfolk and Suffolk, but the Isle of Ely also became part of it upon the marriage of East Anglian princess Etheldreda. It was formed around 520 by merging the North and South Folk, Angles who had settled in the former lands of the Iceni during the previous century, and it was one of the seven Anglo-Saxon heptarchy kingdoms as defined in the 12th century writings of Henry of Huntingdon. [5] [ page needed ] East Anglia was the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England for a brief period following a victory over the rival kingdom of Northumbria around 616, and its King Raedwald was Bretwalda (overlord of the Anglo-Saxons kingdoms). However, this did not last; the Mercians defeated it twice over the next 40 years, and East Anglia continued to weaken in relation to the other kingdoms. Offa of Mercia finally had king Æthelberht killed in 794 and took control of the kingdom himself. [6] Independence was temporarily restored by rebellion in 825, but the Danes killed King Edmund on 20 November 869 and captured the kingdom. Edward the Elder incorporated East Anglia into the Kingdom of England, and it later became an earldom.

Isle of Ely former county in England

The Isle of Ely is an historic region around the city of Ely in Cambridgeshire, England. Between 1889 and 1965, it formed an administrative county.

Iceni British tribe of the Iron Age and Roman era

The Iceni or Eceni were a Brittonic tribe of eastern Britain during the Iron Age and early Roman era. Their territory included present-day Norfolk and parts of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, and bordered the area of the Corieltauvi to the west, and the Catuvellauni and Trinovantes to the south. In the Roman period, their capital was Venta Icenorum at modern-day Caistor St Edmund.

Henry of Huntingdon, the son of a canon in the diocese of Lincoln, was a 12th-century English historian, the author of a history of England, the Historia Anglorum, "the most important Anglo-Norman historian to emerge from the secular clergy". He served as archdeacon of Huntingdon. The few details of Henry's life that are known originated from his own works and from a number of official records. He was brought up in the wealthy court of Robert Bloet of Lincoln, who became his patron.

Much of East Anglia remained marshland and bogs until the 17th century, despite some engineering work in the form of sea barriers constructed by the Roman Empire. The alluvial land was converted into wide swathes of productive arable land by a series of systematic drainage projects, mainly using drains and river diversions along the lines of Dutch practice.[ citation needed ] In the 1630s, thousands of Puritan families from East Anglia emigrated to New England in America, taking much East Anglian culture with them that can still be traced today. [7] [ page needed ] East Anglia based much of its earnings on wool, textiles, and arable farming and was a rich area of England until the Industrial Revolution caused a manufacturing and development shift to the Midlands and the North.

Arable land Land capable of being ploughed and used to grow crops

Arable land is, according to one definition, land capable of being ploughed and used to grow crops. In Britain, it was traditionally contrasted with pasturable land such as heaths which could be used for sheep-rearing but not farmland.

Puritan migration to New England (1620–40)

The Puritan migration to New England was marked in its effects in the two decades from 1620 to 1640, after which it declined sharply for a time. The term Great Migration usually refers to the migration in this period of English Puritans to Massachusetts and the West Indies, especially Barbados. They came in family groups rather than as isolated individuals and were motivated chiefly by a quest for freedom to practice their Puritan religion.

During the Second World War, the Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces constructed many airbases in East Anglia for the heavy bomber fleets of the Combined Bomber Offensive against Nazi-occupied Europe. East Anglia was ideally suited to airfield construction, as it includes large areas of open, level terrain and is close to mainland Europe. Many of the airfields can still be seen today, particularly from aerial photographs, and a few remain in use, the most prominent being Norwich International Airport. Pillboxes were erected in 1940 to help defend the nation against invasion, and they can also be found throughout the area at strategic points. [8]

Geography

Norwich, with an urban population of 210,000, is the largest city in East Anglia Streetphotography, downtown Norwich, Norfolk (13540828433).jpg
Norwich, with an urban population of 210,000, is the largest city in East Anglia

East Anglia is bordered to the north and east by the North Sea, to the south by the estuary of the River Thames and shares an undefined land border to the west with the rest of England. Much of northern East Anglia is flat, low-lying and marshy (such as the Fens of Cambridgeshire and Norfolk), although the extensive drainage projects of the past centuries actually make this one of the driest areas in the UK.[ citation needed ] Inland much of the rest of Suffolk and Norfolk is gently undulating, with glacial moraine ridges providing some areas of steeper areas relief. The supposed flatness of the Norfolk landscape is noted in literature, such as Noël Coward's Private Lives – "Very flat, Norfolk".[ This quote needs a citation ]

On the north-west corner East Anglia is bordered by a bay known as The Wash, where owing to deposits of sediment and land reclamation, the coastline has altered markedly within historical times; several towns once on the coast of the Wash (notably King's Lynn) are now some distance inland. Conversely, over to the east on the coast exposed to the North Sea the coastline is subject to rapid erosion and has shifted inland significantly since historic times.[ citation needed ]

Major rivers include Suffolk's Stour, running through country beloved of the painter John Constable, and the River Nene. The River Cam is a tributary of the Great Ouse and gives its name to Cambridge, whilst Norwich sits on the River Yare and River Wensum. The River Orwell flows through Ipswich and has its mouth, along with the Stour at Felixstowe. The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads form a network of waterways between Norwich and the coast and are popular for recreational boating. The Ouse flows into the Wash at King's Lynn.

Major urban areas in East Anglia include the cities of Norwich, Cambridge and Peterborough, and the town of Ipswich. Smaller towns and cities include Bury St Edmunds, Ely, Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn. Much of the area is still rural in nature with many villages surrounded by agricultural land. [9]

Climate

The climate of East Anglia is generally dry and mild. Temperatures range from an average of 1–10 °C in the winter to 12–22 °C in the summer, although it is not uncommon for daily temperatures to fall and rise significantly outside these averages. Although water plays a significant role in the Fenland and Broadland landscapes, the area is among the driest in the United Kingdom and during the summer months, tinder-dry conditions are frequently experienced, occasionally resulting in field and heath fires.[ citation needed ] Many areas receive less than 700mm of rainfall a year and this is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. Sunshine totals tend to be higher towards the coastal areas.[ citation needed ]

Transport

Port of Felixstowe - Landguard Terminal in the foreground with Trinity Terminal in the background Felixstowe port.JPG
Port of Felixstowe – Landguard Terminal in the foreground with Trinity Terminal in the background

Transport in East Anglia consists of an extensive road and rail network. Main A roads, such as the A12 and A47 link the area to the rest of the UK, and the A14 links the Midlands to the Port of Felixstowe. This is the busiest container port in the UK, dealing with over 40% of UK container traffic and a is a major gateway port into the country.[ citation needed ] There is very little motorway within East Anglia.

Rail links include the Great Eastern Main Line from Norwich to London Liverpool Street and the West Anglia Main Line connecting Cambridge to London. Sections of the East Coast Main Line run through the area and Peterborough is an important interchange on this line. The area is linked to the Midlands and north-west England by rail and has a number of local rail services, such as the Bittern Line from Norwich to Sheringham. [10]

East Anglia is ideal for cycling and National Cycle Route 1 passes through it. Cambridge has the largest proportion of its residents in the UK cycling to work with 25% commuting by bicycle. [11] The city is also home to the Cambridgeshire guided busway, which at 13.3 miles (21.4 km) was the longest stretch of guided bus-way in the world when it opened in 2011. [12]

The only major commercial airport is Norwich Airport, although London Stansted Airport, the fourth busiest passenger airport in the UK, lies just south of Cambridge in north-west Essex.[ citation needed ]

Universities

The University of Cambridge, established at the start of the 13th century and in the town of the same name, is East Anglia's best-known institution of higher learning, and is among the oldest and most famous universities in the world. Other institutions include the University of East Anglia (in Norwich), Norwich University of the Arts, Anglia Ruskin University (based in Cambridge), University of Suffolk (based in Ipswich) and University Centre Peterborough.

Enterprise zones

Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Enterprise Zone, an enterprise zone initiated by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, [13] was announced in 2011 and launched in April 2012. [14] It includes six sites with a total area of 121 hectares (300 acres), which have attracted a number of energy-related businesses. [13] The sites are Beacon Park and South Denes in Great Yarmouth, Mobbs Way, Riverside Road and South Lowestoft Industrial Estate in Lowestoft and Ellough Business Park in Ellough near Beccles. [14] There is also an enterprise zone in Cambridgeshire, Alconbury Enterprise Campus in Huntingdon. [15]

Symbols and culture

Three crowns emblem at Saxmundham's parish church Three crowns emblem.jpg
Three crowns emblem at Saxmundham's parish church
Memorial to East Anglians who died during the First World War in Liverpool Street Station. The memorial, erected by the London Society of East Anglians, displays the flag Memorial to East Anglians who died during The Great War - geograph.org.uk - 628576.jpg
Memorial to East Anglians who died during the First World War in Liverpool Street Station. The memorial, erected by the London Society of East Anglians, displays the flag

A shield of three golden crowns, placed two above one, on a blue background has been used as a symbol of East Anglia for centuries. The coat of arms was ascribed by medieval heralds to the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of East Anglia and the Wuffingas dynasty which ruled it. The arms are effectively identical to the coat of arms of Sweden.

The three crowns appear, carved in stone, on the baptismal font (c.1400) in the parish church of Saxmundham, [16] and on the 15th century porch of Woolpit church, both in Suffolk. They also appear in local heraldry and form part of the arms of the diocese of Ely and the arms of the borough of Bury St Edmunds, where the crowns are shown pierced with arrows to represent the martyrdom of Edmund the Martyr, the last king of East Anglia. Other users of the arms include the former Isle of Ely County Council, the Borough of Colchester and the University of East Anglia. The flag of Cambridgeshire (adopted in 2015) includes the three gold crowns on a blue field. [17]

The East Anglian flag as it is known today was proposed by George Henry Langham and adopted in 1902 by the London Society of East Anglians (established in 1896). It superimposes the three crowns in a blue shield on a St George's cross.

East Anglia features heavily in English literature, notably in Noël Coward's Private Lives and the history of its waterways and drainage forms the backdrop to Graham Swift's novel Waterland . The area also figures in works by L.P. Hartley, Arthur Ransome and Dorothy L. Sayers, among many others.

"Suffolk pink" and similar pastel colours of whitewash are commonly seen on houses in Suffolk, Norfolk and their neighbouring counties.

Tourism

East Anglia has a wide range of holiday resorts that range from the traditional coastal towns of Felixstowe and Lowestoft in Suffolk and Great Yarmouth and Hunstanton in Norfolk, to small fishing villages like Aldeburgh and Southwold in Suffolk. Other tourist attractions include historic towns and cities like Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge and Ely as well as areas such as Constable Country, the Broads and the North Norfolk coast.

See also

Notes

  1. The First World War memorial at Liverpool Street Station, erected by the London Society of East Anglians, is "to the men of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire".

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References

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Coordinates: 52°30′N1°00′E / 52.5°N 1°E / 52.5; 1