Aldworth is a cultivated village and civil parish in the English county of Berkshire, close to the boundary with Oxfordshire, in a rural area between Reading and Streatley. It includes the hamlet of Westridge Green. Aldworth is on the high ground of the Berkshire Downs, just off the B4009 road between Newbury and Streatley; the north of it is crossed by a pre-Roman Britain 87-mile footpath. The parish church has large medieval figures in white stone life-size, although some of the knights have an unlikely height of over seven feet; the Battle of Ashdown, where King Alfred defeated the Danes in January AD 871, is said by some to have occurred near The Ridgeway and Lowbury Hill. A small area in the south of the village bears centuries-old woodland, still coppiced and carpeted with bluebells, it is open to the public subject to informal permission. The north of Aldworth is traversed by one of the National Trails, The Ridgeway, a pre-Roman Britain footpath 87 miles long. Aldworth is a civil parish with an elected parish council.
It lies within the area of West Berkshire unitary authority and the parliamentary constituency of Newbury. Aldworth was recorded in the Domesday Book as Elleorde, an Old English name meaning Old Enclosure or Old Farm. During the 12th century it was known as Aldewurda. In medieval times there was a fortified castle at Aldworth. La Beche Castle once stood on the site of what is now Beche Farm in Aldworth; this was the main residence of the De La Beche family. They were a well-known family of medieval knights holding many high positions at court since at least 1260; the De La Beche family were powerful knights in the 14th century. Many of them were retainers to the king, warders to the Tower of London, sheriffs of Oxfordshire and Berkshire; the family were influential during the reign of Edward II and Edward III, were embroiled in the royal intrigue of the time. Sir Phillip was imprisoned in Scarborough Castle from 1322 to 1327, but pardoned by Edward III, his father Sir Philip was gaoled and pardoned during the reign of Edward II.
The Church of England parish church of Saint Mary the Virgin contains numerous effigial monuments to the De La Beche family. The collection is the largest number of medieval memorials to a single family in a parish church; the figures are supposed to be life size representations but they recreate some of the knights as over seven feet tall, which has led to their being called the'Aldworth Giants'. Thought to have been erected by the most influential member of the family, Sir Nicholas De La Beche in the 1340s, historians suggest they date from various medieval dates. Many of the effigies were damaged by Parliamentarian iconoclasts during the Civil War in the 17th century. Many of the knights are missing the lower part of their legs and arms because they were the easiest parts to break off. Parliamentarians may have seen the giants as a symbol of royalty, although many churches were ransacked in the same period; the poet Laurence Binyon moved to Westridge Green on his retirement in 1933. After his death in 1943, his ashes were scattered in the churchyard and there is a slate memorial to him.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson's parents-in-law are buried here. Notes References Page, William. H. eds.. A History of the County of Berkshire, Volume 4. Victoria County History. Pp. 3–8. Pevsner, Nikolaus. Berkshire; the Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. Pp. 63–65. Royal Berkshire History: Aldworth Parish Church Aldworth in the Domesday Book
Cirencester is a market town in east Gloucestershire, England, 80 miles west northwest of London. Cirencester lies on the River Churn, a tributary of the River Thames, is the largest town in the Cotswold District, it is the home of the Royal Agricultural University, the oldest agricultural college in the English-speaking world, founded in 1840. The town's Corinium Museum is well known for its extensive Roman collection; the Roman name for the town was Corinium, thought to have been associated with the ancient British tribe of the Dobunni, having the same root word as the River Churn. The earliest known reference to the town was by Ptolemy in AD 150. Cirencester is twinned with Germany. Cirencester lies on an outcrop of oolitic limestone. Natural drainage is into the River Churn, which flows north to south through the eastern side of the town and joins the Thames near Cricklade a little to the south; the Thames itself rises just a few miles west of Cirencester. The town is split into five main areas: the town centre, the suburbs of Chesterton, Stratton and The Beeches.
The village of Siddington to the south of the town is now contiguous with Watermoor. Other suburbs include New Mills; the area and population of these 5 electoral wards are identical to that quoted above. The town serves as a centre for surrounding villages, providing employment, shops and education, as a commuter town for larger centres such as Cheltenham and Stroud. Cirencester is the hub of a significant road network with important routes to Gloucester, Leamington Spa, Wantage, Chippenham, Bristol and Stroud. However, only Gloucester, Cheltenham and Swindon have slow bus connections; these good roads bring the town passing trade. Although the ring road and bypass take traffic away from the town centre, both roads have busy service areas with adequate parking. Since closure of the Kemble to Cirencester branch line to Cirencester Town in 1964 the town has become one of the largest in the region without its own rail station; however Kemble railway station, 3.7 miles away, serves as a railhead. It provides regular services between Swindon and Gloucester, with peak-time direct trains to London Paddington station.
The nearest airports are Bristol Airport, Cotswold Airport at Kemble and Birmingham. Cirencester is known to have been an important early Roman area, along with St. Albans and Colchester, the town includes evidence of significant area roadworks; the Romans built a fort where the Fosse Way crossed the Churn, to hold two quingenary alae tasked with helping to defend the provincial frontier around AD 49, native Dobunni were drawn from Bagendon, a settlement 3 miles to the north, to create a civil settlement near the fort. When the frontier moved to the north after the conquest of Wales, this fort was closed and its fortifications levelled around the year 70, but the town persisted and flourished under the name Corinium. In Roman times, there was a thriving wool trade and industry, which contributed to the growth of Corinium. A large forum and basilica were built over the site of the fort, archaeological evidence shows signs of further civic growth. There are many Roman remains in the surrounding area, including several Roman villas near the villages of Chedworth and Withington.
When a wall was built around the Roman city in the late 2nd century, it enclosed 240 acres, making Corinium the second-largest city by area in Britain. The details of the provinces of Britain following the Diocletian Reforms around 296 remain unclear, but Corinium is now thought to have been the capital of Britannia Prima; some historians would date to this period the pillar erected by the governor Lucius Septimus to the god Jupiter, a local sign of the pagan reaction against Christianity during the principate of Julian the Apostate. The Roman amphitheatre still exists in an area known as the Querns to the south-west of the town, but has only been excavated. Investigations in the town show that it was fortified in the 6th centuries. Andrew Breeze argued that Gildas received his education in Cirencester in the early 6th century, showing that it was still able to provide an education in Latin rhetoric and law at that time; this was the palace of one of the British kings defeated by Ceawlin in 577.
It was the scene of the Battle of Cirencester, this time between the Mercian king Penda and the West Saxon kings Cynegils and Cwichelm in 628. The minster church of Cirencester, founded in the 9th or 10th century, was a royal foundation, it was made over to Augustinian canons in the 12th century, replaced by the great abbey church. At the Norman Conquest the royal manor of Cirencester was granted to the Earl of Hereford, William Fitz-Osbern, but by 1075 it had reverted to the Crown; the manor was granted to Cirencester Abbey, founded by Henry I in 1117, following half a century of building work during which the minster church was demolished, the great abbey church was dedicated in 1176. The manor was granted to the Abbey in 1189, although a royal charter dated 1133 speaks of burgesses in the town; the struggle of the townsmen to gain the rights and privileges of a borough for Cirencester began in the same year, when they were amerced for a false presentment. Four inquisitions during the 13th century supported the abbot's claims, yet the townspeople remained unwavering in their quest for borough status: in 1342, they lodged a Bill of compla
Fire services in the United Kingdom
The fire services in the United Kingdom operate under separate legislative and administrative arrangements in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland. Emergency cover is provided by over fifty agencies; these are known as a fire and rescue service, the term used in modern legislation and by government departments. The older terms of fire brigade and fire service survive in informal usage and in the names of a few organisations. England and Wales have local fire services which are each overseen by a fire authority, made up of representatives of local governments. Fire authorities have the power to raise a Council Tax levy for funding, with the remainder coming from the government. Scotland and Northern Ireland have centralised fire services, so their authorities are committees of the devolved parliaments; the total budget for fire services in 2014-15 was £2.9 billion. Central government maintains national standards and a body of independent advisers through the Chief Fire and Rescue Adviser, created in 2007, while Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services provides direct oversight.
The devolved government in Scotland has HMFSI Scotland. Firefighters in the United Kingdom are allowed to join unions, the main one being the Fire Brigades Union, while chief fire officers are members of the National Fire Chiefs Council, which has some role in national co-ordination; the fire services have undergone significant changes since the beginning of the 21st century, a process, propelled by a devolution of central government powers, new legislation and a change to operational procedures in the light of terrorism attacks and threats. See separate article History of fire safety legislation in the United Kingdom Comprehensive list of recent UK fire and rescue service legislation: Fire services are established and granted their powers under new legislation which has replaced a number of Acts of Parliament dating back more than 60 years, but is still undergoing change. 1938: Fire Brigades Act 1938. This Act provided for centralised co-ordination of fire brigades in Great Britain and made it mandatory for local authorities to arrange an effective fire service.
1947: Fire Services Act 1947 This Act transferred the functions of the National Fire Service to local authorities. Now repealed in England and Wales by Schedule 2 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004. 1959: Fire Services Act 1959 This Act amended the 1947 Act. It was repealed in Wales along with the 1947 Act. 1999: Greater London Authority Act 1999 This act was necessary to allow for the formation of the Greater London Authority and in turn the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. In 2002, there was a series of national fire strikes, with much of the discontent caused by the aforementioned report into the fire service conducted by Prof Sir George Bain. In December 2002, the Independent Review of the Fire Service was published with the industrial action still ongoing. Bain's report led to a change in the laws relating to firefighting. 2002: Independent Review of the Fire Service published 2004: Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 only applying to England and Wales. 2006: The Regulatory Reform Order 2005 This piece of secondary legislation or statutory instrument replaces several other acts that dealt with fire precautions and fire safety in premises, including the now defunct process of issuing fire certificates.
It came into force on 1 October 2006. The DfCLG has published a set of guides for non-domestic premises: 2006: The Government of Wales Act 2006 gave the National Assembly for Wales powers to pass laws on "Fire and rescue services. Promotion of fire safety otherwise than by prohibition or regulation." But does not prevent future legislation being passed by the UK government which applies to two or more constituent countries. There are further plans to modernise the fire service according to the Local Government Association, its website outlines future changes, specific projects: "The aim of the Fire Modernisation Programme is to adopt modern work practices within the Fire & Rescue Service to become more efficient and effective, while strengthening the contingency and resilience of the Service to react to incidents. " The fire service in England and Wales is scrutinised by a House of Commons select committee. In June 2006, the fire and rescue service select committee, under the auspices of the Communities and Local Government Committee, published its latest report.
Committee report The committee's brief is described on its website: The Communities and Local Government Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure and policy of the Department for Communities and Local Government and its associated bodies. Government response This document, the subsequent government response in September 2006, are important as they outlined progress on the FiReControl, efforts to address diversity and the planned closure of HMFSI in 2007 among many issues. Both documents are interesting as they refer back to Professor Bain's report and the many recommendations it made and continue to put forward the notion that there is an ongoing need to modernise FRSs. For example, where FRSs were inspected by HMFSI, much of this work is now carried out by the National Audit Office. Fire Control On 8 February 2010 the House of Commons Communities and Local Governm
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies 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, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. 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, 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, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been 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 in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, 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 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. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Domesday Book is a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states: Then, at the midwinter, was the king in Gloucester with his council.... After this had the king a large meeting, deep consultation with his council, about this land. Sent he his men over all England into each shire, it was written in Medieval Latin, was abbreviated, included some vernacular native terms without Latin equivalents. The survey's main purpose was to determine what taxes had been owed during the reign of King Edward the Confessor, which allowed William to reassert the rights of the Crown and assess where power lay after a wholesale redistribution of land following the Norman conquest; the assessors' reckoning of a man's holdings and their values, as recorded in Domesday Book, was dispositive and without appeal. The name "Domesday Book" came into use in the 12th century; as Richard FitzNeal wrote in the Dialogus de Scaccario: for as the sentence of that strict and terrible last account cannot be evaded by any skilful subterfuge, so when this book is appealed to... its sentence cannot be quashed or set aside with impunity.
That is why we have called the book "the Book of Judgement"... because its decisions, like those of the Last Judgement, are unalterable. The manuscript is held at The National Archives at London. In 2011, the Open Domesday site made the manuscript available online; the book is an invaluable primary source for historical economists. No survey approaching the scope and extent of Domesday Book was attempted again in Britain until the 1873 Return of Owners of Land which presented the first complete, post-Domesday picture of the distribution of landed property in the British Isles. Domesday Book encompasses two independent works; these were "Little Domesday", "Great Domesday" No surveys were made of the City of London, Winchester, or some other towns due to their tax-exempt status. Most of Cumberland and Westmorland are missing. County Durham is missing; the omission of the other counties and towns is not explained, although in particular Cumberland and Westmorland had yet to be conquered. "Little Domesday" – so named because its format is physically smaller than its companion's – is the more detailed survey, down to numbers of livestock.
It may have represented the first attempt, resulting in a decision to avoid such level of detail in "Great Domesday". Both volumes are organised into a series of chapters listing the fees, held by a named tenant-in-chief of the king, namely religious institutions, Norman warrior magnates and a few Saxon thegns who had made peace with the Norman regime; some of the largest such magnates held several hundred fees, in a few cases in more than one county. For example, the chapter of the Domesday Book Devonshire section concerning Baldwin the Sheriff lists 176 holdings held in-chief by him. Only a few of the holdings of the large magnates were held in demesne, most having been subinfeudated to knights military followers of the tenant-in-chief which latter thus became their overlord; the fees listed within the chapter concerning a particular tenant-in-chief were ordered, but not in a systematic or rigorous fashion, by the Hundred Court under the jurisdiction of which they were situated, not by geographic location.
As a review of taxes owed, it was unpopular. Each county's list opened with the king's demesne lands, it should be borne in mind that under the feudal system the king was the only true "owner" of land in England, under his allodial title. He was thus the ultimate overlord and the greatest magnate could do no more than "hold" land from him as a tenant under one of the various contracts of feudal land tenure. Holdings of Bishops followed of the abbeys and religious houses of lay tenants-in-chief and lastly the king's serjeants, Saxon thegns who had survived the Conquest, all in hierarchical order. In some counties, one or more principal towns formed the subject of a separate section: in some the clamores were treated separately; this principle applies more to the larger volume: in the smaller one, the system is more confused, the execution less perfect. Domesday names a total of 13,418 places. Apart from the wholly rural portions, which constitute its bulk, Domesday contains entries of interest concerning most of t
In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government, they are a territorial designation, the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their combined form, the unitary authority. Civil parishes can trace their origin to the ancient system of ecclesiastical parishes which played a role in both civil and ecclesiastical administration; the unit rolled out across England in the 1860s. A civil parish can range in size from a large town with a population of about 75,000 to a single village with fewer than a hundred inhabitants. Eight parishes have city status. A civil parish may be known as and confirmed as a town, neighbourhood or community by resolution of its parish council, a right reserved not conferred on other units of English local government. 35% of the English population live in a civil parish. As of 31 December 2015 there were 10,449 parishes in England; the most populous is Weston super Mare and those with cathedral city status are Chichester, Hereford, Ripon, Salisbury and Wells.
On 1 April 2014, Queen's Park became the first civil parish in Greater London. Before 2008 their creation was not permitted within a London borough. Wales was divided into civil parishes until 1974, when they were replaced by communities, which are similar to English parishes in the way they operate. Civil parishes in Scotland were abolished for local government purposes by the Local Government Act 1929, the Scottish equivalent of English civil parishes are community council areas, which were established by the Local Government Act 1973; the Parish system in Europe was established between the 8th and 12th centuries and in England was old by the time of the Conquest. These areas were based on the territory of one or more manors, areas which in some cases derived their bounds from Roman or Iron Age estates. Parish boundaries were conservative, changing little, after 1180'froze' so that boundaries could no longer be changed at all, despite changes to manorial landholdings - though there were some examples of sub-division.
The consistency of these boundaries, up until the 19th century is useful to historians, is of cultural significance in terms of shaping local identities, a factor reinforced by the adoption of parish boundaries unchanged, by successor local government units. There was huge variation in size between parishes, for instance Writtle in Essex was 13,568 acres while neighbouring Shellow Bowells was just 469 acres, Chignall Smealy 476 acres; until the break with Rome, parishes managed ecclesiastical matters, while the manor was the principal unit of local administration and justice. The church replaced the manor court as the rural administrative centre, levied a local tax on produce known as a tithe. In the medieval period, responsibilities such as relief of the poor passed from the Lord of the Manor to the parish's rector, who in practice would delegate tasks among his vestry or the monasteries. After the dissolution of the monasteries, the power to levy a rate to fund relief of the poor was conferred on the parish authorities by the Act for the Relief of the Poor 1601.
Both before and after this optional social change, local charities are well-documented. The parish authorities were consisted of all the ratepayers of the parish; as the number of ratepayers of some parishes grew, it became difficult to convene meetings as an open vestry. In some built up, areas the select vestry took over responsibility from the entire body of ratepayers; this innovation allowed governance by a self-perpetuating elite. The administration of the parish system relied on the monopoly of the established English Church, which for a few years after Henry VIII alternated between the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England, before settling on the latter on the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558. By the 18th century, religious membership was becoming more fractured in some places, due for instance to the progress of Methodism; the legitimacy of the parish vestry came into question and the perceived inefficiency and corruption inherent in the system became a source for concern in some places.
For this reason, during the early 19th century the parish progressively lost its powers to ad hoc boards and other organisations, for example the loss of responsibility for poor relief through the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834. Sanitary districts covered England in Ireland three years later; the replacement boards were each entitled to levy their own rate in the parish. The church rate ceased to be levied in many parishes and became voluntary from 1868; the ancient parishes diverged into two distinct, nearly overlapping, systems of parishes during the 19th century. The Poor Law Amendment Act 1866 declared all areas that levied a separate rate: C of E ecclesiastical parishes, extra-parochial areas and their analogue, chapelries, to be "civil parishes". To have collected rates this means these beforehand had their own vestries, boards or equivalent bodies; the Church of England parishes, which cover more than 99% of England, became termed "ecclesiastical parishes" and the boundaries of these soon diverged from those of the Ancient Parishes in order to reflect modern circumstances.
After 1921 each ecclesiastical parish has been the responsibility of the parochial church councils. In the late 19th century, most of the ancient irregularities inheri
South West England
South West England is one of nine official regions of England. It is the largest in area, covering 9,200 square miles, consists of the counties of Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Dorset and Cornwall, as well as the Isles of Scilly. Five million people live in South West England; the region includes much of the ancient kingdom of Wessex. The largest city is Bristol. Other major urban centres include Plymouth, Gloucester, Exeter, Bath and the South East Dorset conurbation which includes Bournemouth and Christchurch. There are eight cities: Salisbury, Wells, Gloucester, Exeter and Truro, it includes two entire national parks and Exmoor. The northern part of Gloucestershire, near Chipping Campden, is as close to the Scottish border as it is to the tip of Cornwall; the region has by far the longest coastline of any English region. The region is at the first level of NUTS for Eurostat purposes. Key data and facts about the region are produced by the South West Observatory. Following the abolition of the South West Regional Assembly and Government Office, local government co-ordination across the region is now undertaken by South West Councils.
The region is known for its rich folklore, including the legend of King Arthur and Glastonbury Tor, as well as its traditions and customs. Cornwall has its own language and some regard it as a Celtic nation; the South West is known for Cheddar cheese. It is home to the Eden Project, Aardman Animations, the Glastonbury Festival, the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, trip hop music and Cornwall's surfing beaches; the region has been home to some of Britain's most renowned writers, including Daphne du Maurier and Agatha Christie, both of whom set many of their works here, the South West is the location of Thomas Hardy's Wessex, the setting for many of his best-known novels. Most of the region is located on the South West Peninsula, between the English Channel and Bristol Channel, it has the longest coastline of all the English regions, totalling over 700 miles. Much of the coast is now protected from further substantial development because of its environmental importance, which contributes to the region's attractiveness to tourists and residents.
Geologically the region is divided into the igneous and metamorphic west and sedimentary east, the dividing line to the west of the River Exe. Cornwall and West Devon's landscape is of rocky coastline and high moorland, notably at Bodmin Moor and Dartmoor; these are due to the slate that underlie the area. The highest point of the region is High Willhays, at 2,038 feet, on Dartmoor. In North Devon the slates of the west and limestones of the east meet at Exmoor National Park; the variety of rocks of similar ages seen here have led to the county's name being lent to that of the Devonian period. The east of the region is characterised by limestone downland; the vales, with good irrigation, are home to the region's dairy agriculture. The Blackmore Vale was Thomas Hardy's "Vale of the Little Dairies"; the Southern England Chalk Formation extends into the region, creating a series of high, sparsely populated and archaeologically rich downs, most famously Salisbury Plain, but Cranborne Chase, the Dorset Downs and the Purbeck Hills.
These downs are the principal area of arable agriculture in the region. Limestone is found in the region, at the Cotswolds, Quantock Hills and Mendip Hills, where they support sheep farming. All of the principal rock types can be seen on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset and East Devon, where they document the entire Mesozoic era from west to east; the climate of South West England is classed as oceanic according to the Köppen climate classification. The oceanic climate experiences cool winters with warmer summers and precipitation all year round, with more experienced in winter. Annual rainfall is up to 2,000 millimetres on higher ground. Summer maxima averages range from 18 °C to 22 °C and winter minimum averages range from 1 °C to 4 °C across the south-west, it is the second windiest area of the United Kingdom, the majority of winds coming from the south-west and north-east. Government organisations predict the region to rise in temperature and become the hottest region in the United Kingdom. Inland areas of low altitude experience the least amount of precipitation.
They experience the highest summer maxima temperatures. Snowfalls are less so in comparison to higher ground, it experiences the lowest wind speeds and sunshine total in between that of the moors. The climate of inland areas is more noticeable the further north-east into the region. In comparison to inland areas, the coast experiences high minimum temperatures in winter, it experiences lower maximum temperatures during the summer. Rainfall is the lowest at the coast and snowfall is rarer than the rest of the region. Coastal areas are the windiest parts of the peninsula and they receive the most sunshine; the general coastal climate is more typical the further south-west into the region. Areas of moorland inland such as: Bodmin Moor and Exmoor experience lower temperatures and more precipitation than the rest of the south west (approxima