Wiltshire is a county in South West England with an area of 3,485 km2. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Berkshire; the county town was Wilton, after which the county is named, but Wiltshire Council is now based in the county town of Trowbridge. Wiltshire is characterised by its high wide valleys. Salisbury Plain is noted for being the location of the Stonehenge and Avebury stone circles and other ancient landmarks, as a training area for the British Army; the city of Salisbury is notable for its medieval cathedral. Important country houses open to the public include Longleat, near Warminster, the National Trust's Stourhead, near Mere; the county, in the 9th century written as Wiltunscir Wiltonshire, is named after the former county town of Wilton. Wiltshire is notable for its pre-Roman archaeology; the Mesolithic and Bronze Age people that occupied southern Britain built settlements on the hills and downland that cover Wiltshire. Stonehenge and Avebury are the most famous Neolithic sites in the UK.
In the 6th and 7th centuries Wiltshire was at the western edge of Saxon Britain, as Cranborne Chase and the Somerset Levels prevented the advance to the west. The Battle of Bedwyn was fought in 675 between Escuin, a West Saxon nobleman who had seized the throne of Queen Saxburga, King Wulfhere of Mercia. In 878 the Danes invaded the county. Following the Norman Conquest, large areas of the country came into the possession of the crown and the church. At the time of the Domesday Survey the industry of Wiltshire was agricultural. In the succeeding centuries sheep-farming was vigorously pursued, the Cistercian monastery of Stanley exported wool to the Florentine and Flemish markets in the 13th and 14th centuries. In the 17th century English Civil War Wiltshire was Parliamentarian; the Battle of Roundway Down, a Royalist victory, was fought near Devizes. In 1794 it was decided at a meeting at the Bear Inn in Devizes to raise a body of ten independent troops of Yeomanry for the county of Wiltshire, which formed the basis for what would become the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, who served with distinction both at home and abroad, during the Boer War, World War I and World War II.
The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry lives on as Y Squadron, based in Swindon, B Squadron, based in Salisbury, of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry. Around 1800 the Kennet and Avon Canal was built through Wiltshire, providing a route for transporting cargoes from Bristol to London until the development of the Great Western Railway. Information on the 261 civil parishes of Wiltshire is available on Wiltshire Council's Wiltshire Community History website which has maps, demographic data and modern pictures and short histories; the local nickname for Wiltshire natives is "Moonrakers". This originated from a story of smugglers who managed to foil the local Excise men by hiding their alcohol French brandy in barrels or kegs, in a village pond; when confronted by the excise men they raked the surface to conceal the submerged contraband with ripples, claimed that they were trying to rake in a large round cheese visible in the pond a reflection of the full moon. The officials took them for simple yokels or mad and left them alone, allowing them to continue with their illegal activities.
Many villages claim the tale for their own village pond, but the story is most linked with The Crammer in Devizes. Two-thirds of Wiltshire, a rural county, lies on chalk, a kind of soft, porous limestone, resistant to erosion, giving it a high chalk downland landscape; this chalk is part of a system of chalk downlands throughout eastern and southern England formed by the rocks of the Chalk Group and stretching from the Dorset Downs in the west to Dover in the east. The largest area of chalk in Wiltshire is Salisbury Plain, used for arable agriculture and by the British Army as training ranges; the highest point in the county is the Tan Hill–Milk Hill ridge in the Pewsey Vale, just to the north of Salisbury Plain, at 295 m above sea level. The chalk uplands run northeast into West Berkshire in the Marlborough Downs ridge, southwest into Dorset as Cranborne Chase. Cranborne Chase, which straddles the border, like Salisbury Plain, yielded much Stone Age and Bronze Age archaeology; the Marlborough Downs are part of a 1,730 km2 conservation area.
In the northwest of the county, on the border with South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset, the underlying rock is the resistant oolite limestone of the Cotswolds. Part of the Cotswolds AONB is in Wiltshire, in the county's northwestern corner. Between the areas of chalk and limestone downland are clay vales; the largest of these vales is the Avon Vale. The Avon cuts diagonally through the north of the county, flowing through Bradford-on-Avon and into Bath and Bristol; the Vale of Pewsey has been cut through the chalk into Greensand and Oxford Clay in the centre of the county. In the south west of the county is the Vale of Wardour; the southeast of the county lies on the sandy soils of the northernmost area of the New Forest. Chalk is a porous rock, so the chalk hills have little surface water; the main settlements in the county are therefore situated at wet points. Notably, Salisbury is situated between the chalk of marshy flood plains; the county has green belt along its western fringes as a part of the extensive Avon green belt, reaching as far as the outskirts of Rudloe/Corsham and Trowbridge, preventing urban spr
George Lane-Fox (MP)
George Lane-Fox, of Bramham Park, was a British landowner and Tory politician. Lane-Fox was the son of James Fox-Lane, of Bramham Park, Yorkshire, by the Honourable Mary Lucy, daughter of George Pitt, 1st Baron Rivers, he was the brother of Sackville Lane-Fox and the uncle of Sackville Lane-Fox, 12th Baron Conyers, Augustus Pitt Rivers. He inherited Bramham Park, near Wetherby but moved to Bowcliffe Hall after Bramham Hall was damaged by fire in 1828. Lane-Fox was returned to parliament for Beverley in 1820, a seat he held until 1826 and again between 1837 and 1840, his brother Sackville Lane-Fox succeeded him in 1840. Lane-Fox died in November 1848, aged 55, he had married Georgiana Henrietta, daughter of Edward Percy Buckley, of Minestead Lodge, Hampshire, in 1814. They had two daughters, his only son George Lane-Fox, High Sheriff of Leitrim and of Yorkshire, was the grandfather of George Lane-Fox, 1st Baron Bingley. Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Mr George Lane-Fox
George Fox-Lane, 1st Baron Bingley
George Fox-Lane, 1st Baron Bingley was a British peer and Tory politician. Born George Fox, he was the first son and heir of Henry Fox and his second wife, Hon. Frances née Lane, the daughter of George Lane, 1st Viscount Lanesborough and his third wife Lady Frances Sackville. From 1734 to 1741, he was Member of Parliament for Hindon and for the City of York from 1742 to 1761. In 1750, he took the additional name of Lane by an Act of Parliament in 1750, on succeeding to the estates of his maternal half-uncle, James Lane, 2nd Viscount Lanesborough. On 12 July 1731, he had married Hon. Harriet Benson, the only child of Robert Benson, 1st Baron Bingley, he was Lord Mayor of York for 1757. On 13 May 1762, Lane-Fox's father-in-law's extinct title was re-created, when he was created Baron Bingley, of Bingley in the County of York, with remainder only to his heirs male with his wife, Harriet; as his only son died in 1768 and his wife in 1771, the title became extinct on his own death in 1773. "FOX, George, of Bramham Park, Yorks".
History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 29 November 2013
The Salisbury Museum
The Salisbury Museum is a museum in Salisbury, England. It houses one of the best collections relating to local archaeology; the museum is housed in The King's House, a Grade I listed building, where King James I of England was entertained in 1610 and 1613. Set in the surroundings of the Cathedral Close, the museum faces the west front of Salisbury Cathedral. Based at No 40-42, St Ann Street, where it had been founded in 1860 by Dr Richard Fowler, FRS, it transferred to its current location in the 1970s; the original three-storey building with mullioned and transomed windows, ornate plaster ceilings and a fine oak-balustraded staircase, houses the main temporary exhibition gallery, with the ceramics gallery above. The arms of James I's eldest son, Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, can be seen in a window in the Wedgwood gallery upstairs; the Director of the museum is Adrian Green. Summer exhibitions since 2011 have featured artists. In 2011, the temporary exhibition was'Constable and Salisbury'.
Timed to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Constable’s first visit to Salisbury, the exhibition contained over forty original oil paintings and drawings, including the famous'Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows'. In the summer of 2012, Salisbury Museum presented'Circles And Tangents' featuring the work of artists connected with Cranborne Chase, including Augustus John, Henry Lamb, Ben Nicholson, John Craxton, Lucian Freud, Stanley Spencer, Elisabeth Frink, William Nicholson and over 25 others. From May to September 2013, Rex Whistler:'A Talent Cut Short' was the temporary exhibition; the summer exhibition for 2015 was'Turner's Wessex: Architecture and Ambition'. It featured a collection of brilliant watercolours made by JMW Turner as a young man in the Salisbury area, was curated by Ian Warrell. In 2017 the summer exhibition was'Ancient Landscapes', showcasing works from such artists as William Blake, Barbara Hepworth and Paul Nash; the works had the subject of the surrounding Salisbury Plain.
On three days in August, there was a theatre production in the gardens of the museum by Stage'65, Salisbury Playhouse's youth theatre. On 10 September 2012, a 90 kilograms meteorite the biggest to have fallen on the British Isles, went on display at the museum. For at least 80 years it sat near the front door of Lake House at Wilsford-cum-Lake near Salisbury; when the house was sold, the stone was confirmed as a meteorite by the Natural History Museum where it remained in storage for many years. Professor Colin Pillinger, known for his work on the Beagle 2 Mars spacecraft, had been studying a smaller meteorite from the Danebury Hill Fort in Hampshire and felt that there could be a connection between the two; the meteorite from Lake House was retrieved from storage and although the two objects were found to be unrelated, Professor Pillinger continued with his study of the larger meteorite. The meteorite landed on earth some 30,000 years ago and was preserved by the frozen conditions during the last ice age.
In normal circumstances the meteorite would have disintegrated, but the cold and ice helped preserve it. Thousands of years in the Stone or Bronze Age, it is thought that the meteorite was built into a burial mound close to Lake House; the local chalk environment would again have helped to preserve it. The meteorite may have been unearthed in the 19th century by Edward Duke, a previous owner of Lake House, an antiquarian who excavated burial mounds nearby and had his own private museum. Photographic evidence shows it on the doorstep of Lake House at the time the property was owned by the brewer Joseph Lovibond, Mayor of Salisbury in 1878–79 and 1890–91. In November 2011 the Museum displayed the Wardour Hoard of over 100 copper alloy objects, over 2,700 years old, from the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age, it was found near Wardour by a metal detectorist, consists of tools such as axe heads, chisels and gouges, as well as spearheads, knives and scabbard fittings. It was the most important hoard to have been found in Wiltshire since the discovery of the Salisbury Hoard in the 1980s.
In around 2014, the museum acquired the Wylye Hoard. In June 2012, the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded Salisbury Museum a grant of £1,794,600 towards the development of a new Archaeology of Wessex gallery; the new gallery opened in the summer of 2014 and is of international importance, telling the story of Salisbury and the surrounding area from prehistoric times to the Norman Conquest, showing why Salisbury has a unique place in history. The museum's collections include some of the most important archaeological finds in Britain, including artefacts from the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, the Pitt Rivers Wessex Collection and the Amesbury Archer. A £350,000 grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund was awarded in August 2013, to help save the personal archive of Rex Whistler; the Salisbury Museum hopes to purchase the archive, which contains over 1,000 items and is the only substantial collection of material relating to the artist. The Museum has an art collection of over 4,000 paintings and drawings, representing local personalities, topographical scenes, special events and everyday life, or created by local artists of note.
An outstanding Costume Collection includes clothes relating to the people in and around Salisbury over the past 250 years, including wedding dresses, formal wear and lace samples produced by Downton Lace. The Museum has an outstanding collection of ceramics. Local Verwood and Wiltshire Brown ware is represented alongside the celebrated Wedgwood and Chelsea potteries. Stonehenge Archer Amesbury Archer Wiltshi
Henrietta Stanley, Baroness Stanley of Alderley
Henrietta Maria Stanley, Baroness Stanley of Alderley, was a Canadian-born political hostess and campaigner for the education of women in England. Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Lady Stanley was the eldest child of Henry Dillon, 13th Viscount Dillon, the Hon. Henrietta Browne, the daughter of Dominick Browne, 1st Browne, she was a descendant of both Charles James II of England. Her ancestors had had pronounced Jacobite leanings; the family, exiled to France converted to Anglicanism but preferred to remain living abroad. In 1814, Henrietta and her family moved to Florence, where she attended the receptions of Princess Louise of Stolberg-Gedern, the widow of the Young Pretender, her non-English upbringing was prominent and her grandson, the philosopher Bertrand Russell, commented: My grandmother's outlook, throughout her life, was in some ways more Continental than English. She was always downright, free from prudery, eighteenth-century rather than Victorian in her conversation, her French and Italian were faultless, she was passionately interested in Italian unity.
In Florence she met Hon. Edward Stanley and married him on 7 October 1826, she became Baroness Eddisbury when her husband was created a peer in 1848. Two years he succeeded as Baron Stanley of Alderley, by which title the couple was subsequently known. Lady Stanley cultivated friendships with Thomas Carlyle, F. D. Maurice, from 1861, Benjamin Jowett, she presided over an intellectual and political salon, was one of the original'lady visitors' of Queen's College, founded by Maurice in 1848. This marked her stronger involvement in the campaign for the education of women and her decision to defend, as she put it, "the right of women to the highest culture hitherto reserved to men", she proceeded to take part in the campaign whose aim was to secure the admission of women to the university local examinations. In 1867, she turned down an offer to become a member of the committee planning a women's university college, saying that "it is not liked to see my name before the public"; the death of her husband on 16 June 1869, left her more free to pursue her campaign.
The same year, along with Barbara Bodichon, Lady Stanley founded Girton College. She soon became a prominent supporter of the National Union for the Improvement of Women's Education, the Girls' Public Day School Company that became the Girls Day School Trust and the London School of Medicine for Women. In early 1872 she was again invited to participate more formally in the administration of Girton, which she now accepted, she joined the building subcommittee; the project, seen as daring and scandalous, benefited from her social position. She donated both money and time to Girton, standing in as its mistress during the illness of Annie Austin, providing £1,000 for the establishment of its first library, built in 1884 and called the Stanley Library. One of the few executive committee members who dared confront Davies, Lady Stanley vehemently opposed the construction of a chapel, instead favoured improving staff salaries and equipment; the Baroness Stanley of Alderley had great influence in political circles.
While he was Patronage Secretary, Edward Stanley was described by Lord Palmerston as "joint whip with Mrs Stanley". She fell out with Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone over the issue of home rule and became associated with Women's Liberal Unionist Association. Along with Lady Randolph Churchill and the fellow female education campaigner Lady Frederick Cavendish, among others, she was a signatory of an appeal against female suffrage in June 1889. Bertrand Russell, her grandson, feared her ridicule and described her as "an eighteenth century type and unimaginative, keen on enlightenment, contemptuous of Victorian goody-goody priggery". "Grandmama Stanley at Dover Street", according to Russell, "had a considerable contempt for everything that she regarded as silly". She died at her home in Dover Street. Henry Edward John, 3rd Baron Stanley of Alderley Hon. Alice Margaret, wife of Augustus Pitt Rivers Hon. Blanche Countess of Airlie, wife of David Ogilvy. Maude Alethea, a youth work pioneer Hon. Cecilia Hon. John Constantine Edward Lyulph Stanley, 4th Baron Stanley of Alderley Hon. Algernon Charles Stanley, Roman Catholic Bishop of Emmaus Hon. Katherine Louisa Viscountess Amberley and birth control proponent.
Lady Stanley's great-great-granddaughter, Nancy Mitford, wrote of the favouritism she showed in treating her children. Her eldest son, was her favourite, while her eldest daughter, was her least favourite and treated accordingly. Biography of Lady Stanley of Alderley, including three portraits Girton College on Lady Stanley Photograph of Lady Stanley and her daughter Rosalind
Larmer Tree Gardens
The Larmer Tree Gardens near Tollard Royal in south Wiltshire, were created by Lieutenant-General Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers in 1880 as pleasure grounds for "public enlightenment and entertainment". They were the first private gardens opened for public enjoyment in the United Kingdom, were free to enter; the gardens are situated on the Rushmore Estate in Cranborne Chase, an ancient royal hunting ground and now an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The gardens themselves are listed as Grade II* on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England by English Heritage. In 1880, Augustus Lane Fox inherited the Rushmore Estate, with a condition of the will stipulating that he should change his name to Pitt Rivers, he started making the Larmer Tree Pleasure Grounds immediately. The gardens are named after the Larmer Tree, a landmark tree on the ancient boundary between Wiltshire and Dorset; the tree was an ancient Wych elm under which King John and his entourage were reputed to have met when they were out hunting.
The original tree was still living as late as 1894, around which time it was replaced by an oak, planted in the centre of the decayed rim. As part of the estate, Pitt Rivers had inherited King John's House in Tollard Royal, one of King John's several hunting lodges in Cranborne Chase. Pitt Rivers built several structures around the main lawn which were intended to educate and enlighten the garden visitors, including the Nepalese or Indian Room, acquired after the closure of the British Empire Exhibition in 1898. There was a racecourse, an eighteen link golf course, a bowling green and lawn tennis courts. There were eight picnic areas, each enclosed by cherry laurel hedges and with thatched buildings in case of inclement weather. Pitt Rivers provided "crockery and forks for picnickers, gratis", as well as "chairs and dumb waiters" and accommodation for 20 horses. Music and entertainment was provided at the Singing Theatre, where plays were performed by workers from the estate, poetry recitals given.
A band was provided on Sunday afternoons during summer. Thousands of Vauxhall lights, hanging glass lamps lit by candles, illuminated the gardens in the evening, when there was open-air dancing; the night that Thomas Hardy danced with Pitt River's daughter Agnes in 1895 he described the gardens as "Quite the prettiest sight I saw in my life". By 1899 the gardens were attracting over 44,000 people a year, both estate workers and the general public. With Pitt Rivers' death in 1900 the gardens closed, opening only after that time. Restoration of the gardens started in 1991 under the direction of Michael Pitt-Rivers. In the 90-odd years that the gardens had been closed, the cherry laurel had taken over all the gardens apart from the main lawn. Many of the buildings had decayed; the gardens were re-opened to the public in 1995. In 1999 a new Larmer Tree was planted to mark the new millennium. In early September 1895 Thomas Hardy and his wife Emma were staying with the Pitt Rivers at Rushmore. An annual sports day was held at the Larmer Tree Gardens on 4 September 1895, followed by a night-time dance.
Hardy led off the country dancing with Agnes Grove, Pitt Rivers' youngest daughter and the wife of Walter Grove. Agnes became a literary pupil of Hardy's, after her death in 1926 Hardy wrote the poem Concerning Agnes, reflecting on the night they first met; the first two stanzas read: I am stopped from hoping what I have hoped before — Yes many a time! — To dance with that fair woman yet once more As in the prime Of August, when the wide-faced moon looked through The boughs at the faery lamps of the Larmer AvenueI could not, though I should wish, have over again That old romance, And sit apart in the shade as we sat After the dance The while I held her hand, and, to the booms Of contrabassos, feet still pulsed from the distant rooms. The gardens cover 11 acres. Many of the Victorian buildings, including the Nepalese Room, a Roman Temple and the Colonial style pavilion, the Tea Room, still remain; the open-air theatre has a backdrop painted by the scenery department at the Welsh National Opera is based on The Funeral of Phocion, a 1648 painting by Nicolas Poussin, in the National Museum Cardiff.
Wide cherry laurel-hedged rides radiate out from the main lawn, leading to woodland beyond. There are displays of camellias, rhododendrons and eucryphias among the other trees and shrubs. Peacocks and free-flying macaws, neither indigenous to the United Kingdom, roam the gardens; the woods contain one of the largest discrete areas of semi-natural broad-leaved woodland in southern England, which were managed and exploited for the hazel underwood trades for many centuries, involving coppicing to produce strong, straight hazel wands. A major restoration programme has taken place in the woods over the last ten years, they are now recognised as a wildlife site of national importance; the gardens are owned and are open on a fee-paying basis from Easter to the end of September each year. True to the spirit of Pitt Rivers, picknickers are encouraged at the gardens, croquet equipment and deckchairs are provided for no charge, free music is played on Sunday afternoons; the gardens are grant-aided by English Heritage.
Film director Ken Russell first visited the gardens as a child and used the gardens in a number of his projects over the years, including The Debussy Film and The Music Lovers. A music and arts festival, the Larmer Tree Festival, has been held at the Larmer Tree Gardens every year from 1991 to the present; the dates for the 2009 Festival are set for 15–19 July. In 2011 the End of the Road Fes
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K