Egham is a town in the Runnymede borough of Surrey, in the south-east of England. It has its own railway station, it adjoins, junction 13 of the M25 motorway and is situated 19 miles WSW of London. It can be considered a university town as it has on its higher part, Egham Hill, the campus of Royal Holloway, University of London. Not far from this town, at Runnymede, Magna Carta was sealed. Egham predates c. 670 AD. The place-name means "Ecga's farm". Egham appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Egeham, it was held by Chertsey Abbey and kept by that institution after the conquest when its assets were: 15 hides. It rendered one of the largest sums in Surrey to its feudal overlords per year; the village of Egham was before 19th century losses an ancient parish covering land totalling 7,435 acres in the counties of Berkshire and Surrey. In the medieval period it was divided into four equal tythings: Hythe Town Strode, but which now denotes a much smaller, inconsistent area Englefield, Englefield Green Virginia WaterThe manor of Egham, which includes Runnymede belonged and in 1215, to Chertsey Abbey, after the dissolution became the property of the Crown, though granted to various tenants at different times.
Magna Carta was sealed at nearby Runnymede in 1215, is commemorated by a memorial, built in 1957 by the American Bar Association, at the foot of Cooper's Hill. A Sculpture by artist David Parfitt portraying King John and Baron Fitzwalter in the act of sealing Magna Carta is in Church Road in the centre of town. Another memorial at the top of the hill in nearby Englefield Green, the Air Forces Memorial commemorates Commonwealth air force personnel killed in World War II but who have no known grave, it was the first new-built British building. The memorial is administered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and open to the public year-round, it has excellent views towards London and the Surrey Hills, as well as being a place of quiet contemplation and reflection. Egham at one time held horse races which took place at the Runnymede meadow, which interfered with the Inclosure Act of 1814 and the consequent award made in 1817, which divided up the meadow, as the Act stipulated that any enclosures which should interfere with the holding of Egham races at the end of August upon its usual course must be removed every year.
In 1836 the races were presided over by William IV, who gave a plate to be run for at the meeting, which coincided with festivities at Windsor for his daughter's marriage. The races ceased in 1884. Other than two forming the hub of today's Virginia Water, the principal properties were'Egham Manor and Park','Egham Wick','Kenwolde Court','Markwood','Kingswood' and'Alderhurst' for a time home of Lord Thring. During World War II, American author Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was stationed in Egham as part of his work on the propaganda film Your Job in Germany, he did not settle well in the town, despite the efforts of his RAF host Flight Sergeant Sam Beckinsale to draw the local amenities to his attention. When it was pointed out how green the area was, due in part to its proximity to Windsor Great Park he retorted "I do not like green Egham". Geisel cited this as the inspiration for his 1960 best-selling book Green Eggs and Ham and the often-repeated line in the book "I do not like them Sam I Am.
I do not like green eggs and ham". Parts of Egham have featured in international news in the 21st century. On 12 September 2007 a case of foot-and-mouth disease was found in Egham, 12 miles from the previous outbreak found in early August 2007. In December, 2008, Egham was at the centre of a controversy due to possible traffic impact on the three level crossings in the town to be kept in situ under the abandoned Heathrow Airtrack project. Occasional flooding of Runnymede and parts of Egham Hythe have taken place following exceptional Thames Valley winter rainfall. Units of the army were deployed to assist with defences and dealing with damage from flooding in the 2013-14 winter storms. Egham once lay within the Godley hundred, which lay in the early medieval period within Windsor Forest in a part of it, subject to a long-running dispute as to whether it lay within the historic county boundaries of Surrey or Berkshire. Egham Rural District was a Local Government District within the administrative county of Surrey.
It was created in 1894 and replaced in 1906 with Egham Urban District, abolished in 1974. Since 1974, Egham has been part of the Runnymede borough of Surrey. Nearby are Staines-upon-Thames, Sunningdale, Englefield Green and Virginia Water, Windsor Great Park, Old Windsor and Windsor itself; the area between Egham and Staines town centres is known as Egham Hythe. North of Egham is home of the British Disabled Waterski Association. South is a large theme park of rides and attractions. Near Egham is Ascot Racecourse - another big attraction. Egham is home to a large research centr
The Wentworth Estate is a 1920s-founded estate of houses and woodland across 7 square kilometres around the home of the first Ryder Cup, Wentworth Club. It is in Virginia Water, Surrey and forms one of Europe's premier residential areas on a undulating area of coniferous heath, a nationally rare soil type. Most of its invariably large plots have homes built from scratch or rebuilt after 1930 in a range of styles from the ornate multi-chimneyed Arts and Crafts movement of the earliest properties through Neo-Georgian and colonial revival to the postmodern simple style as in the recording studios at John Lennon's Tittenhurst Park in the adjoining parish of Sunninghill and Ascot, the north of which, with parts of Windsor and Virginia Water is the main piece of Crown Estate in South-East England, Windsor Great Park; the 19th-century house the "Wentworths" was the home of a brother-in-law of the 1st Duke of Wellington. It was purchased in 1850 by the exiled Spanish count Ramon Cabrera, after his death his wife bought up the surrounding lands which were to form the nucleus of the Wentworth Estate.
In 1912, builder W. G. Tarrant had started developing St George's Hill, Weybridge – a development of houses based on minimum 1-acre plots based around a golf course. In 1922 Tarrant acquired the development rights for the Wentworth Estate, getting Harry Colt to develop a golf course around the "Wentworth" house. Tarrant developed the large houses on the estate to a similar Surrey formula used at St George's Hill – tall chimneys, dormer windows, leaded lights, tile-hung or half-timbered or a combination of both; some houses had stonework round the front door and stone fireplaces, a few had a marble floor in the hall, the rarest – of which he was most proud – had a stone tablet with his initials WGT. Development of Wentworth Estate ground to a halt due to depression in the late 1920s, in 1931 when the banks asked for repayment of a large debenture, Tarrant was forced to declare bankruptcy; the ownership of the land passed to Wentworth Estates Ltd, which came under the control of Sir Lindsay Parkinson & Co Ltd.
Construction picked up in the late 1930s, with many houses built by Tarrant Builders Ltd, with Tarrant's son Percy as one of the directors. Post-war development picked up and by 1960 most of the available land was used. In 1962, a committee of residents and the company promoted a private act of Parliament, on 31 July the Wentworth Estate Act was given Royal assent; the Act established the Wentworth Estate Roads Committee, which appoints its members on advice from the Wentworth Residents' Association. The Wentworth Estate is laid out across 700 hectares and forms one of Europe's premier residential areas. Within the estate borders are a mixture of public and private roads and open areas, it adjoins along a long border the long row of its village's shops and other amenities, laid out upon similar lines but has many 21st century converted mansion and newly built apartments. The River Bourne runs through the area which has a population of 5,895. RoadWentworth is just outside the ring of the London Orbital with a junction 3 miles north.
Routes from the west of the estate lead into Berkshire and towards Camberley and the Bagshot junction of the M3, which links to Southampton and to the A303. RailWentworth is adjoined to its south and east by a major stop and minor stop railway station on the London Waterloo to Reading Line: Virginia Water and Longcross respectively. AirWentworth is 7 miles south-west of Heathrow Airport; the estate hit the headlines in 1998 when former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was kept under house arrest in one of its houses prior to his extradition. Peter Aven – Russian banker Vijay Mallya's residence. Thomas Bjørn – golfer Sultan of Brunei Ernie Els – South African golfer Lady Wilnelia Forsyth-Johnson - former Puerto Rican Miss World and widow of Sir Bruce Forsyth Gary Numan – musician Prince Naseem Hamed - former Boxing world champion Eddie Jordan - head of former Jordan F1 Team Ron Dennis - British businessman Kevin Pietersen - Retired England International Cricketer One of the founder residents was Agatha Christie and her first husband - he was a friend of one of the estates founders.
The original residents built their own homes in any style. She and her husband separated while living there and she sold the house to pay the loan she had taken out to pay for it. Russ Abbot – entertainer Boris Berezovsky – oligarch Diana Dors – actress Bryan Forbes – actor and film director Sir Bruce Forsyth – entertainer Sir Elton John – musician Nanette Newman - actress Augusto Pinochet, former President of Chile Prajadhipok, abdicated king of Thailand Sir Cliff Richard – singer Sarah, Duchess of York Andriy Shevchenko – striker for Chelsea F. C. Ted Heath - bandleader John Hay Whitney - US ambassador to the UK, art collector and investor Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney Wentworth Estate website
Borough of Spelthorne
Spelthorne is a local government district and borough in Surrey, England. It contains the towns and villages of Ashford, Shepperton, Staines-upon-Thames and Sunbury-on-Thames, it is the northernmost local government district in Surrey. Boroughs adjacent to Spelthorne are Runnymede and Elmbridge to the south in Surrey and Maidenhead and Slough to the west in Berkshire, Hillingdon and Richmond upon Thames to the north and east in Greater London. Spelthorne appears in Middlesex. Spelthorne was a hundred; the Spelthorne hundred covered Poyle a hamlet in the village of Stanwell, East Bedfont and Hanworth in the modern London Borough of Hounslow and Teddington and Hampton in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Hundreds dwindled in power as the medieval period drew to a close and were sources of revenue for certain overlords by the Tudor period, underlying freeholds and rights over their commons held or divided among royalty or peers in a particular hundred. Ecclesiastical parishes assumed responsibilities for upkeep of public places and roads and apprehending wrongdoers, appointing churchwardens and constables to administer their areas.
The poor law unions assumed responsibility for indoor and outdoor relief including workhouses: Kingston Poor Law Union in the east Staines Poor Law Union in the west. In 1875 Sanitary Districts were created covering Wales. In 1889 Middlesex County Council was elected and formed pursuant to the Local Government Act 1888 and principally administered the area until 1965. Under the Local Government Act 1894 in the area of the current borough responsibilities such as planning and surface water drainage were conferred on the new bodies Staines Urban, Sunbury Urban and Staines Rural districts; the 20th century saw the construction of the Two Staines Reservoirs, Queen Mary, King George VI, the Wraysbury Reservoirs in what is today's borough. In 1930 most of Staines Rural District merged into Staines Urban District, with the remainder given to West Drayton and Feltham Urban Districts. In 1965 when the rest of Middlesex, except for Potters Bar Urban District, was absorbed into the new county of Greater London and Sunbury-on-Thames Urban Districts were transferred to Surrey.
From these the Borough of Spelthorne was formed on the abolition of the urban districts and rural districts nationally in 1974. The borough ceded a small amount of land in 1995 when Poyle was transferred to the Borough of Slough, as it was the only settlement outside the M25 motorway. Spelthorne, like Potters Bar, remained inside the Metropolitan Police District, was not transferred to Surrey Police until the boundary was realigned to Greater London in 2000. Spelthorne retains its historic links with Middlesex through the Church: it remains part of the Church of England Diocese of London and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Westminster, while the remainder of Surrey falls into the Anglican dioceses of Guildford and Southwark, the Roman Catholic diocese of Arundel and Brighton. Floods in 2014 caused internal damage to 891 of homes in Spelthorne due to record rainfall causing Thames flooding; this compared to internal damage to more than 30% of homes in the neighbouring settlement of Wraysbury in the borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.
In August 2014 a campaign group of local business leaders called for the borough - along with others close to the capital - to be transferred from the county of Surrey to Greater London, the proposal was opposed by local representatives of each of these areas. The borough estimates it has 750 acres of parks, from Shepperton upstream the Thames Path, its sixteen main parks with recreational/sports facilities are supplemented by various small greens and linear parks, such as by the River Thames and include the two largest parks which have substantial areas of flowering meadow with diverse and rare grasses and birds: Laleham Park and Sunbury Park. The borough has five reservoirs, covering more than 15% of land, which apart from their main use of ensuring a stable and energy-efficient drinking water supply to London are bird reserves and in the case of the Queen Mary Reservoir, a sailing training centre. Of recognised high importance to nature is Staines Moor, which alongside Sheepwalk Lake and wetlands, Shepperton are the sites of special scientific interest.
Two Rivers Retail Park and Elmsleigh Shopping Centre in Staines-upon-Thames. In 2016 there were 5,365 businesses / retailers situated in Spelthorne. 10 screen cinema with Dolby Digital Surround Sound. 12 miles of river frontage for picturesque walks. 65% green belt land - the first countryside upon leaving London. Within 5 miles to top UK attractions - Windsor Castle, Thorpe Park, Hampton Court. Just over 30 minutes on train to Central London. A January 2005 enhanced basemap study by the Office for National Statistics managed to classify 50.8 square kilometres, 99% of land in Spelthorne. This showed that in this borough 20.954 square kilometres was Greenspace and 11.165 square kilometres was water. The remaining land uses were: Elections are held every four years for the whole council, rather than third-of-council elections; the 7 May 2015 election results produced 35 Conservative seats, 3 Liberal Democrat seats and one Labour. The Conservative Party thus maintained their overwhelming majority on the council.
John, King of England
John known as John Lackland, was King of England from 1199 until his death in 1216. John lost the Duchy of Normandy and most of his other French lands to King Philip II of France, resulting in the collapse of the Angevin Empire and contributing to the subsequent growth in power of the French Capetian dynasty during the 13th century; the baronial revolt at the end of John's reign led to the sealing of Magna Carta, a document sometimes considered an early step in the evolution of the constitution of the United Kingdom. John, the youngest of five sons of King Henry II of England and Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine, was at first not expected to inherit significant lands. Following the failed rebellion of his elder brothers between 1173 and 1174, John became Henry's favourite child, he was given lands in England and on the continent. John's elder brothers William and Geoffrey died young. John unsuccessfully attempted a rebellion against Richard's royal administrators whilst his brother was participating in the Third Crusade.
Despite this, after Richard died in 1199, John was proclaimed King of England, came to an agreement with Philip II of France to recognise John's possession of the continental Angevin lands at the peace treaty of Le Goulet in 1200. When war with France broke out again in 1202, John achieved early victories, but shortages of military resources and his treatment of Norman and Anjou nobles resulted in the collapse of his empire in northern France in 1204. John spent much of the next decade attempting to regain these lands, raising huge revenues, reforming his armed forces and rebuilding continental alliances. John's judicial reforms had a lasting effect on the English common law system, as well as providing an additional source of revenue. An argument with Pope Innocent III led to John's excommunication in 1209, a dispute settled by the king in 1213. John's attempt to defeat Philip in 1214 failed due to the French victory over John's allies at the battle of Bouvines; when he returned to England, John faced a rebellion by many of his barons, who were unhappy with his fiscal policies and his treatment of many of England's most powerful nobles.
Although both John and the barons agreed to the Magna Carta peace treaty in 1215, neither side complied with its conditions. Civil war broke out shortly afterwards, with the barons aided by Louis of France, it soon descended into a stalemate. John died of dysentery contracted whilst on campaign in eastern England during late 1216. Contemporary chroniclers were critical of John's performance as king, his reign has since been the subject of significant debate and periodic revision by historians from the 16th century onwards. Historian Jim Bradbury has summarised the current historical opinion of John's positive qualities, observing that John is today considered a "hard-working administrator, an able man, an able general". Nonetheless, modern historians agree that he had many faults as king, including what historian Ralph Turner describes as "distasteful dangerous personality traits", such as pettiness and cruelty; these negative qualities provided extensive material for fiction writers in the Victorian era, John remains a recurring character within Western popular culture as a villain in films and stories depicting the Robin Hood legends.
John was born to Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine on 24 December 1166. Henry had inherited significant territories along the Atlantic seaboard—Anjou and England—and expanded his empire by conquering Brittany. Henry married the powerful Eleanor of Aquitaine, who reigned over the Duchy of Aquitaine and had a tenuous claim to Toulouse and Auvergne in southern France, in addition to being the former wife of Louis VII of France; the result was the Angevin Empire, named after Henry's paternal title as Count of Anjou and, more its seat in Angers. The Empire, was inherently fragile: although all the lands owed allegiance to Henry, the disparate parts each had their own histories and governance structures; as one moved south through Anjou and Aquitaine, the extent of Henry's power in the provinces diminished scarcely resembling the modern concept of an empire at all. Some of the traditional ties between parts of the empire such as Normandy and England were dissolving over time, it was unclear.
Although the custom of primogeniture, under which an eldest son would inherit all his father's lands, was becoming more widespread across Europe, it was less popular amongst the Norman kings of England. Most believed that Henry would divide the empire, giving each son a substantial portion, hoping that his children would continue to work together as allies after his death. To complicate matters, much of the Angevin empire was held by Henry only as a vassal of the King of France of the rival line of the House of Capet. Henry had allied himself with the Holy Roman Emperor against France, making the feudal relationship more challenging. Shortly after his birth, John was passed from Eleanor into the care of a wet nurse, a traditional practice for medieval noble families. Eleanor left for Poitiers, the capital of Aquitaine, sent John and his sister Joan north to Fontevrault Abbey; this may have been done with the aim of steering her youngest son, with no obvious inheritance, towards a future ecclesiastical career.
Eleanor spent the next few years conspiring against her husband Henry and neither parent played a
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 313 Members of Parliament, has 249 members of the House of Lords, 18 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 12 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors; the Conservative Party was founded in 1834 from the Tory Party—the Conservatives' colloquial name is "Tories"—and was one of two dominant political parties in the nineteenth century, along with the Liberal Party. Under Benjamin Disraeli it played a preeminent role in politics at the height of the British Empire. In 1912, the Liberal Unionist Party merged with the party to form the Conservative and Unionist Party. In the 1920s, the Labour Party surpassed the Liberals as the Conservatives' main rivals. Conservative Prime Ministers — notably Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher — led governments for 57 years of the twentieth century.
Positioned on the centre-right of British politics, the Conservative Party is ideologically conservative. Different factions have dominated the party at different times, including One Nation Conservatives and liberal conservatives, while its views and policies have changed throughout its history; the party has adopted liberal economic policies—favouring free market economics, limiting state regulation, pursuing privatisation—although in the past has supported protectionism. The party is British unionist, opposing both Irish reunification and Welsh and Scottish independence, supported the maintenance of the British Empire; the party includes those with differing views on the European Union, with Eurosceptic and pro-European wings. In foreign policy, it is for a strong national defence; the Conservatives are a member of the International Democrat Union and the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe and sit with the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group. The Scottish, Northern Irish and Gibraltan branches of the party are semi-autonomous.
Its support base consists of middle-class voters in rural areas of England, its domination of British politics throughout the twentieth century has led to it being referred to as one of the most successful political parties in the Western world. The Conservative Party was founded in the 1830s. However, some writers trace its origins to the reign of Charles II in the 1670s Exclusion Crisis. Other historians point to a faction, rooted in the 18th century Whig Party, that coalesced around William Pitt the Younger in the 1780s, they were known as "Independent Whigs", "Friends of Mr Pitt", or "Pittites" and never used terms such as "Tory" or "Conservative". Pitt died in 1806. From about 1812 on the name "Tory" was used for a new party that, according to historian Robert Blake, "are the ancestors of Conservatism". Blake adds that Pitt's successors after 1812 "were not in any sense standard-bearer's of true Toryism"; the term "Conservative" was suggested as a title for the party by a magazine article by J. Wilson Croker in the Quarterly Review in 1830.
The name caught on and was adopted under the aegis of Sir Robert Peel around 1834. Peel is acknowledged as the founder of the Conservative Party, which he created with the announcement of the Tamworth Manifesto; the term "Conservative Party" rather than Tory was the dominant usage by 1845. The widening of the electoral franchise in the nineteenth century forced the Conservative Party to popularise its approach under Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli, who carried through their own expansion of the franchise with the Reform Act of 1867. In 1886, the party formed an alliance with Spencer Compton Cavendish, Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain's new Liberal Unionist Party and, under the statesmen Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord Salisbury and Arthur Balfour, held power for all but three of the following twenty years before suffering a heavy defeat in 1906 when it split over the issue of free trade. Young Winston Churchill denounced Chamberlain's attack on free trade, helped organize the opposition inside the Unionist/Conservative Party.
Balfour, as party leader, followed Chamberlain's policy introduced protectionist legislation. The high tariff element called itself "Tariff Reformers" and in a major speech in Manchester on May 13, 1904, Churchill warned their takeover of the Unionist/Conservative party would permanently brand it as: A party of great vested interests, banded together in a formidable confederation. Two weeks Churchill crossed the floor and formally joined the Liberal Party. )He rejoined the Conservatives in 1925.) In December, Balfour lost control of his party, as the defections multiplied. He was replaced by Liberal Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman who called an election in January 1906, which produced a massive Liberal victory with a gain of 214 seats. Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith enacted a great deal of reform legislation, but the Unionists worked hard at grassroots organizing. Two general elections were held in one in January and one in December; the two main parties were now dead equal in seats.
The Unionists had more popular votes but the Liberals kept control with a coalition with the Irish Parliamentary Party. In 1912, the Liberal Unionis
Runnymede is a water-meadow alongside the River Thames in the English county of Surrey, just over 20 miles west of central London. It is notable for its association with the sealing of Magna Carta, as a consequence is, with its adjoining hillside, the site of memorials. Runnymede Borough is named after Runnymede being at its northernmost point; the name Runnymede refers to land in public and National Trust ownership in the Thames flood plain south-west of the river between Old Windsor and Egham. The area includes the Long Mede and Runnymede, which together with Coopers Hill Slopes is managed by the National Trust. There is a narrower strip of land, east of the road and west of the river, known as the Yard Mede. On the west bank of the river, at the southern end of the area shown on the above map, are: a recreational area with a large car park; the landscape of Runnymede is characterised as "Thames Basin Lowland", urban fringe. It is a undulating vale of small fields interspersed by woods, ponds and heath.
The National Trust area is a Site of Nature Conservation Interest which contains a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Both sites are overseen by Runnymede Borough Council; the National Trust holding includes: 188 acres donated in 1929 set behind a narrow riverside park with occasional benches on the southern river bank, with car and coach parking. Long Mede is a meadow north of the ancient "mede" of Runnymede towards Old Windsor and has been used for centuries to provide good-quality hay from the alluvial pasture. Runnymede itself lies towards Egham, it is that Runnymede proper was the site of the sealing of Magna Carta, although the Magna Carta Memorial stands on Long Mede, the event is popularly associated with Magna Carta Island, on the opposite bank of the Thames. Near the Island, on the north-east flood plain, in parkland on the eastern bank of the river, are Ankerwycke and the ruins of the 12th century Priory of St Mary's; the Thames has changed course here and these areas may once have been an integral part of Runnymede.
Both were acquired by the National Trust in 1998. Runnymede's historical significance has been influenced by its proximity to the Roman Road river crossing at nearby Staines-upon-Thames; the name Runnymede may be derived from the Anglo-Saxon runieg and mede, describing a place in the meadows used to hold regular meetings. The Witan, Witenagemot or Council of the Anglo-Saxon Kings of the 7th to 11th centuries was held from time to time at Runnymede during the reign of Alfred the Great; the Council met in the open air. This political organ was transformed in succeeding years, influencing the creation of England's 13th century parliament; the water-meadow at Runnymede is the most location at which, in 1215, King John sealed Magna Carta. The charter indicates Runnymede by name as "Ronimed. Inter Windlesoram et Stanes". Magna Carta affected common and constitutional law as well as political representation affecting the development of parliament. Runnymede's association with ideals of democracy, limitation of power and freedom under law has attracted placement there of monuments and commemorative symbols.
The last fatal duel in England took place in 1852, on Priest Hill, a continuation of Cooper's Hill by Windsor Great Park. The National Trust land was donated in 1929 by her two sons; the American-born widow of Urban Hanlon Broughton, she was permitted by letter from George V to join her son's new peerage in tribute to her husband and this gift and be styled Lady Fairhaven. The gift was given in memory of Urban Broughton. At the time the New Bedford Standard-Times commented "It must be a source of gratification to all Americans, to us here and in Fairhaven, that the presentation of this historic spot as public ground has been brought about by an American woman, an appropriate enough circumstance considering that the great charter underlies the USA's conception of government and human rights." Between 2012 and 2015 Cooper's Hill was occupied by a radical community living in self-build houses, huts and tents, in the self-proclaimed "Runnymede Eco Village". Around 40 people, including a few young families, lived in a dispersed settlement throughout the 4 acres of woodland.
They used reclaimed material to build living structures, solar power to generate electricity, wood burners for heat, cultivated some vegetables and kept chickens and geese. Water was obtained from springs on the site, the village was hidden from view from outside the woodland; the members called themselves "Diggers" after the 17th-century movement of that name. There were two unsuccessful attempts; the settlers were still in occupation during the Magna Carta 800th anniversary celebrations on 15 June, but their presence did not affect proceedings, the eviction was completed at a date. After the death of Urban Broughton in 1929, Sir Edwin Lutyens was commissioned to design a set of twin memorials consisting of large kiosks and posts or "piers" with stone blocks crowned with laurel wreaths and formalised urns at the Egham end and with lodges and piers at the Windsor end. Lutyens designed a low wide arch bridge to carry the main road over the Thames to the north, integrating the road
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