Welsh cuisine encompasses the cooking traditions and practices associated with the country of Wales and the Welsh people. While there are a large number of dishes that can be considered Welsh due to their ingredients and/or history, dishes such as cawl, Welsh rarebit, Welsh cakes, bara brith and the Glamorgan sausage have all been regarded as symbols of Welsh food; some variation in dishes exists across the country, with notable differences existing in the Gower Peninsula, an isolated rural area which developed self-sufficiency in food production. See Cuisine of Gower. While some culinary practices and dishes have been imported from its British neighbors, uniquely Welsh cuisine grew principally from the lives of Welsh working people as a result of their isolation from outside culinary influences and the need to produce food based on the limited ingredients they could produce or afford. Welsh Celts and their more recent Welsh descendants practiced transhumance, moving their cattle to higher elevations in the summer and back to their home base in the winter.
Once they settled to homesteads, a family would have eaten meat from a pig keeping a cow for dairy products. Sheep farming is practiced extensively in Wales, with lamb and mutton being the meats most traditionally associated with the country. Beef and dairy cattle are raised and there is a strong fishing culture. Fisheries and commercial fishing are common and seafood features in Welsh cuisine. Vegetables, beyond cabbages and leeks, were rare and the leek became a significant component of many dishes, it has been a national symbol of Wales for at least 400 years and Shakespeare refers to the Welsh custom of wearing a leek in Henry V. Since the 1970s, the number of restaurants and gastropubs in Wales has increased and there are five Michelin starred restaurants located in the country. There are few written records of traditional Welsh foods; the lack of records was highlighted by Mati Thomas in 1928, who made a unique collection of 18th century "Welsh Culinary Recipes" as an award-winning Eisteddfod entry.
Those with the skills and inclination to write Welsh recipes, the upper classes, conformed to English styles and therefore would not have run their houses with traditional Welsh cuisine. Upper-class households would take on any English fashions adopting English names; the traditional cookery of Wales originates from the daily meals of peasant folk, unlike other cultures where meals started in the kitchens of the gentry and would be adapted. The King of the Welsh people would travel, with his court, in a circuit, demanding tribute in the form of food from communities they visited as they went; the tribute was codified in the Laws of Hywel Dda, showing that people lived on beer, bread and dairy products, with few vegetables beyond cabbages and leeks. The laws show how much value was put on different parts of Welsh life at the time, for example that wealth was measured in cattle. Towards the start of the 11th century, Welsh society started to build settlements. Food would be cooked in a single cauldron over an open fire on the floor.
Some dishes could be cooked on a bakestone, a flat stone which could be placed above a fire to heat it evenly. Gerald of Wales, chaplain to Henry II, wrote after an 1188 tour of Wales, "The whole population lives entirely on oats and the produce of their herds, milk and butter. You must not expect a variety of dishes from a Welsh kitchen, there are no highly-seasoned titbits to whet your appetite." The medieval Welsh used thyme and mint in the kitchen, but in general herbs were much more to be used for medicinal purposes than culinary ones. Towards the end of the 18th century, Welsh land owners divided up the land to allow for tenant-based farming; each small holding would include vegetable crops, as well as pigs and a few chickens. The 18th and 19th centuries were a time of unrest for the Welsh people; the Welsh food riots began in 1740, when colliers blamed the lack of food on problems in the supply, continued throughout Wales as a whole. The worst riots happened in the 1790s after a grain shortage, which coincided with political upheaval in the form of forced military service and high taxes on the roads, leaving farmers unable to make a profit.
As a result of riots by colliers in the mid 1790s, magistrates in Glamorgan sold the rioters corn at a reduced price. At the same time they requested military assistance from the government to stop further rioting. Due to the close-knit nature of the poor communities, the higher status of the farmers above the labourers, the rioters blamed the farmers and corn merchants, rather than the gentry; the majority of food riots had ended by 1801, there were certain political undertones to the actions, though lack of leadership meant that little came of it. By the 1870s, 60 % of Wales was owned by 570 families. Instead, they employed workers, who were forced to lose their jobs. Around the end of the 19th century, the increase in coal mining and steel works around Wales led to the immigration of Italian workers; the workers brought families who integrated their culture into Welsh society, bringing with them Italian ice cream and Italian cafes, now a staple of Welsh society. In the 1960s, isolated communities were unable to access produce that the majority of Britain would such as peppers or aubergines.
Artisan Welsh produce was l
Scottish cuisine is the specific set of cooking traditions and cuisines associated with Scotland. It has distinctive attributes and recipes of its own, but shares much with wider British and European cuisine as a result of local and foreign influences, both ancient and modern. Traditional Scottish dishes exist alongside international foodstuffs brought about by migration. Scotland's natural larder of game, dairy products, fish and vegetables is the chief factor in traditional Scots cooking, with a high reliance on simplicity and a lack of spices from abroad, as these were rare and expensive. Scotland, with its temperate climate and abundance of indigenous game species, has provided a cornucopia of food for its inhabitants for millennia; the wealth of seafood available on and off the coasts provided the earliest settlers with their sustenance. Agriculture was introduced, with primitive oats becoming the staple. In common with many mediaeval European neighbours, Scotland was a feudal state for a greater part of the second millennium.
This put certain restrictions on what one was allowed to hunt. In the halls of the great men of the realm, one could expect venison, various fowl and songbirds, expensive spices, the meats of domesticated species. From the journeyman down to the lowest cottar, meat was an expensive commodity, would be consumed rarely. For the lower echelons of mediaeval Scots, it was the products of their animals rather than the beasts themselves which provided nourishment; this is evident today in traditional Scots fare, with its emphasis on dairy produce. It would appear that the average meal would consist of a pottage of herbs and roots, with bread and cheese when possible. Before Sir Walter Raleigh's introduction of the potato to the British Isles, the Scots' main source of carbohydrate was bread made from oats or barley. Wheat was difficult to grow because of the damp climate. Food thrift was evident from the earliest times, with excavated middens displaying little evidence of anything but the toughest bones.
All parts of an animal were used. The mobile nature of Scots society in the past required food, it was common to carry a small bag of oatmeal that could be transformed into a basic porridge or oatcakes using a girdle. It is thought that Scotland's national dish, originated in a similar way: A small amount of offal or low-quality meat, carried in the most inexpensive bag available, a sheep or pig's stomach, it has been suggested that this dish was introduced by Norse invaders who were attempting to preserve their food during the long journey from Scandinavia. During the Late Middle Ages and early modern era, French cuisine played a role in Scottish cookery due to cultural exchanges brought about by the "Auld Alliance" during the reign of Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary, on her return to Scotland, brought an entourage of French staff who are considered responsible for revolutionising Scots cooking and for some of Scotland's unique food terminology. "Ashet", from assiette—a large platter. "Cannel", from cannelle—cinnamon "Collop", from escalope "Gigot", from gigot—leg of mutton.
"Howtowdie", from hétoudeau—a boiling fowl. "Syboe", from ciboule—a spring onionWith the growth of sporting estates and the advent of land enclosure in the 18th century, harvesting Scotland's larder became an industry. The railways further expanded the scope of the market, with Scots grouse at a premium on English menus shortly after the Glorious Twelfth; the availability of certain foodstuffs in Scotland, in common with the other parts of the United Kingdom, suffered during the 20th century. Rationing during the two World Wars, as well as large-scale industrial agriculture, limited the diversity of food available to the public. Imports from the British Empire and beyond did, introduce new foods to the Scottish public. During the 19th and 20th centuries there was large-scale immigration to Scotland from Italy, from the Middle East and Pakistan; these cultures have influenced Scots cooking dramatically. The Italians reintroduced the standard of fresh produce, the comers introduced spice. With the enlargement of the European Union in the early years of the 21st century, there has been an increase in the population of Eastern European descent, from Poland in particular.
A number of speciality restaurants and delicatessens catering for the various new immigrants have opened in the larger towns and cities. These dishes and foods originate in Scotland. Breakfast tea Irn-Bru Red Kola Sugarelly In recent years Haggis pakoras have become popular in Indian restaurants. Scotland's reputation for coronary and related diet-based diseases is a result of the wide consumption of fast food since the latter part of the 20th century. Fish and chip shops remain popular, indeed the battered and fried haggis supper remains a favourite. In the area around Edinburgh, the most popular condiment for chip shop meals is'salt and sauce', the sauce element consisting of brown sauce thinned with water and vinegar; however in Glasgow, elsewhere, chippy sauce is unknown and ketchup or salt and vinegar are preferred, prompting light-hearted debate on the merits of the options among the cities' residents, who tend to find the alternative a baffling concept. Outlets selling pizzas, kebabs and other convenience foodstuffs have become popular,with an extreme example of this style of food being the Munchy box.
In addition to independent fast-food outlets, in the 1960s American-style burger bars and other restaurants such as Wimpy were introduced, in the 1980s, McDonald's, Burger
Culture of the Falkland Islands
The culture of the Falkland Islands is analogous to that of British culture. The Falkland Islands have a large non-native born population white and from England, but from Saint Helena; the native born population is of English and Scottish descent, with other strains such as Gibraltarian. The English language is used in its British English form. However, due to the isolation of the islands, the small population retains its own accent/dialect. In rural areas, known as "Camp", the Falkland accent tends to be stronger; the dialect has resemblances to Australian, New Zealand, West Country and Norfolk dialects of English, as well as Lowland Scots. Other notable Falkland island terms are the words "kelper" meaning a person who lives in the Falklands, the term comes from the kelp surrounding the islands; the official language of Falkland Islands is English and spoken languages in the Falkland Islands are Lowland Scots, Spanish and French. For the culture inspired by the Falklands War, see Cultural impact of the Falklands WarDue to the low population of the islands, most of the literature of the islands has been written by outsiders, is non-fiction.
However some poetry has been written by Falklanders, Ernest Spencer's Motherland. The 1911 Britannica states: The houses white with coloured roofs, are built of wood and iron, have glazed porches, gay with fuchsias and pelargoniums. Government House, stone-built and slated, calls to mind a manse in Shetland or Orkney; the government barrack is a rather imposing structure in the middle of the town, as is the cathedral church to the east, built of stone and buttressed with brick. The government barrack is now a guesthouse and is somewhat more in keeping with the surrounding houses. Since this date, many more buildings have been erected in Stanley. In 1998, the Government of the Falkland Islands started a programme to encourage building of private houses, the development is known as East Stanley as it developed Stanley to the East; this led to a boom in the housing construction market with many new timber kit houses imported from Scotland. These range from single bedroom bungalows to large 4-5 bedroom houses, the style of cladding and colours varying immensely.
Falkland houses are renowned for being brightly painted with immaculately maintained gardens, older houses have intricately carved wooden fascia boards. The Bodie Creek Suspension Bridge is sometimes stated to be the most southerly in the world. There is one major newspaper, the Penguin News and a radio station the Falkland Islands Radio Service; the islands have their own national football team and national cricket team. Falkland Islands Poetry Falkland Islands journal Falkland Islands Conservation Falkland Islands Museum and National Trust Falkland Islands Shackleton Scholarship Fund
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
British cuisine is the heritage of cooking traditions and practices associated with the United Kingdom. Although Britain has a rich indigenous culinary tradition its colonial history has profoundly enriched its native cooking traditions. British cuisine absorbed the cultural influences of its post-colonial territories – in particular those of South Asia. In ancient times Celtic agriculture and animal breeding produced a wide variety of foodstuffs for the indigenous Celts and Britons. Anglo-Saxon England developed meat and savoury herb stewing techniques before the practice became common in Europe; the Norman conquest introduced exotic spices into England in the Middle Ages. The British Empire facilitated a knowledge of Indian cuisine with its "strong, penetrating spices and herbs". Food rationing policies put into place by the British government during the wartime periods of the 20th century are considered today to be responsible for British cuisine's poor international reputation. Well-known traditional British dishes include full breakfast and chips, the Christmas dinner, the Sunday roast and kidney pie, shepherd's pie, bangers and mash.
People in Britain however eat a wide variety of foods based on the cuisines of Europe and other parts of the world. British cuisine has many regional varieties within the broader categories of English and Welsh cuisine and Northern Irish cuisine; each has developed its own regional or local dishes, many of which are geographically indicated foods such as Cornish pasties, the Yorkshire pudding, Cumberland Sausage, Arbroath Smokie, Welsh cakes. Romano-British agriculture fertile soils and advanced animal breeding produced a wide variety of high quality foods for indigenous Romano-British people. Anglo-Saxon England developed meat and savoury herb stewing techniques and the Norman conquest reintroduced exotic spices and continental influences back into Great Britain in the Middle Ages as maritime Britain became a major player in the transcontinental spice trade for many centuries after. Following the Protestant Reformation in the 16th and 17th centuries "plain and robust" food remained the mainstay of the British diet, reflecting tastes which are still shared with neighbouring north European countries and traditional North American Cuisine.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, as the Colonial British Empire began to be influenced by India's elaborate food tradition of "strong, penetrating spices and herbs", the United Kingdom developed a worldwide reputation for the quality of British beef and pedigree bulls were exported to form the bloodline of major modern beef herds in the New World. Developments in plant breeding produced a multiplicity of fruit and vegetable varieties, with British disease-resistant rootstocks still used globally for fruits such as apples. During the World Wars of the 20th century difficulties of food supply were countered by official measures, which included rationing; the problem was worse in WWII, the Ministry of Food was established to address the problems. Due to the economic problems following the war, rationing continued for some years, in some aspects was more strict than during wartime. Rationing was not lifted until a decade after war ended in Europe, so that a whole generation was raised without access to many common ingredients.
These policies, put in place by the British government during wartime periods of the 20th century, are blamed for the decline of British cuisine in the 20th century. The last half of the 20th century saw an increase in the availability of a greater range of good quality fresh products and greater willingness by many sections of the British population to vary their diets and select dishes from other cultures such as those of Italy and India. Efforts have been made to re-introduce pre-20th-century recipes. Ingredients not native to the islands herbs and spices, are added to traditional dishes. Much of Modern British cooking draws on influences from Mediterranean, more Middle Eastern, South Asian, East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines; the traditional influence of northern and central European cuisines is significant but fading. The mid-20th-century British style of cooking emerged as a response to the depressing food rationing that persisted for several years after the Second World War, along with restrictions on foreign currency exchange, making travel difficult.
A hunger for exotic cooking was satisfied by writers such as Elizabeth David, who from 1950 produced evocative books, starting with A Book of Mediterranean Food, whose ingredients were often impossible to find in Britain. By the 1960s foreign holidays, foreign-style restaurants in Britain, further widened the popularity of foreign cuisine. Recent modern British cuisine has been influenced and popularised by TV chefs, all writing books, such as Fanny Cradock, Clement Freud, Robert Carrier, Keith Floyd, Gary Rhodes, Delia Smith, Gordon Ramsay, Ainsley Harriott, Nigella Lawson, Simon Hopkinson, Nigel Slater and Jamie Oliver, alongside The Food Programme, made by BBC Radio 4. Since appearing in Christmas dinner tables in England in the late 16th century, the turkey has become more popular, with Christmas pudding served for dessert; the 16th-century English navigator William Strickland is credited with introducing the turkey into England, 16th-century farmer Thomas Tusser noted that in 1573 turkeys were eaten at Christmas dinner.
Roast turkey is accompanied with roast beef or ham, is served with stuffing, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes and vegetables. In addition to Christmas pudding, mince pies, Christmas cake or a yule log are popular des
The Pitcairn Islands Pitcairn, Henderson and Oeno Islands, are a group of four volcanic islands in the southern Pacific Ocean that form the sole British Overseas Territory in the South Pacific Ocean. The four islands—Pitcairn proper, Henderson and Oeno—are scattered across several hundred miles of ocean and have a combined land area of about 18 square miles. Henderson Island accounts for 86 % of the land area; the nearest places are Easter Island to the east. Pitcairn is the least populous national jurisdiction in the world; the Pitcairn Islanders are a biracial ethnic group descended from nine Bounty mutineers and the handful of Tahitians who accompanied them, an event, retold in many books and films. This history is still apparent in the surnames of many of the islanders. Today there are 50 permanent inhabitants, originating from four main families; the earliest known settlers of the Pitcairn Islands were Polynesians who appear to have lived on Pitcairn and Henderson, on Mangareva Island 540 kilometres to the northwest, for several centuries.
They traded goods and formed social ties among the three islands despite the long canoe voyages between them, which helped the small populations on each island survive despite their limited resources. Important natural resources were exhausted, inter-island trade broke down and a period of civil war began on Mangareva, causing the small human populations on Henderson and Pitcairn to be cut off and become extinct. Although archaeologists believe that Polynesians were living on Pitcairn as late as the 15th century, the islands were uninhabited when they were rediscovered by Europeans. Ducie and Henderson Islands were discovered by Portuguese sailor Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, sailing for the Spanish Crown, who arrived on 26 January 1606, he named them San Juan Bautista, respectively. However, some sources express doubt about which of the islands were visited and named by Queirós, suggesting that La Encarnación may have been Henderson Island, San Juan Bautista may have been Pitcairn Island. Pitcairn Island was sighted on 3 July 1767 by the crew of the British sloop HMS Swallow, commanded by Captain Philip Carteret.
The island was named after midshipman Robert Pitcairn, a fifteen-year-old crew member, the first to sight the island. Robert Pitcairn was a son of British Marine Major John Pitcairn, killed at the 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill in the American Revolution. Carteret, who sailed without the newly-invented marine chronometer, charted the island at 25°02′S 133°21′W, although the latitude was reasonably accurate, his recorded longitude was incorrect by about 3° west of the island; this made Pitcairn difficult to find, as highlighted by the failure of captain James Cook to locate the island in July 1773. In 1790, nine of the mutineers from the Bounty, along with the native Tahitian men and women who were with them, settled on Pitcairn Islands and set fire to the Bounty; the wreck is still visible underwater in Bounty Bay, discovered in 1957 by National Geographic explorer Luis Marden. Although the settlers survived by farming and fishing, the initial period of settlement was marked by serious tensions among them.
Alcoholism, murder and other ills took the lives of most mutineers and Tahitian men. John Adams and Ned Young turned to the scriptures, using the ship's Bible as their guide for a new and peaceful society. Young died of an asthmatic infection. Ducie Island was rediscovered in 1791 by Royal Navy captain Edwards aboard HMS Pandora, while searching for the Bounty mutineers, he named it after Francis Reynolds-Moreton, 3rd Baron Ducie a captain in the Royal Navy. The Pitcairn islanders reported it was not until 27 December 1795 that the first ship since the Bounty was seen from the island, but it did not approach the land and they could not make out the nationality. A second ship made no attempt to communicate with them. A third did not try to send a boat on shore; the American sealing ship Topaz, under Mayhew Folger, became the first to visit the island, when the crew spent 10 hours on Pitcairn in February 1808. A report of Folger's discovery was forwarded to the Admiralty, mentioning the mutineers and giving a more precise location of the island: 25°02′S 130°00′W.
However, this was not known to Sir Thomas Staines, who commanded a Royal Navy flotilla of two ships, which found the island at 25°04′S 130°25′W on 17 September 1814. Staines wrote a detailed report for the Admiralty. By that time, only one mutineer, John Adams, remained alive, he was granted amnesty for his part in the mutiny. Henderson Island was rediscovered on 17 January 1819 by British Captain James Henderson of the British East India Company ship Hercules. Captain Henry King, sailing on the Elizabeth, landed on 2 March to find the king's colours flying, his crew scratched the name of their ship into a tree. Oeno Island was discovered on 26 January 1824 by American captain George Worth aboard the whaler Oeno. In 1832 a Church Missionary Society missionary, Joshua Hill, arrived, he reported that by March 1833, he had founded a Temperance Society to combat drunkenness, a "Maundy Thursday Society", a monthly prayer meeting, a juvenile society, a Peace Society and a school. Traditionally, Pitcairn Islanders consider that their islands "officially" became a British colony on 30 November 1838, at the same time becomi
Rugby union in Gibraltar
Rugby union is a popular sport since its introduction by British military personnel in the 19th Century. The Gibraltar Rugby Football Union has existed since the 1980s when the border with Spain was opened. Rugby is played in Gibraltar under the auspices of the, which exists for the development of the game on the Rock. In 2010 the GRFU appointed a Development Officer to promote the sport in middle schools and comprehensive schools. Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory, it has long had a rugby presence, the game was introduced at some point during the 19th century by the military. Around World War II, a number of Gibraltarians were evacuated to the United Kingdom, some learned rugby while at school there or in the British Armed Forces. Teams of Gibraltarians have been bolstered by the constant coming and going of the British Armed Forces, who traditionally had strong teams. During the mid-1960s, a mini league was set up - just in time, as the land border with Spain would close in 1968; this league was dominated by Gibraltar RFC.
Up to the mid-1980s, rugby on the Rock had a major problem, namely the lack of grass. Games were played on a rocky surface, visitors had to play tag rugby. Peter Collings, a former St Mary's University and Leek winger, the Headmaster of St George's School, others like Geoff Dunn of the Bat and Bull pub, kept Rugby alive via the tag game. Peter Collings was a one-man band for some ten years, he played and refereed, organised fixtures, the disciplinary committee and the pitch allocations. Fixtures occurred most weekends at Navy No 1 on Queensway. There were regular and well attended Rugby Sevens events that took place, with recorded coverage from GBC television on John Shepherd's sports programmes. Tag rugby had its limitations, but with regular trips to play in Tangier against Moroccan and French teams, it allowed Rugby skills to flourish and for the game to stay alive in Gibraltar during the 1970s and 1980s when travel to Spain was impractical. With the opening of the border in the 1980s, the huge demand by military personnel and returning local, university students led to the creation of Gibraltar's first national league.
The original teams within this competition were teams from: Navy, Air Force, Army, La Linea and two Gibraltarian teams. This increased with the introduction of the Spanish settlements of Ceuta and Cadiz to the league; the decline in this league was down to a number of factors, such as the decline in military personal in Gibraltar as well as the increase in the number of Spanish teams taking part in the Andalucian League and the lack of investment in youth development locally. The land border reopened in 1985, a number of games were played against sides from Seville and Madrid. Gibraltar RFC has now merged with one of the Super4s clubs. A number of Gibraltar-based players play for the Barbarians RFC, an Andalucia Rugby Team that play in the Andalusia Divisions. On 5 November 2011 the Gibraltar Rugby Football Union fielded a national team in its first official Test Match; the fixture was against the Belgium Development Team in Brussels. The final score was Belgium XV 20 Gibraltar XV 8. Test Caps have been awarded to the Gibraltar Team.
The GRFU is going through the process of FIRA/AER membership. The GRFU is planning other international fixtures versus international opponents for April 2015. There is a Gibraltar National sevens team that plays in tournaments in the Tangier Sevens. See Gibraltar national rugby union team The lack of a decent playing pitch was long a problem, however the laying of a 3rd generation astroturf pitch has meant that Gibraltarian teams have been allowed to play their first game of XVs on their home field; the new surface was laid in April 2010 and the first game played on the pitch was against a touring side. The historic first encounter between a Spanish and Gibraltarian side was held in September 2010, against Marbella RFCIn 2011 the GRFU hosted its first, locally based, international Sevens tournament called "The Rock 7s". Gibraltar's National League is played amongst the four local clubs: DHL Stormers, Inline Framing Sharks, Ibex Buccaneers, Sovereign Insurance Scorpions; the aim of the Super IVs is to give Gibraltar's young, aspiring rugby players a platform from which to continue their rugby development pathway.
Gibraltar Minis came into existence in 2011. Jeremy Campbell-Lamerton, born Gibraltar, capped for Scotland three times. Harvey Armstrong record points scorer with 36 as of 14/10/16 Official Page Bath, Richard The Complete Book of Rugby Cotton, Fran The Book of Rugby Disasters & Bizarre Records. Compiled by Chris Rhys. London. Century Publishing. ISBN 0-7126-0911-3