The Trusts headquarters is at Shottesbrooke in Berkshire. Most Trust properties are in England and Wales, several are on Lundy Island off the coast of north Devon, operated under lease from the National Trust. In continental Europe there are Landmark sites in Belgium, five properties are in the United States — all in Vermont — one of which, was the home of Rudyard Kipling in the 1890s. The Trust is a charity registered in England & Wales and in Scotland, the American sites are owned by an independent sister charity, Landmark Trust USA. There is an Irish Landmark Trust and those who rent Landmarks provide a source of funds to support restoration costs and building maintenance. The first rentals were in 1967 when six properties were available, in 2015 the Trust had 196 properties available. Landmark sites include forts, manor houses, cottages, gatehouses and towers, the Trust employs a 400-strong workforce headed by a Director. Dr Anna Keay was appointed Director in 2012, succeeding Peter Pearce, the work of the Trust is overseen by a Board of Trustees chaired by Neil Mendoza HRH Prince Charles became Patron of the Landmark Trust in 1995.
A group of high profile supporters act as Ambassadors for the Trust, as at March 2017 these were, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, George Clarke, Nicholas Coleridge CBE, Sir Simon Jenkins, Griff Rhys Jones, and Natascha McElhone. The Gothic Temple at Stowe was filmed in March 1999 as the Scottish Chapel in the Bond movie The World is Not Enough and they were at Lowsonford, Clavell Tower, Saddell Bay, and the Martello Tower. The work of the Trust was the subject of a six-part Channel 4 television documentary, Restoring Britains Landmarks, first broadcast in October 2015. Four Channel 4 programmes, Great British Buildings, Restoration of the Year, transmitted from 23 March 2017, were co-hosted by Landmark Trust Director Dr Anna Keay, the following lists aim to be complete and illustrate both the variety of structures and geographical spread of the trust. In the Trusts early years, prior to the incorporation of the charity, the Trusts current portfolio includes properties bequeathed to the Trust, leased, or operated through a management agreement on behalf of other owners.
The Trust contributed to the Chateau Hougoumont farms £3M restoration, from 2013, an apartment in the former gardeners cottage over the south gates has been let since 2015. La Célibataire, Le Maison des Amis and Le Moulin de la Tuilerie, Gif-sur-Yvette, llwyn Celyn, Monmouthshire - Medieval Hall House, formerly part of the Llanthony Priory Estate in the Brecon Beacons Black Mountain area. As at March 2017, plans for restoring and renovating the following properties were under development, Cobham Dairy, Cobham. Grade II* ornamental dairy designed by James Wyatt in the 1790s in the style of an Italianate chapel, on the Buildings at Risk register. The Trust launched an appeal in late September 2016 to rescue the building and had raised £200,000 by 31 March 2017, Winsford Cottage Hospital, Halwill Junction, Devon
Ordnance Survey National Grid
The Ordnance Survey National Grid reference system is a system of geographic grid references used in Great Britain, different from using Latitude and Longitude. It is often called British National Grid, the Ordnance Survey devised the national grid reference system, and it is heavily used in their survey data, and in maps based on those surveys. Grid references are commonly quoted in other publications and data sources. The Universal Transverse Mercator coordinate system is used to provide references for worldwide locations. European-wide agencies use UTM when mapping locations, or may use the Military Grid Reference System system, the grid is based on the OSGB36 datum, and was introduced after the retriangulation of 1936–1962. It replaced the previously used Cassini Grid which, up to the end of World War Two, had issued only to the military. The Airy ellipsoid is a regional best fit for Britain, more modern mapping tends to use the GRS80 ellipsoid used by the GPS, the British maps adopt a Transverse Mercator projection with an origin at 49° N, 2° W.
Over the Airy ellipsoid a straight grid, the National Grid, is placed with a new false origin. This false origin is located south-west of the Isles of Scilly, the distortion created between the OS grid and the projection is countered by a scale factor in the longitude to create two lines of longitude with zero distortion rather than one. Grid north and true north are aligned on the 400 km easting of the grid which is 2° W. 2° 0′ 5″ W. OSGB36 was used by Admiralty nautical charts until 2000 after which WGS84 has been used, a geodetic transformation between OSGB36 and other terrestrial reference systems can become quite tedious if attempted manually. The most common transformation is called the Helmert datum transformation, which results in a typical 7 m error from true, the definitive transformation from ETRS89 that is published by the OSGB is called the National Grid Transformation OSTN02. This models the detailed distortions in the 1936–1962 retriangulation, and achieves backwards compatibility in grid coordinates to sub-metre accuracy, the difference between the coordinates on different datums varies from place to place.
The longitude and latitude positions on OSGB36 are the same as for WGS84 at a point in the Atlantic Ocean well to the west of Great Britain. In Cornwall, the WGS84 longitude lines are about 70 metres east of their OSGB36 equivalents, the smallest datum shift is on the west coast of Scotland and the greatest in Kent. But Great Britain has not shrunk by 100+ metres, a point near Lands End now computes to be 27.6 metres closer to a point near Duncansby Head than it did under OSGB36. For the first letter, the grid is divided into squares of size 500 km by 500 km, there are four of these which contain significant land area within Great Britain, S, T, N and H. The O square contains an area of North Yorkshire, almost all of which lies below mean high tide
Portpatrick and Wigtownshire Joint Railway
It formed part of a route by rail and sea from England and Scotland to the north of Ireland. The line closed in 1965 apart from the section from Stranraer Harbour to Challoch Junction. As early as 1620 Portpatrick had been established as the port for the sea route between south-west Scotland and the north of Ireland, at Donaghadee in County Down. A barracks was erected in the town to facilitate troop movements, however the limitations of the little harbour became serious disadvantages as other more efficient rail-connected routes, via Liverpool, and Holyhead became dominant. The Glasgow and South Western Railway was formed by amalgamation in 1850, on the opening of the line which ran from Glasgow via Kilmarnock. When local interests promoted a railway branching from it at Dumfries and running to Castle Douglas, the G&SWR actively supported it, in fact subscribing £60,000 towards the little Companys capital. The G&SWR motives appear to have been a desire to secure the territory from their rival, the Castle Douglas and Dumfries Railway opened on 7 November 1859 and was worked from the outset by the G&SWR.
The larger Company soon made advances to take over the CD&DR, by now the CD&DR had obtained its authorising Act and the Portpatrick line would join it at Castle Douglas instead of going independently to Dumfries. The route east of Newton Stewart took a northerly course through bleak terrain. While there was much enthusiasm locally for the new venture, it was important to obtain support from investors elsewhere. For a while the Great Northern Railway was leading, offering £160,000, at the time the GNR was no closer than Bradford, but it sought alliances and for a time had hopes of forming its own trunk route to Scotland and the north of Ireland. This was ended when the G&SWR made it clear it would refuse running powers between Gretna Junction and Castle Douglas, the Bill for the new line went to Parliament in the 1857 session, but the grand title was changed to the more modest Portpatrick Railway. With little opposition it obtained its authorising Act on 10 August 1857, the main line was to be 60 miles 60 chains in length from Castle Douglas to Portpatrick, with two short branches, to the west quay at Stranraer, and to the north pier at Portpatrick.
The G&SWR subscribed an additional £40,000, towards the end of the construction period the PR gave consideration to the working arrangements. The G&SWR were authorised to work the line by the original Act and this charge was considered excessive and negotiations took place which the PPR board considered unsatisfactory. The G&SWR had been confident that its terms for working the line would have to be accepted, the breach was irreconcilable, made more so by the fact that the acid correspondence between the two companies was published as a pamphlet. Dalrymple, as Chairman, told his shareholders that the loss of the £40,000, though attended with great inconvenience need not make any material, or at least, financial embarrassment. So the PPR made its own arrangements, and early in 1861 Captain H W Tyler made the formal inspection of the line over a three-day period and his only significant adverse comment was that the rail joints were not fished
Scottish Gaelic or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to as Gaelic, is a Celtic language native to Scotland. A member of the Goidelic branch of the Celtic languages, Scottish Gaelic, like Modern Irish and Manx, developed out of Middle Irish. The 2011 census of Scotland showed that a total of 57,375 people in Scotland could speak Gaelic at that time, the census results indicate a decline of 1,275 Gaelic speakers from 2001. A total of 87,056 people in 2011 reported having some facility with Gaelic compared to 93,282 people in 2001, only about half of speakers were fully literate in the language. Nevertheless, revival efforts exist and the number of speakers of the language under age 20 has increased, Scottish Gaelic is neither an official language of the European Union nor the United Kingdom. Outside Scotland, a group of dialects collectively known as Canadian Gaelic are spoken in parts of Atlantic Canada, mainly Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. In the 2011 census, there were 7,195 total speakers of Gaelic languages in Canada, with 1,365 in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island where the responses mainly refer to Scottish Gaelic.
About 2,320 Canadians in 2011 claimed Gaelic languages as their mother tongue, with over 300 in Nova Scotia, aside from Scottish Gaelic, the language may be referred to simply as Gaelic. In Scotland, the word Gaelic in reference to Scottish Gaelic specifically is pronounced, outside Ireland and Great Britain, Gaelic may refer to the Irish language. Scottish Gaelic should not be confused with Scots, the Middle English-derived language varieties which had come to be spoken in most of the Lowlands of Scotland by the modern era. Prior to the 15th century, these dialects were known as Inglis by its own speakers, from the late 15th century, however, it became increasingly common for such speakers to refer to Scottish Gaelic as Erse and the Lowland vernacular as Scottis. Today, Scottish Gaelic is recognised as a language from Irish. Gaelic in Scotland was mostly confined to Dál Riata until the 8th century, when it began expanding into Pictish areas north of the Firth of Forth, by 900, Pictish appears to have become extinct, completely replaced by Gaelic.
An exception might be made for the Northern Isles, however, though the Pictish language did not disappear suddenly, a process of Gaelicisation was clearly underway during the reigns of Caustantín and his successors. By a certain point, probably during the 11th century, all the inhabitants of Alba had become fully Gaelicised Scots, by the 10th century, Gaelic had become the dominant language throughout northern and western Scotland, the Gaelo-Pictic Kingdom of Alba. Its spread to southern Scotland, was even and totalizing. Place name analysis suggests dense usage of Gaelic in Galloway and adjoining areas to the north and west as well as in West Lothian, less dense usage is suggested for north Ayrshire, the Clyde Valley and eastern Dumfriesshire. In south-eastern Scotland, there is no evidence that Gaelic was ever widely spoken, the area shifted from Cumbric to Old English during its long incorporation into the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Northumbria
Historic Scotland was an executive agency of the Scottish Government from 1991 to 2015, responsible for safeguarding Scotlands built heritage, and promoting its understanding and enjoyment. Under the terms of a Bill of the Scottish Parliament published on 3 March 2014, Historic Scotland was dissolved, HES took over the functions of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Historic Scotland was an organisation to the Ancient Monuments Division of the Ministry of Works. It was created as an agency in 1991 and was attached to the Scottish Executive Education Department, as part of the Scottish Government, Historic Scotland was directly accountable to the Scottish Ministers. In 2002, proposals to restore Castle Tioram in the West Highlands, by putting a roof back on, were blocked by Historic Scotland and this position was supported in an extensive local Public Inquiry at which the arguments for both sides were heard. It has been implied that this dispute has led to a review of the operations of the organisation, after widespread consultation, Historic Scotland published a comprehensive series of Scottish Historic Environment Policy papers, consolidated into a single volume in October 2008.
The agencys Framework Document set out the responsibilities of the Scottish Ministers and its Corporate Plan sets out its targets and performance against them. Historic Scotland had direct responsibility for maintaining and running over 360 monuments in its care, about a quarter of which are manned and these properties have additional features such as guidebooks and other resources. Historic Scotland sought to increase the number of run at its sites. Similarly, new museums and visitor centres were opened, notably at Arbroath Abbey, there was a hospitality section, which makes some properties available for wedding receptions and other functions. Lifetime memberships were available, and all received a quarterly magazine Historic Scotland. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland Scottish Ten Official website
Northern Ireland is a constituent unit of the United Kingdom in the north-east of Ireland. It is variously described as a country, region, or part of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the total population. Northern Ireland was created in 1921, when Ireland was partitioned between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland by an act of the British parliament, Northern Ireland has historically been the most industrialised region of Ireland. After declining as a result of the political and social turmoil of the Troubles, its economy has grown significantly since the late 1990s. Unemployment in Northern Ireland peaked at 17. 2% in 1986, dropping to 6. 1% for June–August 2014,58. 2% of those unemployed had been unemployed for over a year. Prominent artists and sports persons from Northern Ireland include Van Morrison, Rory McIlroy, Joey Dunlop, Wayne McCullough, some people from Northern Ireland prefer to identify as Irish while others prefer to identify as British.
Cultural links between Northern Ireland, the rest of Ireland, and the rest of the UK are complex, in many sports, the island of Ireland fields a single team, a notable exception being association football. Northern Ireland competes separately at the Commonwealth Games, and people from Northern Ireland may compete for either Great Britain or Ireland at the Olympic Games. The region that is now Northern Ireland was the bedrock of the Irish war of resistance against English programmes of colonialism in the late 16th century, the English-controlled Kingdom of Ireland had been declared by the English king Henry VIII in 1542, but Irish resistance made English control fragmentary. Victories by English forces in war and further Protestant victories in the Williamite War in Ireland toward the close of the 17th century solidified Anglican rule in Ireland. In Northern Ireland, the victories of the Siege of Derry and their intention was to materially disadvantage the Catholic community and, to a lesser extent, the Presbyterian community.
In the context of open institutional discrimination, the 18th century saw secret, militant societies develop in communities in the region and act on sectarian tensions in violent attacks. Following this, in an attempt to quell sectarianism and force the removal of discriminatory laws, the new state, formed in 1801, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, was governed from a single government and parliament based in London. Between 1717 and 1775 some 250,000 people from Ulster emigrated to the British North American colonies and it is estimated that there are more than 27 million Scotch-Irish Americans now living in the US. By the close of the century, autonomy for Ireland within the United Kingdom, in 1912, after decades of obstruction from the House of Lords, Home Rule became a near-certainty. A clash between the House of Commons and House of Lords over a controversial budget produced the Parliament Act 1911, which enabled the veto of the Lords to be overturned. The House of Lords veto had been the unionists main guarantee that Home Rule would not be enacted, in 1914, they smuggled thousands of rifles and rounds of ammunition from Imperial Germany for use by the Ulster Volunteers, a paramilitary organisation opposed to the implementation of Home Rule
Galloway is a region in southwestern Scotland comprising the former counties of Wigtownshire and Kirkcudbrightshire. A native or inhabitant of Galloway is called a Gallovidian or a Galwegian, the place name Galloway is derived from the Gaelic i nGall Gaidhealaib. The Gall Gaidheil, literally meaning Stranger-Gaidheil, originally referred to a population of mixed Scandinavian and Gaelic ethnicity that inhabited Galloway in the Middle Ages. Galloway is bounded by sea to the west and south, the Galloway Hills to the north, and the River Nith to the east, the definition has, fluctuated greatly in size over history. A hardy breed of black, hornless cattle named Galloway cattle is native to the region, Galloway comprises that part of Scotland southwards from the Southern Upland watershed and westward from the River Nith. Traditionally it has described as stretching from the braes of Glenapp to the Nith. Generally however the landscape is rugged and much of the soil is shallow, the generally south slope and southern coast make for mild and wet climate, and there is a great deal of good pasture.
The northern part of Galloway is exceedingly rugged and forms the largest remaining wilderness in Britain south of the Highlands and this area is known as the Galloway Hills. Historically Galloway has been famous both for horses and for cattle rearing, and milk and beef production are still major industries. There is substantial timber production and some fisheries, the combination of hills and high rainfall make Galloway ideal for hydroelectric power production, and the Galloway Hydro Power scheme was begun in 1929. Since then, electricity generation has been a significant industry, more recently wind turbines have been installed at a number of locations on the watershed, and a large offshore wind-power plant is planned, increasing Galloways green energy production. The 2nd century geographer Ptolemy produced a map of Britain in his Geography, in which he describes the landmarks, rerigoniums exact position is uncertain except that it was on Loch Ryan, close to modern day Stranraer, it is possible that it is the modern settlement of Dunragit.
The Romans named the inhabitants of Galloway the Novantae, the county is rich in prehistoric monuments and relics, amongst the most notable of which are the Drumtroddan Standing Stones, the Torhousekie Stone Circle, both in Wigtownshire and Cairnholy. There is evidence of one of the earliest pit-fall traps in Europe which was discovered near Glenluce, Galloway probably remained a Brythonic dominated region until the late 7th century when it was taken over by the English kingdom of Bernicia. English dominance was supplanted by Norse-Gaelic peoples between the 9th and the 11th century, if it had not been for Fergus of Galloway who established himself in Galloway, the region would rapidly have been absorbed by Scotland. This did not happen because Fergus, his sons and great-grandson Alan, during a period of Scottish allegiance a Galloway contingent followed David, King of Scots in his invasion of England and led the attack in his defeat at the Battle of the Standard. He had three daughters and an illegitimate son Thomas, the Community of Galloway wanted Thomas as their king.
Alexander III of Scotland supported the daughters and invaded Galloway, the Community of Galloway was defeated, and Galloway divided up between Alans daughters, thus bringing Galloways independent existence to an end
Dumfries and Galloway
Dumfries and Galloway is one of 32 unitary council areas of Scotland and is located in the western Southern Uplands. It comprises the counties of Dumfriesshire, Stewartry of Kirkcudbright and Wigtownshire. The administrative centre is the town of Dumfries, following the 1975 reorganisation of local government in Scotland, the three counties were joined to form a single region of Dumfries and Galloway, with four districts within it. Act 1994, however, it has become a local authority. For lieutenancy purposes, the counties are largely maintained with its three lieutenancy areas being Dumfries and the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright. To the north and Galloway borders East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire, in the east the Borders, and to the south the county of Cumbria in England, to the west lies the Irish Sea. The Dumfries and Galloway Council region is composed of counties and their sub-areas and Galloway covers the majority of the Western area of the Southern Uplands, it hosts Scotlands most Southerly point, at the Mull of Galloway in the west of the region.
This road leaves the A714 at Bargrennan, Water of Ken and River Dee form a corridor through the hills called the Glenkens which carries the A713 road from Castle Douglas to Ayr. The Galloway Hills lie to the west of route through the hills. River Nith rises between Dalmellington and New Cumnock in Ayrshire and runs east south down Nithsdale to Dumfries, Nithsdale carries both the A76 road and the rail line from Dumfries to Kilmarnock. It separates the Carsphairn and Scaur Hills from the Lowther Hills which lie east of the Nith and this gap through the hills separates the Lowthers from the Moffat Hills. River Esk enters the Solway Firth just south of Gretna having travelled south from Langholm, the A7 travels up Eskdale as far as Langholm and from Langholm carries on up the valley of Ewes Water to Teviothead where it starts to follow the River Teviot to Hawick. Eskdale itself heads north west from Langholm through Bentpath and Eskdalemuir to Ettrick, the A701 branches off the M74 at Beattock, goes through the town of Moffat, climbs to Annanhead above the Devils Beef Tub before passing the source of the River Tweed and carrying on to Edinburgh.
Until fairly recent times the ancient route to Edinburgh travelled right up Annandale to the Beef Tub before climbing steeply to Annanhead, the present road ascends northward on a ridge parallel to Annandale but to the west of it which makes for a much easier ascent. From Moffat the A708 heads north east along the valley of Moffat Water on its way to Selkirk, moffatdale separates the Moffat hills from the Ettrick hills to the south. There are three National Scenic Areas within this region, Nith Estuary - This area follows the River Nith southward from just south of Dumfries into the Solway Firth. His mausoleum is in St Michaels graveyard, criffel offers the hill walker a reasonably modest walk with excellent views across the Solway to the Lake District. The house of John Paul Jones founder of the American Navy is open to visitors near Kirkbean, East Stewartry - This takes in the coast line from Balcary Point eastward across Auchencairn Bay and the Rough Firth past Sandyhills to Mersehead
Postcodes in the United Kingdom
Postal codes used in the United Kingdom are known as postcodes. They are alphanumeric and were adopted nationally between 11 October 1959 and 1974, having been devised by the GPO, a full postcode is known as a postcode unit and designates an area with a number of addresses or a single major delivery point. For example, the postcode of the University of Roehampton in London is SW15 5PU, the postcode of GCHQ is GL51 0EX, where GL signifies the postal town of Gloucester. The postal town refers to an area and does not relate to a specific town. GL51 is one of the postcodes for the town of Cheltenham which is where GCHQ is located, the London post town covers 40% of Greater London. On inception it was divided into ten districts, EC, WC, N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W. The S and NE sectors were abolished and these divisions changed little, usually only changed for operational efficiency. Some older road signs in Hackney still indicate the North East sector/district, following the successful introduction of postal districts in London, the system was extended to other large towns and cities.
Liverpool was divided into Eastern, Northern and Western districts in 1864/65, in 1917 Dublin – still part of the United Kingdom – was divided into numbered postal districts. These continue in use in a form by An Post. In 1923 Glasgow was divided in a way to London. In January 1932 the Postmaster General approved the designation of some urban areas into numbered districts. In November 1934 the Post Office announced the introduction of numbered districts in every town in the United Kingdom large enough to justify it. Pamphlets were issued to each householder and business in ten areas notifying them of the number of the district in which their premises lay, the pamphlets included a map of the districts, and copies were made available at local head post offices. The public were invited to include the district number in the address at the head of letters. A publicity campaign in the following year encouraged the use of the district numbers, the slogan for the campaign was For speed and certainty always use a postal district number on your letters and notepaper. A poster was fixed to every box in the affected areas bearing the number of the district.
Every post office in the district was to display this information
The A75 is a Primary Trunk Road in Scotland, linking Stranraer and its ferry ports at Cairnryan with the A74 at Gretna, close to the Border with England and the M6 Motorway. There are only two stations on the A75, one at Collin on the eastern edge of Dumfries. The road forms part of the international E-road, European route E18, the majority of Heavy Goods Vehicles which cross the short sea route of the North Channel via Cairnryan utilise the A75, with a much as 90% of HGV Traffic using the A75. The new section claimed the title after the road was declassified and closed at the western end, allowing only local access to residential property. Transport Scotland has six projects which were announced in 2008 to improve stretches of the A75, barfil to Bettyknowes Project - westbound overtaking opportunity over a length of 875metres and re-alignment. Cairntop to Barlae Project - eastbound overtaking opportunity of 2.5 kilometres, Dunragit Bypass Project - bypass of the village of Dunragit, to the east of Stranraer, through which the A75 runs at present.
Newton Stewart DAL Project - westbound overtaking opportunity over a length of 375 metres, one of the earliest bypasses on the route is that of Kirkcowan, which is believed to be the first village, town or settlement to have been bypassed by the original A75. It is classed as one of the most dangerous roads in Scotland, a fifteen-mile stretch of the A75, between Annan and Dumfries, known as the Kinmount Straight, between Carrutherstown and Annan, is reported to be haunted. The area near Kelhead Plantation, near Kinmount House, is a site of the mysterious events. Sightings have been seen near the Swordwellrigg hamlet on the Annan bypass,1962 Derek and Norman Ferguson were driving along the A75 near Kinmount, around midnight, when a large hen flew towards their window screen, but vanished on the point of impact. The hen was followed by an old lady who ran towards the car waving her outstretched arms. She was followed by a man with long hair and further animals, including great cats, wild dogs, more hens and other fowl, and stranger creatures.
The temperature dropped, and when the brothers stopped the car, it began to sway violently back, Derek got out of the car and the movement stopped. He climbed back in and then, finally, a vision of a furniture van came towards them before disappearing, the Port Road to Stranraer being the last to go in June 1965 under the notorious Beeching Axe leaving only the original G&SWR main line open to serve the Stranraer
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or Britain, is a sovereign country in western Europe. Lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland, the United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland, with an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world and the 11th-largest in Europe. It is the 21st-most populous country, with an estimated 65.1 million inhabitants, this makes it the fourth-most densely populated country in the European Union. The United Kingdom is a monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. The monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 6 February 1952, other major urban areas in the United Kingdom include the regions of Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester.
The United Kingdom consists of four countries—England, Wales, the last three have devolved administrations, each with varying powers, based in their capitals, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. The relationships among the countries of the UK have changed over time, Wales was annexed by the Kingdom of England under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. A treaty between England and Scotland resulted in 1707 in a unified Kingdom of Great Britain, which merged in 1801 with the Kingdom of Ireland to form 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, there are fourteen British Overseas Territories. These are the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, British influence can be observed in the language and legal systems of many of its former colonies. The United Kingdom is a country and has the worlds fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP. The UK is considered to have an economy and is categorised as very high in the Human Development Index.
It was the worlds first industrialised country and the worlds foremost power during the 19th, the UK remains a great power with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally. It is a nuclear weapons state and its military expenditure ranks fourth or fifth in the world. The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946 and it has been a leading member state of the EU and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. However, on 23 June 2016, a referendum on the UKs membership of the EU resulted in a decision to leave. The Acts of Union 1800 united the Kingdom of Great Britain, Scotland and Northern Ireland have devolved self-government