Cob, cobb or clom is a natural building material made from subsoil, fibrous organic material, sometimes lime. The contents of subsoil vary, if it does not contain the right mixture it can be modified with sand or clay. Cob is fireproof, resistant to seismic activity, although it uses low cost materials, it is labour intensive, it can be used to create artistic, sculptural forms, its use has been revived in recent years by the natural building and sustainability movements. In technical building and engineering documents such as the Uniform Building Code, cob may be referred to as an "unburned clay masonry" when used in a structural context, it might be referred to as an "aggregate" in non-structural contexts, such as a "clay and sand aggregate" or more an "organic aggregate," such as where the cob is a filler between post and beam construction. Cob is an English term attested to around the year 1600 for an ancient building material, used for building since prehistoric times; the etymology of cob and cobbing is unclear, but in several senses means to beat or strike, how cob material is applied to a wall.
Some of the oldest man-made structures in Afghanistan are composed of rammed cob. Cobwork was used in the Maghreb and al-Andalus in the 11th and 12th centuries, was described in detail by Ibn Khaldun in the 14th century. Cob material is known by many names including adobe, lump clay, puddled clay, chalk mud, clay daubins, torchis, bauge and cat and clay. Cob structures can be found in a variety of climates across the globe. European examples include: in England, notably in the counties of Devon and Cornwall in the West Country, in East Anglia in the Vale of Glamorgan and Gower Peninsula in Wales in Donegal Bay in Ulster and in Munster, South-West Ireland in Finisterre in Brittany, where many homes have survived over 500 years and are still inhabitedMany old cob buildings can be found in Africa, the Middle East, many parts of the southwestern United States. A number of cob cottages survive from mid-19th-century New Zealand. Traditionally, English cob was made by mixing the clay-based subsoil with sand and water using oxen to trample it.
English soils contain varying amounts of chalk, cob made with significant amounts of chalk are called chalk cob or wychert. The earthen mixture was ladled onto a stone foundation in courses and trodden onto the wall by workers in a process known as cobbing; the construction would progress according to the time required for the prior course to dry. After drying, the walls would be trimmed and the next course built, with lintels for openings such as doors and windows being placed as the wall takes shape; the walls of a cob house are about 24 inches thick, windows were correspondingly deep-set, giving the homes a characteristic internal appearance. The thick walls provided excellent thermal mass, easy to keep warm in winter and cool in summer. Walls with a high thermal mass value act as a thermal buffer inside the home; the material has a long life-span in rainy and/or humid climates, provided a tall foundation and large roof overhang are present. Cob is fireproof, while "fire cob" is a refractory material, has been used to make chimneys, fireplaces and crucibles.
Without fiber, cob loses most of its tensile strength. When Kevin McCabe constructed a two-story, four bedroom cob house in England, UK in 1994, it was reputedly the first cob residence built in the country in 70 years, his techniques remained traditional. From 2002 to 2004, sustainability enthusiast Rob Hopkins initiated the construction of a cob house for his family, the first new one in Ireland in circa one hundred years, it was a community project. The house, located at The Hollies Centre for Practical Sustainability in County Cork, was being rebuilt as of 2010. There are a number of other completed modern cob houses and more are planned, including a public education centre. In 2000-01, a modern, four bedroom cob house in Worcestershire, England, UK, designed by Associated Architects, was sold for £999,000. Cobtun House was erected in 2001 and won the Royal Institute of British Architects' Sustainable Building of the Year award in 2005; the total construction cost was £300,000, but the metre-thick outer cob wall cost only £20,000.
In the Pacific Northwest of the United States there has been a resurgence of cob construction, both as an alternative building practice and one desired for its form and cost effectiveness. Pat Hennebery, Tracy Calvert, Elke Cole, the Cobworks workshops erected more than ten cob houses in the Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia, Canada. In 2010, Sota Construction Services in Pittsburgh, United States completed construction on its new 7,500 square foot corporate headquarters, which featured exterior cob walls along with other energy saving features like radiant heat flooring, a rooftop solar panel array, daylighting; the cob walls, in conjunction with the other sustainable features, enabled the edifice to earn a LEED Platinum rating in 2012, it received one of the highest scores by percentage of total points earned in any LEED category. In 2007, Ann and Gord Baird began constructing a two-storey cob house in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada for an estimated $210,000 CDN; the home of 2,150 squ
Regency architecture encompasses classical buildings built in the United Kingdom during the Regency era in the early 19th century when George IV was Prince Regent, to earlier and buildings following the same style. The period coincides with the Biedermeier style in the German-speaking lands, Federal style in the United States and the French Empire style. Regency style is applied to interior design and decorative arts of the period, typified by elegant furniture and vertically striped wallpaper, to styles of clothing; the style is the late phase of Georgian architecture, follows on from the neo-classical style of the preceding years, which indeed continued to be produced throughout the period. The Georgian period takes its name from the four Kings George of the period 1714–1830, including King George IV; the British Regency lasted only from 1811 to 1820, but the term is applied to architecture more both before 1811 and after 1820. Regency architecture is distinctive in its houses, marked by an increase in the use of a range of eclectic "revival" styles, from Gothic through Greek to Indian, as alternatives to the main neoclassical stream.
The opening years of the style were marked by reduced levels of building because of the Napoleonic Wars, which saw government spending on building eliminated, shortages of imported timber, high taxes on other building materials. In 1810 there was a serious financial crisis, though the only major asset class not to lose value was houses, at least in London because the low level of recent building had created pent-up demand. After the decisive victory at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 ended the wars for good, there was a long financial boom amid increased British self-confidence. Most Regency architecture comes from this period. Many buildings of the Regency style have a white painted stucco facade and an entryway to the main front door, framed by two columns. In town centres the dominance of the terraced house continued, crescents were popular. Elegant wrought bow windows came into fashion as part of this style. Further out of town the suburban "villa" detached house was popular in a range of sizes.
Whereas most earlier Georgian housing for the middle classes had little ornament, the Regency period brought modest architectural pretensions to a much wider range of buildings, in a relaxed and confident application of the classical tradition as filtered through Palladianism. For large country houses a range of picturesque styles were available, the Gothic Revival was gathering strength, with many architects able to turn to different styles as their patron required. Ashridge, Belvoir Castle and Fonthill Abbey, were all by James Wyatt, whose late career specialized in extravagant Gothic houses. Sezincote House, designed by Samuel Pepys Cockerell, is a Neo-Mughal country house for a "nabob" returned from British India. Brighton Pavilion by John Nash, the seaside home of the Prince Regent, is Indian on the exterior, but the interiors include attempts at a Chinese style by Frederick Crace; until the Church Building Act of 1818, church building had been at a low ebb for over 50 years. The Act allocated some public money for new churches required to reflect changes in population, a commission to allocate it.
Building of Commissioners' churches gathered pace in the 1820s, continued until the 1850s. The early churches, falling into the Regency period, show a high proportion of Gothic Revival buildings, along with the classically inspired. Strict Greek Revival buildings were mixed with those continuing the modified Baroque and Roman Neoclassical traditions; the period saw a great increase at both the national and local level. In London, three bridges were built over the Thames between 1813 and 1819: Vauxhall Bridge, Waterloo Bridge and Southwark Bridge, all financed by toll charges. Shops began to be included systematically into newly planned developments, the covered arcade of shops was introduced, with the Burlington Arcade in London the earliest. John Nash was the architect most associated with the Regency style, he had in the case of Pugin rebelled against it. In London itself there are many streets in the style in the areas around Victoria, Pimlico and other central districts. John Soane was more individualistic, one of a number of European experimenters in Neoclassicism, but details from his inventive buildings were picked up by other architects.
The public buildings of George Dance the Younger, City Architect of London from 1768, were precursors of the Regency style, though he designed little himself after 1798. Robert Smirke could produce both classical and Gothic designs, mainly worked on public buildings. With Nash and Soane he was one of the Board of Works' architects during the peak Regency period. A large commission of the period was the expansion of Windsor Castle for the king, which cost over a million pounds, over three times the original budget. Smirke, Nash and Jeffry Wyatville were invited to tender, Wyatville winning the competition, he was a prolific designer for country houses, new-built or refurbished, able to work in a variety of styles. His uncle James Wyatt was a leading architect of the previous generation, a
A council house is a form of British public housing built by local authorities. A council estate is a building complex containing a number of council houses and other amenities like schools and shops. Construction was from 1919 after the Housing Act 1919 to the 1980s, with much less council housing built in recent decades. There were local design variations. House design in the United Kingdom is defined by a series of Housing Acts, public housing house design is defined by government directives and central governments' relationship with local authorities. From the first interventions in the Public Health Act 1875, council houses could be general housing for the working class, general housing, part of slum clearance programmed or just homes provided for the most needy, they could be funded directly by local councils, through central government incentive or by revenue obtained when other houses were sold. They have been transferred through the instrument of housing associations into the private sector.
Woolwich Borough Council was responsible for the Well Hall Estate designed for workers at the munition factories at Woolwich Arsenal. The estate and the house were built to the garden suburb philosophy: houses were all different; the estate received the royal seal of approval when, on Friday 24 March 1916, Queen Mary made an unannounced visit. A programme of council house building started after the First World War following on from the David Lloyd George’s government’s Housing Act of 1919. The'Addison Act' brought in subsidies for council house building and aimed to provide 500,000 "homes fit for heroes" within a three-year period although less than half of this target was met; the housing built comprised three-bedroom dwellings with parlour and scullery: larger properties include a living room. The standards are based on the Tudor Walters Report of 1919, the Design Manual written according to the 1913 building standards. In 1923 the Chamberlain Act withdrew subsidies for council houses except for private builders and houses for sale.
Councils could undertake to build houses and offer these for sale but to sell off some of their existing properties. This was reversed by the incoming Labour government of 1924; the Wheatley Act passed by the new Labour Government introduced higher subsidies for council housing and allowed for a contribution to be made from the rates. The housing revenue account was always separated from the general account; this was a major period of council house construction. The Housing Act 1930 stimulated slum clearance, i.e. the destruction of inadequate houses in the inner cities, built before the 1875 Act. This released land for housing and the need for smaller two bedroomed houses to replace the two-up two-down houses, demolished. Smaller three bedroom properties were built; the Housing Act 1935 led to a continuation of this policy, but the war stopped all construction, enemy action reduced the usable housing stock. PrefabsThe Housing Act 1944 led to the building of prefab bungalows with a design life of ten years.
Innovative steel-framed properties were tried in an attempt to speed up construction. A number survive well into the 21st century, a testament to the durability of a series of housing designs and construction methods only envisaged to last 10 years; the Burt Committee, formed in 1942 by the wartime government of Winston Churchill, proposed to address the need for an anticipated 200,000 shortfall in post-war housing stock, by building 500,000 prefabricated houses, with a planned life of up to 10 years within five years of the end of the Second World War. The eventual bill, under the post-war Labour government of Prime Minister Clement Attlee, agreed to deliver 300,000 units within 10 years, within a budget of £150m. Of 1.2 million new houses built from 1945 to 1951 when the programme ended, 156,623 prefab houses were constructed. New Towns Act housingMainly during the immediate post-war years, well into the 1950s, council house provision was shaped by the New Towns Act 1946 and the Town and Country Planning Act 1947 of the 1945–51 Labour government.
At the same time this government introduced housing legislation that removed explicit references to housing for the working class and introduced the concept of "general needs" construction. In particular, Aneurin Bevan, the Minister for Health and Housing, promoted a vision of new estates where "the working man, the doctor and the clergyman will live in close proximity to each other"; the Addison Act 1919 houses were three-bedroom houses with lounge and scullery, sometimes with a parlour. Some had two, four, or five bedrooms, as well as generously-sized back gardens intended for vegetable growing. At most they were built at 12 houses per acre, they were built to the recommendations of the Tudor Walters Report. Examples are found in Downham, Watling Estate, Becontree; the Addison Act 1919, the severe housing shortage in the early 1920s created the first generation of houses to feature electricity, running water, indoor toilets and front/rear gardens. However, until well into the 1930s, some were built with outdoor toilets.
Some did not feature an actual bathroom. The Chamberlain Act 1923 reduced the expected standards; the Wheatley Act 1924 attempted to restore some of them. Under the Addison Act, a house would be 1,000 square feet but after 1924 it would be 620 square feet; this was a major period of council house construction. With
Regent's Canal is a canal across an area just north of central London, England. It provides a link from the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal, 500 m north-west of Paddington Basin in the west, to the Limehouse Basin and the River Thames in east London; the canal is 13.8 kilometres long. First proposed by Thomas Homer in 1802 as a link from the Paddington arm of the Grand Junction Canal with the River Thames at Limehouse, the Regent's Canal was built during the early 19th century after an Act of Parliament was passed in 1812. Noted architect and town planner John Nash was a director of the company; as with many Nash projects, the detailed design was passed to one of his assistants, in this case James Morgan, appointed chief engineer of the canal company. Work began on 14 October 1812; the first section from Paddington to Camden Town, opened in 1816 and included a 251-metre long tunnel under Maida Hill east of an area now known as'Little Venice', a much shorter tunnel, just 48 metres long, under Lisson Grove.
The Camden to Limehouse section, including the 886-metre long Islington tunnel and the Regent's Canal Dock, opened four years on 1 August 1820. Various intermediate basins were constructed. Many other basins such as Wenlock Basin, Kingsland Basin, St. Pancras Stone and Coal Basin, one in front of the Great Northern Railway's Granary were built, some of these survive. All the locks were built with duplicate chambers to facilitate the heavy barge traffic. With the demise of commercial traffic in the early 1970s, at the end of 1973, the British Waterways Board embarked on a three year programme to convert one chamber at each lock into an overflow weir to facilitate unmanned use by pleasure craft without the risk of serious flooding due to incorrect use of the paddles; the City Road Basin, the nearest to the City of London, soon eclipsed the Paddington Basin in the amount of goods carried, principally coal and building materials. These were goods that were being shipped locally, in contrast to the canal's original purpose of transshipping imports to the Midlands.
The opening of the London and Birmingham Railway in 1838 increased the tonnage of coal carried by the canal. However, by the early twentieth century, with the Midland trade lost to the railways, more deliveries made by road, the canal had fallen into a long decline. There were a number of abortive projects to convert the route of the canal into a railway. In September 1845 a special general assembly of the proprietors approved the sale of the canal at the price of one million pounds to a group of businessmen who had formed the Regent's Canal Railway Company for the purpose; the advertisement for the company explained: The vast importance of this undertaking, whereby a junction will be effected between all existing and projected railways north of the Thames, combined with the advantage of a General City Terminus, is too obvious to require comment. By the proposed railway and goods will be brought into the heart of the City at a great saving of time and expense, facilities will be afforded for the more expeditious transmission of the mails to most parts of the kingdom.
The railway company subsequently failed, but in 1846 the directors of the canal went about trying to obtain an Act of Parliament to allow them to build a railway along its banks. The scheme was abandoned in the face of vigorous opposition from the government who objected to the idea of a railway passing through Regent's Park. In 1859, two further schemes to convert the canal into a railway were proposed. One, from a company called the Central London Railway and Dock Company, was accepted by the directors, but once again the railway company failed. In 1860 the Regent's Canal Company proposed a railway track alongside the canal from Kings Cross to Limehouse, but funds could not be raised. Further schemes over the next twenty years came to nothing, with the Metropolitan Railway that opened to the south in 1863 serving much the same purpose of linking the lines radiating north of London. In 1883, after some years of negotiation, the canal was sold to a company called the Regent's Canal and City Docks Railway Company.
At a cost of £1,170,585. The company altered its name to the North Metropolitan Railway and Canal Company in 1892, but no railway was built. A new purpose was found for the canal route in 1979, when the Central Electricity Generating Board installed underground cables in a trough below the towpath between St John's Wood and City Road; these 400 kV cables now form part of the National Grid. Pumped canal water is circulated as a coolant for the high-voltage cables; the canal is used today for pleasure cruising. Due to the increase in cycle commuting since the 2005 London Bombings and increasing environmental awareness, the canal's towpath has become a busy cycle route for commuters. National Cycle Route 1 includes the stretch along the canal towpath from Limehouse Basin to Mile End. British Waterways has carried out several studies into the effects of sharing the to
Duke of Westminster
Duke of Westminster is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created by Queen Victoria in 1874 and bestowed upon Hugh Grosvenor, 3rd Marquess of Westminster, it is the most recent dukedom. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Dukes were each his grandsons; the present holder of the title is Hugh Grosvenor, the 7th Duke, who inherited the dukedom on 9 August 2016 on the death of his father, Gerald. The present duke is a godfather of Prince George of Cambridge; the Duke of Westminster's seats are at Eaton Hall, at Abbeystead House, Lancashire. The family's London town house was Park Lane; the traditional burial place of the Dukes is the Old Churchyard adjacent to St Mary's Church, Eccleston. Richard Grosvenor was created Baronet of Eaton in January 1622. Sir Richard Grosvenor, the 7th Baronet, was created Baron Grosvenor in 1761, in 1784 became both Viscount Belgrave and Earl Grosvenor under George III; the title Marquess of Westminster was bestowed upon Robert Grosvenor, the 2nd Earl Grosvenor, at the coronation of William IV in 1831.
The subsidiary titles are: Marquess of Westminster, Earl Grosvenor, Viscount Belgrave, of Belgrave in the County of Chester, Baron Grosvenor, of Eaton in the County of Chester. The Dukedom and Marquessate are in the Peerage of the United Kingdom; the courtesy title of the eldest son and heir to the Duke is Earl Grosvenor. Sir Richard Grosvenor, 1st Baronet was an MP Sir Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Baronet, a son of the 1st Baronet Roger Grosvenor, a son of the 2nd Baronet, predeceased his father Sir Thomas Grosvenor, 3rd Baronet, son of Roger Sir Richard Grosvenor, 4th Baronet, eldest son of the 3rd Baronet, died without issue Sir Thomas Grosvenor, 5th Baronet, second son of the 3rd Baronet, died unmarried Sir Robert Grosvenor, 6th Baronet and youngest son of the 3rd Baronet Sir Richard Grosvenor, 7th Baronet There is no heir to the Dukedom of Westminster. Heirs to the Marquessate of Westminster only: Francis Grosvenor, 8th Earl of Wilton Julian Grosvenor, Viscount Grey de Wilton son of the 8th Earl of Wilton Alexander Egerton Grosvenor Richard Alexander Grosvenor Bendor Grosvenor William Peter Wellesley Grosvenor Earl of Wilton Baron Ebury Baron Stalbridge An Online Gotha – Westminster
George Cadbury was the third son of John Cadbury, a Quaker who founded Cadbury's cocoa and chocolate company in Britain. He worked at the school for adults on Sundays for no pay, despite only going to school himself until he was sixteen. Together with his brother Richard he took over the family business in 1861. In 1878 they acquired 14 acres of land in open country, four miles south of Birmingham, where they opened a new factory in 1879, he rented'Woodbrooke' - a Georgian style mansion built by Josiah Mason, which he bought in 1881. In the early 20th century, he and John Wilhelm Rowntree established a Quaker study centre in the building, it remains the only such centre in Europe today, offering short educational courses on spiritual and social matters to Quakers and others, he created a hospital in Normandy called "l'hopital de Normandy". The Cadbury brothers were concerned with the quality of life of their employees and provided an alternative to grimy city life; as more land was acquired and the brothers moved the factory to a new country location, they decided to build a factory town, not exclusive to the employees of the factory.
This village became known as Bournville after the nearby river and French word for "town". The houses were never owned, their value stayed low and affordable. Bournville was a marked change from the poor living conditions of the urban environment. Here, families had houses with yards and fresh air. To the present, the town offers affordable housing; the brothers cared for their employees. Nineteen years after brother Richard died, George opened a works committee for each gender which discussed proposals for improving the firm, he pressed ahead with other ideas, like an annuity, a deposit account and education facilities for every employee. In 1901, disgusted by the imperialistic policy of the Balfour government and opposed to the Boer War, Cadbury bought the Daily News and used the paper to campaign for old age pensions and against the war and sweatshop labour. George Cadbury was one of the prime movers in setting up The Birmingham Civic Society in 1918. Cadbury donated the Lickey Hills Country Park to the people of Birmingham.
He donated a large house in Northfield to the Birmingham Cripples Union, used as a hospital from 1909. It is now called the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital. In 1890 he, along with a number of other leading Quakers, helped re-establish Grove House School as Leighton Park School in Reading as the leading Quaker school in Britain, he died at his home, Northfield Manor House, on 24 October 1922, aged 83. George Cadbury married twice. In 1872 he married Mary Tylor, daughter of Quaker author Charles Tylor: she died in 1887, she was the mother of George junior, Mary Isabel and Henry. In 1888 he married Elizabeth Mary Taylor, they had six children together: Laurence John, George Norman, Elsie Dorothea, Marion Janet and Ursula. Walter Stranz: zoliekah Cadbury ISBN 0-85263-236-3 Claus Bernet. "George Cadbury". In Bautz, Traugott. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon. 29. Nordhausen: Bautz. Cols. 257–261. ISBN 978-3-88309-452-6. Encyclopædia Britannica George Cadbury former residence of George Cadbury Letter from George Cadbury in England to William Cooper in Australia, 1920
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