In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government, they are a territorial designation, the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their combined form, the unitary authority. Civil parishes can trace their origin to the ancient system of ecclesiastical parishes which played a role in both civil and ecclesiastical administration; the unit rolled out across England in the 1860s. A civil parish can range in size from a large town with a population of about 75,000 to a single village with fewer than a hundred inhabitants. Eight parishes have city status. A civil parish may be known as and confirmed as a town, neighbourhood or community by resolution of its parish council, a right reserved not conferred on other units of English local government. 35% of the English population live in a civil parish. As of 31 December 2015 there were 10,449 parishes in England; the most populous is Weston super Mare and those with cathedral city status are Chichester, Hereford, Ripon, Salisbury and Wells.
On 1 April 2014, Queen's Park became the first civil parish in Greater London. Before 2008 their creation was not permitted within a London borough. Wales was divided into civil parishes until 1974, when they were replaced by communities, which are similar to English parishes in the way they operate. Civil parishes in Scotland were abolished for local government purposes by the Local Government Act 1929, the Scottish equivalent of English civil parishes are community council areas, which were established by the Local Government Act 1973; the Parish system in Europe was established between the 8th and 12th centuries and in England was old by the time of the Conquest. These areas were based on the territory of one or more manors, areas which in some cases derived their bounds from Roman or Iron Age estates. Parish boundaries were conservative, changing little, after 1180'froze' so that boundaries could no longer be changed at all, despite changes to manorial landholdings - though there were some examples of sub-division.
The consistency of these boundaries, up until the 19th century is useful to historians, is of cultural significance in terms of shaping local identities, a factor reinforced by the adoption of parish boundaries unchanged, by successor local government units. There was huge variation in size between parishes, for instance Writtle in Essex was 13,568 acres while neighbouring Shellow Bowells was just 469 acres, Chignall Smealy 476 acres; until the break with Rome, parishes managed ecclesiastical matters, while the manor was the principal unit of local administration and justice. The church replaced the manor court as the rural administrative centre, levied a local tax on produce known as a tithe. In the medieval period, responsibilities such as relief of the poor passed from the Lord of the Manor to the parish's rector, who in practice would delegate tasks among his vestry or the monasteries. After the dissolution of the monasteries, the power to levy a rate to fund relief of the poor was conferred on the parish authorities by the Act for the Relief of the Poor 1601.
Both before and after this optional social change, local charities are well-documented. The parish authorities were consisted of all the ratepayers of the parish; as the number of ratepayers of some parishes grew, it became difficult to convene meetings as an open vestry. In some built up, areas the select vestry took over responsibility from the entire body of ratepayers; this innovation allowed governance by a self-perpetuating elite. The administration of the parish system relied on the monopoly of the established English Church, which for a few years after Henry VIII alternated between the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England, before settling on the latter on the accession of Elizabeth I in 1558. By the 18th century, religious membership was becoming more fractured in some places, due for instance to the progress of Methodism; the legitimacy of the parish vestry came into question and the perceived inefficiency and corruption inherent in the system became a source for concern in some places.
For this reason, during the early 19th century the parish progressively lost its powers to ad hoc boards and other organisations, for example the loss of responsibility for poor relief through the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834. Sanitary districts covered England in Ireland three years later; the replacement boards were each entitled to levy their own rate in the parish. The church rate ceased to be levied in many parishes and became voluntary from 1868; the ancient parishes diverged into two distinct, nearly overlapping, systems of parishes during the 19th century. The Poor Law Amendment Act 1866 declared all areas that levied a separate rate: C of E ecclesiastical parishes, extra-parochial areas and their analogue, chapelries, to be "civil parishes". To have collected rates this means these beforehand had their own vestries, boards or equivalent bodies; the Church of England parishes, which cover more than 99% of England, became termed "ecclesiastical parishes" and the boundaries of these soon diverged from those of the Ancient Parishes in order to reflect modern circumstances.
After 1921 each ecclesiastical parish has been the responsibility of the parochial church councils. In the late 19th century, most of the ancient irregularities inheri
The Hundred Parishes
The Hundred Parishes is an area of the East of England with no formal recognition or status, albeit that the concept has the blessing of county and district authorities. It encompasses around 450 square miles of northwest Essex, northeast Hertfordshire and southern Cambridgeshire; the area comprises just over 100 administrative parishes, hence its name. It contains over 6,000 listed buildings and many conservation areas, village greens, ancient hedgerows, protected features and a historical pattern of small rural settlements in close proximity to one another; the idea of recognising the area for its special heritage characteristics was conceived by local historian and author David Heathcote. A steering group of local historians, conservationists and a local authority representative, spearheaded by the Essex branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, progressed the idea and defined a boundary; the name arose in response to the fact that the defined area covered just over 100 administrative parishes.
The initiative gained support and the Hundred Parishes name was approved in 2012 at a constitutional conference to which all local authorities and many other local organisations were invited. The conference was attended by delegates from more than 30 authorities and organisations and The Hundred Parishes Society was established as a company limited by guarantee afterwards; this society was formed to raise public consciousness of the area and to encourage preservation of the area’s special characteristics. It was formed in 2012 and launched to the general public in 2014 after being registered by the Charity Commission, its website includes introductions to each of the area’s 104 administrative parishes and to a number of notable people associated with the area, as well as a series of walks from railway stations. Membership of the Society is open to households and organisations and includes a growing number of parish councils. In 2018 the Society published the first book to focus on the area, The Hundred Parishes: An Introduction.
This hardback book comprises 432 pages and includes a thousand photos. The text and photos focus on the area's history and extensive heritage; the book is available from local tourist information centres. The Hundred Parishes is at its highest in the chalk hills in the northwest of the area sloping down towards the southeast; the whole area lies between 500 feet above sea level. There are no major rivers but the many small ones follow valleys that give the area its attractive, gentle landscape. In the west, the rivers Rib and Stort flow south from the Hundred Parishes to meet the Lea and the Thames. In the east, the Chelmer and Pant flow from the Hundred Parishes into the Blackwater and the North Sea; the Cam flows northwards through the middle of the northern half of the Hundred Parishes, gathering up the Granta and Rhee before leaving the Hundred Parishes bound for Cambridge and the North Sea. Many of the area’s individual parishes appear in the Domesday Book of 1086 and there is considerable evidence of earlier settlements.
Relics from the Iron Age and Bronze Age have been found in a number of locations. Roman roads including Stane Street and Ermine Street cross the Hundred Parishes. An ancient long-distance trackway, the Icknield Way, which may pre-date the Roman roads, passes from west to east through the northern part of the area. Saffron Walden is the area’s largest settlement, with a population of 15,000, it has been a market town since the 12th century. There are three more market towns: Great Dunmow and Thaxted. Most of the area’s villages have a historical church, a pub and a village green, most are within easy walking distance of the next settlement. Individual visitor attractions include Audley End House, a Jacobean mansion now cared for by English Heritage, Hatfield Forest, a medieval royal hunting forest now within the care of the National Trust; the area has several small galleries. The Hundred Parishes has over 6,000 listed buildings, an high number for its population of around 140,000 – around 5 times the average ratio of listings to population for England as a whole.
Of these listings, 106 are Grade I, including 60 churches. Typical architectural features include timber-framed buildings, thatched roofs, whitewashing and/or pargeting on external walls; the Hundred Parishes has a strong cultural heritage from the 20th century when it was the home of, among others, Gustav Holst, H. G. Wells, Henry Moore and the Great Bardfield artists including Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden. Henry Moore’s home and studio in Perry Green is open to the public; the artists are celebrated at the Fry Art Gallery in Saffron Walden and Thaxted hosts annual festivals of classical music and Morris dancing. Albury, Arkesden, Aspenden, Aythorpe Roding, Bardfield Saling, Barley, Bartlow, Birchanger, Brent Pelham, Buntingford, Castle Camps, Chrishall, Debden, Eastwick, Elmdon & Wenden Lofts, Farnham, Finchingfield, Flitch Green, Furneux Pelham, Great & Little Chishill, Great Amwell, Great Bardfield, Great Canfield, Great Chesterford, Great Dunmow, Great Easton & Tilty, Great Hallingbury, Great Saling, Great Waltham, Hatfield Broad Oak, Hatfield Heath, Helions Bumpstead, Henham, High Easter, High Roding, High Wych, Hinxton, Hunsdon, Langley, Leaden Roding, Linton, Little Bardfield, Little Canfield, Little Chesterford, Little Dunmow, Little Easton, Little Hadham, Little Hallingbury, Manuden, Meesden, Muc
Cambridge is a university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, England, on the River Cam 50 miles north of London. At the United Kingdom Census 2011, its population was 123,867 including 24,506 students. Cambridge became an important trading centre during the Roman and Viking ages, there is archaeological evidence of settlement in the area as early as the Bronze Age; the first town charters were granted in the 12th century, although modern city status was not conferred until 1951. The world-renowned University of Cambridge was founded in 1209; the buildings of the university include King's College Chapel, Cavendish Laboratory, the Cambridge University Library, one of the largest legal deposit libraries in the world. The city's skyline is dominated by several college buildings, along with the spire of the Our Lady and the English Martyrs Church, the chimney of Addenbrooke's Hospital and St John's College Chapel tower. Anglia Ruskin University, which evolved from the Cambridge School of Art and the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology has its main campus in the city.
Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology Silicon Fen with industries such as software and bioscience and many start-up companies born out of the university. More than 40% of the workforce have a higher education qualification, more than twice the national average; the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, one of the largest biomedical research clusters in the world, is soon to house premises of AstraZeneca, a hotel and the relocated Papworth Hospital. The first game of association football took place at Parker's Piece; the Strawberry Fair music and arts festival and Midsummer Fair are held on Midsummer Common, the annual Cambridge Beer Festival takes place on Jesus Green. The city is adjacent to the A14 roads. Cambridge station is less than an hour from London King's Cross railway station. Settlements have existed around the Cambridge area since prehistoric times; the earliest clear evidence of occupation is the remains of a 3,500-year-old farmstead discovered at the site of Fitzwilliam College.
Archaeological evidence of occupation through the Iron Age is a settlement on Castle Hill from the 1st century BC relating to wider cultural changes occurring in southeastern Britain linked to the arrival of the Belgae. The principal Roman site is a small fort Duroliponte on Castle Hill, just northwest of the city centre around the location of the earlier British village; the fort was bounded on two sides by the lines formed by the present Mount Pleasant, continuing across Huntingdon Road into Clare Street. The eastern side followed Magrath Avenue, with the southern side running near to Chesterton Lane and Kettle's Yard before turning northwest at Honey Hill, it was converted to civilian use around 50 years later. Evidence of more widespread Roman settlement has been discovered including numerous farmsteads and a village in the Cambridge district of Newnham. Following the Roman withdrawal from Britain around 410, the location may have been abandoned by the Britons, although the site is identified as Cair Grauth listed among the 28 cities of Britain by the History of the Britons.
Evidence exists that the invading Anglo-Saxons had begun occupying the area by the end of the century. Their settlement – on and around Castle Hill – became known as Grantebrycge. Anglo-Saxon grave goods have been found in the area. During this period, Cambridge benefited from good trade links across the hard-to-travel fenlands. By the 7th century, the town was less significant and described by Bede as a "little ruined city" containing the burial site of Etheldreda. Cambridge was on the border between the East and Middle Anglian kingdoms and the settlement expanded on both sides of the river; the arrival of the Vikings was recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 875. Viking rule, the Danelaw, had been imposed by 878 Their vigorous trading habits caused the town to grow rapidly. During this period the centre of the town shifted from Castle Hill on the left bank of the river to the area now known as the Quayside on the right bank. After the Viking period, the Saxons enjoyed a return to power, building churches such as St Bene't's Church, merchant houses and a mint, which produced coins with the town's name abbreviated to "Grant".
In 1068, two years after his conquest of England, William of Normandy built a castle on Castle Hill. Like the rest of the newly conquered kingdom, Cambridge fell under the control of the King and his deputies; the first town charter was granted by Henry I between 1120 and 1131. It recognised the borough court; the distinctive Round Church dates from this period. In 1209, Cambridge University was founded by students escaping from hostile townspeople in Oxford; the oldest existing college, was founded in 1284. In 1349 Cambridge was affected by the Black Death. Few records survive; the town north of the river was affected being wiped out. Following further depopulation after a second national epidemic in 1361, a letter from the Bishop of Ely suggested that two parishes in Cambridge be merged as there were not enough people to fill one church. With more than a third of English clergy dying in the Black Death, four new colleges were established at the university over the following years to train new clergymen, namely Gonville Hall, Trinity Hall, Corpus Christi and Clare.
In 1382 a revised town charter effects a "diminution of the liberties that the community had enjoyed", due to Cambridge's pa
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion
A pub, or public house, is an establishment licensed to sell alcoholic drinks, which traditionally include beer and cider. It is a relaxed, social drinking establishment and a prominent part of British, Breton, New Zealand, South African and Australian cultures. In many places in villages, a pub is the focal point of the community. In his 17th-century diary Samuel Pepys described the pub as "the heart of England". Pubs can be traced back to Roman taverns, through the Anglo-Saxon alehouse to the development of the tied house system in the 19th century. In 1393, King Richard II of England introduced legislation that pubs had to display a sign outdoors to make them visible for passing ale tasters, who would assess the quality of ale sold. Most pubs focus on offering beers and similar drinks; as well, pubs sell wines and soft drinks and snacks. The owner, tenant or manager is known as the pub landlord or landlady, or publican. Referred to as their "local" by regulars, pubs are chosen for their proximity to home or work, the availability of a particular beer or ale or a good selection, good food, a social atmosphere, the presence of friends and acquaintances, the availability of recreational activities such as a darts team, a skittles team, a pool or snooker table.
The pub quiz was established in the UK in the 1970s. The inhabitants of the British Isles have been drinking ale since the Bronze Age, but it was with the arrival of the Roman Empire on its shores in the 1st century, the construction of the Roman road networks that the first inns, called tabernae, in which travellers could obtain refreshment, began to appear. After the departure of Roman authority in the 5th century and the fall of the Romano-British kingdoms, the Anglo-Saxons established alehouses that grew out of domestic dwellings; the Anglo-Saxon alewife would put a green bush up on a pole to let. These alehouses evolved into meeting houses for the folk to congregate and arrange mutual help within their communities. Herein lies "pub" as it is colloquially called in England, they spread across the kingdom, becoming so commonplace that in 965 King Edgar decreed that there should be no more than one alehouse per village. A traveller in the early Middle Ages could obtain overnight accommodation in monasteries, but a demand for hostelries grew with the popularity of pilgrimages and travel.
The Hostellers of London were granted guild status in 1446 and in 1514 the guild became the Worshipful Company of Innholders. A survey in 1577 of drinking establishment in England and Wales for taxation purposes recorded 14,202 alehouses, 1,631 inns, 329 taverns, representing one pub for every 187 people. Inns are buildings where travellers can seek lodging and food and drink, they are located in the country or along a highway. In Europe, they first sprang up when the Romans built a system of roads two millennia ago; some inns in Europe are several centuries old. In addition to providing for the needs of travellers, inns traditionally acted as community gathering places. In Europe, it is the provision of accommodation, if anything, that now distinguishes inns from taverns and pubs; the latter tend to provide alcohol, but less accommodation. Inns tend to be older and grander establishments: they provided not only food and lodging, but stabling and fodder for the traveller's horse and on some roads fresh horses for the mail coach.
Famous London inns include The George and The Tabard. There is, other kinds of establishment. Many pubs use "Inn" in their name, either because they are long established former coaching inns, or to summon up a particular kind of image, or in many cases as a pun on the word "in", as in "The Welcome Inn", the name of many pubs in Scotland; the original services of an inn are now available at other establishments, such as hotels and motels, which focus more on lodging customers than on other services, although they provide meals. In North America, the lodging aspect of the word "inn" lives on in hotel brand names like Holiday Inn, in some state laws that refer to lodging operators as innkeepers; the Inns of Court and Inns of Chancery in London started as ordinary inns where barristers met to do business, but became institutions of the legal profession in England and Wales. The 18th century saw a huge growth in the number of drinking establishments due to the introduction of gin. Brought to England by the Dutch after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, gin became popular after the government created a market for "cuckoo grain" or "cuckoo malt" by allowing unlicensed gin and beer production while imposing a heavy duty on all imported spirits.
As thousands of gin-shops sprang up all over England, brewers fought back by increasing the number of alehouses. By 1740 the production of gin had increased to six times that of beer and, because of its cheapness, it became popular with the poor, leading to the so-called Gin Craze. Over half of the 15,000 drinking establishments in London were gin shops; the drunkenness and lawlessness created by gin was seen to lead to the ruination and degradation of the working classes. The different effects of beer and gin were illustrated by William Hogarth in his engravings Beer Street and Gin Lane; the Gin Act 1736 imposed high taxes on retailers and led to riots in the streets
Saffron Walden is a market town in the Uttlesford district of Essex, England, 12 miles north of Bishop's Stortford, 18 miles south of Cambridge and 43 miles north of London. It retains some buildings of the medieval period; the 2001 parish population of 14,313 had risen to 15,504 by the 2011 census. Archaeological evidence suggests continuous settlement on or near the site of Saffron Walden from at least the Neolithic period, it is believed that a small Romano-British settlement and fort – in the area round Abbey Lane – existed as an outpost of the much larger settlement of Cestreforda to the north. After the Norman invasion of 1066, a stone church was built. Walden Castle, dating from about 1140, may have been built on pre-existing fortifications. A priory, Walden Abbey, was founded under the patronage of Geoffrey de Mandeville, first Earl of Essex about 1136, on the site of what is now Audley End village; the abbey was separated from Walden by Holywell Field. After the dissolution of the monasteries, Sir Thomas Audley converted its cloisters into a dwelling.
This became the site of Audley End House. The market was moved from nearby Newport to Saffron Walden during de Mandeville's tenure, increasing the town's influence; this Tuesday market was held from 1295. The town’s first charter was granted in about 1300, to what was known as Chepyng Walden; the town at that time was confined to the castle's outer bailey, but in the 13th century the Battle or Repel Ditches were built or extended to enclose a larger area to the south. The focus of the town moved southwards to Market Square; the main trading item in medieval times was wool, a guild hall was built by the wool-staplers in the market place. This was demolished in 1847 to make way for a corn exchange. In the 16th–17th centuries the saffron crocus was grown, thanks to the town's favourable soil and climate; the flower was valuable, as the extract from the stigmas was used in medicines, as a condiment, in perfume, as an aphrodisiac, as an expensive yellow dye. The industry gave Walden its name; the town and surrounding area, like much of East Anglia, was Puritan during the 17th century.
The population was influenced by the missionary John Eliot. By 1640, Samuel Bass's family and a number of others had departed for the Massachusetts Bay Colony as part of the Great Migration. Saffron Walden was at the centre of the Eastern Association during the English Civil War. While the town was the headquarters of the New Model Army, Lieutenant-General of Horse, Oliver Cromwell paid a 19-day visit in May 1647, taking part in debates to seek a settlement between Parliament and the army, he is thought to have stayed at the Sun Inn. By the end of the 18th century saffron was no longer in demand and the industry was replaced by malt and barley. More than 40 maltings stood in the town by the end of the century; the trade was less lucrative than saffron, but the town continued to grow through the 19th century, had a cattle market, corn exchange and other civic buildings. During this time Quakers became economically active in the area; the influential Gibsons – one of the founding families of Barclays Bank – aided the construction of several public buildings that remain today, such as the museum and town hall.
In the 1900s the Saffron Walden branch railway line from Audley End station, on the mainline from London to Cambridge, was extended to Bartlow. The branch succumbed to the Beeching cuts in the 1960s. Heavy industry arrived after the Second World War. Acrows Ltd, makers of falsework, built premises to the east of the town and became a significant employer and economic influence in the area. For a short time there was a dedicated railway station for the works known as Acrow Halt. Light industry was added to the south of the town at Shire Hill; as the agricultural economy continued to mechanise, the new employment opportunities were welcome and migration into the town from surrounding villages led to a major expansion of housing estates in the 1970s and 1980s. Saffron Walden's unofficial coat of arms showed the saffron crocus within the walls of the castle in the form of an heraldic pun – as in, "Saffron walled-in". In 1961, a formal coat of arms was granted by the College of Arms and this was adapted in 1974 into its current form.
The town has three ceremonial maces. The large mace was given to Saffron Walden by James II in 1685 and provides an early recording of the unofficial coat of arms. Made of silver gilt, it is 4 feet long. Two smaller silver maces were bought by the corporation in 1549 to commemorate the granting of a new town charter by Edward VI; this purchase is recorded in the town's Guild of Holy Trinity accounts and reads, "For 2 new maces, weying 18 ownces one quarter and half at 8s. The ownce 7l.7s". The 12th-century Walden Castle, built or expanded by Geoffrey de Mandeville, the first Earl of Essex, is in ruins. After the medieval period, the castle fell into disuse and much of the flint was taken and used in the construction of local houses and the wall surrounding the Audley End estate. All that remains is the ruined basement. Near to the castle is a turf maze, a series of circular excavations cut into the turf of the common, it is the largest example of this style of maze in England, the main part is about 100 feet in diameter.
The earliest record of it dates from 1699. It has been extensively restored several times, most in 1979; the oldest inhabited building in the town is believed to be the former maltings at 1 Myddleton Place. The 15th-century building with a courtyard garden was used by the Youth Hostel Association from 1947 to 2010, it is now used for functions. Pevsner described it as: "without doubt, the best medieval house of S
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of, a 20-metre pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each player. Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, by the fielding side catching the ball after it is hit by the bat, but before it hits the ground; when ten players have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a third umpire and match referee in international matches, they communicate with two off-field scorers. There are various formats ranging from Twenty20, played over a few hours with each team batting for a single innings of 20 overs, to Test matches, played over five days with unlimited overs and the teams each batting for two innings of unlimited length.
Traditionally cricketers play in all-white kit, but in limited overs cricket they wear club or team colours. In addition to the basic kit, some players wear protective gear to prevent injury caused by the ball, a hard, solid spheroid made of compressed leather with a raised sewn seam enclosing a cork core, layered with wound string. Cricket's origins are uncertain and the earliest definite reference is in south-east England in the middle of the 16th century, it spread globally with the expansion of the British Empire, leading to the first international matches in the second half of the 19th century. The game's governing body is the International Cricket Council, which has over 100 members, twelve of which are full members who play Test matches; the game's rules are held in a code called the Laws of Cricket, owned and maintained by Marylebone Cricket Club in London. The sport is followed in the Indian subcontinent, the United Kingdom, southern Africa and the West Indies, its globalisation occurring during the expansion of the British Empire and remaining popular into the 21st century.
Women's cricket, organised and played separately, has achieved international standard. The most successful side playing international cricket is Australia, having won seven One Day International trophies, including five World Cups, more than any other country, having been the top-rated Test side more than any other country. Cricket is one of many games in the "club ball" sphere that involve hitting a ball with a hand-held implement. In cricket's case, a key difference is the existence of a solid target structure, the wicket, that the batsman must defend; the cricket historian Harry Altham identified three "groups" of "club ball" games: the "hockey group", in which the ball is driven to and fro between two targets. It is believed that cricket originated as a children's game in the south-eastern counties of England, sometime during the medieval period. Although there are claims for prior dates, the earliest definite reference to cricket being played comes from evidence given at a court case in Guildford on Monday, 17 January 1597.
The case concerned ownership of a certain plot of land and the court heard the testimony of a 59-year-old coroner, John Derrick, who gave witness that: "Being a scholler in the ffree schoole of Guldeford hee and diverse of his fellows did runne and play there at creckett and other plaies". Given Derrick's age, it was about half a century earlier when he was at school and so it is certain that cricket was being played c. 1550 by boys in Surrey. The view that it was a children's game is reinforced by Randle Cotgrave's 1611 English-French dictionary in which he defined the noun "crosse" as "the crooked staff wherewith boys play at cricket" and the verb form "crosser" as "to play at cricket". One possible source for the sport's name is the Old English word "cryce" meaning a staff. In Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, he derived cricket from "cryce, Saxon, a stick". In Old French, the word "criquet" seems to have meant a kind of stick. Given the strong medieval trade connections between south-east England and the County of Flanders when the latter belonged to the Duchy of Burgundy, the name may have been derived from the Middle Dutch "krick", meaning a stick.
Another possible source is the Middle Dutch word "krickstoel", meaning a long low stool used for kneeling in church and which resembled the long low wicket with two stumps used in early cricket. According to Heiner Gillmeister, a European language expert of Bonn University, "cricket" derives from the Middle Dutch phrase for hockey, met de sen. Gillmeister has suggested that not only the name but the sport itself may be of Flemish origin. Although the main object of the game has always been to score the most runs, the early form of cricket differed from the modern game in certain key technical aspects; the ball was bowled underarm by the bowler and all along the ground towards a batsman armed with a bat that, in shape, resembled a hockey stick.