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
Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England. The county town is the city of Winchester, its two largest cities and Portsmouth, are administered separately as unitary authorities. First settled about 14,000 years ago, Hampshire's history dates to Roman Britain, when its chief town was Winchester; when the Romans left Britain, the area was infiltrated by tribes from Scandinavia and mainland Europe, principally in the river valleys. The county was recorded in the 11th century Domesday Book, divided into 44 hundreds. From the 12th century, the ports grew in importance, fuelled by trade with the continent and cloth manufacture in the county, the fishing industry, a shipbuilding industry was established. By the 16th century, the population of Southampton had outstripped that of Winchester. By the mid-19th century, with the county's population at 219,210 in more than 86,000 dwellings, agriculture was the principal industry and 10 per cent of the county was still forest. Hampshire played a crucial military role in both World Wars.
The Isle of Wight left the county to form its own in 1974. The county's geography is varied, with upland to 286 metres and south-flowing rivers. There are areas of downland and marsh, two national parks: the New Forest, part of the South Downs, which together cover 45 per cent of Hampshire. Hampshire is one of the most affluent counties in the country, with an unemployment rate lower than the national average, its economy derived from major companies, maritime and tourism. Tourist attractions include the national parks and the Southampton Boat Show; the county is known as the home of writers Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, the childhood home of Florence Nightingale and the birthplace of engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Hampshire takes its name from the settlement, now the city of Southampton. Southampton was known in Old English as Hamtun meaning "village-town", so its surrounding area or scīr became known as Hamtunscīr; the old name was recorded in the Domesday book as Hantescire, from this spelling, the modern abbreviation "Hants" derives.
From 1889 until 1959, the administrative county was named the County of Southampton and has been known as Southamptonshire. Hampshire was the departure point of some of those who left England to settle on the east coast of North America during the 17th century, giving its name in particular to the state of New Hampshire; the towns of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Portsmouth, Virginia take their names from Portsmouth in Hampshire. The region is believed to have been continuously occupied since the end of the last Ice Age about 12,000 BCE. At this time, Britain was still attached to the European continent and was predominantly covered with deciduous woodland; the first inhabitants were Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. The majority of the population would have been concentrated around the river valleys. Over several thousand years, the climate became progressively warmer, sea levels rose. Notable sites from this period include Bouldnor Cliff. Agriculture had arrived in southern Britain by 4000 BCE, with it a neolithic culture.
Some deforestation took place at that time, although during the Bronze Age, beginning in 2200 BCE, this became more widespread and systematic. Hampshire has few monuments to show from these early periods, although nearby Stonehenge was built in several phases at some time between 3100 and 2200 BCE. In the late Bronze Age, fortified hilltop settlements known as hillforts began to appear in large numbers in many parts of Britain including Hampshire, these became more and more important in the early and middle Iron Age. By this period, the people of Britain predominantly spoke a Celtic language, their culture shared much in common with the Celts described by classical writers. Hillforts declined in importance in the second half of the second century BCE, with many being abandoned. Around this period, the first recorded invasion of Britain took place, as southern Britain was conquered by warrior-elites from Belgic tribes of northeastern Gaul - whether these two events are linked to the decline of hillforts is unknown.
By the Roman conquest, the oppidum at Venta Belgarum, modern-day Winchester, was the de facto regional administrative centre. Julius Caesar invaded southeastern England in 55 and again in 54 BCE, but he never reached Hampshire. Notable sites from this period include Hengistbury Head, a major port; the Romans invaded Britain again in 43 CE, Hampshire was incorporated into the Roman province of Britannia quickly. It is believed their political leaders allowed themselves to be incorporated peacefully. Venta became the capital of the administrative polity of the Belgae, which included most of Hampshire and Wiltshire and reached as far as Bath. Whether the people of Hampshire played any role in Boudicca's rebellion of 60-61 CE is not recorded, but evidence of burning is seen in Winchester dated to around this period. For most of the next three centuries, southern Britain enjoyed relative peace; the part of th
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Rugby refers to the team sports rugby league and rugby union. Legend claims that rugby football was started about 1845 in Rugby School, Warwickshire, although forms of football in which the ball was carried and tossed date to medieval times. Rugby split into two sports in 1895 when twenty-one clubs split from the original Rugby Football Union, to form the Northern Union in the George Hotel, Northern England over the issue of payment to players, thus making rugby league the first code to turn professional and pay its players, rugby union turned professional in 1995. Both sports are run by their respective world governing bodies World Rugby and the Rugby League International Federation. Rugby football was one of many versions of football played at English public schools in the 19th century. Although rugby league used rugby union rules, they are now wholly separate sports. In addition to these two codes, both American and Canadian football evolved from rugby football. Following the 1895 split in rugby football, the two forms rugby league and rugby union differed in administration only.
Soon the rules of rugby league were modified. After 100 years, in 1995 rugby union joined rugby league and most other forms of football as an professional sport; the Olympic form of rugby is known as Rugby 7s. In this form of the game, each team has 7 players on the field at one time playing 7 minute halves; the rules and pitch size are the same as rugby union. The Greeks and Romans are known to have played many ball games, some of which involved the use of the feet; the Roman game harpastum is believed to have been adapted from a Greek team game known as "ἐπίσκυρος" or "φαινίνδα", mentioned by a Greek playwright and referred to by the Christian theologian Clement of Alexandria. These games appear to have resembled rugby football; the Roman politician Cicero describes the case of a man, killed whilst having a shave when a ball was kicked into a barber's shop. Roman ball games knew the air-filled ball, the follis. Episkyros is recognised as an early form of football by FIFA. In 1871, English clubs met to form the Rugby Football Union.
In 1892, after charges of professionalism were made against some clubs for paying players for missing work, the Northern Rugby Football Union called the Northern Union, was formed. The existing rugby union authorities responded by issuing sanctions against the clubs and officials involved in the new organization. After the schism, the separate clubs were named "rugby league" and "rugby union". Rugby union is both a professional and amateur game, is dominated by the first tier unions: New Zealand, Wales, South Africa, Argentina, Scotland and France. Second and third tier unions include Belgium, Canada, Fiji, Germany, Hong Kong, Kenya, the Netherlands, Romania, Samoa, Tonga, the United States and Uruguay. Rugby Union is administered by World Rugby, whose headquarters are located in Ireland, it is the national sport in New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Madagascar, is the most popular form of rugby globally. The Olympic Games have admitted the seven-a-side version of the game, known as Rugby sevens, into the programme from Rio de Janeiro in 2016 onwards.
There was a possibility sevens would be a demonstration sport at the 2012 London Olympics but many sports including sevens were dropped. In Canada and the United States, rugby union evolved into gridiron football. During the late 1800s, the two forms of the game were similar, but numerous rule changes have differentiated the gridiron-based game from its rugby counterpart, introduced by Walter Camp in the United States and John Thrift Meldrum Burnside in Canada. Among unique features of the North American game are the separation of play into downs instead of releasing the ball upon tackling, the requirement that the team with the ball set into a set formation for at least one second before resuming play after a tackle, the allowance for one forward pass from behind the site of the last tackle on each down, the evolution of hard plastic equipment, a smaller and pointier ball, favorable to being passed but makes drop kicks impractical, a smaller and narrower field measured in customary units instead of metric, a distinctive field with lines marked in five-yard intervals.
Rugby league is both a professional and amateur game, administered on a global level by the Rugby League International Federation. In addition to amateur and semi-professional competitions in the United States, Lebanon, Serbia and Australasia, there are two major professional competitions—the Australasian National Rugby League and the Super League. International Rugby League is dominated by Australia and New Zealand. In Papua New Guinea it is the national sport. Other nations from the South Pacific and Europe play in the Pacific Cup and European Cup respectively. Distinctive features common to both rugby codes include the oval ball and throwing the ball forward is not allowed so that players can gain ground only
Bournemouth is a large coastal resort town on the south coast of England, east of the 96-mile-long Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site. At the 2011 census, the town had a population of 183,491. With Poole to the west and Christchurch in the east, Bournemouth is part of the South East Dorset conurbation, which has a population of 465,000. Before it was founded in 1810 by Lewis Tregonwell, the area was a deserted heathland visited by fishermen and smugglers. Marketed as a health resort, the town received a boost when it appeared in Augustus Granville's 1841 book, The Spas of England. Bournemouth's growth accelerated with the arrival of the railway, it became a town in 1870. Part of Hampshire, it joined Dorset with the reorganisation of local government in 1974. Since 1997, the town has been administered by a unitary authority independent of Dorset County Council, although it remains part of that ceremonial county; the local council is Bournemouth Borough Council. From 1 April 2019 it will be part of the new Bournemouth and Poole Council.
The town centre has notable Victorian architecture and the 202-foot spire of St Peter's Church, one of three Grade 1 listed churches in the borough, is a local landmark. Bournemouth's location has made it a popular destination for tourists, attracting over five million visitors annually with its beaches and popular nightlife; the town is a regional centre of business, home of the Bournemouth International Centre or BIC, a financial sector, worth more than £1,000 million in gross value added. The first mention of Bournemouth comes in the Christchurch cartulary of 1406, where a monk describes how a large fish, 18 feet long, was washed up at "La Bournemothe" in October of that year and taken to the Manor of Wick. "La Bournemowthe", was purely a geographic reference to the uninhabited area around the mouth of the small river which, in turn, drained the heathland between the towns of Poole and Christchurch. The word bourne, meaning a small stream, is a derivative of burna, old English for a brook.
From the latter half of the 16th century "Bourne Mouth" seems to be preferred, being recorded as such in surveys and reports of the period, but this appears to have been shortened to "Bourne" after the area had started to develop. A travel guide published in 1831 calls the place "Bourne Cliffe" or "Tregonwell's Bourne" after its founder; the Spas of England, published ten years calls it "Bourne" as does an 1838 edition of the Hampshire Advertiser. In the late 19th century "Bournemouth" became predominant, although its two-word form appears to have remained in use up until at least the early 20th century, turning up on a 1909 ordnance map. In the 12th century the region around the mouth of the River Bourne was part of the Hundred of Holdenhurst; the hundred became the Liberty of Westover when it was extended to include the settlements of North Ashley, Muccleshell, Iford, Pokesdown and Wick, incorporated into the Manor of Christchurch. Although the Dorset and Hampshire region surrounding it had been the site of human settlement for thousands of years, Westover was a remote and barren heathland before 1800.
In 1574 the Earl of Southampton noted that the area was "Devoid of all habitation", as late as 1795 the Duke of Rutland recorded that "... on this barren and uncultivated heath there was not a human to direct us". In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the Borough of Bournemouth would grow to encompass a number of ancient settlements along the River Stour, including Longham where a skull thought to be 5,500 years old was found in 1932. Bronze Age burials near Moordown, the discovery of Iron Age pottery on the East Cliff in 1969, suggest there may have been settlements there during that period. Hengistbury Head, added to the borough in 1932, was the site of a much older Palaeolithic encampment. During the latter half of the 16th century James Blount, 6th Baron Mountjoy, began mining for alum in the area, at one time part of the heath was used for hunting, although by the late 18th century little evidence of either event remained. No-one lived at the mouth of the Bourne river and the only regular visitors to the area before the 19th century were a few fishermen, turf cutters and gangs of smugglers.
Prior to the Christchurch Inclosures Act 1802, more than 70% of the Westover area was common land. The act, together with the Inclosure Commissioners' Award of 1805, transferred 5000 acres into the hands of five private owners, including James Harris, 1st Earl of Malmesbury, Sir George Ivison Tapps. In 1809 the Tapps Arms public house appeared on the heath. A few years in 1812, the first official residents, retired army officer Lewis Tregonwell and his wife, moved into their new home built on land purchased from Tapps; the area was well known to Tregonwell who, during the Napoleonic wars, spent much of his time searching the heath and coastline for French invaders and smugglers. Anticipating that people would come to the area to indulge in the newly fashionable pastime of sea-bathing, an activity with perceived health benefits, Tregonwell built a series of villas on his land between 1816 and 1822, which he hoped to let out; the common belief that pine-scented air was good for lung conditions, in particular tuberculosis, prompted Tregonwell and Tapps to plant hundreds of pine trees.
These early attempts to promote the town as a health resort meant that by the time Tregonwell died in 1832, Bournemouth had grown into a small community with a scattering of houses and cottages. The town would gr
East of England
The East of England is one of nine official regions of England at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It was created in 1994 and was adopted for statistics from 1999, it includes the ceremonial counties of Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Suffolk. Essex has the highest population in the region, its population at the 2011 census was 5,847,000. Bedford, Basildon, Southend-on-Sea, Ipswich, Colchester and Cambridge are the region's most populous towns; the southern part of the region lies in the London commuter belt. The region has the lowest elevation range in the UK. North Cambridgeshire and the Essex Coast have most of the around 5% of the region, below 10 metres above sea level; the Fens are in North Cambridgeshire, notable for the lowest point in the country in the land of the village of Holme 2.75 metres below mean sea level, once Whittlesey Mere. The highest point is at Clipper Down at 817 ft, in the far south-western corner of the region in the Ivinghoe Hills. Basildon and Harlow, with Stevenage and Hemel Hempstead, were main New Towns in the 1950s and 1960s, with much industry located there.
In the late 1960s, the Roskill Commission considered Thurleigh in Bedfordshire, Nuthampstead in Hertfordshire and Foulness in Essex as a possible third airport for London. The East of England succeeded the standard statistical region East Anglia; the East of England civil defence region was identical to today's region. England between the Wash and just south of the town of Colchester has since post-Roman times been and continues to be known as East Anglia, including the county traversing the west of this line, Cambridgeshire; the inclusion of Essex as part of East Anglia is open to debate, notably because it was a Saxon kingdom, separate from the kingdom of the East Angles. Essex, despite meaning East-Saxons formed part of the South East England, as did Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, a mixture of definite and debatable Home Counties; the earliest use of the term is from 1695. Charles Davenant, in An essay upon ways and means of supplying the war, wrote, "The Eleven Home Counties, which are thought in Land Taxes to pay more than their proportion..." cited a list including these four.
The term does not appear to have been used in taxation since the 18th century. East Anglia is one of the driest parts of the United Kingdom with average rainfall ranging from 450 mm to 750 mm; this is because low pressure systems and weather fronts from the Atlantic have lost a lot of their moisture over land by the time they reach Eastern England. However the Fens in Cambridgeshire are prone to flooding. Winter is cool but non-prevailing cold easterly winds can affect the area from the continent, these can bring heavy snowfall if the winds interact with a low pressure system over the Atlantic or France. Northerly winds can be cold but are not as cold as easterly winds. Westerly winds bring milder and wetter weather. Southerly winds bring mild air but chill if coming from further east than Spain. Spring is a transitional season that can be chilly to start with but is warm by late-April/May; the weather at this time is changeable and showery. Summer is warm and continental air from mainland Europe or the Azores High leads to at least a few weeks of hot, balmy weather with prolonged warm to hot weather.
The number of summer storms from the Atlantic, such as the remnants of a tropical storm coincides with the location of the jet stream. The East tends to receive much less of their rain than the other regions. Autumn is mild with some days being unsettled and rainy and others warm. At least part of September and early October in the East have warm and settled weather but only in rare years is there an Indian summer where fine weather marks the entire traditional harvest season; the most deprived districts, according to the Indices of deprivation 2007 in the region are, in descending order, Great Yarmouth, Luton and Ipswich. At county level, after Luton and Peterborough, which have a similar level of deprivation, in descending order there is Southend-on-Sea Thurrock; the least deprived districts, in descending order, are South Cambridgeshire, Mid Bedfordshire, East Hertfordshire, St Albans, Rochford, Huntingdonshire, Mid Suffolk, North Hertfordshire, Three Rivers, South Norfolk, East Cambridgeshire and Suffolk Coastal.
At county level, the least deprived areas in the region, in descending order, are Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, with all three having a similar level of deprivation Essex. The region has the lowest proportion of jobless households in the UK – 0.5%. In March 2011 the region's unemployment claimant count was 3.0%. Inside the region, the highest rate is Great Yarmouth with 6.2%, followed by Peterborough and Southend-on-Sea on 4.7%. In the 2015 general election, there was an overall swing of 0.25% from the Conservatives to Labour, the Liberal Democrats lost 16% of its vote. All of Hertfordshire and Suffolk is now Conservative; the region's electorate voted 49% Conservative, 22% Labour, 16% UKIP, 8% Liberal Democrat and 4% Green. Like other regions, the division of seats favours th
Brighton is a seaside resort on the south coast of England, part of the City of Brighton and Hove, located 47 miles south of London. Archaeological evidence of settlement in the area dates back to the Bronze Age and Anglo-Saxon periods; the ancient settlement of "Brighthelmstone" was documented in the Domesday Book. The town's importance grew in the Middle Ages as the Old Town developed, but it languished in the early modern period, affected by foreign attacks, storms, a suffering economy and a declining population. Brighton began to attract more visitors following improved road transport to London and becoming a boarding point for boats travelling to France; the town developed in popularity as a health resort for sea bathing as a purported cure for illnesses. In the Georgian era, Brighton developed as a fashionable seaside resort, encouraged by the patronage of the Prince Regent King George IV, who spent much time in the town and constructed the Royal Pavilion in the Regency era. Brighton continued to grow as a major centre of tourism following the arrival of the railways in 1841, becoming a popular destination for day-trippers from London.
Many of the major attractions were built in the Victorian era, including the Metropole Hotel Grand Hotel, the West Pier, the Brighton Palace Pier. The town continued to grow into the 20th century, expanding to incorporate more areas into the town's boundaries before joining the town of Hove to form the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove in 1997, granted city status in 2000. Today and Hove district has a resident population of about 288,200 and the wider Brighton and Hove conurbation has a population of 474,485. Brighton's location has made it a popular destination for tourists, renowned for its diverse communities, quirky shopping areas, large cultural and arts scene and its large LGBT population, leading to its recognition as the "unofficial gay capital of the UK". Brighton attracted 7.5 million day visitors in 2015/16 and 4.9 million overnight visitors, is the most popular seaside destination in the UK for overseas tourists. Brighton has been called the UK's "hippest city", "the happiest place to live in the UK".
Brighton's earliest name was Bristelmestune, recorded in the Domesday Book. Although more than 40 variations have been documented, Brighthelmstone was the standard rendering between the 14th and 18th centuries."Brighton" was an informal shortened form, first seen in 1660. The name is of Anglo-Saxon origin. Most scholars believe that it derives from Beorthelm + tūn—the homestead of Beorthelm, a common Old English name associated with villages elsewhere in England; the tūn element is common in Sussex on the coast, although it occurs infrequently in combination with a personal name. An alternative etymology taken from the Old English words for "stony valley" is sometimes given but has less acceptance. Brighthelm gives its name to, among other things, a church and a pub in Brighton and some halls of residence at the University of Sussex. Writing in 1950, historian Antony Dale noted that unnamed antiquaries had suggested an Old English word "brist" or "briz", meaning "divided", could have contributed the first part of the historic name Brighthelmstone.
The town was split in half by the Wellesbourne, a winterbourne, culverted and buried in the 18th century. Brighton has several nicknames. Poet Horace Smith called it "The Queen of Watering Places", still used, "Old Ocean's Bauble". Novelist William Makepeace Thackeray referred to "Doctor Brighton", calling the town "one of the best of Physicians". "London-by-the-Sea" is well-known, reflecting Brighton's popularity with Londoners as a day-trip resort, a commuter dormitory and a desirable destination for those wanting to move out of the metropolis. "The Queen of Slaughtering Places", a pun on Smith's description, became popular when the Brighton trunk murders came to the public's attention in the 1930s. The mid 19th-century nickname "School Town" referred to the remarkable number of boarding and church schools in the town at the time; the first settlement in the Brighton area was Whitehawk Camp, a Neolithic encampment on Whitehawk Hill, dated to between 3500 BC and 2700 BC. It is one of six causewayed enclosures in Sussex.
Archaeologists have only explored it, but have found numerous burial mounds and bones, suggesting it was a place of some importance. There was a Bronze Age settlement at Coldean. Brythonic Celts arrived in Britain in the 7th century BC, an important Brythonic settlement existed at Hollingbury Castle on Hollingbury Hill; this Celtic Iron Age encampment dates from the 3rd or 2nd century BC and is circumscribed by substantial earthwork outer walls with a diameter of c. 1,000 feet. Cissbury Ring 10 miles from Hollingbury, is suggested to have been the tribal "capital". There was a Roman villa at Preston Village, a Roman road from London ran nearby, much physical evidence of Roman occupation has been discovered locally. From the 1st century AD, the Romans built a number of villas in Brighton and Romano-British Brythonic Celts formed farming settlements in the area. After the Romans left in the early 4th century AD, the Brighton area returned to the control of the native Celts. Anglo-Saxons invaded in the late 5th century AD, the region became part of the Kingdom of Sussex, founded in 477 AD by king Ælle.
Anthony Seldon identified five phases of development in pre-20th century Brighton. The village of Bristelmestune was founded by these