Jaguar is the luxury vehicle brand of Jaguar Land Rover, a British multinational car manufacturer with its headquarters in Whitley, England. Jaguar Cars was the company, responsible for the production of Jaguar cars until its operations were merged with those of Land Rover to form Jaguar Land Rover on 1 January 2013. Jaguar's business was founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922 making motorcycle sidecars before developing bodies for passenger cars. Under the ownership of S. S. Cars Limited the business extended to complete cars made in association with Standard Motor Co, many bearing Jaguar as a model name; the company's name was changed from S. S. Cars to Jaguar Cars in 1945. A merger with the British Motor Corporation followed in 1966, the resulting enlarged company now being renamed as British Motor Holdings, which in 1968 merged with Leyland Motor Corporation and became British Leyland, itself to be nationalised in 1975. Jaguar was spun off from British Leyland and was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1984, becoming a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index until it was acquired by Ford in 1990.
Jaguar has, in recent years, manufactured cars for the British Prime Minister, the most recent delivery being an XJ in May 2010. The company holds royal warrants from Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles. In 1990 Ford acquired Jaguar Cars and it remained in their ownership, joined in 2000 by Land Rover, till 2008. Ford sold both Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata Motors. Tata created Jaguar Land Rover as a subsidiary holding company. At operating company level, in 2013 Jaguar Cars was merged with Land Rover to form Jaguar Land Rover Limited as the single design, sales company and brand owner for both Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles. Since the Ford ownership era and Land Rover have used joint design facilities in engineering centres at Whitley in Coventry and Gaydon in Warwickshire and Jaguar cars have been assembled in plants at Castle Bromwich and Solihull; the Swallow Sidecar Company was founded in 1922 by two motorcycle enthusiasts, William Lyons and William Walmsley. In 1934 Walmsley elected to sell-out and in order to buy the Swallow business Lyons formed S.
S. Cars Limited, finding new capital by issuing shares to the public. Jaguar first appeared in September 1935 as a model name on an SS 2½-litre sports saloon. A matching open two seater sports model with a 3½-litre engine was named SS Jaguar 100. On 23 March 1945 the S. S. Cars shareholders in general meeting agreed to change the company's name to Jaguar Cars Limited. Said chairman William Lyons "Unlike S. S. the name Jaguar is distinctive and cannot be connected or confused with any similar foreign name."Though five years of pent-up demand ensured plenty of buyers production was hampered by shortage of materials steel, issued to manufacturers until the 1950s by a central planning authority under strict government control. Jaguar sold Motor Panels, a pressed steel body manufacturing company bought in the late 1930s, to steel and components manufacturer Rubery Owen, Jaguar bought from John Black's Standard Motor Company the plant where Standard built Jaguar's six-cylinder engines. From this time Jaguar was dependent for their bodies on external suppliers, in particular independent Pressed Steel and in 1966 that carried them into BMC, BMH and British Leyland.
Jaguar made its name by producing a series of successful eye-catching sports cars, the Jaguar XK120, Jaguar XK140, Jaguar XK150, Jaguar E-Type, all embodying Lyons' mantra of "value for money". The sports cars were successful in international motorsport, a path followed in the 1950s to prove the engineering integrity of the company's products. Jaguar's sales slogan for years was "Grace, Pace", a mantra epitomised by the record sales achieved by the MK VII, IX, Mks I and II saloons and the XJ6. During the time this slogan was used; the core of Bill Lyons' success following WWII was the twin-cam straight six engine, conceived pre-war and realised while engineers at the Coventry plant were dividing their time between fire-watching and designing the new power plant. It had a hemispherical cross-flow cylinder head with valves inclined from the vertical; as fuel octane ratings were low from 1948 onwards, three piston configuration were offered: domed and dished. The main designer, William "Bill" Heynes, assisted by Walter "Wally" Hassan, was determined to develop the Twin OHC unit.
Bill Lyons agreed over misgivings from Hassan. It was risky to take what had been considered a racing or low-volume and cantankerous engine needing constant fettling and apply it to reasonable volume production saloon cars; the subsequent engine was the mainstay powerplant of Jaguar, used in the XK 120, Mk VII Saloon, Mk I and II Saloons and XK 140 and 150. It was employed in the E Type, itself a development from the race winning and Le Mans conquering C and D Type Sports Racing cars refined as the short-lived XKSS, a road-legal D-Type. Few engine types have demonstrated such ubiquity and longevity: Jaguar used the Twin OHC XK Engine, as it came to be known, in the Jaguar XJ6 saloon from 1969 through 1992, employed in a J60 variant as the power plant in such diverse vehicles as the British Army's Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance family of vehicles, as well as the Fox armoured reconnaissance vehicle, the Ferret Scout Car, the Stonefield four-wheel-drive all-terrain lorry. Properly maintained, the standard production XK Engine would a
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Four-wheel drive in Formula One
Four-wheel drive has only been tried a handful of times in Formula One. In the World Championship era since 1950, only eight such cars are known to have been built; the first 4WD F1 car was the Ferguson P99-Climax, it remains the most famous example as a result of its twin claims to fame – not only the first 4WD car, but the last front-engined car to win a Formula 1 event. Fred Dixon and Tony Rolt considered the possibility of using 4WD in circuit racing, with Harry Ferguson keen to promote the transmission systems of his Ferguson tractor firm work began on the P99 in 1960. With a 50–50 torque distribution front to rear the car, Claude Hill's design was built to have an weight distribution over both axles, which along with the position of the gearbox necessitated a front-engined design despite Cooper's and Lotus's overwhelming recent success with mid-engined cars. Just as the project was nearing completion it was dealt something of a body blow by the governing body's decision to reduce the size of F1 engines by 40% for 1961, making the extra weight of the 4WD transmission a much bigger penalty.
The team persevered and fitted a standard 1.5-litre Climax 4-cylinder engine, mounted at a slant to make room for the front driveshaft. In addition the driving position was moved off-centre to accommodate the gearbox and rear driveshaft to the driver's left hand side; the car was first raced in the 1961 British Empire Trophy, where Rob Walker put Jack Fairman in the car, but the start was an inauspicious one as Fairman crashed on lap 2. In the British Grand Prix at Aintree, Fairman drove the car again, but surrendered it to Stirling Moss after his Walker-entered Lotus 18 failed; the car was disqualified for outside assistance on lap 56. The car's last major F1 race was its moment of motor racing immortality, as Moss drove the P99 to victory in a damp International Gold Cup at Oulton Park. In February 1963, the car, having been fitted with a 2.5-litre Climax engine, was driven by Graham Hill in the Australian Grand Prix at Warwick Farm and the Lakeside International at Lakeside, placing sixth and second respectively.
The P99's final racing action came in the British Hillclimb championship in 1964, 1965 and 1966, with Peter Westbury winning the title in 1964. The P99 was used as the basis for the 4WD Ferguson P104 Novi indycar, which Bobby Unser drove in the Indy 500 in 1964 and 1965, retiring on both occasions. In a 1997 interview for Motor Sport magazine, Sir Stirling Moss nominated the P99 as his favourite of all the F1 cars he drove; this was considered high praise from a man who drove the Mercedes W196, Maserati 250F, Vanwall and Cooper T51. After Ferguson withdrew from racing they offered their 4WD technology to any F1 manufacturer, interested, with the approaching switch to 3.0-litre engines in 1966 in mind BRM decided to try it out. The resulting car consisted of the chassis of a BRM P261, the suspension of a P57, a 1.5-litre BRM P56 engine mounted back-to-front and Ferguson's transmission system, all put together by BRM apprentice Mike Pilbeam, to find fame as a constructor of hillclimb cars. The P67 was entered for the 1964 British Grand Prix with Richard Attwood driving, but after qualifying last BRM withdrew the car from the race.
Thereafter BRM put their 4WD programme in mothballs, to concentrate on their complicated H16 engine, although this engine was built with room for a second driveshaft to pass through the engine should 4WD become the way to go. It was apt, given its designer, that the P67 itself was used extensively in hillclimbs, as the Ferguson P99 had been before it, being driven by David Good in 1967 with a bigger 2-litre engine. After some tuning to the Ferguson transmission's torque distribution it proved successful in this field, Peter Lawson winning the British championship with ease in 1968. With the introduction of the Cosworth DFV in 1967, F1 constructors found the exceptional power-to-weight ratio of the new engine gave them much more power than the grip levels of their cars could deal with in wet conditions; as a result several solutions were tried, with three leading Cosworth customers and Cosworth themselves each trying their hand at building 4WD F1 cars. While the 1968 season was plagued by wet races, there was hardly a raindrop to be seen in 1969, so the 4WD cars never got to demonstrate their abilities.
Meanwhile, advances in wing and tyre technologies negated any advantage to compensate for the extra weight and complication of their 4WD transmission systems compared to their rear-wheel drive contemporaries. Furthermore every driver who drove the cars hated the way they handled. Of the four 4WD projects, the Lotus team were undoubtedly the most committed; the design of the car was influenced by the all-conquering Lotus 49 and the two 4WD gas turbine cars Lotus had entered in the Indy 500, as well as its wedge shape the Lotus 72 would inherit its inboard front brakes. As with the Matra and McLaren cars, the 63 featured a back-to-front DFV with a bespoke Hewland gearbox and a Ferguson 4WD transmission with provision to adjust the front-rear torque distribution between 50–50 and 30–70. With a ban on high-mounted wings following Graham Hill and Jochen Rindt's accidents in the 1969 Spanish Grand Prix meaning low grip was more of a problem than the 63s were pressed into service two races at Zandvoort.
Hill tried the car in the first qualifying session, but after going nearly four seconds quicker in his regular 49B, declaring the 63 a "death trap", it was left to Lotus test driver John Miles to give the car its debut at the French GP, retiring after a single lap with a fuel pump failure. At the British Grand Prix both chassis were available, but after Hill again tried the car in practice, agai
Silverstone Circuit is a motor racing circuit in England located next to the Northamptonshire villages of Silverstone and Whittlebury. The circuit straddles the Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire border, with the current main circuit entry on the Buckinghamshire side; the Northamptonshire towns of Towcester and Brackley and Buckinghamshire town of Buckingham are close by, the nearest large towns are Northampton and Milton Keynes. Silverstone is the current home of the British Grand Prix, which it first hosted in 1948; the 1950 British Grand Prix at Silverstone was the first race in the newly created World Championship of Drivers. The race rotated between Silverstone and Brands Hatch from 1955 to 1986, but relocated permanently to Silverstone in 1987; the circuit hosts the British round of the MotoGP series. On 30 September 2004 British Racing Drivers' Club president Jackie Stewart announced that the British Grand Prix would not be included on the 2005 provisional race calendar and, if it were, would not occur at Silverstone.
However, on 9 December an agreement was reached with Formula One rights holder Bernie Ecclestone ensuring that the track would host the British Grand Prix until 2009 after which Donington Park would become the new host. However, the Donington Park leaseholders suffered economic problems resulting in the BRDC signing a 17-year deal with Ecclestone to hold the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Silverstone is built on the site of a World War II Royal Air Force bomber station, RAF Silverstone, which opened in 1943; the airfield's three runways, in classic WWII triangle format, lie within the outline of the present track. Silverstone was first used for motorsport by an'ad hoc' group of friends who set up an impromptu race in September 1947. One of their members, Maurice Geoghegan, lived in nearby Silverstone village and was aware that the airfield was deserted, he and eleven other drivers raced over a two-mile circuit, during the course of which Geoghegan himself ran over a sheep that had wandered onto the airfield.
The sheep was killed and the car written off, in the aftermath of this event the informal race became known as the Mutton Grand Prix. The next year the Royal Automobile Club took a lease on the airfield and set out a more formal racing circuit, their first two races were held on the runways themselves, with long straights separated by tight hairpin corners, the track demarcated by hay bales. However, for the 1949 International Trophy meeting, it was decided to switch to the perimeter track; this arrangement was used for the 1951 Grands Prix. In 1952 the start line was moved from the Farm Straight to the straight linking Woodcote and Copse corners, this layout remained unaltered for the following 38 years. For the 1975 meeting a chicane was introduced to try to tame speeds through Woodcote Corner, Bridge Corner was subtly rerouted in 1987; the track underwent a major redesign between the 1990 and 1991 races, transforming the ultra-fast track into a more technical track. The reshaped track's first Formula One race was won by Nigel Mansell in front of his home crowd.
On his victory lap back to the pits Mansell picked up stranded rival Ayrton Senna to give him a lift on his side-pod after his McLaren had run out of fuel on the final lap of the race. Following the deaths of Senna and fellow Grand Prix driver Roland Ratzenberger at Imola in 1994, many Grand Prix circuits were modified in order to reduce speed and increase driver safety; as a consequence of this the entry from Hangar Straight into Stowe Corner was modified in 1995 to make its entry less dangerous. In addition, the flat-out Abbey kink was modified to a chicane in just 19 days ready for the 1994 Grand Prix. Parts of the circuit, such as the starting grid, are 17 metres wide, complying with the latest safety guidelines. After a new pit building, the Silverstone Wing was completed in time for the 2011 British Grand Prix; the start of the track was relocated to between Abbey Corner. Flat out, the right-hander of Abbey leads into the left-hander of Farm before cars brake into the second-gear right-hander Village Corner.
The slower left-hander of the Loop comes after, leads into the flat-out left-hander of Aintree, before cars head down the DRS zone of the Wellington Straight, designed in 2010 to promote overtaking at the track. Turn 6, the left hander of Brooklands, is taken by drivers in second gear and leads into Luffield, another second-gear curve, a right-hand hairpin; the right-handed kink of Woodcote leads cars down the old pit straight, before the difficult sixth-gear right-hander of Copse, with a minimum speed of 175 mph in the dry for Formula One cars. The challenging complex of Maggotts and Chapel – a left–right–left–right–left complex with a minimum speed of 130 mph – leads cars down the 770-metre Hangar Straight with the fifth-gear right-hander of Stowe at the end; the fifteenth turn of the track, has a minimum speed of 125 mph and precedes a short straight, named Vale, which leads cars downhill towards the Club complex. Heavy braking is required for the left-hander of turn 16, understeer can be an issue for the next right-handers of turns 17 and 18, as cars tentatively accelerate round to the start–finish straight.
The fastest lap of the current circuit configuration was 1:25.892 recorded in qualifying for the 2018 British Grand Prix by Lewis Hamilton, while the official race lap record is 1:30.621 set by Lewis Hamilton at the 201
Thailand the Kingdom of Thailand and known as Siam, is a country at the centre of the Southeast Asian Indochinese peninsula composed of 76 provinces. At 513,120 km2 and over 68 million people, Thailand is the world's 50th largest country by total area and the 21st-most-populous country; the capital and largest city is a special administrative area. Thailand is bordered to the north by Myanmar and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Myanmar, its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast, Indonesia and India on the Andaman Sea to the southwest. Although nominally a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, the most recent coup in 2014 established a de facto military dictatorship. Tai peoples migrated from southwestern China to mainland Southeast Asia from the 11th century. Various Indianised kingdoms such as the Mon, the Khmer Empire and Malay states ruled the region, competing with Thai states such as Ngoenyang, the Sukhothai Kingdom, Lan Na and the Ayutthaya Kingdom, which rivaled each other.
European contact began in 1511 with a Portuguese diplomatic mission to Ayutthaya, one of the great powers in the region. Ayutthaya reached its peak during cosmopolitan Narai's reign declining thereafter until being destroyed in 1767 in a war with Burma. Taksin reunified the fragmented territory and established the short-lived Thonburi Kingdom, he was succeeded in 1782 by Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, the first monarch of the Chakri dynasty and founder of the Rattanakosin Kingdom, which lasted into the early 20th century. Through the 18th and 19th centuries, Siam faced pressure from France and the United Kingdom, including forced concessions of territory, but it remained the only Southeast Asian country to avoid direct Western rule. Following a bloodless revolution in 1932, Siam became a constitutional monarchy and changed its official name to "Thailand". While it joined the Allies in World War I, Thailand was an Axis satellite in World War II. In the late 1950s, a military coup revived the monarchy's influential role in politics.
Thailand became a major ally of the United States and played a key anti-communist role in the region. Apart from a brief period of parliamentary democracy in the mid-1970s, Thailand has periodically alternated between democracy and military rule. In the 21st century, Thailand endured a political crisis that culminated in two coups and the establishment of its current and 20th constitution by the military junta. Thailand is a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy under a military junta. Thailand is a founding member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations and remains a major ally of the US. Despite its comparatively sporadic changes in leadership, it is considered a regional power in Southeast Asia and a middle power in global affairs. With a high level of human development, the second largest economy in Southeast Asia, the 20th largest by PPP, Thailand is classified as a newly industrialized economy. Thailand the Kingdom of Thailand known as Siam, is a country at the centre of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia.
The country has always been called Mueang Thai by its citizens. By outsiders prior to 1949, it was known by the exonym Siam; the word Siam may have originated from Pali or Sanskrit श्याम or Mon ရာမည. The names Shan and A-hom seem to be variants of the same word; the word Śyâma is not its origin, but a learned and artificial distortion. Another theory is the name derives from Chinese: "Ayutthaya emerged as a dominant centre in the late fourteenth century; the Chinese called this region Xian, which the Portuguese converted into Siam." A further possibility is that Mon-speaking peoples migrating south called themselves'syem' as do the autochthonous Mon-Khmer-speaking inhabitants of the Malay Peninsula. The signature of King Mongkut reads SPPM Mongkut Rex Siamensium, giving the name "Siam" official status until 24 June 1939 when it was changed to Thailand. Thailand was renamed to Siam from 1946 to 1948. According to George Cœdès, the word Thai means "free man" in the Thai language, "differentiating the Thai from the natives encompassed in Thai society as serfs".
A famous Thai scholar argued that Thai means "people" or "human being", since his investigation shows that in some rural areas the word "Thai" was used instead of the usual Thai word "khon" for people. According to Michel Ferlus, the ethnonyms Thai/Tai would have evolved from the etymon *kri:'human being' through the following chain: *kəri: > *kəli: > *kədi:/*kədaj > *di:/*daj > *dajA > tʰajA2 or > tajA2. Michel Ferlus' work is based on some simple rules of phonetic change observable in the Sinosphere and studied for t
Warwickshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands region of England. The county town is Warwick; the county is famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare. The county is divided into five districts of North Warwickshire and Bedworth, Rugby and Stratford-on-Avon; the current county boundaries were set in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972. The historic county boundaries include Solihull, as well as much of Birmingham; the county is bordered by Leicestershire to the northeast, Staffordshire to the northwest and the West Midlands to the west, Northamptonshire to the east and southeast, Gloucestershire to the southwest and Oxfordshire to the south. The northern tip of the county is only 3 miles from the Derbyshire border. An average-sized English county covering an area of 2,000 km2, it runs some 60 miles north to south. Equivalently it extends as far north as Shrewsbury in Shropshire and as far south as Banbury in north Oxfordshire; the majority of Warwickshire's population live in the centre of the county.
The market towns of northern and eastern Warwickshire were industrialised in the 19th century, include Atherstone, Bedworth and Rugby. Of these, Atherstone has retained most of its original character. Major industries included coal mining, textiles and cement production, but heavy industry is in decline, being replaced by distribution centres, light to medium industry and services. Of the northern and eastern towns, only Nuneaton and Rugby are well known outside of Warwickshire; the prosperous towns of central and western Warwickshire including Royal Leamington Spa, Stratford-upon-Avon, Alcester and Wellesbourne harbour light to medium industries and tourism as major employment sectors. The north of the county, bordering Staffordshire and Leicestershire, is mildly undulating countryside and the northernmost village, No Man's Heath, is only 34 miles south of the Peak District National Park's southernmost point; the south of the county is rural and sparsely populated, includes a small area of the Cotswolds, at the border with northeast Gloucestershire.
The plain between the outlying Cotswolds and the Edgehill escarpment is known as the Vale of Red Horse. The only town in the south of Warwickshire is Shipston-on-Stour; the highest point in the county, at 261 m, is Ebrington Hill, again on the border with Gloucestershire, grid reference SP187426 at the county's southwest extremity. There are no cities in Warwickshire since both Coventry and Birmingham were incorporated into the West Midlands county in 1974 and are now metropolitan authorities in themselves; the largest towns in Warwickshire in 2011 were: Nuneaton, Leamington Spa, Warwick and Kenilworth. Much of western Warwickshire, including that area now forming part of Coventry and Birmingham, was covered by the ancient Forest of Arden, thus the names of a number of places in the central-western part of Warwickshire end with the phrase "-in-Arden", such as Henley-in-Arden, Hampton-in-Arden and Tanworth-in-Arden. The remaining area, not part of the forest, was called the Felden – from fielden.
Areas part of Warwickshire include Coventry, Sutton Coldfield and some of Birmingham including Aston and Edgbaston. These became part of the metropolitan county of West Midlands following local government re-organisation in 1974. In 1986 the West Midlands County Council was abolished and Birmingham and Solihull became effective unitary authorities, however the West Midlands county name has not been altogether abolished, still exists for ceremonial purposes, so the town and two cities remain outside Warwickshire; some organisations, such as Warwickshire County Cricket Club, based in Edgbaston, in Birmingham, still observe the historic county boundaries. The flag of the historic county was registered in October 2016, it is a design of a bear and ragged staff on a red field, long associated with the county. Coventry is in the centre of the Warwickshire area, still has strong ties with the county. Coventry and Warwickshire are sometimes treated as a single area and share a single Chamber of Commerce and BBC Local Radio Station.
Coventry has been a part of Warwickshire for only some of its history. In 1451 Coventry was separated from Warwickshire and made a county corporate in its own right, called the County of the City of Coventry. In 1842 the county of Coventry was abolished and Coventry was remerged with Warwickshire. In recent times, there have been calls to formally re-introduce Coventry into Warwickshire, although nothing has yet come of this; the county's population would increase by a third-of-a-million overnight should this occur, Coventry being the UK's 11th largest city. The town of Tamworth was divided between Warwickshire and Staffordshire, but since 1888 has been in Staffordshire. In 1931, Warwickshire gained the town of Shipston-on-Stour from Worcestershire and several villages, including Long Marston and Welford-on-Avon, from Gloucestershire. Warwickshire contains a large expanse of green belt area, surrounding the West Midlands and Coventry conurbations, was first drawn up from the 1950s. All the county's districts contain some portion of the belt.
The following towns and villages in Warwickshire have populations of over 5,000. Warwickshire came into being as a divisio
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