England – birthplace of Shakespeare and The Beatles – is a country in the British Isles bordering Scotland and Wales. England’s parliamentary system of government has been widely adopted by other nations. Below are 75 interesting facts about England that will help you learn more about this fascinating country!
10 Facts About England’s History
#1. Queen Elizabeth I is distantly related to Vlad the Impaler, the infamous Romanian ruler who gave rise to Dracula stories!
#2. King Henry VIII exploded in his coffin, and his remains were ‘licked up by dog’ as was bravely predicted by Friar Peto. He was not the only exploding king of England, however. William the Conqueror was the other.
#3. Believe it or not, medieval football often led to injuries and death. At least 40 men drowned during the game, while chasing the ball into the sea!
#4. King Henry III had a pet polar bear which he received from the King of Norway. Kept on a leash in the Tower of London, the bear would swim and catch fish in the Thames.
#5. Winston Churchill was terrible at school, except in English composition and history. In fact, he failed twice at the entrance exams for the Royal Military College, before going on to become one of Britain’s most famous prime ministers!
#6. During the Great Stink of 1858, London’s river Thames stank so much from raw sewage thrown in that the Parliament had to close! There were even plans to shift offices to Oxford or St. Albans.
#7. Four-time Prime Minister William Gladstone kept whips in his home with which he would often whip himself for chastisement!
#8. The “London Bridge is Falling Down” nursery rhyme may be over 1000 years old. It may also point to the many fires and collapses the bridge was prone to over the centuries, and take a dig at ‘my fair lady’ or Queen Eleanor who may not have made the best use of bridge revenues.
#9. Pigs ate your crops? Try the animal at court and fine the owner if guilty! Animal trials were held in medieval England.
#10. If you ate breakfast in medieval England, you’d often enjoy beer with bread or if you could afford it, wine!
10 Facts About England’s Culture
#11. The English drink more tea than most other cultures in the world, even more than the Japanese. The Irish drink more tea than the English.
#12. The Queen is not allowed to set foot in the House of Commons! It’s not clear what the penalty would be if she did.
#13. You can drink in English pubs and bars but you can’t get drunk.
#14. In Scotland, if you get drunk and have a cow in your charge, for some reason you could be jailed or fined up to 200 pounds.
#15. There were no trash bins in London for twenty years, for fear of bomb attacks by the IRA.
#16. London Tube stations used to have a ‘stand on the right’ escalator rule until it was thankfully scrapped in 2015.
#17. For an American, a fortnight is two weeks, a lift is an elevator, a cart is a trolley and the second floor is actually the first!
#18. It may seem pointless, but Leicester actually has two syllables.
#19. Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday has nothing to do with pancakes but everything to do with crepes and lemons! At least, that’s how the American in Britain would see it.
#20. British road signs can be baffling. If you see the Red Ring of Death, it usually means No Vehicles except bicycles being pushed by pedestrians.