89 Quaint Facts About England You’ll Be Surprised To Know

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1William the conqueror

Upon landing in England, William the Conqueror slipped and fell. To play it cool, he grasped two fistfuls of soil and proclaimed ‘England is ours!’


2. When Edward I of England was coming back from the ninth crusade in 1272, he learned that his father had died and that he had been made the king of England. Instead of returning home to be crowned, Edward went on a leisurely trip in Italy and France for almost two years and only came back in 1274.


3. 70% of the land in England is still owned by 1% of the population, largely descended from William the Conqueror’s army.


4. The Queen of England’s portrait has been on enough international money to make a progressive timeline of her aging.


5. The earliest known recipe for macaroni & cheese dates back to 14th century England.


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6Pineapple

Pineapples were such a status symbol and costly in the 18th century England that you could rent one for the evening to take to a party.


7. The Scottish army tried to take advantage of the Black Plague in England through an invasion, but caught it themselves and brought it back to Scotland, killing half of the native population.


8. The word “soccer” was first used in England before the Americans adopted it.


9. The oldest unbroken alliance in the world is between England and Portugal dating back to 1373


10. The intense rationing in England during WWII actually reduced infant mortality by guaranteeing nutrition to everyone.


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11Gropecunt Lane

“Gropecunt Lane” was once a common street name in England, indicating probable historical centers of prostitution.


12. In England and Wales, it’s legal to consume alcohol on private premises from the age of 5.


13. There’s an annual lying competition in England, and competitors from around the world have five minutes to tell the biggest and most convincing lie they can. Politicians and lawyers are banned from entering because they’re thought to be too good at it.


14. The Great Pyramid of Giza was the tallest man-made structure on Earth for 3,871 years until the Lincoln Cathedral in England was finished in 1311.


15. After a ride on England’s first escalator, customers were offered a brandy to revive them of their ordeal.


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16Richard III body

The body of Richard III, infamous king of England, was lost for over 500 years before being found beneath a parking lot in 2012.


17. In 2012, an Australian was kicked named Nathan Grindal out of a televised darts match in England because of fears his appearance could distract the players after the crowd started chanting ‘Jesus’ at him, due to him looking like ‘Jesus.’


18. In 1355 in Oxford, England a dispute between two students and a Pub Landlord over the quality of their drinks resulted in a two-day riot (St Scholastica Day riot), which left 63 scholars and 30 locals dead.


19. In Gravesend, England, there is a whole fake town used by police to simulate dangerous situations. Fake streets, houses, parks, nightclubs, estates, aircraft, trains and tube stations are used to stage riots, robberies, hostage situations and terrorist attacks.


20. The Norman Invasion of England 1066 caused many English noblemen to flee England for the Byzantine Empire (modern day Turkey and Greece). There, the English diaspora founded the town, New York, 600 years before “New York” in America existed.


21Queen

The Queen owns all unmarked swans in open water and she is the “officially appointed ‘Swan Keeper’ of England.”


22. There is a garden named Alnwick Garden in England devoted entirely to plants that can kill. The creator, the Duchess of Northumberland, felt that people ‘would be more interested in hearing how a plant killed, how long it would take you to die if you ate it and how gruesome and painful the death might be.’


23. The first known illegal act on the internet was committed in 1973 by one of the first ARPANET engineers (Leonard Kleinrock). He sent a request for the return of his electric razor following a conference in England. At that time, personal use of the internet was unlawful.


24. Chocolate milk was invented by an Irishman named Hans Sloane while visiting Jamaica in the 1680s. Locals mixed cocoa with water which Hans Sloane found nauseating. So instead he mixed it with milk to make it more pleasant. He brought the recipe to England, where it was made and sold by pharmacists as medicine.


25. In 1885, a man named John Babbacombe Lee was to be hanged for murder in England. After 3 attempts to hang him all failed, his sentence was commuted to life in prison. He was eventually released and died an old man in Wisconsin in 1945.

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