Country Profile: 60 Facts & Figures About England

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1Modern Shower

Modern Shower

Ancient Greeks invented the modern shower using piped water. Rich and poor used large locker-room showers with bars to hang up clothing. Ancient Romans did the same, bringing showers to as far as England. The systems and habits of bathing every day disappeared after the fall of Rome.

2. In 2002, a car was reported running off the road in Surrey, England by multiple witnesses. Police arrive and found no signs of a crash. After a careful search, the car and the decomposed body of the driver were finally found, but it was determined that the accident occurred five months earlier than the witness reports.

3. Wembley Stadium in England has the most toilets of any one building, at 2618

4. Operation Tiger was the code name for one in a series of large-scale rehearsals for the D-Day invasion of Normandy, which took place on Slapton Beach in Devon, England. Coordination and communication problems resulted in friendly fire deaths during the exercise, and an Allied convoy positioning itself for the landing was attacked by E-boats of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine, resulting in the deaths of 946 American servicemen. The government didn't inform the families until after D-day and reported that that's where they died.

5. In 955 A.D., Bishop Dunstan went to bring back King Eadwig from his bedroom after his coronation as he failed to attend a meeting of noble. Dunstan found the young king in bed with two women, a mother, and her daughter. Infuriated by this, Dunstan dragged Eadwig back. Later realizing that he had provoked the king, Dunstan fled England and refused to return until after Eadwig's death.

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6Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

In the 1600s, a man named Edward de Vere who worked for Queen Elizabeth was so embarrassed after an accidental fart, that he left England for 7 years. When he returned, the Queen greeted him by saying "My Lord, I had forgotten the Fart."

7. Sir Walter Raleigh, English aristocrat and explorer, captured a Portuguese ship for England. The ship was estimated to be worth half the size of England’s national treasury at the time. When the captured ship docked, people from all over England came to loot it.

8. The oldest operating school in the world is The King's School in Canterbury, England, at 1,420 years old. It was founded in AD 597 during the Late Antiquity era, 100 years after the fall of Rome.

9. About 19 Guinea baboons from Paris Zoo were sent to a national park in England in 2004. They were unable to understand English commands but were fully cognitive of French words, forcing their English keepers to learn French.

10. Just a year ago, J. K. Rowling (author of the Harry Potter books) was wealthier than the Queen of England, and she was the first person to become a billionaire solely through writing.

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11Gingerbread man origin

Gingerbread man origin

Gingerbread men originate from the Court of Elizabeth I of England, who ordered the cookies to be baked in the likeness of important guests to her court.

12. In 1251, Henry III of England was given a polar bear by the King of Norway. He kept it in the Tower of London, on a long chain so that it could swim in the Thames.

13. The Queen of England can veto any law she doesn't like and has real powers to dissolve Parliament, choose a new Prime Minister and even declare war.

14. The town of Shitterton, England, changed its town sign to a 1.5-ton boulder to stop people from repeatedly stealing it.

15. In Nevada, a disturbance with as little as 2 people is legally considered a riot. In the USA in general, it takes only 3 people. In England, it is 12 people.

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16Burlington city

Burlington city

England built an underground city in the 1950s to house 4,000 key government employees in case of a nuclear strike, complete with 60 miles of roadways, an underground lake to provide fresh water and a railway to transport the Royal Family. It was not revealed to the public until 2004.

17. King Henry I of England died from eating "an excessive number of lampreys"

18. At the height of the Irish Potato Famine in 1847, almost 4,000 ships carried food from Ireland to England and Scotland while 400,000 Irish died of starvation and related diseases. The same year, a Native American tribe sent $710 to help ease the suffering.

19. In 2014, a man named Robert Stevens broke out of jail in England because he was fed up with the loud rap music being played ‘day and night’ on his wing.

20. There is a Right to Light in England. The owner of a building with windows that have received natural daylight for 20 years or more is entitled to forbid any construction or other obstruction that would deprive him or her of that illumination.

21James Hyatt

James Hyatt

In 2010, a 3-year old boy named James Hyatt playing with his father’s metal detector for the first time in England discovered a 16th century golden pendant estimated to be worth $4 million.

22. A company in England accidentally sent letters to some of its wealthy customers that began “Dear Rich Bastard.” One customer who did not receive the letter complained, certain their wealth was enough to warrant the “rich bastard” title.

23. In December 2005, a doctor in England published research suggesting that girls often go through a stage where they hate their Barbie dolls and subject them to a range of punishments, including decapitation and placing the doll in a microwave oven.

24. The phrase ‘wouldn't give them the time of day’ and its variations actually come from the town of Chester in England. The city is right on the border with Wales, and one of the churches has a clock tower with only three clocks on it, pointing north, east, and west, but no clock facing South (Wales). This was to send the message that the English disliked the Welsh so much, that they wouldn’t even give them the time of day. Hence the phrase.

25. The origins of driving on the left side go back to Medieval England where Knights would ride their horses on the left side of the road so if they encountered an enemy their sword hand would be on the correct side nearly all countries that drive on the left now were once English colonies.

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