East Anglia

East Anglia

:"East Anglia is often used as a shorthand for the Kingdom of the East Angles."East Anglia is a peninsula of eastern England. It was named after one of the ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, the Kingdom of the East Angles, which was in turn named after the homeland of the Angles, Angeln, in northern Germany. The kingdom initially consisted of Norfolk and Suffolk, names which possibly arose during or after the Danish settling ("North folk [people] " and "South folk [people] "). Upon the marriage of the East Anglian princess Etheldreda, the Isle of Ely also became part of the kingdom. The boundaries of the region, however, are vague.

It includes the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk with Cambridgeshire. Sometimes Essex is also considered part of the region. Much of the area is characterised by its flatness, partly consisting of fenland and reclaimed marshland, though much of Suffolk and Norfolk are gently rolling hills. The flatness of the area is noted in Noel Coward's "Private Lives": "Very flat, Norfolk." The principal East Anglian cities include Norwich (the nominal capital), Peterborough and Cambridge. Ipswich, Colchester and Huntingdon are technically towns, although Ely is also a city.

The nine Government Office regions, formed in 1994, were adopted in place of the eight standard statistical regions in 1999. Since then East Anglia is defined as Level 2 Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics within the East of England, comprising the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire including Peterborough. [ [http://ec.europa.eu/comm/eurostat/ramon/nuts/codelist_en.cfm?list=nuts Hierarchical list of the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics and the statistical regions of Europe] The European Commission, Statistical Office of the European Communities (retrieved 06 January 2008)]


Cambridgeshire encompasses the western, fenland landscape of East Anglia. Despite water playing a significant role in the Fen and Broads landscapes, some parts of the region are classified as semi-arid due to their exceptionally low rainfall. During the summer months, tinder-dry conditions are frequently experienced, resulting in many field and heath fires. Maximum temperature ranges from 5–10 degrees celsius in the winter to 20–25 degrees celsius in the summer, although temperatures have been known to reach 35 degrees celsius in recent years. Sunshine totals tend to be higher towards the coastal areas. [Brown, Chris [http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/environment/policy/Env_Report_1998.htm State of the Environment Report 1998] Chapter 11: Physical Background (pp.305-306) Cambridgeshire County Council (retrieved 19 July 2007)]

Farming and horticulture have proven very successful in this fertile country. The landscape has been heavily influenced by Dutch technology, from the influx of clay pantiles to the draining of the fens. It has a wide range of small-scale holiday destinations ranging from traditional coastal resorts (Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft), through historic towns such as Bury St. Edmunds, Cambridge, Ely and King's Lynn to the modern holiday villas of Center Parcs set in Thetford Forest. The Royal Air Force constructed many airfields here during the Second World War and a few of these remain in use. One, near Norwich, has become Norwich International Airport, a civilian airfield to serve the city.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads form a network of waterways between Norwich and the coast and are popular for recreational boating. A recent bid to have them declared a National park failed, as it would have meant conservation becoming more important than navigation rights. The River Nene and Great Ouse also cross the region.

The University of East Anglia is situated in Norwich. However, the East of England Regional Assembly is seated in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. The company names Anglia Television and Anglian Water derive from the region, which both serve.

Flag and Coat of Arms

Possibly the best candidate for the arms of East Anglia are those of the Wuffingas dynasty: three crowns in a blue shield, the colour of the Swedish flag, superimposed on a St. George's cross. In fact, that device was created in homage to an old legend of the three crowns of East Anglia, and the blue colour represents the Anglo-Scandinavian heritage of much of East Anglia.

The East Anglian flag as it is known today was invented by George Henry Langham and adopted by the London Society of East Anglians. It was first mentioned in print in 1900 and was flown locally in various places in Norfolk, but was not known widely even at the time it was invented. The crowns also appear in the arms of the borough of Bury St. Edmunds and the University of East Anglia.


The Kingdom of the East Angles, formed about the year 520 by the merging of the North and the South Folk (Angles who had settled in the former lands of the Iceni during the previous century) was one of the seven Anglo-Saxon heptarchy kingdoms (as defined in the twelfth century writings of Henry of Huntingdon). For a brief period following a victory over the rival kingdom of Northumbria around the year 616, East Anglia was the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England, and its king Raedwald was Bretwalda (overlord of the Anglo-Saxons kingdoms). But this did not last: over the next forty years, East Anglia was defeated by the Mercians twice, and it continued to weaken relative to the other kingdoms until in 794, Offa of Mercia had its king Æthelberht killed and took control of the kingdom himself.

The independence of the East Anglians was restored by a successful rebellion against Mercia (825–827), in course of which two Mercian kings were killed attempting to crush it. On 20 November 870 the Danes killed King Edmund and took the kingdom, which they named East Anglia (see Ivar the Boneless). The Saxons retook the area in 920, only to lose it again in 1015–1017, when it was conquered by Canute the Great and given as a fiefdom to Thorkell the Tall, who was made Jarl of East Anglia in 1017.

Much of East Anglia (including parts of Lincolnshire) consisted of marshland and bogs until the seventeenth century, despite the construction of early sea barriers by the Roman Empire. During the seventeenth century the alluvial land was converted into arable land by means of systematic drainage using a collection of drains and river diversions. East Anglia was a rich area of the country up until the effects of the Industrial Revolution moved manufacturing to the Midlands and north - earnings being based on wool and textiles.

During the Second World War, the RAF and the United States Air Force constructed many air bases in East Anglia for the heavy bomber fleets of the Combined Bomber Offensive against Nazi-occupied Europe. East Anglia was chosen because it had considerable open space and level terrain and it was relatively close to the continent, thus shortening flights and allowing for greater bomb loads. Remnants of some of these bases are still visible.


ee also

*Kings of East Anglia
*Earls of East Anglia
*Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia
*University of East Anglia
*East Anglian Brigade
*East Anglian English

External links

* [http://www.easf.org.uk East Anglia Social Forum]
* [http://www.easf.org.uk/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page#History EASF radical history wiki]

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