20 British towns with uncertain claims to fame

One of St Albans' many bars - Getty

One of St Albans’ many bars – Getty

England is, in many ways, the puzzle of a nation of infinitely different pieces – some lost behind the couch, some covered in jam, and some chewed up. dog.

In other words, we are a strange nation. And nowhere is this perhaps more visible than in some extraordinary statistics about our villages, towns and cities. Do you know your Nailsworth from your Flash or your Rhos-on-Sea from your Coton – and if so, do you know why each place is different?

No? Then keep reading…

The village with the smallest castle

An obvious category to start with. And no, the answer isn’t Windsor, partly because Windsor is a market town rather than a village, partly because its castle is actually quite large. The answer is actually Long Compton, a point on the map in Warwickshire. The building in question is called Molly’s Lodge and was built in the 1830s by architect Edward Blore, who also worked at Buckingham Palace. With one bedroom, limestone turrets, and 0.61 acres of land, World War II It is a highly protected building. It went on sale for £550,000 in 2017, which is probably far less than a king’s ransom, adjusted for inflation.

smallest town

This title is claimed by two contestants. The first is Llanwrtyd Wells in Powys, which has a population of just 850. Somewhat confusingly, it surpassed seven other settlements to be named “Wales Village of the Year” in 2009. ” every June – here runners race against riders on horseback.) Second is Fordwich in Kent (population 381), which seems to have a better bet – it’s run by a city council, has a town hall, but fewer residents has .

A historic building in Fordwich - David Rose

A historic building in Fordwich – David Rose

Smallest town with an English football league club

That honor goes to Nailsworth in Gloucestershire, where only 7,746 people live. It is also the home of Forest Green Rovers. The club was promoted to the Second Division (the lowest tier of the Football League) in May 2017, after which they reached the dizzying heights of the First Division last year. Matches are played on The New Lawn, which can accommodate two-thirds of the entire population of the Cotswolds town, with a capacity of 5,141.

David vs. Goliath - Dan Istitene

David vs. Goliath – Dan Istitene

Smallest town with a Scottish football league club

Compared to Dingwall, which overlooks the Cromarty Firth 14 miles northwest of Inverness in the Highlands, Nailsworth looks like a metropolis. The town has only 5,491 people according to the latest census, but is home to Ross County, a club that plays in the Scottish Premier League. Remarkably, when the team reached the Scottish Cup Final in 2010, 17,000 fans – almost three times the town’s population – traveled to Glasgow for the match (3-0 loss to Dundee United). The club’s home ground, Victoria Park, has a capacity of 6,541 people. Theoretically, an entire town could attend a game and still have 1,050 seats left vacant.

City with highest English league club

This would be West Bromwich in the West Midlands, where the Hawthorns, home of West Bromwich Albion, sit at 551 feet (168 m) above sea level.

highest market town

This is an important thing to be true. Buxton in Derbyshire is considered to be at an elevation of around 1,000 feet (305 m), but locals note that the Marketplace is located at an elevation of 1,030 feet (314 m). The town is on the edge of the Peak District National Park, which explains its height.

Beautiful Buxton

Beautiful Buxton

the highest village

Elsewhere in the Peak District, the wonderfully named Flash village holds its head even higher, with a Himalayan altitude of 1,519 feet (463 m) (okay, not really). His status was confirmed in 2007 when Ordnance Survey measured the exact height of the tallest houses in both the village and its closest rival for the title. Which one…

Scotland’s tallest village

…wanlockhead rising in the Lowther Hills, Dumfries and Galloway. It reaches 1,345 feet (410 m) high—not a large number to outshine The Flash, but one of enough weight to make it the tallest village north of Tweed.

Supreme Wanlockhead - Getty

Supreme Wanlockhead – Getty

The village farthest from the sea

If you stop at the small engraving on the map of Derbyshire, which is Coton on the Elms, you are as far away from the roar of the waves in England as you can get. This little paradise of only 896 people is from the sea in every direction, whether you draw a straight line to Fosdyke Wash in Lincolnshire, White Sands in Cheshire, Flint in Flintshire or Westbury-on-Severn in Gloucestershire. It is 70 miles away. The definitive non-seaworthy point is Church Flatts Farm, located at 52° 43.6′ N, 1° 37.2′ W, south of the village.

City with the most pubs

Another hotly debated award. “There are more bars per square mile in St Albans than anywhere else in the country,” says a statement from the Rotary Club of St Albans, where Camra, a beer-savvy organization, is headquartered. But then, St Albans is a city – so the winner could be Rhayader in Powys. Research by BBC Radio 4 in 2008 measured that the Welsh town in question was equipped with 12 pubs and 2,075 residents – one establishment for every 173 people. There’s more to this thorny topic, including why Otley in Yorkshire and Manningtree in Essex claimed the award.

The village with the furthest pub

Unlike St Albans’ many pubs, there is only one in the village of Inverie, the only settlement on Scotland’s remote Knoydart peninsula. The most remote pub in the English mainland and the heart of a community that generates its own electricity, brews its own beer and culls local deer is Old Forge.

Remote Inverie - AFP

Remote Inverie – AFP

The village with the most listed buildings per capita

The Riversmeet neighborhood in the Cotswolds is home to Little and Great Barrington, which face each other across the River Windrush. These beautiful villages consist of 16th, 17th and 18th century cottages and farm buildings and have the highest number of registered buildings per 100 inhabitants in the country at 25.6. As a result, the average property price is twice as expensive as the county average.

The county with the youngest population

“Come, fellow bombers, and attack Slough; it is no longer fit for humans,” wrote Sir John Betjeman in his infamous poem about the Berkshire town. These ten stanzas in the 1937 Permanent Dew collection are actually a broader condemnation of the rapid industrialization of the British landscape in the lead up to World War II, rather than an attack on a specific location. In retrospect, that’s good too, because according to figures released in 2018, Slough is a core of youthful vitality. The average age of its population (just 33.9) makes it the youngest town in England.

The county with the oldest population

At the other end of the scale is Blackpool, with an average age of 43.2 years and more than 20 percent of its residents over 65, according to the same study.

Blackpool is an old favorite - Christopher Furlong

Blackpool is an old favorite – Christopher Furlong

University is the largest settlement

Well, here’s an interesting one. Bearing in mind that almost every British city has a university – especially since the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 which allowed polytechnics to raise their status – you would have to scan the map to find a large urban area without students. their extremely enduring love for the humble traffic cone. Research by CityMetric on this critical issue in 2016 eventually reached Milton Keynes, a population of 229,941 but no place of study for those over school age. This assumes you exclude the Milton Keynes-based Open University, of course, but do not have an official campus as a distance education major.

City with the most cats

God, who collects this kind of information? Why, the good folks at Petlog, a micro-chip database of pets that allows Fido to escape in the park so he can be reunited with their owners through the breathtaking magic of technology. In 2015, the company released statistics showing that furry felines are most common in Birmingham. At least, microchip moggies – 70,258 live in the second city.

The city with the most medieval churches

That would be Norwich, which has two cathedrals and apparently has more medieval churches (32 to be exact) than any other city in the UK. These include the lovely St Peter Mancroft, a gem so grand from the 15th century that it is often mistaken for one of the cathedrals. Oddly enough, Norwich is also counted among the least religious cities in England and Wales. In the 2011 census, the percentage of those who said they were “religious” was the highest – 42.5 percent. The national average was 25.1 percent.

Norwich has no shortage of churches - Getty

Norwich has no shortage of churches – Getty

The town with the smallest church

It’s a surprisingly touchy category. The town of Rhos-on-Sea in Conwy lays claim to this most important trophy – thanks to St Trillo’s, a stone chapel probably from the 16th century that could fit around eight worshipers. However, there is a challenger in the form of Bremilham Church in Bremilham, Wiltshire. This squat 15th-century temple measures just 3 meters by 11 meters (3.4 meters), and the Guinness Book of Records has it listed as England’s smallest “in use” church. Someone get a tape measure, quick.

Town with the oldest permanent puppet theater

Don’t worry, Rhos-on-Sea. This is definitely yours. The Harlequin Puppet Theater first opened its doors in 1958. It has a seating capacity of 100 for puppet shows.

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