East Anglia is a geographical area in the East of England. The area included has varied but the legally defined NUTS 2 statistical unit comprises the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, including the City of Peterborough unitary authority area. The name derives from the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the East Angles, a tribe whose name originated in Anglia, northern Germany.
Definitions of what constitutes East Anglia vary. The Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of East Anglia, established in the 6th century, originally consisted of the modern counties of Norfolk and Suffolk and expanded west into at least part of Cambridgeshire. The modern NUTS 2 statistical unit of East Anglia comprises Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire (including the City of Peterborough unitary authority). Those three counties have formed the Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia since 1976, and were the subject of a possible government devolution package in 2016.
Essex has sometimes been included in definitions of East Anglia, including by the London Society of East Anglians.[note 1] However, the Kingdom of Essex to the south, was a separate element of the Heptarchy of Anglo-Saxon England and did not identify as Angles but Saxons. The county of Essex by itself forms a NUTS 2 statistical unit in the East of England region.
Other definitions of the area have been used or proposed over the years. For example, the Redcliffe-Maud Report in 1969, which followed the Royal Commission on the Reform of Local Government, recommended the creation of eight provinces in England. The proposed East Anglia province would have included northern Essex, southern Lincolnshire and a small part of Northamptonshire as well as Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.
The kingdom was 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) and was one of the seven Anglo-Saxon heptarchy kingdoms (as defined in the 12th 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). However, this did not last and over the next forty years East Anglia was defeated by the Mercians twice and continued to weaken in relation to the other kingdoms. Finally, in 794, Offa of Mercia had king Æthelberht killed and took control of the kingdom himself. Although independence was temporarily restored by rebellion in 825, on 20 November 869 the Danes killed King Edmund and captured the kingdom (see Ivar the Boneless). By 917, after a succession of Danish defeats, East Anglia was incorporated into the Kingdom of England by Edward the Elder, afterwards becoming an earldom.
Despite some engineering work in the form of sea barriers constructed by the Roman Empire, much of East Anglia remained marshland and bogs until the 17th century. From this point onward a series of systematic drainage projects, mainly using drains and river diversions along the lines of Dutch practice, converted the alluvial land into wide swathes of productive arable land. In the 1630s thousands of Puritan families from East Anglia settled in the American region of New England, taking much East Anglian culture with them that can still be traced today. East Anglia, which based much of its earnings on wool, textiles, and arable farming, was a rich area of England until the effects of the Industrial Revolution saw manufacturing and development shift to the Midlands and the North.
During the Second World War, the Royal Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces constructed many airbases in East Anglia for the heavy bomber fleets of the Combined Bomber Offensive against Nazi-occupied Europe. East Anglia was ideally suited to airfield construction as it comprises large areas of open, level terrain and is close to mainland Europe. The reduced flight time to mainland Europe therefore reduced the fuel load required and enabled a larger bomb load to be carried. Building the airfields was a massive civil engineering project and by the end of the war there was one approximately every 8 miles. Many of these airfields can still be seen today, particularly from aerial photographs, and a few remain in use today, the most prominent being Norwich International Airport. Pillboxes, which were erected in 1940 to help defend the nation against invasion, can also be found throughout the area at strategic points.
East Anglia is bordered to the north and east by the North Sea, to the south by the estuary of the River Thames and shares an undefined land border to the west with the rest of England. Much of northern East Anglia is flat, low-lying and marshy (such as the Fens of Cambridgeshire and Norfolk), although the extensive drainage projects of the past centuries actually make this one of the driest areas in the UK. Inland much of the rest of Suffolk and Norfolk is gently undulating, with glacial moraine ridges providing some areas of steeper areas relief. The supposed flatness of the Norfolk landscape is noted in literature, such as Noël Coward's Private Lives – "Very flat, Norfolk".
On the north-west corner East Anglia is bordered by a bay known as The Wash, where owing to deposits of sediment and land reclamation, the coastline has altered markedly within historical times; several towns once on the coast of the Wash (notably King's Lynn) are now some distance inland. Conversely, over to the east on the coast exposed to the North Sea the coastline is subject to rapid erosion and has shifted inland significantly since historic times.
Major rivers include Suffolk's Stour, running through country beloved of the painter John Constable, and the River Nene. The River Cam is a tributary of the Great Ouse and gives its name to Cambridge, whilst Norwich sits on the River Yare and River Wensum. The River Orwell flows through Ipswich and has its mouth, along with the Stour at Felixstowe. The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads form a network of waterways between Norwich and the coast and are popular for recreational boating. The Ouse flows into the Wash at King's Lynn.
Major urban areas in East Anglia include the cities of Norwich, Cambridge and Peterborough, and the town of Ipswich. Smaller towns and cities include Bury St Edmunds, Ely, Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn. Much of the area is still rural in nature with many villages surrounded by agricultural land. The landscape of Cambridgeshire and Norfolk has been heavily influenced by Dutch technology, from the use of red clay pantiles to the draining of the Fens.
The climate of East Anglia is generally dry and mild. Temperatures range from an average of 1–10 °C in the winter to 12–22 °C in the summer, although it is not uncommon for daily temperatures to fall and rise significantly outside these averages. Although water plays a significant role in the Fenland and Broadland landscapes, the area is among the driest in the United Kingdom and during the summer months, tinder-dry conditions are frequently experienced, occasionally resulting in field and heath fires. Many areas receive less than 700mm of rainfall a year and this is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. Sunshine totals tend to be higher towards the coastal areas.
Transport in East Anglia consists of an extensive road and rail network. Main A roads, such as the A12 and A47 link the area to the rest of the UK, and the A14 links the Midlands to the Port of Felixstowe. This is the busiest container port in the UK, dealing with over 40% of UK container traffic and a is a major gateway port into the country. There is very little motorway within East Anglia.
Rail links include the Great Eastern Main Line from Norwich to London Liverpool Street and the West Anglia Main Line connecting Cambridge to London. Sections of the East Coast Main Line run through the area and Peterborough is an important interchange on this line. The area is linked to the Midlands and north-west England by rail and has a number of local rail services, such as the Bittern Line from Norwich to Sheringham.
East Anglia is ideal for cycling and National Cycle Route 1 passes through it. Cambridge has the largest proportion of its residents in the UK cycling to work with 25% commuting by bicycle. The city is also home to the Cambridgeshire guided busway, which at 13.3 miles (21.4 km) was the longest stretch of guided bus-way in the world when it opened in 2011.
The University of Cambridge, established at the start of the 13th century and in the town of the same name, is East Anglia's best-known institution of higher learning, and is among the oldest and most famous universities in the world. Other institutions include the University of East Anglia (in Norwich), Norwich University of the Arts, Anglia Ruskin University (based in Cambridge), University of Suffolk (based in Ipswich) and University Centre Peterborough.
Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Enterprise Zone, an enterprise zone initiated by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, was announced in 2011 and launched in April 2012. It includes six sites with a total area of 121 hectares (300 acres), which have attracted a number of energy-related businesses. The sites are Beacon Park and South Denes in Great Yarmouth, Mobbs Way, Riverside Road and South Lowestoft Industrial Estate in Lowestoft and Ellough Business Park in Ellough near Beccles. There is also an enterprise zone in Cambridgeshire, Alconbury Enterprise Campus in Huntingdon.
A shield of three golden crowns, placed two above one, on a blue background has been used as a symbol of East Anglia for centuries. The coat of arms was ascribed by medieval heralds to the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of East Anglia and the Wuffingas dynasty which ruled it. The arms are effectively identical to the coat of arms of Sweden.
The three crowns appear, carved in stone, on the baptismal font (c.1400) in the parish church of Saxmundham, and on the 15th century porch of Woolpit church, both in Suffolk. They also appear in local heraldry and form part of the arms of the diocese of Ely and the arms of the borough of Bury St Edmunds, where the crowns are shown pierced with arrows to represent the martyrdom of Edmund the Martyr, the last king of East Anglia. Other users of the arms include the former Isle of Ely County Council, the Borough of Colchester and the University of East Anglia. The flag of Cambridgeshire (adopted in 2015) includes the three gold crowns on a blue field.
The East Anglian flag as it is known today was proposed by George Henry Langham and adopted in 1902 by the London Society of East Anglians (established in 1896). It superimposes the three crowns in a blue shield on a St George's cross.
East Anglia features heavily in English literature, notably in Noël Coward's Private Lives and the history of its waterways and drainage forms the backdrop to Graham Swift's novel Waterland. The area also figures in works by L.P. Hartley, Arthur Ransome and Dorothy L. Sayers, among many others.
East Anglia has a wide range of holiday resorts that range from the traditional coastal towns of Felixstowe and Lowestoft in Suffolk and Great Yarmouth and Hunstanton in Norfolk, to small fishing villages like Aldeburgh and Southwold in Suffolk. Other tourist attractions include historic towns and cities like Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge and Ely as well as areas such as Constable Country, the Broads and the North Norfolk coast.
Anna (or Onna; killed 653 or 654) was king of East Anglia from the early 640s until his death. He was a member of the Wuffingas family, the ruling dynasty of the East Angles. He was one of the three sons of Eni who ruled the kingdom of East Anglia, succeeding some time after Ecgric was killed in battle by Penda of Mercia. Anna was praised by Bede for his devotion to Christianity and was renowned for the saintliness of his family: his son Jurmin and all his daughters – Seaxburh, Æthelthryth, Æthelburh and possibly a fourth, Wihtburh – were canonised.
Little is known of Anna's life or his reign, as few records have survived from this period. In 631 he may have been at Exning, close to the Devil's Dyke. In 645 Cenwalh of Wessex was driven from his kingdom by Penda and, due to Anna's influence, he was converted to Christianity while living as an exile at the East Anglian court. Upon his return from exile, Cenwalh re-established Christianity in his own kingdom and the people of Wessex then remained firmly Christian.
Around 651 the land around Ely was absorbed into East Anglia, following the marriage of Anna's daughter Æthelthryth. Anna richly endowed the coastal monastery at Cnobheresburg. In 651, in the aftermath of an attack by Penda on Cnobheresburg, Anna was forced to flee into exile, perhaps to the western kingdom of the Magonsæte. He returned to East Anglia in about 653, but soon afterwards the kingdom was attacked again by Penda and at the Battle of Bulcamp the East Anglian army, led by Anna, was defeated by the Mercians, and both Anna and his son Jurmin were killed. Anna was succeeded by his brother, Æthelhere. Botolph's monastery at Iken may have been built in commemoration of the king. After Anna's reign, East Anglia seems to have been eclipsed by its more powerful neighbour, Mercia.Beornwulf of Mercia
Beornwulf (died 826) was King of Mercia (roughly the Midlands of England) from 823 to 826. His short reign saw the collapse of Mercia's supremacy over the other kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy.Brian Morton (Scottish writer)
Brian Morton (born 1954) is a Scottish writer, journalist and former broadcaster, specialising in jazz and modern literature.Climatic Research Unit email controversy
The Climatic Research Unit email controversy (also known as "Climategate") began in November 2009 with the hacking of a server at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) by an external attacker, copying thousands of emails and computer files, the Climatic Research Unit documents, to various internet locations several weeks before the Copenhagen Summit on climate change.
The story was first broken by climate change denialists, with columnist James Delingpole popularising the term "Climategate" to describe the controversy. Several climate-change "skeptics" argued that the emails showed that global warming was a scientific conspiracy and that scientists manipulated climate data and attempted to suppress critics. The CRU rejected this, saying that the emails had been taken out of context and merely reflected an honest exchange of ideas.The mainstream media picked up the story, as negotiations over climate change mitigation began in Copenhagen on 7 December 2009. Because of the timing, scientists, policy makers and public-relations experts said that the release of emails was a smear campaign intended to undermine the climate conference. In response to the controversy, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) released statements supporting the scientific consensus that the Earth's mean surface temperature had been rising for decades, with the AAAS concluding: "based on multiple lines of scientific evidence that global climate change caused by human activities is now underway... it is a growing threat to society".Eight committees investigated the allegations and published reports, finding no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct. The scientific consensus that global warming is occurring as a result of human activity remained unchanged throughout the investigations.East Anglia Array
The East Anglia Array is a proposed series of offshore wind farms to be located around 30 miles off the east coast of East Anglia, in the North Sea, England. It is being developed in partnership by ScottishPower Renewables and Vattenfall. Up to six individual projects could be set up in the area with a maximum capacity of up to 7.2 GW. The first project, East Anglia ONE at 714 MW, received planning consent in June 2014 and contracts in April 2016. Offshore construction began in 2018 and is expected to be completed around 2020.East Anglia franchise
The East Anglia franchise is a railway franchise for passenger trains on the Great Eastern Main Line and West Anglia Main Lines in England. It commenced operating in April 2004 when the Anglia and Great Eastern franchises, together with the West Anglia part of the West Anglia Great Northern franchise, were combined to form the Greater Anglia franchise.
Initially operated by National Express East Anglia, in February 2012 it was taken over by Greater Anglia. In May 2015 the Liverpool Street to Chingford/Cheshunt and Enfield Town and Romford to Upminster services transferred to London Overground, and the Liverpool Street to Shenfield services transferred to TfL Rail. Upon being re-tendered in 2016, it was retained by Abellio and rebranded Greater Anglia as specified by the Department for Transport.East Anglian English
East Anglian English is a dialect of English spoken in East Anglia. East Anglian English has had a very considerable input into the formation of Standard English, and probably contributed to the development of American English; it has also experienced multilingualism on a remarkable scale. However, it has received little attention from the media and is not easily recognized by people from other parts of the UK. East Anglia is not easily defined as its boundaries are not uniformly agreed upon.Dialects commonly agreed upon include:
Norfolk dialect (Broad Norfolk)
Suffolk dialectOther dialects more loosely associated with East Anglia include:
Fenland dialectEdmund the Martyr
Edmund the Martyr (also known as St Edmund or Edmund of East Anglia, died 20 November 869) was king of East Anglia from about 855 until his death.
Almost nothing is known about Edmund. He is thought to have been of East Anglian origin and was first mentioned in an annal of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, written some years after his death. The kingdom of East Anglia was devastated by the Vikings, who destroyed any contemporary evidence of his reign. Later writers produced fictitious accounts of his life, asserting that he was born in 841, the son of Æthelweard, an obscure East Anglian king, whom it was said Edmund succeeded when he was fourteen (or alternatively that he was the youngest son of a Germanic king named Alcmund). Later versions of Edmund's life relate that he was crowned on 25 December 855 at Burna (probably Bures St. Mary in Suffolk), which at that time functioned as the royal capital, and that he became a model king.
In 869, the Great Heathen Army advanced on East Anglia and killed Edmund. He may have been slain by the Danes in battle, but by tradition he met his death at an unidentified place known as Haegelisdun, after he refused the Danes' demand that he renounce Christ: the Danes beat him, shot him with arrows and then beheaded him, on the orders of Ivar the Boneless and his brother Ubba. According to one legend, his head was then thrown into the forest, but was found safe by searchers after following the cries of an ethereal wolf that was calling, in Latin, "Hic, Hic, Hic" – "Here, Here, Here".
A coinage commemorating Edmund was minted from around the time East Anglia was absorbed by the kingdom of Wessex and a popular cult emerged. In about 986, Abbo of Fleury wrote of his life and martyrdom. The saint's remains were temporarily moved from Bury St Edmunds to London for safekeeping in 1010. His shrine at Bury was visited by many kings, including Canute, who was responsible for rebuilding the abbey: the stone church was rebuilt again in 1095. During the Middle Ages, when Edmund was regarded as the patron saint of England, Bury and its magnificent abbey grew wealthy, but during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, his shrine was destroyed. Medieval manuscripts and works of art relating to Edmund include Abbo's Passio Sancti Eadmundi, John Lydgate's 14th-century Life, the Wilton Diptych and a number of church wall paintings.Greater Anglia (train operating company)
Greater Anglia (legal name Abellio East Anglia Limited) is a train operating company in Great Britain owned as a joint venture by Abellio, the international arm of the state-owned Dutch national rail operator Nederlandse Spoorwegen, and the Japanese company Mitsui. It operates the East Anglia franchise, providing the majority of commuter/regional services from its Central London terminus at London Liverpool Street to Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and parts of Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire as well as many regional services throughout the East of England.
Abellio began operating the franchise, then known as the Greater Anglia franchise, in February 2012. Initially it traded under the same name until it rebranded as Abellio Greater Anglia in December 2013. In May 2015, most of the company's suburban services were transferred to London Overground and the precursor to Crossrail, TfL Rail.
The franchise was re-tendered as the East Anglia franchise and awarded to Abellio in August 2016. The company resumed trading as Greater Anglia on 16 October 2016 when the new franchise commenced. In January 2017, Abellio announced that subject to gaining Department for Transport approval, it had agreed to sell a 40% stake in the business to Mitsui. The sale was completed in March 2017.Guthrum
Guthrum or Guðrum (died c. 890), christened Æthelstan on his conversion to Christianity in 878, was King of the Danish Vikings in the Danelaw. He is mainly known for his conflict with Alfred the Great.Kingdom of East Anglia
The Kingdom of the East Angles (Old English: Ēast Engla Rīce; Latin: Regnum Orientalium Anglorum), today known as the Kingdom of East Anglia, was a small independent kingdom of the Angles comprising what are now the English counties of Norfolk and Suffolk and perhaps the eastern part of the Fens. The kingdom formed in the 6th century in the wake of the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain. It was ruled by the Wuffingas in the 7th and 8th centuries, but fell to Mercia in 794, and was conquered by the Danes in 869, forming part of the Danelaw. It was conquered by Edward the Elder and incorporated into the Kingdom of England in 918.List of monarchs of East Anglia
The kingdom of East Anglia, (also known as the kingdom of the East Angles), was a small independent Anglo-Saxon kingdom that comprised what are now the English counties of Norfolk and Suffolk and perhaps the eastern part of the Fens. The kingdom was one of the seven traditional members of the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. The East Angles were initially ruled (from the 6th century until 749) by members of the Wuffingas dynasty, named after Wuffa, whose name means 'descendants of the wolf'. The last king was Guthrum II, who ruled in the 10th century.
After 749 East Anglia was ruled by kings whose genealogy is not known, or by sub-kings who were under the control of the kings of Mercia. East Anglia briefly recovered its independence after the death of Offa of Mercia in 796, but Mercian hegemony was soon restored by his successor, Coenwulf. Between 826 and 869, following an East Anglian revolt in which the Mercian king, Beornwulf, was killed, the East Angles again regained their independence. In 869 a Danish army defeated and killed the last native East Anglian king, Edmund the Martyr. The kingdom then fell into the hands of the Danes and eventually formed part of the Danelaw. In 918 the East Anglian Danes accepted the overlordship of Edward the Elder of Wessex. East Anglia then became part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of England.
Many of the regnal dates of the East Anglian kings are considered unreliable, often being based upon computations. Some dates have presented particular problems for scholars: for instance, during the three-year-long period of apostasy that followed the murder of Eorpwald, when it is not known whether any king ruled the East Angles. The main source of information about the early history of the kingdom's rulers is Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People.National Express East Anglia
National Express East Anglia (NXEA) was a train operating company in England owned by National Express, that operated the Greater Anglia franchise from April 2004 until February 2012. Originally trading as One, it was rebranded National Express East Anglia in February 2008. It provided local, suburban and express services from London Liverpool Street to destinations in Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk in the East of England.Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia
The Diocese of East Anglia is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church covering the counties of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Peterborough in eastern England. The diocese makes up part of the Catholic Association Pilgrimage.Rædwald of East Anglia
Rædwald (Old English: Rædwald pronounced [rædwɑɫd], 'power in counsel'), also written as Raedwald or Redwald, was a 7th-century king of East Anglia, a long-lived Anglo-Saxon kingdom which included the present-day English counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. He was the son of Tytila of East Anglia and a member of the Wuffingas dynasty (named after his grandfather, Wuffa), who were the first kings of the East Angles. Details about Rædwald's reign are scarce, primarily because the Viking invasions of the 9th century destroyed the monasteries in East Anglia where many documents would have been kept. Rædwald reigned from about 599 until his death around 624, initially under the overlordship of Æthelberht of Kent. In 616, as a result of fighting the Battle of the River Idle and defeating Æthelfrith of Northumbria, he was able to install Edwin, who was acquiescent to his authority, as the new king of Northumbria. During the battle, both Æthelfrith and Rædwald's son Rægenhere were killed.
From around 616, Rædwald was the most powerful of the English kings south of the River Humber. According to Bede he was the fourth ruler to hold imperium over other southern Anglo-Saxon kingdoms: he was referred to in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, written centuries after his death, as a bretwalda (an Old English term meaning 'Britain-ruler' or 'wide-ruler'). He was the first king of the East Angles to become a Christian, converting at Æthelberht's court some time before 605, whilst at the same time maintaining a pagan temple. In receiving the faith he helped to ensure the survival of Christianity in East Anglia during the apostasy of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Essex and Kent. He is generally considered by historians to be the most favoured candidate for the occupant of the Sutton Hoo ship-burial, although other theories have been advanced.Stansted Express
The Stansted Express is a direct train service linking London Liverpool Street to London Stansted Airport. It is a sub-brand of Greater Anglia, the current franchise operator of the East Anglia franchise.University of East Anglia
The University of East Anglia (UEA) is a public research university in Norwich, England. Established in 1963 on a 320 acres (130 hectares) campus west of the city centre, the university has four faculties and 26 schools of study. The annual income of the institution for 2016–17 was £273.7 million of which £35.6 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £262.6 million.The university is ranked 13th in the UK by The Times and Sunday Times, 14th by The Complete University Guide and 18th by The Guardian.Wuffingas
The Wuffingas, Uffingas or Wuffings were the ruling dynasty of East Anglia, the long-lived Anglo-Saxon kingdom which today includes the English counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. The Wuffingas took their name from Wuffa, an early East Anglian king. Nothing is known of the members of the dynasty before Rædwald, who ruled from about 599 to c. 624. The Viking invasions of the ninth century destroyed the monasteries in East Anglia where many documents relating to the rule of the Wuffingas would have been kept.
The last of the Wuffingas kings was Ælfwald, who died in 749 and who was succeeded by kings whose lineage is unknown.Æthelberht II of East Anglia
Æthelberht (Old English: Æðelbrihte, ÆÞelberhte), also called Saint Ethelbert the King (died 20 May 794 at Sutton Walls, Herefordshire), was an eighth-century saint and a king of East Anglia, the Anglo-Saxon kingdom which today includes the English counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. Little is known of his reign, which may have begun in 779, according to later sources, and very few of the coins issued during his reign have been discovered. It is known from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle that he was killed on the orders of Offa of Mercia in 794.
He was subsequently locally canonised and became the focus of cults in East Anglia and at Hereford, where the shrine of the saintly king once existed. In the absence of historical facts, mediaeval chroniclers provided their own details for Æthelberht's ancestry, life as king and death at the hands of Offa. His feast day is 20 May. Several Norfolk, Suffolk and West Country parish churches are dedicated to the saint.