Southern England, or the South of England, also known as the South, refers roughly to the southern counties of England. The extent of this area can take a number of different interpretations depending on the context, including geographical, cultural, political and economic.
Geographically, the south of England covers about one-third of the country. The South is often considered a principal cultural area of England, along with the Midlands and Northern England. Many consider the area to have a distinct identity from the rest of England, however without universal agreement on what cultural, political, and economic characteristics of the South are.
For statistical purposes, Southern England is divided into four regions: South West England, South East England, London, and the East of England. Combined, these have a total area of 62,042 square kilometres (23,955 sq mi), and a population of 28 million.
South of England
In this image, one definition of Southern England is illustrated as yellow.
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|10 largest Settlements in order of population|
|• Total||23,955 sq mi (62,042 km2)|
|• Density||1,200/sq mi (450/km2)|
|Time zone||GMT (UTC)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (BST)|
People often apply the terms "southern" and "south" loosely, without deeper consideration of the geographical identities of Southern England. This can cause confusion over the depth of affiliation between its areas. As in much of the rest of England, people tend to have a deeper affiliation to their county or city. Thus, residents of Essex are unlikely to feel much affinity with people in Oxfordshire. Similarly, there is a strong distinction between natives of the south-west and south-east. The broadcaster Stuart Maconie has noted that culturally "there's a bottom half of England [...] but there isn't a south in the same way that there's a north".
One major manifestation of the North–South divide is in health and life expectancy statistics. All three Northern England statistical regions have lower than average life expectancies and higher than average rates of cancer, circulatory disease and respiratory disease. The South of England has a higher life expectancy than the North, however, regional differences do seem to be slowly narrowing: between 1991–1993 and 2012–2014, life expectancy in the North East increased by 6.0 years and in the North West by 5.8 years, the fastest increase in any region outside London, and the gap between life expectancy in the North East and South East is now 2.5 years, down from 2.9 in 1993.
The sport of rugby experienced a schism in 1895 with many teams based in Yorkshire, Lancashire and surrounding areas breaking from the Rugby Football Union and forming their own League. The disagreement that led to the split was over the issue of professional payments, and "broken time" or injury payments. There is a perception that league is the code of rugby played in the north, whilst union is the code played in the south.
In most definitions, Southern England includes all the counties on/near the English Channel. In terms of the current ceremonial counties:
Despite the general acceptance of these counties as Southern, those that comprise the West Country are occasionally considered mutually exclusive to Southern England.
The exact northern extent varies and as with most geographical regions, people sometimes debate the boundaries. In the west, Southern England is generally taken to include Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire; in central Southern England, the counties of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire; to the east, Essex and the counties of East Anglia (Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk).
Despite these definitions, the northern boundary is generally taken to correspond to an imaginary line from the Severn Estuary to the Wash (or expressed in terms of towns, from Gloucester to King's Lynn).
The 1728 English cricket season was the 32nd cricket season since the earliest recorded eleven-aside match was played. Details have survived of four matches with another match possibly having been played in this year.
A Swiss traveller in southern England recorded his experiences of watching cricket being played. Teams which played under the names of counties were being formed as patrons, such as Edwin Stead, Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond and Sir William Gage sought stronger combinations to help them winAlpine orogeny
The Alpine orogeny or Alpide orogeny is an orogenic phase in the Late Mesozoic (Eoalpine) and the current Cenozoic that has formed the mountain ranges of the Alpide belt. These mountains include (from west to east) the Atlas, the Rif, the Baetic Cordillera, the Cantabrian Mountains, the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Apennine Mountains, the Dinaric Alps, the Hellenides, the Carpathians, the Balkan Mountains and the Rila-Rhodope massif, the Taurus, the Armenian Highlands, the Caucasus, the Alborz, the Zagros, the Hindu Kush, the Pamir, the Karakoram, and the Himalayas. Sometimes other names occur to describe the formation of separate mountain ranges: for example Carpathian orogeny for the Carpathians, Hellenic orogeny for the Hellenides or the Himalayan orogeny for the Himalayas.
The Alpine orogeny has also led to the formation of more distant and smaller geological features such as the Weald–Artois Anticline in southern England and northern France, the remains of which can be seen in the chalk ridges of the North and South Downs in southern England. Its effects are particularly visible on the Isle of Wight, where the Chalk Group and overlying Eocene strata are folded to near-vertical, as seen in exposures at Alum Bay and Whitecliff Bay, and on the Dorset coast near Lulworth Cove. Stresses arising from the Alpine orogeny caused the Cenozoic uplift of the Sudetes mountain range and possibly faulted rocks as far away as Öland in southern Sweden during the Paleocene.The Alpine orogeny is caused by the continents Africa and India and the small Cimmerian plate colliding (from the south) with Eurasia in the north. Convergent movements between the tectonic plates (the Indian plate and the African plate from the south, the Eurasian plate from the north, and many smaller plates and microplates) had already begun in the early Cretaceous, but the major phases of mountain building began in the Paleocene to Eocene. The process continues currently in some of the Alpide mountain ranges.
The Alpine orogeny is considered one of the three major phases of orogeny in Europe that define the geology of that continent, along with the Caledonian orogeny that formed the Old Red Sandstone Continent when the continents Baltica and Laurentia collided in the early Paleozoic, and the Hercynian or Variscan orogeny that formed Pangaea when Gondwana and the Old Red Sandstone Continent collided in the middle to late Paleozoic.Calcareous grassland
Calcareous grassland (or alkaline grassland) is an ecosystem associated with thin basic soil, such as that on chalk and limestone downland. Plants on calcareous grassland are typically short and hardy, and include grasses and herbs such as clover. Calcareous grassland is an important habitat for insects, particularly butterflies, and is kept at a plagioclimax by grazing animals, usually sheep and sometimes cattle. Rabbits used to play a part but due to the onset of myxomatosis their numbers decreased so dramatically that they no longer have much of a grazing effect.
There are large areas of calcareous grassland in northwestern Europe, particularly areas of southern England, such as Salisbury Plain and the North and South Downs.
The machair forms a different kind of calcareous grassland, where fertile low-lying plains are formed on ground that is calcium-rich due to shell sand (pulverised sea shells).DMG Media
DMG Media, formerly Associated Newspapers, is a national newspaper and website publisher in the UK. It is a subsidiary of DMGT. The group was established in 1905 and is currently based at Northcliffe House in Kensington. It takes responsibility for Harmsworth Printing Limited which produces all of its London, Southern England and South Wales editions of the national titles out of print works in Thurrock, Essex, and Didcot, Oxfordshire.
DMG Media owns the Daily Mail, MailOnline, the Mail on Sunday, Metro, Wowcher, Jobsite and Jobrapido. Its portfolio of national newspapers, websites and mobile and tablet applications regularly reach 55% of the GB adult population: it includes two major paid-for national newspaper titles as well as a free nationally available newspaper. The firm is also responsible for overseeing and developing the Group's online consumer businesses, which also include Teletext Holidays, and for the group's UK newspaper printing operations.Downland
A downland is an area of open chalk hills. This term is especially used to describe the chalk countryside in southern England. Areas of downland are often referred to as downs, deriving from a Celtic word for "hills".English Channel
The English Channel (French: la Manche, "The Sleeve"; German: Ärmelkanal, "Sleeve Channel"; Breton: Mor Breizh, "Sea of Brittany"; Welsh: Môr Udd; Cornish: Mor Bretannek, "British Sea"; Dutch: Het Kanaal, "The Channel"), also called simply the Channel, is the body of water that separates Southern England from northern France and links the southern part of the North Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. It is the busiest shipping area in the world.It is about 560 km (350 mi) long and varies in width from 240 km (150 mi) at its widest to 33.3 km (20.7 mi) in the Strait of Dover. It is the smallest of the shallow seas around the continental shelf of Europe, covering an area of some 75,000 km2 (29,000 sq mi).English language in southern England
English in southern England (also, rarely, Southern English English, or in the UK, simply, Southern English) is the collective set of different dialects and accents of the English spoken in Southern England.Flamsteed designation
A Flamsteed designation is a combination of a number and constellation name that uniquely identifies most naked eye stars in the modern constellations visible from southern England. They are named for John Flamsteed who first used them while compiling his Historia Coelestis Britannica.Home counties
The home counties are the counties of England that surround London (although several of them do not border it). The counties generally included are Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey, and Sussex. Other counties more distant from London—such as Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire—are also sometimes regarded as home counties due to their proximity to London and their connection to the London regional economy.
The origin of the term "home counties" is unknown and no exact definition exists, making their composition a matter of debate.Key Stage 4
Key Stage 4 is the legal term for the two years of school education which incorporate GCSEs, and other examinations, in maintained schools in England normally known as Year 10 and Year 11, when pupils are aged between 14 and 16. (In some schools, KS4 work is started in Year 9.)Old Harry Rocks
Old Harry Rocks are three chalk formations, including a stack and a stump, located at Handfast Point, on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, southern England. They mark the most easterly point of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Salisbury Plain
Salisbury Plain is a chalk plateau in the south western part of central southern England covering 300 square miles (780 km2). It is part of a system of chalk downlands throughout eastern and southern England formed by the rocks of the Chalk Group and largely lies within the county of Wiltshire, but stretches into Berkshire and Hampshire. The plain is famous for its rich archaeology, including Stonehenge, one of England's best known landmarks. Large areas are given over to military training and thus the sparsely populated plain is the biggest remaining area of calcareous grassland in northwest Europe. Additionally the plain has arable land, and a few small areas of beech trees and coniferous woodland. Its highest point is Easton Hill.Sarsen
Sarsen stones are sandstone blocks found in quantity in the United Kingdom on Salisbury Plain and the Marlborough Downs in Wiltshire; in Kent; and in smaller quantities in Berkshire, Essex, Oxfordshire, Dorset and Hampshire. They are the post-glacial remains of a cap of Cenozoic silcrete that once covered much of southern England – a dense, hard rock created from sand bound by a silica cement, making it a kind of silicified sandstone. This is thought to have formed during Neogene to Quaternary weathering by the silicification of Upper Paleocene Lambeth Group sediments, resulting from acid leaching.The word "sarsen" (pronunciation ['sa:sǝn]) is a shortening of "Saracen stone" which arose in the Wiltshire dialect. "Saracen" was a common name for Muslims, and came by extension to be used for anything regarded as non-Christian, whether Muslim, pagan Celtic, or other.Southern Football League
The Southern League, currently known as the BetVictor Southern League under the terms of a sponsorship agreement with BetVictor, is a men's football competition featuring semi-professional clubs from the South West, 'South Central' and Midlands of England and South Wales. Together with the Isthmian League and the Northern Premier League it forms levels seven and eight of the English football league system.
The structure of the Southern League has changed several times since its formation in 1894, and currently there are 84 clubs which are divided into four divisions. The Central and South Divisions are at step 3 of the National League System (NLS), and are feeder divisions, mainly to the National League South but also to the National League North. Feeding the Premier Divisions are two regional divisions, Division One Central and Division One South, which are at step 4 of the NLS. These divisions are in turn fed by various regional leagues.Southern League (1929–31)
The Southern League was founded in 1929 as the inaugural season of speedway racing in the United Kingdom for Southern British teams. The league ran for 3 seasons before being amalgamated with the Northern League to form the National League. The first winners were Stamford Bridge Pensioners but it was Wembley Lions who won the most titles.Southern League (ice hockey)
The Southern League was the top-flight ice hockey league for clubs in the majority of England from 1970. It was formed as the counterpart to the clubs in Scotland and the north of England called the Northern League. In 1978, it was replaced by the English League North and English League South. In 1976-77, a "B" league was run, while a junior league was also contested in most seasons.The Downs (ship anchorage)
The Downs are a roadstead (area of sheltered, favourable sea) in the southern North Sea near the English Channel off the east Kent coast, between the North and the South Foreland in southern England. In 1639 the Battle of the Downs took place here, when the Dutch navy destroyed a Spanish fleet which had sought refuge in neutral English waters. From the Elizabethan era onwards, the presence of the Downs helped to make Deal one of the premier ports in England, and in the 19th century, it was equipped with its own telegraph and timeball tower to enable ships to set their marine chronometers.
The anchorage has depths down to 12 fathoms (22 m). Even during southerly gales some shelter was afforded, though under this condition wrecks were not infrequent. Storms from any direction could also drive ships onto the shore or onto the sands, which—in spite of providing the sheltered water—were constantly shifting, and not always adequately marked.
The Downs served in the age of sail as a permanent base for warships patrolling the North Sea and a gathering point for refitted or newly built ships coming out of Chatham Dockyard, such as HMS Bellerophon, and formed a safe anchorage during heavy weather, protected on the east by the Goodwin Sands and on the north and west by the coast. The Downs also lie between the Strait of Dover and the Thames Estuary, so both merchant ships awaiting an easterly wind to take them into the English Channel and those going up to London gathered there, often for quite long periods. According to the Deal Maritime Museum and other sources, there are records of as many as 800 sailing ships at anchor at one time.In the present day, with the English Channel still the busiest shipping lane in the world, cross-Channel ferries and other ships still seek shelter here.The Pinnacles (Dorset)
The Pinnacles are two chalk formations, including a stack and a stump, located near Handfast Point, on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, southern England.West Country
The West Country is a loosely defined area of south-western England. The term usually encompasses the historic counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, and often the counties of Bristol, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, in the South West region. The region is host to distinctive regional dialects and accents. Some definitions also include Herefordshire.