Articles about places, buildings or events from the Georgian era in Britain.  This includes most of the 18th century and the early 19th century.

Visit the Tower of London

Tower of London

The Tower of London has been sitting on the north bank of the Thames, watching the tides of a great city ebb and flow, for around a thousand years.  The city has grown up around it and it is part of it; it is impossible to imagine London without the Tower.  Think of all that

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The Vampire of Dent (and other stories)

Dent, Cumbria

You’ll find the small village of Dent, sometimes known locally as Dent Town, on the western edge of the Yorkshire Dales.  This was once part of Yorkshire’s West Riding but is now inside the county of Cumbria.  The narrow roads through achingly beautiful Dentdale seem never-ending; it’s almost a relief to arrive amongst Dent’s old

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Ironbridge – cradle of industrialisation?

Ironbridge, Shropshire

You should visit Ironbridge.  Advertised as ‘the birthplace of the industrial revolution’ (not technically true), there’s heaps to see – but it’s also very pleasant to simply wander round the attractive town, take in the atmosphere, indulge in a modest amount of retail therapy and have a tasty pork pie from one of the shops

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The Empire on which the sun never set

Fleet at Spithead in 1897

Britain, the global superpower On 22 June 1897, Queen Victoria returned from her Diamond Jubilee parade in London having had a wonderful day.  Loyal crowds lined the streets to see their monarch, a tiny plump old lady clad in black, pass from Buckingham Palace, through Trafalgar Square, The Strand, Fleet Street and up Ludgate Hill to

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How Britain got the vote

Reform Bill! King William IV

How we got to exercise our franchise People can be hopelessly optimistic, but are perhaps increasingly fairly cynical, about Parliament and politicians.  However, things could be a lot worse – and of course there’s nothing new about incompetent, or even dodgy, politicians.  In 18th and early 19th century Britain, Parliament was particularly corrupt and unrepresentative. 

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Revolting Britain

Peterloo Massacre

Change makes people restless The radical thinkers of the 18th century offered tantalising visions of a more just society.  Their ideas greatly influenced the French and American revolutions, which produced two of the world’s great republican democracies.  In Britain, the loss of the American colonies was largely accepted with a sense of detached interest, and

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“The greatest happiness of the greatest number”

Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull

Britain wakes up to reason Exploring new lands, making new scientific discoveries, questioning long-held religious doctrines – even getting rid of the odd king or two – all of these things were part of Britain’s story between the 16th and 19th centuries.  Creative energy, though, was certainly not unique to Britain; there was so much

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Britain’s industrial revolution

Coalbrookdale by Night, painting by P J de Loutherbourg.

The invention of modern cities and the start of consumerism Britain was the world’s first industrial nation.  During the 18th and 19th centuries, a complex series of interdependent factors spontaneously combined over a similar timeframe, which progressively and profoundly altered society, and the environment. They set in motion the Britain of the future: no longer

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Why they don’t play cricket (much) in the USA

The skirmish at Concord Bridge, Massachusetts

Britain helps create several of the world’s great nations Whilst Britain was busy building its global power in the 18th century, it very carelessly managed to lose 13 British colonies on the east coast of mainland North America.  The colonies were pretty much self-governing, with white populations of mostly independent-minded farmers that were overwhelmingly British

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British expansion

Battle of Trafalgar

Britain reaches out… Of course, every country is the product of its past.  The reminders of Britain’s past – memorials, buildings, institutions, even entire countries – are all around, yet their history is not always recognised; and some of that might make some people feel a little uncomfortable if viewed out of context, and judged

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The George Inn at Borough

I wonder how many pints of ale have been supped here?  Let me see: if just twenty people drank a modest 4 pints every night, that would be, er, 29,200 pints a year – 2,920,000 for every century.  But the revenue generated by that amount of beer would not be enough to make the place

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