Portsmouth's history can be traced back to Roman Britain. A significant naval port for centuries, it has the world's oldest dry dock. Portsmouth was England's first line of defence during the 1545 French invasion. By the early nineteenth century, the world's first mass-production line was set up in Portsmouth Dockyard's Block Mills; this made it the world's most industrialised site, and the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Portsmouth was the most heavily-fortified town in the world and was considered "the world's greatest naval port" at the height of the British Empire, during the Pax Britannica. The Palmerston Forts were built around Portsmouth in 1859 in anticipation of another invasion from continental Europe.
King Richard I first granted Portsmouth market town status on 2 May 1194 with a royal charter and a coat of arms, "a crescent of gold on a shade of azure, with a blazing star of eight points".
On 21 April 1926, Portsmouth was elevated from town to city status. Its motto, "Heaven's Light Our Guide" (referring to the city's eight-pointed star and crescent-moon emblem), was registered in 1929. The 800th anniversary of the royal charter was celebrated on 2 May 1994. Portsmouth became a unitary authority on 1 April 1997, with its city council gaining the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council previously held by Hampshire County Council.
Georgian hotel/restaurant typical of many larger Surrey villages and its oldest towns.
Seven reservoirs. View of four in Spelthorne with small lakes of lower elevation, from aggregate extraction, in the south of the borough to the right. Beyond three reservoirs in Elmbridge. The flattest areas of the far north of the county. Staines road and rail bridges span the Thames into Runnymede in the right of the photograph.
Painshill Park in Cobham has follies on natural, but landscaped slopes by part of the Mole disguised as ornamental lakes and the Great Cedar thought to be the largest Cedar of Lebanon in Europe. In the mid-north of the county.
Pineferous forest of the sandy Bagshot Formation spanning parts of four boroughs towards the north-west and in the far west of the county, with defensive positions for historic army training near Deepcut and Pirbright
Highclere Castle in the far north of Hampshire, a large country house in the Jacobethan style by the architect Charles Barry, with a large park designed by Capability Brown, used as the set for Downton Abbey.
The Kent & East Sussex Railway was opened by Colonel H.F. Stephens, the railway engineer, in 1900. At its fullest extent, it ran nearly 22 miles[35km] from Robertsbridge on the Tonbridge to Hastings main line to Headcorn on the main line between Tonbridge and Ashford, Kent.
Born into a working class family, Callaghan started his career at age 17 as a tax inspector, before becoming a trade union official in the 1930s; he then served in the Royal Navy during World War II. He entered the House of Commons in 1945, and was on the left wing of the party. Callaghan steadily moved towards the right of the party, but maintained his reputation as "The Keeper of the Cloth Cap" – that is, he was seen as dedicated to maintaining close ties between the Labour Party and the trade unions. Callaghan's period as Chancellor of the Exchequer coincided with a turbulent period for the British economy, during which he had to wrestle with a balance of payments deficit and speculative attacks on the pound sterling (its exchange rate to other currencies was almost fixed by the Bretton Woods system). On 18 November 1967, the government devalued the pound sterling. Callaghan became Home Secretary; he sent the British Army to support the police in Northern Ireland (NI), after a request from the NI Government.
After Labour was defeated at the 1970 general election, Callaghan played a key role in the Shadow Cabinet. He became Foreign Secretary in 1974 upon Labour regaining government, taking responsibility for renegotiating the terms of the UK's membership of the European Communities, and supporting a "Yes" vote in the 1975 referendum to remain in the EC. When Prime Minister Harold Wilson resigned in 1976, Callaghan defeated five other candidates to be elected as his replacement. Labour had already lost its narrow majority in the House of Commons by the time he became Prime Minister, and further by-election defeats and defections forced Callaghan to deal with minor parties such as the Liberal Party, particularly in the "Lib–Lab pact" of 1977–78. Industrial disputes and widespread strikes in the 1978–1979 "Winter of Discontent" made Callaghan's government unpopular, and the defeat of the referendum on devolution for Scotland led to the successful passage of a motion of no-confidence on 28 March 1979. This was followed by a defeat at the ensuing general election.
Callaghan continued as Labour Party leader until November 1980, and campaigned to reform the process by which the party elected its leader, before returning to the backbenches where he remained until he was made a life peer as Baron Callaghan of Cardiff. He was the longest-lived British prime minister in history (92 years and 364 days). (Full article...)