Great Britain, also known as Britain, is a large island in the north
Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an
area of 209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi),
Great Britain is
the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, and the
ninth-largest island in the world.[note 1] In 2011 the island had a
population of about 61 million people, making it the world's
third-most populous island after
Java in Indonesia and
Japan. The island of
Ireland is situated to the west of it, and
together these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding
islands, form the
British Isles archipelago.
The island is dominated by a maritime climate with quite narrow
temperature differences between seasons. Politically, the island is
part of the
United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and
constitutes most of its territory. Most of England, Scotland, and
Wales are on the island. The term "Great Britain" often extends to
include surrounding islands that form part of England, Scotland, and
Wales, and is also sometimes loosely applied to the UK as a whole.
Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain resulted from the union of the
England (which had already comprised the present-day
England and Wales) and the Kingdom of
Scotland by the
1707 Acts of Union. More than a hundred years before, in 1603, King
James VI, King of Scots, had inherited the throne of England, but it
was not until 1707 that the two countries' parliaments agreed to form
a political union. In 1801,
Great Britain united with the neighbouring
Kingdom of Ireland, forming the
United Kingdom of
Great Britain and
Ireland, which was renamed the "
United Kingdom of
Great Britain and
Northern Ireland" after the
Irish Free State
Irish Free State seceded in 1922.
1.2 Derivation of Great
1.3 Modern use of the term Great Britain
1.4 Political definition
2.1 Prehistoric period
2.2 Roman and medieval period
2.3 Early modern period
5 See also
8 External links
8.1 Video links
See also: Terminology of the British Isles
Main article: Britain (place name)
The archipelago has been referred to by a single name for over 2000
years: the term 'British Isles' derives from terms used by classical
geographers to describe this island group. By 50 BC Greek geographers
were using equivalents of Prettanikē as a collective name for the
British Isles. However, with the
Roman conquest of Britain
Roman conquest of Britain the
Britannia was used for the island of Great Britain, and
later Roman-occupied Britain south of Caledonia.
The earliest known name for
Great Britain is
Ἀλβιών) or insula Albionum, from either the
Latin albus meaning
"white" (referring to the white cliffs of Dover, the first view of
Britain from the continent) or the "island of the Albiones", first
mentioned in the
Massaliote Periplus in the 6th century BC, and by
The oldest mention of terms related to
Great Britain was by Aristotle
(c. 384–322 BC), or possibly by Pseudo-Aristotle, in his text On the
Universe, Vol. III. To quote his works, "There are two very large
islands in it, called the British Isles,
Albion and Ierne".
Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder (c. AD 23–79) in his Natural History records of
Great Britain: "Its former name was Albion; but at a later period, all
the islands, of which we shall just now briefly make mention, were
included under the name of 'Britanniæ.'"
The name Britain descends from the
Latin name for Britain, Britannia
or Brittānia, the land of the Britons.
Old French Bretaigne (whence
Modern French Bretagne) and
Middle English Bretayne, Breteyne.
The French form replaced the
Old English Breoton, Breoten, Bryten,
Breten (also Breoton-lond, Breten-lond).
Britannia was used by the
Romans from the 1st century BC for the
British Isles taken together.
It is derived from the travel writings of the
Pytheas around 320 BC,
which described various islands in the North Atlantic as far north as
Thule (probably Norway).
Marcian of Heraclea, in his Periplus maris exteri, described the
island group as αἱ Πρεττανικαὶ νῆσοι (the
The peoples of these islands of Prettanike were called the
Priteni or Pretani.
Priteni is the source of
Welsh language term Prydain, Britain, which has the same source as
the Goidelic term Cruithne used to refer to the early
Brythonic-speaking inhabitants of Ireland. The latter were later
Caledonians by the Romans.
Derivation of Great
The Greco-Egyptian scientist
Ptolemy referred to the larger island as
great Britain (μεγάλη Βρεττανία megale Brettania) and
Ireland as little Britain (μικρὰ Βρεττανία mikra
Brettania) in his work
Almagest (147–148 AD). In his later work,
Geography (c. 150 AD), he gave the islands the names Alwion, Iwernia,
and Mona (the Isle of Man), suggesting these may have been the
names of the individual islands not known to him at the time of
writing Almagest. The name
Albion appears to have fallen out of
use sometime after the Roman conquest of Britain, after which Britain
became the more commonplace name for the island.
After the Anglo-Saxon period, Britain was used as a historical term
Geoffrey of Monmouth in his pseudohistorical Historia Regum
Britanniae (c. 1136) refers to the island as
("Greater Britain"), to distinguish it from
Britannia minor ("Lesser
Britain"), the continental region which approximates to modern
Brittany, which had been settled in the fifth and sixth centuries by
migrants from Britain. The term
Great Britain was first used
officially in 1474, in the instrument drawing up the proposal for a
marriage between Cecily the daughter of Edward IV of England, and
James the son of James III of Scotland, which described it as "this
Nobill Isle, callit Gret Britanee". It was used again in 1604, when
James VI and I
James VI and I styled himself "King of Great Brittaine, France
Modern use of the term Great Britain
Great Britain refers geographically to the island of Great Britain,
politically to England,
Wales in combination.
However, it is sometimes used loosely to refer to the whole of the
Similarly, Britain, can refer to either all islands in Great Britain,
the largest island, or the political grouping of countries. There
is no clear distinction, even in government documents: the UK
government yearbooks have used both Britain and United
GB and GBR are used instead of UK in some international codes to refer
to the United Kingdom, including the Universal Postal Union,
international sports teams, NATO, the International Organization for
Standardization country codes
ISO 3166-2 and ISO 3166-1 alpha-3, and
international licence plate codes.
On the Internet,
.uk is the country code top-level domain for the
United Kingdom. A
.gb top-level domain was used to a limited extent,
but is now obsolete because the domain name registrar will not take
In the Olympics,
Team GB is used by the
British Olympic Association to
Great Britain and Northern
Ireland Olympic team.
Political definition of
Great Britain (dark green)
Europe (green & dark grey)
– in the
United Kingdom (green)
Great Britain refers to the whole of England, Scotland
Wales in combination, but not Northern Ireland; it includes
islands, such as the Isle of Wight, Anglesey, the Isles of Scilly, the
Hebrides and the island groups of
Orkney and Shetland, that are part
of England, Wales, or Scotland. It does not include the Isle of Man
and the Channel Islands, which are self-governing dependent
The political union that joined the kingdoms of
England and Scotland
happened in 1707 when the Acts of Union ratified the 1706 Treaty of
Union and merged the parliaments of the two nations, forming the
Kingdom of Great Britain, which covered the entire island. Before
this, a personal union had existed between these two countries since
Union of the Crowns
Union of the Crowns under James VI of
Scotland and I of
Main article: Prehistoric Britain
The island was first inhabited by people who crossed over the land
bridge from the European mainland. Human footprints have been found
from over 800,000 years ago in Norfolk and traces of early humans
have been found (at Boxgrove Quarry, Sussex) from some 500,000 years
ago and modern humans from about 30,000 years ago.
Until about 14,000 years ago,
Great Britain was connected to Ireland,
and as recently as 8,000 years ago it retained a land connection to
the continent, with an area of mostly low marshland joining it to what
Denmark and the Netherlands. In Cheddar Gorge, near
Bristol, the remains of animal species native to mainland
as antelopes, brown bears, and wild horses have been found alongside a
human skeleton, 'Cheddar Man', dated to about 7150 BC. Thus, animals
and humans must have moved between mainland
Europe and Great Britain
via a crossing.
Great Britain became an island at the end of the
last glacial period when sea levels rose due to the combination of
melting glaciers and the subsequent isostatic rebound of the crust.
Iron Age inhabitants are known as Britons; they spoke
Roman and medieval period
Main articles: Roman Britain, Medieval England, Medieval Scotland, and
Europe tabula. A copy of Ptolemy's 2nd century map of Roman
The Romans conquered most of the island (up to Hadrian's Wall, in
northern England) and this became the Ancient Roman province of
Britannia. In the course of the 500 years after the Roman Empire fell,
the Britons of the south and east of the island were assimilated or
displaced by invading Germanic tribes (Angles, Saxons, and Jutes,
often referred to collectively as Anglo-Saxons). At about the same
time, Gaelic tribes from
Ireland invaded the north-west, absorbing
Picts and Britons of northern Britain, eventually forming the
Scotland in the 9th century. The south-east of
colonised by the
Angles and formed, until 1018, a part of the Kingdom
of Northumbria. Ultimately, the population of south-east Britain came
to be referred to as the English people, so-named after the Angles.
Germanic speakers referred to Britons as Welsh. This term came to be
applied exclusively to the inhabitants of what is now Wales, but it
also survives in names such as Wallace and in the second syllable of
Cornwall. Cymry, a name the Britons used to describe themselves, is
similarly restricted in modern Welsh to people from Wales, but also
survives in English in the place name of Cumbria. The Britons living
in the areas now known as Wales,
Cornwall were not
assimilated by the Germanic tribes, a fact reflected in the survival
Celtic languages in these areas into more recent times. At the
time of the Germanic invasion of Southern Britain, many Britons
emigrated to the area now known as Brittany, where Breton, a Celtic
language closely related to Welsh and Cornish and descended from the
language of the emigrants, is still spoken. In the 9th century, a
series of Danish assaults on northern English kingdoms led to them
coming under Danish control (an area known as the Danelaw). In the
10th century, however, all the English kingdoms were unified under one
ruler as the kingdom of
England when the last constituent kingdom,
Northumbria, submitted to Edgar in 959. In 1066,
England was conquered
by the Normans, who introduced a Norman-speaking administration that
was eventually assimilated.
Wales came under Anglo-Norman control in
1282, and was officially annexed to
England in the 16th century.
Early modern period
Main article: Early modern Britain
Further information: History of the United Kingdom
On 20 October 1604 King James, who had succeeded separately to the two
England and Scotland, proclaimed himself "King of Great
Brittaine, France, and Ireland". When James died in 1625 and the
Privy Council of
England was drafting the proclamation of the new
king, Charles I, a Scottish peer, Thomas Erskine, 1st Earl of Kellie,
succeeded in insisting that it use the phrase "King of Great Britain",
which James had preferred, rather than King of
Scotland and England
(or vice versa). While that title was also used by some of James's
Scotland each remained legally separate
countries, each with its own parliament, until 1707, when each
parliament passed an Act of Union to ratify the
Treaty of Union
Treaty of Union that
had been agreed the previous year. This created a single kingdom out
of two, with a single parliament, with effect from 1 May 1707. The
Treaty of Union
Treaty of Union specified the name of the new all-island state as
"Great Britain", while describing it as "One Kingdom" and "the United
Kingdom". To most historians, therefore, the all-island state that
existed between 1707 and 1800 is "Great Britain" or the "Kingdom of
Further information: Geography of England, Geography of Scotland, and
Geography of Wales
See also: Geography of the United Kingdom
View of Britain's coast from northern France
Great Britain lies on the European continental shelf, part of the
Eurasian Plate. Situated off the north-west coast of continental
Europe, it is separated from the mainland by the
North Sea and by the
English Channel, which narrows to 34 km (18 nmi; 21 mi)
at the Straits of Dover. It stretches over about ten degrees of
latitude on its longer, north-south axis and occupies an area of
209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi), excluding the smaller
surrounding islands. The North Channel, Irish Sea, St George's
Celtic Sea separate the island from the island of Ireland
to its west. The island is physically connected with continental
Europe via the Channel Tunnel, the longest undersea rail tunnel in the
world, completed in 1993. The island is marked by low, rolling
countryside in the east and south, while hills and mountains
predominate in the western and northern regions. It is surrounded by
over 1,000 smaller islands and islets. The greatest distance between
two points is 968.0 km (601 1⁄2 mi) (between Land's
Cornwall and John o' Groats, Caithness), 838 miles
(1,349 km) by road.
English Channel is thought to have been created between 450,000
and 180,000 years ago by two catastrophic glacial lake outburst
floods caused by the breaching of the Weald-Artois Anticline, a ridge
that held back a large proglacial lake, now submerged under the North
Sea. Around 10,000 years ago, during the Devensian glaciation
with its lower sea level,
Great Britain was not an island, but an
upland region of continental northwestern Europe, lying partially
underneath the Eurasian ice sheet. The sea level was about 120 metres
(390 ft) lower than today, and the bed of the
North Sea was dry
and acted as a land bridge, now known as Doggerland, to the Continent.
It is generally thought that as sea levels gradually rose after the
end of the last glacial period of the current ice age, Doggerland
became submerged beneath the North Sea, cutting off what was
previously the British peninsula from the
European mainland by around
Main article: Geology of Great Britain
Great Britain has been subject to a variety of plate tectonic
processes over a very extended period of time. Changing latitude and
sea levels have been important factors in the nature of sedimentary
sequences, whilst successive continental collisions have affected its
geological structure with major faulting and folding being a legacy of
each orogeny (mountain-building period), often associated with
volcanic activity and the metamorphism of existing rock sequences. As
a result of this eventful geological history, the island shows a rich
variety of landscapes.
The oldest rocks in
Great Britain are the Lewisian gneisses,
metamorphic rocks found in the far north west of the island and in the
Hebrides (with a few small outcrops elsewhere), which date from at
least 2,700 Ma (Ma = million years ago). South of the gneisses are a
complex mixture of rocks forming the North West Highlands and Grampian
Highlands in Scotland. These are essentially the remains of folded
sedimentary rocks that were deposited between 1,000 Ma and 670 Ma over
the gneiss on what was then the floor of the Iapetus Ocean.
At the present time the north of the island is rising as a result of
the weight of Devensian ice being lifted. Southern and eastern Britain
is sinking, generally estimated at 1 mm (1/25 inch) per
year, with the
London area sinking at double the speed partly due to
the continuing compaction of the recent clay deposits.
Main article: Fauna of Great Britain
The robin is popularly known as "Britain's favourite bird".
Animal diversity is modest, as a result of factors including the
island's small land area, the relatively recent age of the habitats
developed since the last glacial period and the island's physical
separation from continental Europe, and the effects of seasonal
Great Britain also experienced early
industrialisation and is subject to continuing urbanisation, which
have contributed towards the overall loss of species. A DEFRA
(Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) study from 2006
suggested that 100 species have become extinct in the UK during the
20th century, about 100 times the background extinction rate. However,
some species, such as the brown rat, red fox, and introduced grey
squirrel, are well adapted to urban areas.
Rodents make up 40% of the mammal species. These
include squirrels, mice, voles, rats and the recently reintroduced
European beaver. There is also an abundance of rabbits, hares,
hedgehogs, shrews, moles and several species of bat. Carnivorous
mammals include the fox, badger, otter, weasel, stoat and elusive
wildcat. Various species of seal, whale and dolphin are found on
or around British shores and coastlines. The largest land-based wild
animals today are deer. The red deer is the largest species, with roe
deer and fallow deer also prominent; the latter was introduced by the
Sika deer and two more species of smaller deer,
muntjac and Chinese water deer, have been introduced, muntjac becoming
England and parts of
Chinese water deer
Chinese water deer are
restricted mainly to East Anglia. Habitat loss has affected many
species. Extinct large mammals include the brown bear, grey wolf and
wild boar; the latter has had a limited reintroduction in recent
There is a wealth of birdlife, 583 species in total, of which 258
breed on the island or remain during winter. Because of its mild
winters for its latitude,
Great Britain hosts important numbers of
many wintering species, particularly ducks, geese and swans. Other
well known bird species include the golden eagle, grey heron,
kingfisher, pigeon, sparrow, pheasant, partridge, and various species
of crow, finch, gull, auk, grouse, owl and falcon. There are six
species of reptile on the island; three snakes and three lizards
including the legless slowworm. One snake, the adder, is venomous but
rarely deadly. Amphibians present are frogs, toads and newts.
See also: List of the vascular plants of Britain and Ireland
Heather growing wild in the Highlands at Dornoch.
In a similar sense to fauna, and for similar reasons, the flora is
impoverished compared to that of continental Europe. The flora
comprises 3,354 vascular plant species, of which 2,297 are native and
1,057 have been introduced. The island has a wide variety of
trees, including native species of birch, beech, ash, hawthorn, elm,
oak, yew, pine, cherry and apple. Other trees have been
naturalised, introduced especially from other parts of Europe
(particularly Norway) and North America. Introduced trees include
several varieties of pine, chestnut, maple, spruce, sycamore and fir,
as well as cherry plum and pear trees. The tallest species are the
Douglas firs; two specimens have been recorded measuring 65 metres or
212 feet. The
Fortingall Yew in
Perthshire is the oldest tree in
There are at least 1,500 different species of wildflower. Some 107
species are particularly rare or vulnerable and are protected by the
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It is illegal to uproot any
wildflowers without the landowner's permission. A vote in 2002
nominated various wildflowers to represent specific counties.
These include red poppies, bluebells, daisies, daffodils, rosemary,
gorse, iris, ivy, mint, orchids, brambles, thistles, buttercups,
primrose, thyme, tulips, violets, cowslip, heather and many
There are also many species of algae and mosses across the island.
There are many species of fungi including lichen-forming species, and
the mycobiota is less poorly known than in many other parts of the
world. The most recent checklist of Basidiomycota (bracket fungi,
jelly fungi, mushrooms and toadstools, puffballs, rusts and smuts),
published in 2005, accepts over 3600 species. The most recent
checklist of Ascomycota (cup fungi and their allies, including most
lichen-forming fungi), published in 1985, accepts another 5100
species. These two lists did not include conidial fungi (fungi
mostly with affinities in the Ascomycota but known only in their
asexual state) or any of the other main fungal groups
(Chytridiomycota, Glomeromycota and Zygomycota). The number of fungal
species known very probably exceeds 10,000. There is widespread
agreement among mycologists that many others are yet to be discovered.
Main article: Demography of the United Kingdom
London is the capital of
England and the whole of the United Kingdom,
and is therefore the seat of the United Kingdom's government.
Cardiff are the capitals of
Scotland and Wales,
respectively, and house their devolved governments.
Largest urban areas
See also: List of urban areas in the United Kingdom
Population (2011 Census)
London Built-up area
Manchester Built-up area
West Midlands Built-up area
Yorkshire Built-up area
Glasgow Built-up area
Liverpool Built-up area
South Hampshire Built-up area
Newcastle upon Tyne–Sunderland
Tyneside Built-up area
Nottingham Built-up area
Sheffield Built-up area
Further information: Languages of England, Languages of Scotland, and
Languages of Wales
See also: Languages of the United Kingdom
In the Late Bronze Age, Britain was part of a culture called the
Atlantic Bronze Age, held together by maritime trading, which also
included Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal. In contrast to the
generally accepted view that Celtic originated in the context of
the Hallstatt culture, since 2009,
John T. Koch and others have
proposed that the origins of the
Celtic languages are to be sought in
Bronze Age Western Europe, especially the Iberian
Peninsula. Koch et al.'s proposal has failed to find
wide acceptance among experts on the Celtic languages.
All the modern
Brythonic languages (Breton, Cornish, Welsh) are
generally considered to derive from a common ancestral language termed
Brittonic, British, Common Brythonic, Old Brythonic or
Proto-Brythonic, which is thought to have developed from Proto-Celtic
Insular Celtic by the 6th century AD. Brythonic languages
were probably spoken before the Roman invasion at least in the
Great Britain south of the rivers Forth and Clyde, though
Isle of Man
Isle of Man later had a Goidelic language, Manx. Northern Scotland
mainly spoke Pritennic, which became Pictish, which may have been a
Brythonic language. During the period of the Roman occupation of
Southern Britain (AD 43 to c. 410), Common Brythonic borrowed a large
Latin words. Approximately 800 of these
Latin loan-words have
survived in the three modern Brythonic languages.
the name for the Latinised form of the language used by Roman authors.
British English is spoken in the present day across the island, and
developed from the
Old English brought to the island by Anglo-Saxon
settlers from the mid 5th century. Some 1.5 million people speak
Scots—a variety of English which some consider to be a distinct
language. An estimated 700,000 people speak Welsh, an
official language in Wales. In parts of north west Scotland,
Scottish Gaelic remains widely spoken. There are various regional
dialects of English, and numerous languages spoken by some immigrant
Further information: Religion in England, Religion in Scotland, and
Religion in Wales
See also: Religion in the United Kingdom
Canterbury Cathedral, seat of the Church of
England – the island's
Christianity has been the largest religion by number of adherents
since the Early Middle Ages: it was introduced under the ancient
Romans, developing as Celtic Christianity. According to tradition,
Christianity arrived in the 1st or 2nd century. The most popular form
Anglicanism (known as Episcopalism in Scotland). Dating from the
16th century Reformation, it regards itself as both
Reformed. The Head of the Church is the monarch of the United Kingdom,
as the Supreme Governor. It has the status of established church in
England. There are just over 26 million adherents to
Britain today, although only around one million regularly attend
services. The second largest Christian practice is the
Latin Rite of
Catholic Church, which traces its history to the 6th century
with Augustine's mission and was the main religion for around a
thousand years. There are over 5 million adherents today, 4.5 million
England and Wales and 750,000 in Scotland, although fewer
than a million Catholics regularly attend mass.
Glasgow Cathedral, a meeting place of the Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland, a form of
Protestantism with a Presbyterian
system of ecclesiastical polity, is the third most numerous on the
island with around 2.1 million members. Introduced in
clergyman John Knox, it has the status of national church in Scotland.
The monarch of the
United Kingdom is represented by a Lord High
Commissioner. Methodism is the fourth largest and grew out of
Anglicanism through John Wesley. It gained popularity in the old
mill towns of
Lancashire and Yorkshire, also amongst tin miners in
Presbyterian Church of Wales, which follows
Calvinistic Methodism, is the largest denomination in Wales. There are
other non-conformist minorities, such as Baptists, Quakers, the United
Reformed Church (a union of Congregationalists and English
Presbyterians), Unitarians. The first patron saint of Great
Britain was Saint Alban. He was the first Christian martyr dating
Romano-British period, condemned to death for his faith and
sacrificed to the pagan gods. In more recent times, some have
suggested the adoption of St Aidan as another patron saint of
Britain. From Ireland, he worked at
Iona amongst the Dál Riata
Lindisfarne where he restored
The three constituent countries of the
United Kingdom have patron
Saint George and
Saint Andrew are represented in the flags of
Scotland respectively. These two flags combined to
form the basis of the
Great Britain royal flag of 1604. Saint
David is the patron saint of Wales. There are many other British
saints. Some of the best known are Cuthbert, Columba, Patrick,
Margaret, Edward the Confessor, Mungo, Thomas More, Petroc, Bede, and
Numerous other religions are practised. Jews have inhabited
Britain since 1070. Jews were expelled from
England in 1290 but
permitted to return in 1656. There were also Jewish migrations
from Lithuania. The 2001 census recorded that
Islam had around 1.5
million adherents. More than 1 million people practise either
Hinduism, Sikhism, or Buddhism–religions introduced from the Indian
subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
United Kingdom portal
List of islands of England
List of islands of Scotland
List of islands of Wales
^ The political definition of
Great Britain – that is, England,
Wales combined – includes a number of offshore islands
such as the Isle of Wight,
Shetland which are not part of
the geographical island of Great Britain. Those three countries
combined have a total area of 234,402 km2
(90,503 sq mi).
^ ISLAND DIRECTORY, United Nations Environment Programme. Retrieved 9
^ 2011 Census: Population Estimates for the United Kingdom. In the
2011 census, the population of England,
estimated to be approximately 61,370,000; comprising 60,800,000 on
Great Britain, and 570,000 on other islands. Retrieved 23 January 2014
^ "Ethnic Group by Age in
England and Wales". www.nomisweb.co.uk.
Retrieved 2 February 2014.
^ "Ethnic groups, Scotland, 2001 and 2011" (PDF).
www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk. Retrieved 2 February 2014.
Islands by land area, United Nations Environment Programme".
Islands.unep.ch. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
^ Foundation, Internet Memory. "[ARCHIVED CONTENT] UK Government Web
Archive – The National Archives".
^ "Population Estimates" (PDF). National Statistics Online. Newport,
Wales: Office for National Statistics. 24 June 2010. Archived from the
original (PDF) on 14 November 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
^ See Geohive.com Country data Archived 21 September 2012 at the
Japan Census of 2000;
United Kingdom Census of 2001.
The editors of
List of islands by population appear to have used
similar data from the relevant statistics bureaux, and totalled up the
various administrative districts that make up each island, and then
done the same for less populous islands. An editor of this article has
not repeated that work. Therefore this plausible and eminently
reasonable ranking is posted as unsourced common knowledge.
^ "says 803 islands which have a distinguishable coastline on an
Ordnance Survey map, and several thousand more exist which are too
small to be shown as anything but a dot".
Mapzone.ordnancesurvey.co.uk. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
^ Clare Oliver (2003). Great Britain. Black Rabbit Books. p. 4.
^ O'Rahilly 1946
^ 4.20 provides a translation describing Caesar's first invasion,
using terms which from IV.XX appear in
Latin as arriving in
"Britannia", the inhabitants being "Britanni", and on p30 "principes
Britanniae" (i.e., "chiefs of Britannia") is translated as "chiefs of
^ Cunliffe 2002, pp. 94–95
^ "Anglo-Saxons". BBC News. Retrieved 5 September 2009.
^ a b c Snyder, Christopher A. (2003). The Britons. Blackwell
Publishing. ISBN 0-631-22260-X.
^ Greek "... ἐν τούτῳ γε μὴν νῆσοι
μέγιστοι τυγχάνουσιν οὖσαι δύο,
Βρεττανικαὶ λεγόμεναι, Ἀλβίων καὶ
Ἰέρνη, ...", transliteration "... en toutôi ge mên nêsoi
megistoi tynchanousin ousai dyo, Brettanikai legomenai, Albiôn kai
Iernê, ...", Aristotle: On Sophistical Refutations. On Coming-to-be
and Passing Away. On the Cosmos., 393b, pages 360–361, Loeb
Classical Library No. 400,
London William Heinemann LTD, Cambridge,
Massachusetts University Press MCMLV
^ Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia
Book IV. Chapter XLI
and English translation, numbered
Book 4, Chapter 30, at the Perseus
^ Marcianus Heracleensis; Müller, Karl Otfried; et al. (1855).
"Periplus Maris Exteri, Liber Prior, Prooemium". In Firmin Didot,
Ambrosio. Geographi Graeci Minores. 1. Paris.
pp. 516–517. Greek text and
Latin Translation thereof
archived at the Internet Archive.
^ O Corrain, Donnchadh, Professor of Irish History at University
College Cork (1 November 2001). "Chapter 1: Prehistoric and Early
Christian Ireland". In Foster, R F. The Oxford History of Ireland.
Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280202-X.
Ptolemy (1898). "Ἕκθεσις τῶν κατὰ
παράλληλον ἰδιωμάτων: κβ', κε'". In Heiberg,
J.L. Claudii Ptolemaei Opera quae exstant omnia (PDF). vol.1 Syntaxis
Mathematica. Leipzig: in aedibus B. G. Teubneri.
Ptolemy (1843). "
Book II, Prooemium and chapter β',
paragraph 12". In Nobbe, Carolus Fridericus Augustus. Claudii
Ptolemaei Geographia (PDF). vol.1. Leipzig: sumptibus et typis Caroli
Tauchnitii. pp. 59, 67.
^ Freeman, Philip (2001).
Ireland and the classical world. Austin,
Texas: University of Texas Press. p. 65.
^ Meisel, Anna (15 September 2013). "Is
Great Britain really a 'small
island'?" – via www.bbc.co.uk.
^ "UK 2005: The Official Yearbook of the
United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland". London: Office for National Statistics.
29 November 2004: vii. ISBN 0-11-621738-3. Retrieved 27 May
^ Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford: Oxford University Press, Great
Britain: England, Wales, and
Scotland considered as a unit. The name
is also often used loosely to refer to the United Kingdom.
Great Britain is the name of the island that comprises England,
Scotland, and Wales, although the term is also used loosely to refer
to the United Kingdom. The
United Kingdom is a political unit that
includes these countries and Northern Ireland. The
British Isles is a
geographical term that refers to the United Kingdom, Ireland, and
surrounding smaller islands such as the
Hebrides and the Channel
^ Britain, Oxford English Dictionary, Britain:/ˈbrɪt(ə)n/ the
island containing England, Wales, and Scotland. The name is broadly
synonymous with Great Britain, but the longer form is more usual for
the political unit.
^ "Britain 2001:The Official Yearbook of the United Kingdom, 2001"
(PDF). London: Office for National Statistics. August 2000: vii.
ISBN 0-11-621278-0. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 March
^ "UK 2002: The Official Yearbook of
Great Britain and Northern
Ireland" (PDF). London: Office for National Statistics. August 2001:
vi. ISBN 0-11-621738-3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22
^ a b "Key facts about the United Kingdom". Direct.gov.uk. Archived
from the original on 15 November 2008. Retrieved 11 October
^ Ademuni-Odeke (1998). Bareboat Charter (ship) Registration. Martinus
Nijhoff Publishers. p. 367. ISBN 90-411-0513-1.
^ Ghosh, Pallab (7 February 2014). "Earliest footprints outside Africa
discovered in Norfolk". BBC News. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
^ Gräslund, Bo (2005). "Traces of the early humans".
Early humans and
their world. London: Routledge. p. 62.
^ Edwards, Robin & al. "The
Island of Ireland: Drowning the Myth
of an Irish Land-bridge?" Accessed 15 February 2013.
^ Lacey, Robert. Great Tales from English History. New York: Little,
Brown & Co, 2004. ISBN 0-316-10910-X.
^ Ellis, Peter Berresford (1974). The
Cornish language and its
literature. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 20.
^ "England/Great Britain: Royal Styles: 1604-1707". Archontology.org.
13 March 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
^ HMC 60, Manuscripts of the Earl of Mar and Kellie, vol.2 (1930), p.
^ "accessed 14 November 2009". Eosnap.com. Retrieved 24 February
^ United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Island Directory Tables
Islands By Land Area". Retrieved from
http://islands.unep.ch/Tiarea.htm on 13 August 2009
^ "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd edition + corrections" (PDF).
International Hydrographic Organization. 1971. p. 42 [corrections
to page 13]. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
^ Gupta, Sanjeev; Jenny S. Collier; Andy Palmer-Felgate; Graeme Potter
(2007). "Catastrophic flooding origin of shelf valley systems in the
English Channel". Nature. 448 (7151): 342–5.
PMID 17637667. Retrieved 18 July 2007. Lay summary – msnbc.com
(18 July 2007).
^ "Vincent Gaffney, "Global Warming and the Lost European Country""
(PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 24
^ "The Robin – Britain's Favourite Bird". BritishBirdLovers.co.uk.
Retrieved 15 August 2011.
^ "Decaying Wood: An Overview of Its Status and Ecology in the United
Kingdom and Europe" (PDF). FS.fed.us. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
Retrieved on 1 February 2009.
^ a b c d e "A Short History of the British Mammal Fauna". ABDN.ac.uk.
Archived from the original on 11 February 2006. Retrieved on 1
^ a b Else, Great Britain, 85.
^ "The Fallow
Deer Project, University of Nottingham".
Nottingham.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 15 March 2008.
Retrieved 24 February 2012.
^ "British Ornithologists' Union Records Committee".
Interscience.wiley.com. Retrieved on 16 February 2009.
^ "Birds of Britain". BTO.org. Retrieved on 16 February 2009.
^ "Duck, Geese and
Swan Family". NatureGrid.org.uk. Archived from the
original on 8 April 2009. Retrieved on 16 February 2009.
^ "Birds". NatureGrid.org.uk. Archived from the original on 30 June
2009. Retrieved on 16 February 2009.
^ "The Adder's Byte". CountySideInfo.co.uk. Retrieved on 1
^ "Plants of the Pacific Northwest in Western Europe". Botanical
Electric News. Retrieved on 23 February 2009.
^ Frodin, Guide to Standard Floras of the World, 599.
^ a b "Checklist of British Plants". Natural History Museum.
Retrieved on 2 March 2009.
^ "Facts About Britain's Trees". WildAboutBritain.co.uk. Archived from
the original on 29 April 2009. Retrieved on 2 March 2009.
^ "The Fortingall Yew". PerthshireBigTreeCountry.co.uk.
Retrieved on 23 February 2009.
^ a b "Facts and Figures about Wildflowers". WildAboutFlowers.co.uk.
Archived from the original on 26 February 2008. Retrieved on 23
^ "Endangered British Wild Flowers". CountryLovers.co.uk.
Retrieved on 23 February 2009.
^ "County Flowers of Great Britain". WildAboutFlowers.co.uk. Archived
from the original on 27 April 2009. Retrieved on 23 February
^ "People and Plants: Mapping the UK's wild flora" (PDF).
PlantLife.org.uk. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 November
2007. Retrieved on 23 February 2009.
Wildflower Images". Map-Reading.co.uk. Retrieved on
23 February 2009.
^ "List of British Wildlfowers by Common Name".
WildAboutBritain.co.uk. Archived from the original on 29 April
2009. Retrieved on 23 February 2009.
^ "British Plants and algae". Arkive.org. Retrieved on 23
^ Legon & Henrici, Checklist of the British & Irish
^ Cannon, Hawksworth & Sherwood-Pike, The British Ascomycotina. An
^ "2011 Census - Built-up areas". ONS. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
^ a b Eska, Joseph F. "Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2013.12.35". Bryn
Mawr Classical Review. Bryn Mawr College. Retrieved 2 September
^ Aberystwyth University - News. Aber.ac.uk. Retrieved on 17 July
^ "Appendix" (PDF). O'Donnell Lecture. 2008. Retrieved 15 August
^ Koch, John (2009). Tartessian: Celtic from the Southwest at the Dawn
of History in Acta Palaeohispanica X Palaeohispanica 9 (PDF).
Palaeohispanica. pp. 339–51. ISSN 1578-5386. Retrieved 17
^ Koch, John. "New research suggests Welsh Celtic roots lie in Spain
and Portugal". Retrieved 10 May 2010.
^ Koch, John T. (2007). An Atlas for Celtic Studies. Oxford: Oxbow
Books. ISBN 978-1-84217-309-1.
^ Scotland's Census 2011 – Language, All people aged 3 and over. Out
of the 60,815,385 residents of the UK over the age of three, 1,541,693
(2.5%) can speak Scots.
A.J. Aitken in The Oxford Companion to the English Language, Oxford
University Press 1992. p.894
^ Bwrdd yr Iaith Gymraeg, A statistical overview of the Welsh
language, by Hywel M Jones, page 115, 18.104.22.168, England. Published
February 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
^ "Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011". legislation.gov.uk. The
National Archives. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
Anglicanism at a Crossroads". PewResearch.org. Retrieved 15
August 2011. Retrieved on 1 February 2009.
^ "People here 'must obey the laws of the land'". The Daily Telegraph.
London. 9 February 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2010. Retrieved on 1
^ "Cardinal not much altered by his new job". Living Scotsman.
Retrieved 15 August 2011. Retrieved on 1 February 2009.
^ "How many Catholics are there in Britain?". BBC. 15 September 2010.
Retrieved 15 September 2010. Retrieved on 17 October 2011.
^ "Analysis of Religion in the 2001 Census – Current Religion in
Scotland". Scotland.gov.uk. Retrieved 15 August 2011. Retrieved
on 1 February 2009.
^ "The Methodist Church". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved on 1 February
^ "Methodism in Britain". GoffsOakMethodistChurch.co.uk. Archived from
the original on 31 January 2009. Retrieved on 1 February 2009.
^ "Cambridge History of Christianity". Hugh McLeod. Archived from the
original on 21 July 2012. Retrieved on 1 February 2009.
^ Dawkins, The Shakespeare Enigma, 343.
^ Butler, Butler's Lives of the Saints, 141.
^ a b "Cry God for Harry, Britain and... St Aidan". London: The
Independent. 23 April 2008. Archived from the original on 31 August
2012. Retrieved on 1 February 2009.
^ a b "
United Kingdom – History of the Flag". FlagSpot.net.
Retrieved on 1 February 2009.
^ a b "Saints". Brits at their Best. Retrieved on 1 February
^ "Guide to religions in the UK". The Guardian. London. Archived from
the original on 23 January 2011. Retrieved on 16 August
^ "From Expulsion (1290) to Readmission (1656): Jews and England"
(PDF). Goldsmiths.ac.uk. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 June
2008. Retrieved on 1 February 2009.
^ "Jews in Scotland". British-Jewry.org.uk. Archived from the original
on 9 May 2005. Retrieved on 1 February 2009.
Islam at a glance". BBC. 2009-06-30.
^ "Religion: Key Statistics for urban areas, results by population
size of urban area". Statistics.gov.uk. Archived from the original on
10 January 2009. Retrieved on 1 February 2009.
Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder (translated by Rackham, Harris) (1938). Natural
History. Harvard University Press.
Ball, Martin John (1994). The Celtic Languages. Routledge.
Butler, Alban (1997). Butler's Lives of the Saints. Continuum
International Publishing Group. ISBN 0-86012-255-7.
Frodin, D. G. (2001). Guide to Standard Floras of the World. Cambridge
University Press. ISBN 0-521-79077-8.
Spencer, Colin (2003). British Food: An Extraordinary Thousand Years
of History. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-13110-0.
Andrews, Robert (2004). The Rough Guide to Britain. Rough Guides Ltd.
Dawkins, Peter (2004). The Shakespeare Enigma. Polair Publishing.
Major, John (2004). History in Quotations. Cassell.
Else, David (2005). Great Britain. Lonely Planet.
Kaufman, Will; Slettedahl, Heidi Macpherson (2005). Britain and the
Americas: Culture, Politics, and History. ABC-Clio.
Oppenheimer, Stephen (2006). Origins of the British. Carroll &
Graf. ISBN 0-7867-1890-0.
Room, Adrian (2006). Placenames of the World. McFarland.
Massey, Gerald (2007). A
Book of the Beginnings, Vol. 1. Cosimo.
Taylor, Isaac (2008). Names and Their Histories: A Handbook of
Historical Geography and Topographical Nomenclature. BiblioBazaar.
Legon, N.W.; Henrici, A. (2005). Checklist of the British & Irish
Basidiomycota. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Cannon, P.F.; Hawksworth, D.L.; M.A., Sherwood-Pike (1985). The
British Ascomycotina. An Annotated Checklist. Commonwealth Mycological
Institute & British Mycological Society.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Great Britain.
Wikiquote has quotations related to: Great Britain
Interactive map of Great Britain
Coast – the BBC explores the coast of Great Britain
The British Isles
200 Major Towns and Cities in the British Isles
CIA Factbook United Kingdom
Touring Britain and
Ireland Interactive Map
Pathe travelogue, 1960, Journey through Britain
Pathe newsreel, 1960, Know the British
Pathe newsreel, 1950, Festival of Britain
United Kingdom (England
Isle of Man
United Kingdom relations
British–Irish Intergovernmental Conference
British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly
Common Travel Area
Islands of the Clyde
Isle of Man
Isles of Scilly
Lists of islands of
Bailiwick of Guernsey
Bailiwick of Jersey
Isle of Man
Isle of Man
Irish Free State
Kingdom of England
Principality of Wales
Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Ireland
Kingdom of Scotland
United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Ireland
British Sign Language
Irish Sign Language
Ireland Sign Language
United Kingdom articles
First World War
Second World War
UK since 1945 (social history)
Countries of the United Kingdom
Lakes and lochs
North Sea oil
House of Commons
House of Lords
Royal Air Force
Weapons of mass destruction
Bank of England
Stock Exchanges (
Affordability of housing
Countries of the United Kingdom
First Minister and deputy
Coordinates: 53°50′N 2°25′W / 53.833°N 2.417°W /