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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Norfolk and Suffolk. Cambridgeshire lies to the west and Essex to the south.
East Anglia is often used as a shorthand for the Kingdom of the East Angles.

East Anglia is a traditional name for a region of eastern England, named after an ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdom, the Kingdom of the East Angles. The Angles took their name from their homeland Angeln, in northern Germany. East Anglia initially consisted of Norfolk and Suffolk, but upon the marriage of the East Anglian princess Etheldreda, the Isle of Ely also became part of the kingdom. The current boundary is subject to differing interpretations but is generally held to include the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk with Cambridgeshire and sometimes also Essex. Formerly a standard statistical region, for administrative purposes East Anglia now forms part of the East of England government office region and is defined as a Level 2 Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics, comprising the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire including the city of Peterborough unitary authority area.[1].



Great Britain around the year 800

The Kingdom of the East Angles, 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) 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). But this did not last: over the next forty years, East Anglia was defeated by the Mercians twice, and it continued to weaken relative to the other kingdoms until in 794, Offa of Mercia had its king Æthelberht killed and took control of the kingdom himself.

The independence of the East Anglians was restored by a successful rebellion against Mercia (825–827), in course of which two Mercian kings were killed attempting to crush it. On 20 November 869 the Danes killed King Edmund and took the kingdom, which they named East Anglia (see Ivar the Boneless). The Anglo-Saxons retook the area in 920, only to lose it again in 1015–1017, when it was conquered by Canute the Great and given as a fiefdom to Thorkell the Tall, who was made Jarl of East Anglia in 1017.

Much of East Anglia (including parts of Lincolnshire) consisted of marshland and bogs until the 17th century, despite the construction of early sea barriers by the Roman Empire. During the 17th century the alluvial land was converted into arable land by means of systematic drainage using a collection of drains and river diversions. In the 1630s thousands of Puritan families from East Anglia settled in the American region of New England bringing with them much East Anglian culture to the new region.[2] East Anglia was a rich area of the country up until the effects of the Industrial Revolution moved manufacturing to the Midlands and the North - earnings being based on wool and textiles.

During the Second World War, the RAF and the United States Air Force constructed many air bases in East Anglia for the heavy bomber fleets of the Combined Bomber Offensive against Nazi-occupied Europe. East Anglia was chosen because it had considerable open space and level terrain and it was relatively close to the continent, thus shortening flights and allowing for greater bomb loads. Remnants of some of these bases are still visible. Pillboxes which were erected in 1940 to help defend the nation against invasion can also be found throughout the region at strategic points.[3]


Cambridgeshire encompasses the western, fenland landscape of East Anglia. Despite water playing a significant role in the Fen and Broads landscapes, some parts of the region are classified as semi-arid due to their exceptionally low rainfall. During the summer months, tinder-dry conditions are frequently experienced, resulting in many field and heath fires. Maximum temperature ranges from 5–10 degrees celsius in the winter to 20–25 degrees celsius in the summer, although temperatures have been known to reach 35 degrees celsius in recent years. Sunshine totals tend to be higher towards the coastal areas.[4]

Farming and horticulture have proven very successful in this fertile country. The landscape has been heavily influenced by Dutch technology, from the influx of clay pantiles to the draining of the fens. It has a wide range of small-scale holiday destinations ranging from traditional coastal resorts (Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft), through historic towns such as Bury St. Edmunds, Cambridge, Ely and King's Lynn to the modern holiday villas of Center Parcs set in Thetford Forest. The Royal Air Force constructed many airfields here during the Second World War and a few of these remain in use. One, near Norwich, has become Norwich International Airport, a civilian airfield to serve the city.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads form a network of waterways between Norwich and the coast and are popular for recreational boating. A recent bid to have them declared a national park failed, as it would have meant conservation becoming more important than navigation rights. The rivers Nene and Great Ouse also cross the region.

The University of East Anglia is situated in Norwich. However, the East of England Regional Assembly is seated in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. The company names Anglia Television and Anglian Water derive from the region, which both serve.

Much of the area is characterised by its flatness, partly consisting of fenland and reclaimed marshland, though much of Suffolk and Norfolk is gently rolling hills. The flatness of the area is noted in Noel Coward's Private Lives - "Very flat, Norfolk" - and the history of its waterways and drainage forms the backdrop to Graham Swift's Waterland. The principal East Anglian cities include Norwich (the nominal capital), Peterborough and Cambridge. Ipswich, Colchester and Huntingdon are technically towns, although Ely is also a city.

Flag and coat of arms

Unofficial flag of East Anglia

Possibly the best candidate for the arms of East Anglia are those of the Wuffingas dynasty: three crowns in a blue shield, the colour of the Swedish flag, superimposed on a St. George's cross. In fact, that device was created in homage to an old legend of the three crowns of East Anglia, and the blue colour represents the Anglo-Scandinavian heritage of much of East Anglia.

The East Anglian flag as it is known today was invented by George Henry Langham and adopted by the London Society of East Anglians. It was first mentioned in print in 1900 and was flown locally in various places in Norfolk, but was not known widely even at the time it was invented. The crowns also appear in the arms of the borough of Bury St. Edmunds and the University of East Anglia.


  1. ^ Hierarchical list of the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics and the statistical regions of Europe The European Commission, Statistical Office of the European Communities (retrieved 6 January 2008)
  2. ^ Fisher, David Hackett Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America Oxford University Press, 1991
  3. ^ Pillboxes UK Ian Sanders, December 2005
  4. ^ Brown, Chris State of the Environment Report 1998 Chapter 11: Physical Background (pp.305-306) Cambridgeshire County Council (retrieved 19 July 2007)

See also

External links

Coordinates: 52°30′N 1°00′E / 52.5°N 1°E / 52.5; 1

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

East Anglia [1] is the region of eastern England that lies broadly to the north of London and the Thames estuary, to the south of the Wash (the square shaped indentation in England's east coast) and to the east of the East Midlands. The region is also known, much less commonly, as the "East of England".

Map of East Anglia
Map of East Anglia

East Anglia consists of the following counties:


Towns and cities

Listed below are ten cities and towns of greatest interest to travellers:

  • The Broads
  • The Sunrise Coast
  • Weald Country Park
  • Minsmere Nature Reserve
  • Sutton Hoo [2]


East Anglia is historically a rural region of small capitals, market towns and picturesque villages. The character of the flattish landscape has been heavily influenced by the people that live on it - most notably with the draining of the Fens transforming marshland into fertile farmland, and the ancient excavations that resulted in the waterways of Norfolk's Broads.

Proximity to the capital city and good farming has long made the region relatively prosperous, and much of the southern area of the region now serves as a base for commuters to London. The effect of this London overspill has been the rapid growth of suburban housing in the regions towns and the construction of purpose-built "New Towns" such as Letchworth, Welwyn Garden City, Stevenage.


East Anglia is an English-speaking region, and travellers should have little difficulty in understanding locals, who generally speak in an accent similar to that of London and most of South Eastern England. The exception to this is Norfolk, in which a strong local dialect persists.

Get in

By plane

The region is served by London Luton airport (in Bedfordshire) with regular flights from Europe, and the small international airport in Norwich. The region is best reached by air via one of the London airports

By sea

There are ferries from continental Europe to Harwich on the east coast

By train

The region is particularly well connected in a North/South direction London, notably by the Great Eastern line linking Norwich, Ipswich and Colchester, and the main East Coast line which passes via Peterborough to Scotland, linking up . St Albans and Bedford lie on the Midland line and there is also a smaller line from London to Cambridge. Routes heading West are more limited and pass via Peterborough

By bus

Long distance bus services connect the region's major centres of population, although the convoluted road network makes them a slow option

Get around

By train

The region is well served by rail services in a North/South direction, less so in an East/West direction.

By bus

Rural bus services operate in most parts of the region, and tend to offer good service. National Express offer infrequent long distance coach services.

By car

The regions road network is generally in a good condition and relatively traffic free in most areas, though what appears to be a major trunk route in a map often turns out to be a windy rural road passing through villages.

By boat

For a slower pace, it's possible to hire boats to take on the region's waterways. Boat is the best way of experiencing the Broads

Stay safe

East Anglia is a prosperous and predominantly rural region presenting relatively few hazards to the traveller, but a little common sense can go a long way. See the England page for more general safety tips in England

Drivers should be careful on the region's roads, which often have deceptively sharp corners and are flanked by deep, unfenced drainage ditches.

Get out

Take a train to enjoy the faster pace and greater cultural diversity of London

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

EAST ANGLIA, one of the kingdoms into which Anglo-Saxon Britain was divided. Bede gives no information about its origin except that its earliest settlers were Angles. The kingdom of East Anglia comprised the two counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. With regard to the western boundary we have no accurate information, but it was probably formed by the fens of Cambridgeshire.

This kingdom first appears in Bede's narrative early in the 7th century, when its power was at its height. Towards the end of the reign of lEthelberht, who died about 616, Radwald of East Anglia, who had apparently spent some time at the court of Kent, began to win for himself the chief position among the Anglo-Saxon kings of his day. His position was assured, at least temporarily, in 617, when he decided to espouse the cause of the Northumbrian prince Edwin, then a fugitive at his court, and defeated zEthelfrith of Northumbria on the banks of the Idle, a tributary of the Trent, in Mercian territory. Reedwald had been converted to Christianity in Kent, but after his return home he relapsed, according to Bede, owing to the influence of his wife, and there were to be seen in the same building a Christian and a pagan altar. Bede states that Radwald was the son of Tytili, the son of Wuffa, from whom the East Anglian royal family derived their name Wuffingas. According to the Historia Brittonum Guffa (Wuffa) was the son of (Guecha) Wehha, who first ruled the East Angles in Britain. This would put the organization of the kingdom in the first or second quarter of the 6th century. Eorpwald, the son of Radwald, was converted to Christianity by Edwin, but was soon afterwards slain by Ricberht (627 or 628), whereupon the kingdom again became pagan for three years, when Sigeberht, the brother of Eorpwald, became king and founded a see for Felix at Dunwich. Sigeberht also founded a school in East Anglia, and on the arrival of an Irish missionary named Furseus he built him a monastery at Cnobheresburg, perhaps to be identified with Burgh Castle. Before 644, however, Sigeberht resigned the crown in favour of his brother Ecgric and retired to a monastery. Shortly afterwards both brothers were slain by Penda of Mercia in his invasion of East Anglia, and Anna became king. This king was an enthusiastic Christian, and converted Ceenwalh, king of Wessex, who had fled to his court. Two of his daughters, Saethryth and ZEthelberg, took the veil; while another, Sexburg, was married to Earconberht, king of Kent; and a fourth, Æthelthryth, after two marriages, with Tondberht of the South Gyrwe and Ecgfrith of Northumbria, became abbess of Ely. In 654 Anna was slain by Penda of Mercia, and was succeeded by his brother 2Ethelhere, who was killed in 655 at the Winwaed, fighting for the Mercian king against Oswio of Northumbria. In 673 Archbishop Theodore divided the East Anglian diocese into two, Elmham being the seat of the northern, Dunwich that of the southern bishop. A long blank follows in the history of this kingdom, until in 792 we find Offa of Mercia slaying iEthelberht, king of East Anglia, who is said to have been his son-in-law. East Anglia was subject to the supremacy of the Mercian kings until 825, when its people slew Beornwulf of Mercia, and with their king acknowledged Ecgberht (Egbert) of Wessex as their lord. In 870 Edmund, king of East Anglia, was killed by the Danes under I'varr and Ubbi, the sons of Ragnar Lol brok.

The following is a list of the kings of East Anglia of whom there is record: - Wehha; Wuffa; Radwald, son of Tytili and grandson of Wuffa (reigning 617); Eorpwald, son of Radwald (d. 627 or 628); Sigeberht, brother of Eorpwald; Ecgric, brother of Sigeberht (both slain before 644); Anna, son of Ene and grandson of Tytili (d. 654); lEthelhere, brother of Anna (d. 655); Æthelwald, a third brother; Aldwulf (succ. 663, d. 713), son of lEthelric and grandson of Ene; Elf wald, son of Aldwulf (d. 749); Hun Beonna and Alberht; iEthelberht (792); Edmund (870).

After the death of Ragnar LObrok's sons East Anglia was occupied by the Danish king Guthrum, who made a treaty with Alfred settling their respective boundaries, probably about 880. Guthrum died in 890. A later king named Eohric took up the cause of zEthelwald, the son of 'Ethelred I., and was slain in the fight with the Kentish army at the Holm in 905. A war broke out with King Edward the Elder in 913; in 921 a king whose name is unknown was killed at the fall of Tempsford, and in the same year the Danes of East Anglia submitted to Edward the Elder. From this time, probably, East Anglia was governed by English earls, the most famous of whom were zEthelstan, surnamed Half - King (932-956) and his sons, lEthelwold (956-962), and tEthelwine, surnamed Dei amicus (962-992).

See Bede, Hist. Ecci. (ed. C. Plummer, Oxford, 1896), ii. 5, 15, iii. 7, 8, 18-20, 22, iv. 3, 5, 23; Saxon Chronicle (ed. Earle and Plummer, Oxford, 1899), s. a. 823, 838, 866, 870, 880, 885, 890, 894, 9 0 5, 921; Historia Brittonum (San-Marte, 1844), s. 59; H. Sweet, Oldest English Texts, p. 171 (London, 1885). (F. G. M. B.)

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Wikipedia has an article on:



east +‎ Anglia (the area occupied by the Angles)


East Anglia


East Anglia

  1. The area of eastern England occupied by Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Cambridgeshire and north Essex.

Simple English

and Suffolk, the core area of East Anglia.  Both Peterborough and Cambridgeshire are to the west, whileEssex to the south.]]

East Anglia is a region of eastern England, named after one of the ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, which was named after the homeland of the Angles, Angeln in northern Germany. The kingdom consisted of Norfolk and Suffolk ("North folk" and "South folk") but the region's borders are vague.

Farming and gardening are very successful in this fertile country. The landscape has been heavily influenced by Dutch technology.

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