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.
- East Anglia is often used as a shorthand
for the Kingdom of the East Angles.
boundary is subject to differing interpretations but is generally
held to include the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk with Cambridgeshire
and sometimes also Essex
. For government administrative purposes East
Anglia now forms part of the East of
and East Anglia is defined as Level 2 Nomenclature of
Territorial Units for Statistics
within the East of England
, comprising the counties of
Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire including Peterborough..
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).
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.
Great Britain around the year
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).
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
, who was made Jarl of East
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
land was converted into
by means of systematic
drainage using a collection of drains and river diversions.
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.. 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
and the United States Air Force
many air bases in East Anglia for the heavy
fleets of the Combined Bomber Offensive
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.
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.
have proven very successful in
this fertile country. The landscape has been heavily influenced by
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.
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
The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads
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
Ouse also cross the region.
of East Anglia is situated in Norwich.
East of England
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
. 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
, superimposed on a St.
. 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
heritage of much of East
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.
- 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 06 January 2008)
- David Hackett Fisher, Albion's Seed (1991)
- Brown, Chris State of the Environment Report 1998 Chapter
11: Physical Background (pp.305-306) Cambridgeshire County Council
(retrieved 19 July