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10 of Britain's Oldest

It’s time to impress your friends again with your astounding knowledge of Britain and its history. This time it’s a random list of 10 of Britain’s oldest things. Enjoy! 

#2 Britain’s Oldest Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral is Britain's oldest cathedral. It was founded in 597 AD by St Augustine.

#3 Britain’s Oldest Church

Image copyright of Stephen

The Church of St Martin of Tours, in Canterbury is the oldest Christian church in Britain, and possibly the oldest in the entire English-speaking world, dating from 597.

#4 Britain’s Oldest House

On the island of Papa Westray, in the Orkney Islands in the north of Scotland, is the incredible Knap of Howar, which is regarded as the oldest standing house in Northwest Europe.  These two dwellings were occupied by Neolithic farmers and are thought to be well over 5,000 years old dating back to around 3,600 BC. The walls are over 5 feet high and the dwellings contain partitions, storage areas, fireplaces, and even beds!

#5 Britain’s Oldest House (Continuously occupied)

Image copyright Rick Crowley / Saltford Manor House / CC BY-SA 2.0 

Saltford Manor, near Bath, Somerset, is thought to be the oldest continuously occupied private house in Britain. The house is believed to date back to 1148 which was the completion date of Hereford Cathedral. The house has a Norman arch etched with diamond markings that are similar to features found in the Cathedral.

#6 Britain’s Oldest School

Image copyright Victor Naumenko

The King's School in Canterbury, England, is Britain's oldest public school. It is also possibly the oldest continuously operating school in the entire world, as education on the Abbey and Cathedral grounds has been in existence since AD 597, which is when the school was founded.

#7 Britain’s Oldest Door

Image credit:

This ancient oak timber door in Westminster Abbey is Britain's oldest door, being over a thousand years old.

The wood for the door was felled after 1032 AD, with the door then being constructed in the 1050s. 

#8 Britain’s oldest working telephone box

Image credit:

The above British telephone box is a type K1, which first appeared on British streets in May 1921.  There are only 2 left; one in Kingston upon Hull, and the one in the picture above is in Bembridge, on the Isle of Wight, and is the oldest working telephone box in Britain.

#9 Britain’s Oldest Pub

Ye Olde Fighting Cocks (pictured) in St Albans, Hertfordshire, England, is one of several pubs that lay claim to the title of oldest pub in England. It claims to have been in business since 793 AD.

However, there are many other pubs in contention,  with claims of their own to be England's or Britain's Oldest Pub  - 

Ye Old Trip to Jerusalem, in Nottingham, England (c.1189); Ye Olde Salutation Inn, Nottingham, England (c. 1240); The Royal Standard of England, in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England (c.1086); The Porch House, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire, England (c.947); The Old Ferry Boat Inn, Holywell, Cambridge, England (c.560); The Bingley Arms, Bardsey, Leeds, England. (c.905); Adam and Eve, Bishopgate, Norwich, England. (c.1249); Ye Olde Man & Scythe, Bolton, England. (c. 1251); The Prospect of Whitby, London, England. (1520) claims to be Britain's oldest riverside pub; The Skirrid Mountain Inn, Abergavenny, Wales (1110) .

#10 Britain’s Oldest Post Office

The small Post Office in Sanquhar, Scotland, is not just Britain's oldest Post Office, but it is in fact the oldest Post Office in the world, having been continuously operating since 1712

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