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Facts

RUTLAND

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FUN FACTS

Rutland is the 47th largest county or metropolitan borough in England.
Rutland has the 49th highest population in England.
Rutland is in 48th place for density of population.

NOTE: Rutland is the smallest county in England, approximately 16 miles long by 16 miles wide. From 1974 until 1997, Rutland was part of Leicestershire but is now once again an independent county. I have not been able to find anyone of note who was born in Rutland in the last 100 years. If you know of someone, or are that someone, please let me know.

  1. The Royal Connection
  2. This seems a pretty good connection. In 1060 Edward the Confessor gave Rutland to his wife Edith. Not a bad present. He had married her in 1045 but as crystal is the traditional present for 15 years of marriage, maybe it was for her 35th birthday.

    Edith was the daughter of Godwin, probably the most powerful earl in England at the time. Edith had six brothers and two sisters. One of her brothers was Harold who would, on Edward's death in January 1066, take the throne of England. Later that year William of Normandy landed in England as he also claimed the throne and this led, in October 1066, to the Battle of Hastings and Harold's death.

    Edith, who was a very wealthy woman owning a lot more land than just Rutland, survived the Norman conquest and when she died in Winchester on 18 December 1075, William the Conqueror arranged for her body to be brought to London where she was buried alongside her husband in Westminster Abbey.

  3. Rutland Eats
  4. In such a small county it was quite difficult to find a specific food but I think we did it. On Valentine's Day, each year, it is the custom in a few villages in Rutlnad, Barrow and Teigh being two examples, to give away buns to all the children in the village. The buns were known as plum shuttles as they were the same shape as a weaver's shuttle. A shuttle, in weaving, is a tool designed to neatly and compactly store a holder that carries the thread of the weft yarn while weaving with a loom. The buns are an oval shape with a slight point at one end. The custom has probably been going on since hand looms were common in many houses.

    The buns are a yeast raised bread bun filled with dried fruit and candied peel. I've decided to give you the whole recipe and method so you can be ready to make these next February.

    INGREDIENTS FOR 12

    • 1lb (450g) plain flour
    • 2oz (50g) butter
    • half a teaspoon salt
    • 4fl oz (125ml) warm milk
    • half a tablespoon caster sugar
    • 1 egg (plus some beaten egg for glazing)
    • 2fl oz (50ml) warm water
    • 8oz (225g) currants
    • quarter of an ounce (15g) of fresh yeast or half a teaspoon of dried yeast


    METHOD
    Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Cream the yeast and sugar together and mix with the water. Leave to stand for 20 mins until frothy. Melt the fat in a pan with the milk and beat in the egg. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and salt and mix in the currants. Mix to a smooth dough and knead well on a floured board. Cover and leave to rise until double in size (usually about 30 mins in a warm place). Knock back and knead again. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape into a small oval shape. Place on a greased baking tray and cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise for 30 mins in a warm place. Heat oven to 200 degrees centigrade/400 degrees fahrenheit/gas mark 6. Brush with beaten egg and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

    My thanks again to the Foods of England Project.

  5. Rutland VIPs
  6. Seven random people who were born in Rutland in the last 100 years:-
    As I explained above, I couldn't find anyone. Sorry.

  7. Now That's Weird
  8. If you are the reigning monarch, unlikely as this would only apply to one of you, or if you are a peer of the realm, more likely but only if you are a duke, marquess, earl, count, viscount or baron or the female equivalent, then make sure you have your horseshoe ready on your first visit to one of Rutland's two towns, namely Oakham. There is a tradition, dating back over 500 years, that any such visitor should present a horseshoe to the Lord of the Manor.

    The horseshoes are hung on a wall in Oakham Castle (look up a picture of the castle because it doesn't really look like a castle as we know it). Currently, there are two hundred and thirty horseshoes on the wall. The oldest surviving horseshoe in the collection is one that was presented by Edward IV in 1470 after his victory at the Battle of Losecoat Field. Recent additions to the collection are horseshoes presented by the Princess Royal in 1999, the Prince of Wales in 2003 and the Duchess of Cornwall in 2014.

    Rutland horseshoes, as seen on their flag and the castle wall, are hung upside down. This is, so they say, to prevent the devil from making a nest in the bottom of the horseshoe. However, my mother, who will appear a bit later on this page, always told me that horseshoes were lucky but should be the other way up otherwise the luck would fall out. Weird.

  9. It Happened Here
  10. It happens that, in the smallest county in England, you can find the largest reservoir by area in England. It was here that Rutland Water, a man-made reservoir, was completed in 1975. The village of Nether Hambleton and most of Middle Hambleton were demolished while the neighbouring village of Upper Hambleton now sits on the Hambleton Peninsula which stick out into the reservoir.

    The reservoir is filled by pumping water from the River Nene and the River Welland and it provides water to the East Midlands. There is a 23 mile (37 km) track running around the edge of the reservoir which can be used for walking or cycling. The damn to create the lake is 115 feet (35 m) high, and around 1,300 yards (1,200 m) long. At its base, it is up to 890 yards (810m) wide, and the finished structure has been landscaped to blend in with the environment, even when viewed from Empingham, the nearest village.

    The reservoir is not only used for water storage, but is a popular water sports centre. A pleasure cruiser, the Rutland Belle, carries people around the lake. Birdwatching brings visitors from all over the country and, as you will see later, ospreys now breed there. The lake is stocked with brown trout and rainbow trout as well as roach, bream, pike, zander, perch, eel, wels catfish and carp.

  11. Richard Remembers
  12. Yes, I've driven through Rutland, no, I've never stayed there. My only memory of it comes from childhood dinners when, quite often, my father would ask my sister and I various general knowledge questions as we ate. My mother, who did not have father's knowledge, would often pipe up with her only question which was to name the smallest county in England.

    As I have no pictures of Rutland to add to this little story, I thought I would add two of my mother. In the first she seems to be watering her younger sister in the garden and the second was taken at her last Christmas dinner in 1994, before she died in February of 1995. She seems to be showing off some sort of identity card. I have no idea why. As you may know I have always said that history is not just about kings and battles, it can be more personal so you can read more about my mother at the bottom of this page.



  13. Owlbut's Birdwatch
  14. The osprey, as you can see if you look at the small fish clasped in its claws, is a fish-eating bird of prey. It is on the amber list of birds and there are only thought to be about 200 to 250 breeding pairs in the country. They mainly breed in Scotland but they began breeding at Rutland Water after being introduced there in 1996. One of the first ospreys was called "Mr Rutland". During spring and summer you might be able to see them at any large area of freshwater. In flight they have white underwings while the main feather colour is brown and cream and the legs are blue. The beak is of medium length, black, hooked and chunky.

    Ospreys are between 52 and 60 cms in length, have a wingspan between 145 and 170 cms and weigh between one and a half and two kilograms. Ospreys spend the winter in Africa and arrive back in April, leaving again in September.

We have asked the local Tourist Board(s) for a small contribution (50 pounds) to the cost of running this project and, in anticipation of their agreement, we are providing a link to their site(s) for the next five years. I can assure you we won't see anywhere near everything when we are there, so, if you fancy taking a trip into Rutland check it (them) out for some great information. Apart from anything else it will get you out in the fresh air, walking around and one day you might be over 70 and still enthusiastically mobile.

All figures the latest available as at July 2020