This is England

To celebrate St George's Day, the national tourist board has launched a Hall of Fame exhibition of the great and good in English history

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The Independent Travel

VisitEngland unveiled the Hall of Fame on London's South Bank yesterday with an exhibition of the winners and runners-up of the seven categories.

The winner of the People's Choice award, was, unsurprisingly, William Shakespeare, whose birthday may or may not have been 450 years ago today.


The other winners and runners-up were:

History and Heritage

Gold – Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the world's oldest industrial complex and a crucial part of England’s naval heritage. 

Silver – The sweeping vistas of England’s landscaping master, Capability Brown.

Bronze – The four surviving original copies of Magna Carta, sealed in 1215 at Runnymede, Surrey.


The Great, the Good and the Notorious

Gold – Founder of the National Trust, Octavia Hill - born in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire in 1838.

Silver – Heroic outlaw Robin Hood.

Bronze – street artist Banksy.


Food and Drink

Gold – The sandwich, named in honour of its inventor, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich and served as part of afternoon tea at Woburn Abbey since around 1840.

Silver – England's oldest working gin distillery in Plymouth.

Bronze – The Bakewell Pudding, first made at a Derbyshire inn during the 19th century




Inventions and Discoveries

Gold – Isambard Kingdom Brunel's engineering masterpieces in Bristol, including the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Silver – Sir Isaac Newton, who discovered his theory of gravity at his home at Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire.

Bronze – The steam locomotive. A working replica of the world’s first operational steam locomotive can be seen in action at Blists Hill Victorian Town in Ironbridge, Shropshire.


Sport and Leisure

Gold – The incidental birth of modern rugby during a football game at Rugby School in Warwickshire.

Silver – Tennis. The sport is thought to have been invented at Hampton Court Palace, where Henry VIII built a court in 1530.

Bronze – The annual BNY Mellon Boat Race (known also as the Oxford vs Cambridge Boat Race), established in 1829 and one of the world’s oldest sporting events.


Culture and Entertainment

Gold – The Beatles, Liverpool.

Silver – Highclere Castle, Hampshire: the real-life location of ITV’s Downton Abbey series.

Bronze – Glastonbury Festival, Somerset.


The free Hall of Fame exhibition will be at Observation Point on London's South Bank until Wednesday 30 April (