Facts About The Minotaur

The Minotaur is a mythical creature usually described as having a man’s body, and the head and tail of a bull. In the Ancient Greek and Roman stories, the Minotaur lived in the middle of a giant maze called The Labyrinth and was killed by the hero Theseus.

Minotaur Facts

  • In Greek mythology, the word Minotaur was a proper noun. The word Minotaur was the name of one individual. In recent times, the word is often used in novels and TV shows to describe a species or race of bull-headed creatures.
  • According to Ancient Greek mythology, the Minotaur was the offspring of Pasiphae (Minos of Crete’s wife) and a white bull. As the Minotaur grew, it became violent and dangerous, and it lived off human flesh.
  • Minos instructed the mastercraftsman Daedalus to build the Labyrinth to house the Minotaur. It was located near his palace in Knossos.
  • Although the Minotaur is commonly shown with the head of a bull on a man’s body, other depictions exist of the creature with a man’s head on a bull’s body.
  • In the Theseus myth, Theseus (a prince from Athens) volunteered to enter the Labyrinth and kill the Minotaur. Aided by Ariadne (Mino’s daughter), Theseus used a ball of thread to mark his route through the maze, and he killed the Minotaur with his bare hands (or a club, or a sword depending on which version you read).
  • Although ruins of a palace have been discovered at Knossos in Crete, no evidence of the Labyrinth has yet been unearthed.
  • The Minotaur makes an appearance in Dante’s Inferno. Virgil distracts the beast by taunting him with details from the Theseus myth.
  • Albert Skira’s 1930s literary magazine was named Minotaure. Over the years, the magazine featured covers by famous artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, and Max Ernst.
  • In the short story The House of Asterion, Jorge Luis Borges tells the Minotaur story from the beast’s perspective.
  • Minotaurs featured in the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game developed by Gary Gygax.
  • The Minotaur appears in the 2018 Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey videogame, the Hades videogame from 2020, Total War Saga: Troy, Heroes of Might and Magic, 2002’s Age of Mythology, Kings’s Quest VI, Teros, and in Miitopia.
  • There are numerous movies featuring the Minotaur (or characters based on the Minotaur) including, Time Bandits (1981), Dave Made a Maze (2017), Your Highness (2008), and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1976).
  • Master Minotaur, introduced in Fortnite’s Chapter 2: Season 2, is an Epic Outfit (and costs 1500 V-Bucks).
  • The Minotaur is a minor character in the 2005 Rick Riordan novel Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Theif.
  • Minotaurs appear in the Dragonlance books by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weiss. The Minotaur Empire is located to the east of the continent of Ansalon.
  • In 2018, a French company called La Machine created a kinetic sculpture of a minotaur. It was more than 15 metres tall, and it marched through the streets of Toulouse in France. It is now located in Halle De La Machine in Toulouse.
  • A statue of Theseus and the Minotaur made by Antonio Canova in the 1780s is on display in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.
  • In Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, there is a statue called The Hare and the Minotaur. It is located on The Promenade and it was designed by the artist Sophie Ryder. It is made of reclaimed scrap metal.
  • A statue of the Minotaur by Michael Ayton is located on the terrace outside the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. It was originally designed for a private estate and found its way to this location after several moves.
  • David Gemmell’s fantasy book Dark Prince features a character based on the Minotaur.
  • Minotaurs feature in the Blood Bowl board game. Some of their star players included Mad Bull Chainspleen, Udder Destruction, Bellow Thunderslam, and Grashnak Blackhoof.

10 Marcus Rashford Quotes

Here are ten quotes from Marcus Rashford, the Manchester United and England footballer, and a campaigner against child hunger and racism.

Food poverty is contributing to social unrest. Add school closures, redundancies, and furloughs into the equation and we have an issue that could negatively impact generations to come. It all starts with stability around access to food.

Marcus Rashford (September, 2020)

Education is only effective when children can engage in learning. Right now, a generation who have already been penalised during this pandemic with lack of access to educational resources are now back in school struggling to concentrate due to worry and the sound of their rumbling stomachs.

Marcus Rashford (October, 2020)

#endchildpoverty is not about children going hungry during the school holidays, this is about children going hungry full-stop. Let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture here. There are at least 1.5 million school children we are not reaching with the free school meal scheme.

Marcus Rashford (October, 2020)

I don’t have the education of a politician, many on Twitter have made that clear today, but I have a social education having lived through this and having spent time with the families and children most affected. These children matter. And as long as they don’t have a voice they will have mine.

Marcus Rashford

Of course I am happy to play in any of the attacking roles, but for me, where I can score the most goals is down the middle.

Marcus Rashford on his best position on the football pitch.

I want to score more goals; the main ambition is goals.

Marcus Rashford

What families are going through now, I’ve once had to go through that, and it’s very difficult to find a way out. It’s very important for me to help people who are struggling. Whether the outcome changes or doesn’t change. That’s why I wrote it.

Marcus Rashford on writing an open letter to the UK government.

I learn something new every game. Every game is always different, no matter how you try and think about it beforehand.

Marcus Rashford

For me, sometimes it’s more important to perform well in training and know that I am improving rather than scoring in a game. It’s doing the hard work, day in, day out.

Marcus Rashford

Emotionally, making my debut has been the highlight so far. I didn’t know I was starting until three minutes before. I went in and put my shirt on, and the team were already in the tunnel.

Marcus Rashford on making his Manchester United debut in 2016 at the age of 18

Vivienne Westwood Facts

Vivienne Westwood was a fashion designer from England. She was best known for shaping the fashion of London’s punk movement in the 1970s.

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Vivienne Westwood Facts

  • Vivienne Westwood was born Vivienne Isabel Swire in 1941 in Tintwistle in Cheshire, England.
  • She took a course in jewellery-making and silversmithing at the University of Westminster but quit after just one term. Instead, she trained as a primary school teacher and made jewellery in her free time, selling it from a stall on London’s Portobello Road.
  • Vivienne Westwood met Derek Westwood in 1962, and they got married the same year. She designed and made her own wedding dress.
  • The marriage of Vivienne and Derek Westwood ended when Vivienne met Malcolm McClaren. Malcolm McClaren and Vivienne Westwood lived together in Balham, London, and they collaborated to produce pieces of clothing.
  • In the 1970s, Vivienne Westwood co-managed a shop with Malcolm McClaren that became a hub for the London punk scene. The Sex Pistols band, managed by Malcolm McClaren wore clothes designed by Vivienne Westwood and McClaren, and Vivienne Westwood is often credited as being one of the key architects of punk style.

Vivienne and Malcolm use clothes to shock, irritate and provoke a reaction but also to inspire change. Mohair jumpers, knitted on big needles, so loosely that you can see all the way through them, T-shirts slashed and written on by hand, seams and labels on the outside, showing the construction of the piece; these attitudes are reflected in the music we make. It’s OK to not be perfect, to show the workings of your life and your mind in your songs and your clothes

Viv Albertine
  • The first Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McClaren fashion collection to be shown to the media was called Pirate, and they went on to collaborate on other collections, including Savages (1981), Punkature (1982), and World’s End (1984).
  • In the late-1980s, Vivienne Westwood combined the Victorian crinoline (a stiff petticoat designed to hold a skirt away from the body) and the miniskirt, creating the mini-crini.
  • In 2007, Vivienne Westwood designed the academic gowns for London’s King’s College.
  • She also designed uniforms for Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic cabin crew.
  • Vivienne Westwood designed for numerous big-name clients over the years, including Dita Von Teese (wedding dress), Marion Cotillard (dress for film premiere), Princess Eugenie (dresses for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton), and Pharrell Williams (Buffalo hat).
  • In the video game Final Fantasy XV one of the characters, Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, is shown wearing a wedding dress designed by Vivienne Westwood.
  • In the 2008 Sex and the City movie, one of the main characters, Carrie Bradshaw, wears a Vivienne Westwood wedding dress.
  • Although she was at times a supporter of both Britain’s Labour Party and the Conservative Party, in 2015 she supported the Green Party of England and Wales.
  • In 2017, she endorsed Jeremy Corbyn’s bid to become Prime Minister at the UK general election. He was unsuccessful.
  • She supported many different campaigns, charities, and causes over the years, including PETA, climate change awareness, the Trillion Fund (clean energy), Liberty, and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).
  • In 2008 Vivienne Westwood published the Vivienne Westwood Opus 2008 book at London Fashion Week. It featured 97 large-format Polaroid photographs. The subjects include Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Sarah Ferguson, Helena Bonham Carter, and Sir Bob Geldof.
  • Vivienne Westwood was awarded the OBE in 1992, and the DBE in 2006 for services to fashion.
  • She was included in the updated version of Peter Blake‘s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Beatles album cover.
  • In 2012, one of Vivienne Westwood’s tartan outfits appeared on a Royal Mail postage stamp to celebrate Great British Fashion.
  • She is a vegetarian.
  • She moved into a house in Clapham, London, once owned by Captain James Cook’s mother.
  • Vivienne Westwood was twice named British Designer of the Year.
  • The Richest website estimates that Vivienne Westwood had a net worth of more than £150 million.
  • In recent years, many celebrities have worn clothes and accessories designed by Vivienne Westwood, including Dua Lipa, Hailey Bieber, Rita Ora, Gigi Hadid, Elle Fanning, Miley Cyrus, and Kristen Stewart.
  • Vivienne Westwood died on 29th December 2022. She was 81.
  • Following her death, celebrities such as the designer Marc Jacobs, the actress Kim Catrall, the supermodel Claudia Schiffer, and former Spice Girl, Victoria Beckham.

Kurt Schwitters Facts

Kurt Schwitters was a German artist. Although he produced works of poetry, painting, sculpture, and graphic design, he is best known for his works of collage.

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Facts About Kurt Schwitters

  • Kurt Schwitters was born in 1887 in Hannover, Germany.
  • In 1901, as a teenager, he experienced his first epileptic fit.
  • He studied art at the Dresden Academy, and then he began a career as an artist, initially as a post-impressionist.
  • His work became more expressionist as World War I progressed.
  • Although Kurt Schwitters was conscripted into the 73rd Hanoverian Regiment in 1917, he was exempted due to his epilepsy. During World War I, he worked as a draftsman in a factory.
  • The style of work he produced changed dramatically in the years following the end of World War I.
  • Kurt Schwitters produced his first abstract collages in 1919. He called these works Merz (after text appearing on one of the paper fragments).
  • In his collages, Kurt Schwitters included fragments of found objects, personal items (such as tickets, and items given to him by friends), and pieces of newspaper.

I could see no reason why used tram tickets, bits of driftwood, buttons and old junk from attics and rubbish heaps should not serve well as materials for paintings; they suited the purpose just as well as factory-made paints.

Kurt Schwitters
  • From 1923 to 1937, he worked on an ambitious 3-D construction at his Hanover studio. It started out as a single column, but soon expanded to fill his enitr working and living space with a series of angular pillars, caves, and grottoes. He called this work Merzbau.
  • From 1937-1948, Kurt Schwitters and his son fled Germany for Norway to avoid being arrested by the Gestapo. his wife remained in Germany to manage their four properties.
  • When the Nazi’s invaded Norway in 1940, Kurt Schwitters moved to Leith in Scotland before being relocated to Hutchinson Camp in Douglas in the Isle of Man.
  • During his internement, Kurt Schwitters produced more than 200 works of art.
  • He was released from the internment camp in 1941, and he moved to London.
  • In London, he was in contact with the artists Ben Nicholson, Naum Gabo, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy.
  • During this period of his career, Kurt Schwitters started to incorporate more natural elements into his work, including pebbles, and sea-worn pottery.
  • In 1944, Kurt Schwitters suffered a stroke, and he learned that his wife had died of cancer in Germany.
  • He moved to the Lake District in 1947, and he died in 1948 on the day after he had received the news that he had been granted British citizenship. He was sixty years old.
  • The artists Damien Hirst, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Hamilton, Peter Blake, Eduardo Paolozzi, Ed Ruscha, and Al Hansen, have all said that Kurt Schwitters has influenced their work.
  • In 2014, one of Kurt Schwitters’ 1920s works, Ja-Was?-Bild (an abstract composition combining paper, cardboard, fabric, wood, and nails), sold at auction for just under £14 million.

What is Photorealism? Facts and Information

Photorealism is an art genre in which the artist attempts to recreate a photographed image in another medium. The work is incredibly detailed and faithful to the source image. As a result, works of photorealism often feel cool and emotionless, as the artist is trying to achieve a perfect copy of what was seen through the camera’s lens, free from emotion or artistic style.

The term Photorealism was first used by Louis L Meisel (an American gallery owner and art dealer) in 1969 to describe artists who gathered information with cameras and photographs and produced work that appeared photographic.

Who were the first Photorealists?

Know as the American Photorealists, the first Photorealist artists included Richard Estes, Audrey Flack, Ralph Goings, Chuck Close, Don Eddy, Richard McLean, John Salt, Tom Blackwell, Ron Kleeman, and Ben Schonzeit.

These artists worked independently of each other, and produced landscapes, portraits, and still lifes.

Many of the original Photorealists moved away from this genre of art as their careers progressed and evolved, but since 2000 and the rise in digital photography, new Photorealist artists have emerged.

Other artists who have produced works of Photorealism include Roberto Bernardi, Bryan Charnley, Raphaella Spense, Glennray Tutor, Tjalf Sparnaay, Robert Neffson, Clive Head, and William Nichols.

What is the difference between Hyperrealism and Photorealism?

Although the term Hyperrealism has been used to describe the work of Photorealist artists, the Hyperrealism movement is considered a distinct offshoot of the Photorealism genre.

Unlike Photorealist painters who focused on recreating mundane and everyday scenes in a precise, mechanical manner without emotion or narrative, the Hyperrealists, using digital photography as their starting point, try to create an illusion of reality that is not present in the original (creating a simulation of something which has never really existed). Hyperrealist works often focus on social, cultural, and political themes, and they often portray the subject with emotion and feeling.

Hyperrealist painters at once simulate and improve upon precise photographic images to produce optically convincing visual illusions of reality, often in a social or cultural context.

Petra Halkes

Some artists who have produced works of Hyperrealism include Dennis Peterson, Gottfried Heinwein, Ron Mueck, Andreas Orosz, Peter Maier, Mark Jenkins, Eric Dillman, and Jack Mendenhall.

Famous Photorealist Paintings

Some of the most well-known works of Photorealism include:

  • ’71 Buick by Robert Bechtle
  • Gum Ball No 10 by Charles Ball
  • Stanley II by Chuck Close
  • Tattoo by Robert Cottingham
  • The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum by Richard Estes
  • Medalion by Richard McLean
  • McDonald’s Pickup by Ralph Goings
  • A Season of Moment by Glennray Tutor
  • Shiva Blue by Audrey Flack

Hyde Park Facts

Located in Westminster in Greater London, Hyde Park is the largest of London’s Royal Parks that form a line from the entrance to Kensington Palace to past the main entrance of Buckingham Palace.

Facts About Hyde Park

  • Hyde Park is a public park and it has an area of approximately 350 acres.
  • The park was founded by Henry VIII in 1536. He took the land from Westminster Abbey and established a hunting ground.
  • The park was opened to public in 1637 and it was often used as a place to celebrate May Day.
  • During the English Civil War a series of forts were constructed along the park’s east side, and in 1665, during London’s Great Plague it was used as a miitary camp.
  • During the 18th century more than 170 duels took place in Hyde Park, and more than 60 people were killed, including Charles Mohun and James Hamilton.
  • Hyde Park’s lake, the Serpentine, was formed in the 18th century by damming the River Westbourne. A bridge (designed by George Rennie and built in 1826) divides the Serpentine from the Long Water (a lake located in Kensington Gardens).
The Serpentine
  • The Great Exhibition of 1851 was held at Hyde Park. The Crystal Palace was located on the park’s south side, but it was moved after the event to Sydenham Hill in South London.
  • Hyde Park Lido, located on the Serpentine’s south bank, opened in 1930.
  • In 2012, Hyde Park hosted a festival as part of the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.
  • The Winter Wonderland event at Hyde Park has been running since 2007, ad includes fairground rides, Christmas market stalls, and bars and restaurants. It is one of Europe’s largest Chrstmas events.
  • Although it is claimed by some that the massive Standing Stone located to the east of Hyde Park was taken from Stonehenge by Charles I, it is actually part of an old drinking fountain.
  • In 2003, it is reported that more than 1 million people gathered in Hyde Park to protest the Iraq War.
  • Hyde Park’s first rock concert was held in 1968. Pink Floyd, Roy Harper, and Jethro Tull played to a crowd of 15,000 people.
  • Since then, numerous bands and srtists have performed at Hyde Park, including The Rolling Stones, Queen, Bruce Springsteen, The Who, Elton John, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, R.E.M., and U2.
  • During the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, Hyde Park hosted the triathlon, and the open water swimming events.

Learn more about London and some of the city’s greatest landmarks.

Trafalgar Square Facts

A public square located in the City of Westminster in Central London, Trafalgar Square was constructed in the early part of the 19th century. Nelson’s Column, a 46-metre granite column topped with a statue of Admiral Nelson, is located in the middle of Trafalgar Square to commemorate the victory at the Battle of Trafalgar (1805).

Facts About Trafalgar Square

  • Formerly known as Charing Cross, Trafalgar Square has been a significant London landmark for centuries. It once was the site of the enclosed King’s Mews courtyard, but this was moved to Buckingham Palace by George IV.
  • Trafalgar Square is owned by the British monarch and it is managed by the Greater London Authority. The roads surrounding Trafalgar Square are owned by Westminster City Council.
  • The fountains flanking Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, and the four lions guarding the column were designed by Sir Edwin Landseer and are made out of bronze. Each one weighs more than 7 tons.
  • Many famous London landmarks and buildings surround Trafalgar Square, including the National Gallery, St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, South Africa House, Canada House, and The Mall which leads to Admiralty Arch and Buckingham Palace.
  • In 1914, as part of the suffragette bombing campaign, a bomb was placed in St Martin-in-the-Fields church. The explosion blew out the church’s windows and started a fire.
  • Three of the four Trafalgar Square plinths contain statues (of George IV, Sir Charles James Napier, and Sir Henry Havelock). The so-called ‘Fourth Plinth’ has remained statueless and has been used to show specially commissioned works of art.
  • Some of the artists who have had their work displayed on the Fourth Plinth include Marc Quinn, Antony Gormley, Yinka Shonibare, Katharina Fritsch, Hans Haacke, David Shrigley, and Michael Rakowitz.
  • The statue of Edward Jenner which was located in Trafalgar Square in the 1800s has been relocated to Kensington Gardens.
  • Trafalgar Square used to be famous for its flocks of pigeons. People used to be encouraged to feed the birds, and at one point it was estimated that there were 35,000 pigeons visiting the site. In 2001, the sale of bird seed in the square was outlawed, and in 2003 it was illegal to feed the birds in Trafalgar Square.
  • Traditionally, Londoners would congregate in Trafalgar Square on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the coming of the new year.
  • Since 1947, a ceremony has been held in Trafalgar Square to unveil a Norway spruce Christmas tree presented annually to London from Oslo in Norway in recognition of the support Britain provided to Norway in World War 2.
  • Throughout history, Trafalgar Square has been the site of protests and demonstrations. In the 1980s, anti-apartheid protests took place outside South Africa House, in the 1990s, Poll Tax protesters congregated in Trafalgar Square, and in 2015 a vigil was held for the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris.
  • Trafalgar Square has appeared in numerous TV shows and movies, including Casino Royale, Doctor Who, and the Ipcress Files.
  • A LEGO set based on Trafalgar Square was released in 2019 as part of its Architecture theme (Set 21045).
  • Trafalgar Square features as one of the properties in the standard UK edition of the Monopoly board game. It is part of the red set, alongside the Strand and Fleet Street.
  • Trafalgar Square appears (as Victory Square) in the novel Nineteen-Eighty-Four by George Orwell.
  • Trafalgar Square was designed by Sir Charles Barry, and was constructed in the 1840s.

Learn about some more of London’s landmarks.

Swanage Facts

Swanage is a town in the English county of Dorset. It is located at the eastern end of the Isle of Purbeck.

Facts About Swanage

  • The town of Swanage is mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. It is described as being the site of a naval victory by King Alfred the Great over the invading Danish forces. A monument to this event was constructed in 1862 by John Mowlem at the south end of the seafront.
  • There is evidence that the Romans quarried Purbeck marble during the Roman occupation of Britain. When the Romans left, quarrying stopped for a while, until demand for Purbeck marble grew again in the 12th century.
  • Purbeck marble is often used for decorative interior features, and Purbeck limestone is often used for exterior features, such as paving and walls.
  • During London’s reconstruction following the Great Fire of London in 1666, Purbeck limestone was loaded onto ships at Swanage and transported to the capital.
  • In the early 19th century, William Morton Pitt converted a Swanage mansion into a luxury hotel. It was visited by Princess Victoria in 1833 (before she was crowned Queen Victoria), and the hotel was later renamed the Royal Victoria Hotel.
  • John Mowlem was a Swanage resident who became a very successful builder in London. Along with his nephew George Burt, John Mowlem is responsible for building many of Swanage’s key historical buildings, including the Mowlem Institute, the town’s first pier, and the Prince Albert Memorial of 1862.
  • Swanage Lighthouse was built in 1880, and it is located on the top of the cliffs at Anvil Point.
  • In the late 19th century, and up until the beginning of World War 2, Swanage was a very popular seaside tourist resort. Today, many tourists still visit the town, but it isn’t as popular as it was more than one hundred years ago.
Swanage Beach (Early 20th Century)
Swanage Beach (Early 20th Century)
  • Swanage was home to surrealist artists and photographers Paul Nash and Eileen Agar.
  • The John Cleese character Basil Fawlty from the TV series Fawlty Towers comes from Swanage.
  • Swanage is mentioned often in EM Forster’s Howard’s End novel.
  • The Mowlem Theatre was opened in 1967. With a capacity of nearly 400, it operates as both a cinema and a theatre.
  • The Swanage Carnival Week takes place annually in the last week of July, and it includes firework displays, live music, parades, and dance performances.
  • The novelist Thomas Hardy stayed in Swanage in the winter of 1875. The town appears in The Hand of Ethelberta, but it is named Knollsea.
  • The Swanage Railway consists of six miles of track, and it operates between Swanage and Norden.
  • Swanage is close to Corfe Castle, and many visitors to Swanage will also have visited the Corfe Castle site.
  • Swanage’s football team is called Swanage Town and Herston FC.
  • Swanage has a population of nearly 10,000. This figure swells during the summer months as holidaymakers visit the town.
  • Godlingston Manor in Swanage is said to be haunted by a ghostly lady, and guests at Swanage’s The Royal Oak have apparently been disturbed by doors closing by themselves, and have been awoken by a ghostly figure sitting at foot of their beds.
  • Artist Lucy Tidbury has a studio in Swanage. She is best known for her paintings of cows in her Moo Selfie series.

Chester Zoo Facts

Located in Upton-by-Chester in Cheshire, Chester Zoo has been open since 1931, and it is the UK’s largest zoo by area, covering 130 acres.

Facts About Chester Zoo

  • George Mottershead, a keen collector of reptiles and insects, was inspired by a childhood trip to Belle Vue Zoo in Manchester to open a zoo of his own. He purchased Oakfield Manor in Upton-by-Chester in 1930, and Chester Zoo opened on 10 June 1931.
  • Chester Zoo expanded after the end of World War 2, but because building materials and resources were still in short supply, creative solutions had to be sought. For example, the 1950 polar bear exhibit was created from recycled pillboxes and concrete roadblocks.
  • Goerge Mottershead did not want Chester Zoo to resemble a traditional Victorian zoo with obvious bars and enclosures. Instead, he was influenced by Carl Hagenbeck who pioneered modern zoo enclosure design, incorporating moats and ditches in order to reduce the need for bars.
  • George Mottershead died in 1978 at the age of 84.
  • A fire broke out at the zoo in 2018. It was caused by an electrical fault, and the ensuing blaze was attended by 15 fire crews. One visitor was treated for smoke inhalation, and several fish, insects, and birds lost their lives.
  • The Chester Zoo monorail transported visitors around the park from 1991 to 2019. It was closed because it was no longer reliable, and its route covered less than half of the modern-day zoo.
  • Chester Zoo is home to more than 20,000 individual living creatures, and more than 700 different species of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians, and invertebrates.
  • Chester Zoo was the first zoo outside of New Zealand to breed a tuatara (a type of lizard only found in New Zealand).
  • The Zoo Days documentary TV series was filmed at Chester Zoo in 2007. It was narrated by Jane Horrocks. Our Zoo, a six-part documentary series, told the story of George Mottershead and the founding of Chester Zoo. It was broadcast in 2014 and was watched by more than 5 million people.
  • Some of the animals housed at Chester Zoo include black rhinos, capybara, chimpanzees, cheetahs, giraffes, lions, red pandas, antelope, sun bears, tigers, warthogs, and ring-tailed lemurs, to name just a few.
  • More than 2 million people visited the zoo in 2019.
  • Chester Zoo is divided into different areas and regions, including the House of Sumatra, Monsoon Forest, Madagascar, Spirit of the Jaguar, Latin American Wetland Aviary, Realm of the Red Ape, Fruit Bat Forest, Tropical Realm, the Islands, the Nature Reserve.
  • In 1937 Chester’s Dawn the mandrill was the first mandrill to be born in captivity in the UK. In 1939, the UK’s first griffin vulture chick was born at Chester Zoo.

Weymouth Facts

Weymouth is a town located in the English county of Dorset.

Facts About Weymouth

  • The town is located on a bay at the mouth of the River Wey.
  • In 2018, Weymouth’s population was just over 53,000.
  • It is Dorset’s third-largest settlement. Only Bournemouth and Poole are bigger.
  • Modern-day Weymouth is actually a combination of two historical settlements – Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, located on opposite sides of Weymouth Harbour.
  • Weymouth can trace its history back to the 10th century, and Melcombe Regis is believed to be the first port at which the Black Death came to England in the mid-14th century.
  • Melcombe Regis and Weymouth were combined in 1571 by Queen Elizabeth I.
  • In 1635, emigrants from Weymouth boarded the ship Charity, sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, and founded Weymouth, Massachusetts, US. There is another Weymouth in Nova Scotia.
  • King George III holidayed in Weymouth more than ten times between 1789 and 1805. A painted statue of King George III (called the King’s Statue) was erected in 1810 to celebrate the King’s patronage of the town.
  • During the 19th century, Weymouth became a popular holiday destination.
Weymouth in the early-1900s
Weymouth in the early-1900s
  • Weymouth’s first lifeboat was stationed in the town in 1869.
  • During World War 1, more than 100,000 injured soldiers from Australia and New Zealand (many wounded at Gallipoli) were sent to Weymouth to begin their recovery.
  • Weymouth was targeted by German bombers in World War 2. More than 1000 buildings were destroyed, and more than 70 people were killed.
  • Many thousands of Allied troops departed England for the beaches of Normandy via Weymouth as part of the D-Day operation. It is estimated that, by the end of World War 2, more than half a million troops had passed through Weymouth.
  • Weymouth football team, Weymouth FC, is known as the Terras.
  • Weymouth has been used as a location in numerous movies and TV shows, including Far from the Madding Crowd (1967), The Damned (1963), and Dunkirk (2017).
  • Before he became a published writer, Thomas Hardy worked for an architect firm based in Weymouth. He wrote part of his novel Under the Greenwood in the town.
  • The famous architect Christopher Wren was MP for Weymouth in 1702.
  • The comedian Alan Carr was born in Weymouth, as was the comedian Andy Parsons, the long-distance swimmer Mervyn Sharp, and the rock-climber Brian Pinder Kellett.
  • Weymouth’s Jubilee Clock was gifted to the town by Sir Henry Edwards to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887.
  • Popular tourist attractions in and around Weymouth include Nothe Fort (a 19th-century fort housing a museum), Weymouth Harbour, Weymouth Beach, Chesil Beach, Sandworld (a seasonal exhibition of sand art and sand sculpture), the Sea Life Adventure Park, St Alban Street (packed with boutique shops and artisanal stores), and Durdle Door.
  • The International Kite Festival is held at Weymouth every May, and the town hosts many other events during the year, including volleyball tournaments, motorcycle rallies, and an annual carnival in August.