This Week’s Question


This comes courtesy of Matt over at The Londonist (whose site I urge you to check out), in an article about whether London actually exists.

So, which part of London is considered an ‘extra-parchial area’ and is not actually in it?

19 comments on “This Week’s Question”

  1. Derek says:

    I beleive this would be Innner and Middle Temple, which I also believe to be a Royal Peculiar as well – answering directly to the monarch rather than a bishop.

  2. Dan Terrell says:

    I seem to remember reading in university that there are about a dozen Royal Peculiars. But was Inner and Outer Temple one of them? Be interesting to know.

  3. Anchovee says:

    I’m going to guess at the Mitre Tavern – declared part of Cambridgeshire by the Bishops of Ely?

  4. Matt Brown says:

    Cheers Chris. You could also add any foreign embassy, which are technically sovereign soil of their occupiers. (And rather topically so at the moment given the Assange-Ecuador story in the news.)

  5. Derek says:

    Just did quick check, seems Temple Church, used by Inner and Middle Temple, is a Non-Royal Peculiar – whatever one of those is exactly.

  6. Diogenes says:

    Matt. Foreign embassies are not sovereign soil of their occupiers. They are technically “extraterritorial” which is a kind of limbo.

  7. Helen Martin says:

    Right on, Diogenes, otherwise England couldn’t threaten Ecuador with losing its embassy’s status.

  8. snowy says:

    There were dozens if not hundreds of odd little bits of land in England that were exclaves of other areas, until they were tidied up in 1844.

    A antecedent of mine was very grateful for this, once when he was a very naughty boy, he had to flee the county. Luckily the next village, some 2 miles distant was the property of and administered by a neighbouring county. Once there he was scuppered though, as there was no way out without crossing ground controlled by the constables who were searching for him.

    While I would quite enjoy seeing ‘THEM’ drag him out of the embassy, I suspect diplomacy will prevail eventually.

  9. Steve says:

    Memphis Tennessee?

  10. jan says:

    i think i told u this one AGES ago that is the lamp in the alleyway off of Hatton Garden leading to the Mitre isn’t it? And therein is the tavern with the cherry tree that grew through the bar which by a legal wrinkle to do with Sir Christopher Hatton is part of Nofolk.
    Its worthwhile looking at the history of Bleeding Heart Yard if u r going to the area and i think they are other similar areas within and to the east of the city.

    I tell you what is worth a mention the little tiny yard on the Mayfair/ st James borders which as you enter it from the street – it is in fact just down the road from Berry Bros wine merchants – has a plaque on display. This plaque informs the reader that this was the site of the embassy of Texas back in the days b4 the states were united. Itsa very interesting to think of how many flags flew b4 the stars and stripes and i have often meant to locate the sites of the other previous embassies of the individual states of the USA. Theres an interesting London book idea for someone !!!

  11. Dan Terrell says:

    I suppose the District of Columbia, a federal city (!), is the closest we in the States have to a Peculiar.

  12. Helen Martin says:

    Jan, I don’t think there’s that much in it since Texas is the only one that was an independent nation rather than a British or other colony and colonies don’t have embassies. (Watch Dan and company shoot me down, but I think I’m right.) Six flags over Texas is the usual cry and it even came up on PBS tv last night. As far as the embassy goes, I guess there would only have been three: Texas, the Confederacy and the reunited States.

  13. Dan Terrell says:

    Helen, I will not shoot you down. The six flags were Spain, France, Mexico, the Rep. of Texas, the Confederate state of Texas & now the state of Texas, USA. Texas would be the only state with an embassy, although if you looked you would find an embassy of the Cofederate States of America. The confederates really wanted France and/or England & Canada to join them in defeating the remaining states of the U. S. A. Thank heavens our diplomats and policies didn’t let this happen, although there was interest abroad, ladies and gentlemen, and some messing about at our borders.
    We had to learn all this in the Foreign service in order to be a diplomat.

  14. jan says:

    do u know i had it in my thick head that Louisiana had been a French colony and gone on to become an independent affiliate of france – ie a separtate country and i thought that California and New Mexico might have been colonies of Spain. and gone on to independence b4 becoming parts of the US. As u can see my knowlege of the formation of the USA is well patchy! Come to that my knowlege of London can be pretty patchy as well. i am starting to lose my bottle that this place Chris is on about might not in fact be the Mitre, which can be classed a part of Norfolk as far as the postal service goes. as can the large church and part of the private road which runs to its rear and which faces the boundaries of the CIty of London. Sorry i am pretty late replying i only access the internet though my local library and the weather has been so nice i haven’t left my back garden ….

  15. Helen Martin says:

    I wasn’t going to mention the Californias because I sometimes lose my cool about the way California became part of the USA. Yes, it declared itself a republic during the early days of the gold rush, but the US rushed in to assist & when the dust cleared California was American. I believe this happened in Sonoma. There’s a park there with flag pole sites and so on carefully marked. You can get a real feel for the time in that city.

  16. jan says:

    Believe it or not i think i have been 2 Sonoma and that park! (incredible – well definately Sonoma) why r u made about the way California became part of US/

  17. jan says:

    Believe it or not i think i have been 2 Sonoma and that park! (incredible – well definately Sonoma) why r u made about the way California became part of US?

  18. Helen Martin says:

    It irritates me because it was like a smash and grab robbery. I know the US was in an expansionist mood and they seized whatever excuse there was to grab whatever was between them and the Pacific Ocean, but there was no real allowance for the people who lived there – Mexican, Spanish, First Nation. There was a reason for stories like Zorro, even though that was set just before the American takeover. Spanish land grants could be overturned unless you had irrefutable documentation, no matter how long family had been living on the land if it was desirable and suddenly Spanish was a foreign language and you were a dumb Mexican if you didn’t speak English. Mexicans were lazy because they very sensibly stopped work in the middle of the day and started up again as the temperature lowered in the late afternoon. It wasn’t pretty.

  19. Dan Terrell says:

    I stand here in the gloamin with my hands behind my back, looking out at the sunset, and quietly whistling an evening air. But my left eye kept vigilantly turned northward. Sound a bit like Snowy in my new running trainers.

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