Publication Sat Apr 16: CV37 6QW is the site in Stratford-upon-Avon on which stood the house of leather worker, glover and later alderman called John Shakespeare. It is the birthplace of arguably the greatest writer in the English language, William Shakespeare, who died 399 years ago next week, on April 23 1616.
Publication Sat Apr 9: TQ7 4BG is the postcode for Burgh Island which is closely linked to crime novelist Agatha Christie as it is believed to have inspired the settings for both ‘And Then There Were None’ and ‘Evil Under the Sun’. On April 13 1937, Agatha Christie qualified as a dispenser providing her with her intimate knowledge of poisons …
Publication Sat Apr 2: LA22 9SQ is the postcode for Dove Cottage on the edge of Grasmere in the Lake District, home of English Romantic poet William Wordsworth between 1799 and 1808. Here he wrote much of the poetry for which he is remembered today and parts of his autobiographical epic, ’The Prelude’. William Wordsworth was born 245 years ago this week, on April 7 1770.
Publication Sat Mar 26: HA9 OWS is the site of Wembley Stadium which opened in 2007. Original turf for the Old Wembley Stadium, demolished 2002-2003, was cut 92 years ago next month by King George V ahead of the stadium’s opening to the public on April 28 1923.
Publication Sat Mar 19: HG5 8DD is for the cave that was once home to English prophetess Ursula Southeil, a.k.a. Mother Shipton, who foretold the fates of several future rulers, the invention of iron ships, the Great Fire of London and defeat of the Spanish Armada before she died around 1561. A tourist attraction since 1630, it re-opens for the summer this month, March.
Publication Sat Mar 12: E20 2ST is the postcode for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which was built for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The Post Office granted the site its E20 postcode in March 2011. E20 is also the postcode for Walford, the fictional setting for BBC soap Eastenders.
Publication Sat Mar 5: KW1 4YR is the site of the The Inn at John O’Groats on Britain’s northeastern tip. Sometimes referred to as ‘the start of Great Britain’, John O’Groats gets its name from Dutchman Jan de Groote who built a house here during the reign of James IV and ran a ferry to Orkney charging 2p a trip – the coin for which became known locally as the ‘groat’.
Publication Sat Feb 27: WN5 0JL is the site of the largest food processing plant in Europe. Operated by H.J. Heinz, it was opened in a former munitions factory in Kitt Green, Wigan in 1946 after the company’s first UK production facility in Harlesden was bombed during the Second World War, twice.
Publication Sat Feb 20: CO10 7AE is the postcode for Borley Rectory, once known as Britain’s most haunted house. Stories of hauntings associated with the site may have inspired Rider Haggard’s Montezuma’s Daughter and Walter Scott’s epic poem Marmion. The rectory was seriously damaged by fire 76 years ago this week, on February 27 1939, and demolished five years later.
Publication Sat Feb 6: BR6 7JT is for Down House in Downe, Kent, where Charles Darwin once lived. It was here that he spent many hours working on his theories of evolution and writing ‘Origin of the Species’. Darwin’s life and work is celebrated each year on February 12, Darwin Day – ‘a global celebration of science and reason’.
Publication Sat Feb 13: BIQQ1ZZ is British Antarctic Territory, a sector of Antarctica south of 60 degrees South latitude claimed by the UK as one its 14 British Overseas Territories. The first land south of 60 degrees South was discovered by Englishman William Smith one hundred and ninety six years ago this week, on February 19 1819.
Publication Sat Jan 30: EC4M 7EH is the postcode for the Old Bailey. Built on the site of the old Newgate prison, the notorious jail detailed at length by Charles Dickens in his pen-portrait ‘A Visit to Newgate’ in ‘Sketches by Boz’, the Old Bailey opened its doors for business 108 years ago next month, in February 1907.
Publication Sat Jan 23: SL4 2JL is the postcode for Runnymede, the water meadow alongside the River Thames in Surrey where King John sealed the Magna Carta in 1215. It was in January that same year that King John held council in London to discuss potential reforms.
Publication Sat Jan 16: PA60 7XW is the site of Barnhill, the solitary farmhouse on the island of Jura in the Scottish Hebrides. The house is where George Orwell lived intermittently between 1946 and 1950 and where he completed Nineteen Eight-Four. George Orwell died 65 years ago this week, on January 21 1950.
Publication Sat Jan 9: PL15 7TS is the postcode for Jamaica Inn. The traditional coaching inn on Bodmin Moor was long-associated with smuggling before providing the setting for Daphne du Maurier’s novel Jamaica Inn, which was first published by Victor Gollancz 79 years ago this month, in January 1936.
Publication Sat Jan 2: NW1 6XE is the site of 221b Baker Street. The building is the fictional home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous creation, Sherlock Holmes, who was born 161 years ago this week, on January 6 1854.
Publication Sat Dec 19: SP4 7DE is the postcode for Stonehenge. The ring of standing stones has provided rich inspiration for popular culture and mythology for countless generations.And it is the place where druids, pagans and revellers will converge to watch the sunrise the morning after the year’s shortest day when the North Pole is titled furthest from the sun, on December 22.
Publication Sat Dec 12: L25 7SA is the postcode for 251 Menlove Ave, John Lennon’s childhood home. He moved there in July 1946 aged five to live with his Aunt Mimi and her husband George Smith and remained at the house, also known as Mendips, until he was 22. John Lennon was killed 35 years ago this month, in December 1980.
Publication Sat Dec 5: XM4 5HQ is Father Christmas’s postcode. The last posting date this year for letters to Santa’s Grotto in Reindeerland is December 6, according to Royal Mail. So get writing now if you want a reply Christmas …
Publication Sat Nov 28: TD15 2SH is Holy Island, Northumberland. The Lindisfarne Gospels, an illustrated Latin copy of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, was produced here around the year 700. The manuscript was used for ceremonial purposes and to celebrate Christianity at key points in the year including advent which starts four Sundays before Christmas, this year on November 29.
Publication Sat Nov 21: M10 9KC is for Coronation Street, Weatherfield – the fictional town based on Salford which provides the backdrop to Britain’s longest-running TV soap. Conceived in 1960 by scriptwriter Tony Warren for Granada TV, Coronation Street’s first episode was broadcast 55 years ago next month, in 1960.
Publciation Sat Nov 14: TR19 7AA is the postcode for Land’s End. The headland is the most westerly point of mainland Cornwall and England and close to the mythical lost land of Lyonesse referred to in Arthurian literature, supposedly located between Scilly and the mainland. English entrepreneur Peter de Savary bought Land’s End from the National Trust in November 1987.
Sat Nov 7: SA33 4SD is for The Boathouse, Laugharne, where Dylan Thomas lived for the last four years of his life. The Boathouse provided a stable home that helped spark a creative renaissance which began with ‘Over Sir John’s Hill’, written by Thomas in the Writing Shed on the floor above. Dylan Thomas died sixty two years ago this week, on November 9 1953.
Publication Sat Oct 31: NW3 2RR is the postcode for 10 Keats Grove in Hampstead. From December 1818 to September 1820, John Keats lodged in this building – then known as Wentworth Place – with his friend Charles Brown and while there wrote ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ under a plum tree in the garden. Keats was born on 220 years ago today, on October 31 1795.
Publication Sat Oct 24: BH13 7EE is the postcode for Brownsea Island, one of the largest islands in Poole Harbour and a favourite haunt of children’s author Enid Blyton. The island provided the inspiration for Whispering Island in Blyton’s The Famous Five series of books. Enid Blyton died 47 years ago next month, November.
Publication Sat Oct 17: BT45 8RZ is the site of St Malachy’s, Castdeldawson, where Seamus Heaney played Gaelic football as a boy. Twenty years ago this month, in October 1995, Heaney was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature ‘for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past’.