David Butterfield

How do Britain’s pubs get their names?

18 May 2019 9:00 am

An easy one: what links Jack Straw’s Castle, The Labouring Boys and The Jolly Taxpayer? No, not the parliamentary expenses…

Cairn on Beinn Eighe in the Highlands

The big difference between a pile of stones and Piles of Stones

2 February 2019 9:00 am

There are piles of stones and then there are piles of stones. Anyone can place one rock upon another, but…

The National Student Survey is having a terrible effect on academia

10 November 2018 9:00 am

Should university students really feel ‘satisfied’? Or would we rather they felt challenged? For the honchos of higher education, the…

Church Walk: short, simple, unpretentious

British street names: short, simple and unpretentious

11 August 2018 9:00 am

You know where you are with a British street name. I don’t mean literally. I mean there’s a tacit humility…

The Watford Locks on the Grand Union Canal

The truth about The Watford Gap

9 December 2017 9:00 am

In a shallow dip between two unremarkable Northamptonshire hills you will find a road, a motorway, a railway and a…

Persistent buggers

29 July 2017 9:00 am

The credit for decriminalising male homosexuality in 1967 — for those over 21 in England and Wales at least —…

She-devils on horseback

24 June 2017 9:00 am

Rumour will run wild about a society of warrior women, somehow free from the world of men. We all feel…

Writing wrongs

3 June 2017 9:00 am

Does anyone still care about handwriting? Although it was for centuries the medium and motor of daily life, handwriting has…

‘A spectacle of strength and savage wildness’

Scafell Pike

6 May 2017 9:00 am

Within a couple of miles of England’s deepest point is its highest. Towering a kilometre above the hidden depths of…

Keep the change

28 January 2017 9:00 am

Can we do without cash? Since 2015, digital payments in the UK have outnumbered those in cash, and we are…