R.I.P the Acre c1300-2008

Guy Aitchison
21 July 2008

Guy Aitchison (London, OK): Have we seen the last of the "British" acre? The 700-year old land measurement has apparently been banned by the EU following a meeting in Brussels last week.

The Sun (as you may have guessed) is not best pleased, informing its readers that "Britain" (don't they mean England?) has used the acre to measure land since " the late 13th century under Edward I’s reign." The word acre is apparently derived from the Old English for "open field" and was considered the amount of land tillable by a man behind an ox in one day. The measurement was eventually defined by law under Queen Victoria in the Weights and Measures Act of 1878 as being 4,840 square yards or 43,560 square feet.

This history was brought to an end last week when a "lowly Whitehall official" nodded through the EU orders that sealed the acre's fate. What do OK readers think? Surely the humble acre deserved better than this.

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