The Spectator

Barometer: How many ghost towns are there in Britain?

Abandoned villages, expendable ministers, power profits

Barometer: How many ghost towns are there in Britain?
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Lost property

The second-to-last surviving resident of St Kilda — a small archipelago 40 miles off the Outer Hebrides which was abandoned in 1930 — has died. There are more than 4,000 abandoned settlements in Britain:

Althorp Medieval village on the Althorp estate, Northamptonshire, removed by the Catesby family in the early 16th century to make way for sheep pasture

Imber Isolated village on Wiltshire downs which was evacuated and added to the adjoining military range in 1943 to train US troops. The buildings survive, including a mock housing estate built to simulate conditions in Northern Ireland

Rattray Ancient town in Aberdeenshire created Royal Burgh by Mary, Queen of Scots in 1563 but abandoned after sand dunes cut off its harbour in 1720

Cratendune Church and settlement in Cambridgeshire established in 607 and destroyed around 650. Mentioned in Anglo-Saxon texts but remains still missing

In and out

David Cameron had a modest reshuffle, sacking only one cabinet minister. Are ministers now more or less expendable?

Reshuffles

Blair ’97-’01

7

Blair ’01-’05

8

Blair ’05-’07

3

Brown ’07-’10

3

Cameron ’10-

3

Ministers employed

Blair ’97-’01

34

Blair ’01-’05

31

Blair ’05-’07

27

Brown ’07-’10

27

Cameron ’10-

29

Profit share

Applications for Royal Mail shares closed, with some analysts predicting instant profits of 40 per cent. What profits did investors make on 1980s of utilities in the 1980s?

Profit after 1 day

BT

35%

British Gas

10%

Water (ave)

20%

Powergen

22%

National Power

22%

Profit after 1 year

BT

84%

British Gas

24%

Water (ave)

39%

Powergen

29%

National Power

22%

Source: CESifo

Through the roof

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said house prices are not high now compared with their long-term average. How do house prices compare with what they were at the last two peaks?

2007

London

-10%

South East

-20%

West Midlands

-24%

North

-28%

Wales

-26%

Scotland

-26%

N. Ireland

-61%

1989

London

+55%

South East

+12%

West Midlands

+17%

North

+27%

Wales

+16%

Scotland

+41%

N. Ireland

+71%

Source: Nationwide/ONS