IMPERIAL MEASURES
Units of length

  • 1 inch (in or “)   =                   25.4mm
  • 12 inches  (ins)  = 1 foot  =   305  mm
  • 3 feet (ft)            = 1 yard =    0.91mm
  • 1760 yards (yrds) = 1 mile (m) = 1.61 km
  • 144 square ins (sq in) = 1 sq foot
  • 9 square feet (sq ft)  = 1 square yard
  • 4840 sq.yards (sq yrds) = 1 acre about the size of a football pitch.
  • 5 ½  yards = 1 rod pole or perch??
  • 22 yards = 1 chain ( incidentally, this is the length of a cricket pitch)
  • 10 chains = 1 furlong
  • 8 furlongs = 1 mile. Then 220 yards in 1 furlong and 1,760 yards in a mile.

Units of weight

  • 16 drams  (dr) = 1 ounce = tablespoon of sugar = 28 grams
  • 16 ounces (oz)  = 1lb (pound) = 0.45 kg a bag of sugar. Written this way to avoid confusion with the £1
  • 14 lbs = 1 st (stone) used in body weight = 6.35 kg
  • 2 stone = 1 quarter = 12.7 kg
  • 4 quarters = 1 hundred weight = 112 lbs  a bag of cement = 50.8 kg
  • 8 stones = 1 cwt (hundredweight)
  • 20 cwt = 1 ton  Then there was 112lbs in  1cwt and 2,240lbs in 1 ton.

Capacity   as it was known.

  • 5 fluid ounces = 1 gill  = 142ml
  • 4 gills = 1 pint =
  • 1 pint = 20 fluid ounces =  an English beer = 568 ml
  • 2 pints (pts)  = 1 quart  a German beer     = 1.1 L
  • 4 quarts (qrt) = 1 gallon = a large tin of paint = 4.546 L
  • 2 gallons (galls) = 1 peck   9.1 L
  • 4 pecks = 1 bushel.

And then there was the money to get to grips with:
I can remember the wear and tear on the pockets of trousers due to the sheer weight of the coins carried around day by day. Housewives of the day were always either mending or replacing pockets in jackets and trousers.

  • 2 farthings = 1 halfpenny pronounced ‘hapepenny’ = 0.208p
  • 4 farthings = 1 penny (d) abbreviation for the Latin denarius or dinar = 0.417p
  • 3 pennies = 1  threepenny bit  this was a brass coin with 12 sides and there was an older silver one which was small and round. They used them to put in Birthday cakes and Wedding cakes and if you happen to get one in your piece of cake ( Gulp) it was considered lucky. = 1.25p
  • 6 pennies = 1 sixpenny piece  this was the first coin in nickel = 2.5p
  • 12 pennies = 1 shilling it was known as a bob as in ‘bob a job’ = 5p
  • 2 shillings = 1 florin = 10p
  • 2s-6p; 2/6d = 1 half a crown the biggest coin in regular use = 12.5p
  • 10 shillings= 1 ten ‘bob’ note, this was the first in paper money = 50p
  • 20 shillings = 1 pound note (quid) there were also £5 notes and £10 notes.