Saturday, 25 December 2010

George Everest and the Manor Hotel

Christmas travel plans included staying at the Manor Hotel, Crickhowell in south Wales. Plenty of character in a fantastic location, it's also supposed to be the birthplace of George Everest in 1790 - although the building was then known as the Manor of Gwernvale.

While the world's highest mountain was named after Everest in 1856, the military engineer and geodesist was always rather embarrassed by the honour. The story goes that in 1852, Radhanath Sikhdar who worked for the Grand Trigonometrical Survey of India, discovered what he thought was the highest peak in the world. Several years later this was confirmed and despite it already being called Chomolungma by the Tibetans and Sagarmatha by the Nepalese (words not deemed "intelligible to civilised man"), the British decided to name it after Colonel George Everest, head of the survey.

News of the great discovery eventually reached the British papers - the following Manchester Guardian article appearing on October 7 1856 (lifted from the Times, as was the custom in those days).

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