Units of Measure index

Imperial Weights and Measures - introduction

index --- alpha --- intro --- length --- area --- volume --- weight --- money --- angles --- weather --- other --- foreign --- trades --- documents --- metric --- tables

Click here for an alphabetical list of the units featured on this website.
Click here for the contents of this website.

I was born in 1953. When I was young, like all British school children of the time, I had to learn my Weights and Measures as part of my 'tables' at school. These were the British Imperial units. They were printed on the back of our exercise books (with blank pages, where we did our written work). Click here for a modern replica. Many of the units we used in our everyday life, inches and ounces and pints and shillings were second nature to us, but some, like rods, poles and perches, were completely mysterious, and others, like bushels, cropped up in literature. Now children are taught metric at school, and thinks in centimetres and grams and kilos and 'new' money. So I decided to put some old-fashioned tables on the internet. While metric measures are simpler, these old measures are still part of our language, and will always be part of our literature. Anyway, it will be hard for my generation to think naturally in anything else. I am happy to use metric units, yet it would be sad if these old units were forgotten. This website started as a simple set of tables, but has gradually grown to add snippets of information as well. There are also convertors.

The U.S. Customary systems are similar to the British Imperial System, but I mention where they differ.

I have had many people write into me about this site. Some have gone through it with a fine comb and found plenty of errors, which I have corrected. Others have told me about lots of other interesting units, and I have included them in the site. So this site is partly due to them and I would like to acknowledge this, and thank them for their efforts. If you would like to do the same, please email me (Jo Edkins).

Links to other websites

General weights and measures

Sizes including units of measure
Glossary of Ancient Weights and Measures from Hemyock Castle
A Dictionary of Units of Measurement from University of North Carolina
Statutory Instrument 1995 No. 1804


International Unit Conversion Calculator
Conversion & Calculation Center
SizeOfWales.co.uk calculates with some splendidly silly units!

Measuring devices

Compass Tutorial
Kornelia's Pocket Compass Guide
Collecting Canadian Measures
Collecting American Measures

Length and area

BBC article about allotments describing poles
Common Rights in the New Forest
The Megalithic Yard (which I don't agree with!)


Days of the week
Months of the year
Interfaith Calendar
Number of days in months
Greenwich Observatory
Time Meddler - different calendar systems, both real and fictional


International standard paper sizes
Paper sizes in USA - 19th century
American paper weight at www.paper-paper.com


Shoe size charts from Clarks shoes website
Shoe size systems from Veganline


Beamish Museum
Weald & Downland Open Air Museum

Metric and Imperial

BBC article about Imperial units
Modern definitions of SI units
More information about SI units including their history
United Kingdom Metric Association


Strange things being measured from the BBC
Coins of the UK by Tony Clayton
Specific gravity of materials to covert between weight and volume
A Nautical Glossary
Babylonian numbers
Interactive games to teach angles and degrees
Ordering Beer in Australia