Test your knowledge of imperial measurements with our quiz…it’s firkin hard

TO celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, PM Boris Johnson plans to allow UK shops to once again trade in pounds and ounces – imperial measurements.

It would be the first time since an EU directive in 2000 ordered us to march to their metric mantra.

But are we inching back to the Middle Ages? Will we be rolling out the firkin of ale?

Nipping down to Tesco for a bushel of apples? Does Boris want to make Britain groat again? To put us on the rood to recovery?

To help you prepare, Amy Jones has ten fun questions about our odd imperial measures of old. Answers below.

1) How many groats are there in one old pound?

2) How many ells does a king-size duvet measure lengthways?


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3) The area of a standard football pitch should be how many roods?

4) How many barleycorns would a six-inch Subway sandwich measure?

5) One bushel of apples weighs how many pounds?

6) How many traditional servings of mead would fit into a pint glass?

7) How many leagues is it from Land’s End to John o’Groats?

8) How long is the Grand National in chains?

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9) How many pounds in a hundredweight?

  • A. 100lb
  • B. 112lb
  • C. 150lb

10) How many firkins in a barrel of beer?


1) B – a groat was a coin worth four old pence, there were 240 pence in a pound

2) A – the ell, around 45in, mostly used for measuring cloth, was assumed to be the average length of a person’s arm

3) C – a rood was equal to a quarter acre or 10,890 sq ft

4) A – a barleycorn was a third of an inch, and is still used as the basis of shoe sizes

5) B – a bushel was a unit of volume for apples, typically about 125 of a medium size and enough to make 15 pies

6) C – a traditional serving of mead was about a quarter-pint, called a gill

7) A – a league is generally three miles

8) B – a chain is 66ft or 22 yards, there are ten in a furlong and 80 per mile. It was also a measuring device made up of metal links

9) B – a hundredweight is 112lb

10) A – a firkin is a quarter barrel.

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