Southampton's long history and quirky residents provide some interesting oddities.

The Daily Echo explores some of the weird and wonderful facts surrounding the city - did you know about them?

From the oldest bowling green to the only geothermal power station, here are five of our favourite unusual factoids:

The world's oldest bowling green

Southampton boasts the oldest bowling green in the world, the Southampton Old Bowling Green, with a documented history dating back to 1299!

The green adjoined the God's House Hospital, which was founded in 1185 for pilgrims.

Daily Echo: Southampton Old Bowling Green.

The Warden of the Hospital is believed to have established the bowling green for the recreational use of himself, staff and visitors during the reign of Richard I the Lionheart.

The club that plays there now, the Southampton Bowling Club, is believed to have been established in the 17th century.

Fish finger trials

Southampton can claim credit for the ubiquitous fish finger. Founder Clarence Birdseye developed and launched this now-beloved food here

Southampton played a crucial role in testing and refining the fish finger concept.

The city's residents helped shape the final product by providing feedback on taste and presentation.

Today, Southampton can proudly claim a place in food history as the birthplace of the ubiquitous fish finger.

Pub serves as British consulate for Redonda 

For an unusual diplomatic twist, the Wellington Arms pub holds the title of official British consulate for the micronation of Redonda

Redonda is a small, uninhabited volcanic island in the Caribbean. It claims to be an independent micronation, though its claim is not recognised by most countries, including the UK.

Daily Echo:

The British government doesn't officially recognize the Wellington Arms as a consulate. However, the pub has a plaque commemorating its connection to Redonda.

The story goes that Matthew Shiel, a writer who once claimed the title of King of Redonda, befriended the pub's owner in the early 20th century. This likely led to the pub's association with the micronation.

Britain's only geothermal power station

Southampton is home to the UK's only geothermal power station. This means it harnesses the earth's natural heat to generate electricity, contributing to cleaner air in the city

The SDES was built in 1986 and is a landmark achievement in sustainable energy production for the UK.

The system utilizes geothermal energy by drawing hot water from drilled deep well.

Daily Echo: Geothermal power station

The SDES doesn't just generate electricity. The hot water is also used for:

hot water in the city centre and chilled water for air conditioning in some buildings.

By utilising geothermal energy, the SDES helps to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and contributes to cleaner air in Southampton.

First bid for city status failed

Southampton's bid for city status wasn't always successful. King George V initially rejected their application in 1929. 

Southampton felt it had reached a point of development and importance that warranted city status.

Daily Echo: City status.

Unfortunately the application was initially rejected by the King. The exact reasons for this aren't entirely clear - ultimately, the decision is at the King's discretion.

Southampton didn't give up. They continued to develop and improve the town and their efforts were eventually recognised.

Southampton's application was finally successful in 1964 and was officially granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II.