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List of counties of the United Kingdom

This is a list of the counties of the United Kingdom. The history of local government in the United Kingdom differs between England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and the subnational divisions within these which have been called counties have varied over time and by purpose. The county has formed the upper tier of local government over much of the United Kingdom at one time or another,[1] and has been used for a variety of other purposes, such as for Lord Lieutenants, land registration and postal delivery. This list is split by constituent country, time period and purpose.

EnglandEdit

Changes dated between the 1990s and 2009 subdivided the 20th century short-lived non-metropolitan counties of Cleveland and Humberside into unitary authorities but the once-county names continue for fire services and police forces, (see Non-metropolitan county § List of non-metropolitan counties). Similarly the short-lived county of Avon provides part of the area and name of Avon and Somerset Police and its area is roughly that of Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

The historic counties of Yorkshire, Cumberland, Westmorland, Huntingdonshire and Middlesex are the five defunct ceremonial counties of a traditional county size. After their ceremonial abolition, Yorkshire has become ceremonially subdivided along the four compass point axes, Cumberland and Westmorland were added to a detached part of Lancashire to form Cumbria, Huntingdonshire merged ceremonially into Cambridgeshire and the vast majority of Middlesex became part of Greater London.

Contemporary reference to the Isle of Ely and nearby Soke of Peterborough is very rare since the early 20th century and they have scant public resonance. The counties marked in italics below are neither ceremonial nor historic.

County Current
ceremonial
[2]
1974+[3] Postal
1974–1996
[4]
1889–1974 Before 1889
Metropolitan Non-metropolitan County Administrative
Avon   1974–1996  
Bedfordshire     1974–2009        
Berkshire    [5]        
City of Bristol   Special post town   County borough County corporate
Buckinghamshire            
Cambridgeshire         1889–1965   1889–1965  
Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely   1965–1974   1965–1974
Cheshire     1974–2009        
Cleveland   1974–1996  
Cornwall            
Cumberland      
Cumbria      
Derbyshire            
Devon            
Dorset            
Durham (County Durham)♠            
East Suffolk   Division
East Sussex         Division
Essex            
Gloucestershire            
Greater London   County[6]     1965–1974
Greater Manchester    
Hampshire            
Hereford and Worcester   1974–1998
Herefordshire   UA 1998+[7]        
Hertfordshire            
Humberside   1974–1996
Huntingdon and Peterborough   1965–1974   1965–1974
Huntingdonshire   1889–1965   1889–1965  
Isle of Ely   1889–1965 Division
Isle of Wight         1890–1974
Kent            
Lancashire            
Leicestershire            
Lincolnshire          
Lincolnshire, Parts of Holland   Division
Lincolnshire, Parts of Kesteven   Division
Lincolnshire, Parts of Lindsey   Division
London Special post town     The Metropolis[8]
City of London   County corporate
Merseyside      
Middlesex        
Norfolk            
Northamptonshire            
Northumberland            
North Humberside  
North Yorkshire      
Nottinghamshire            
Oxfordshire            
Soke of Peterborough   1889–1965 Liberty
Rutland   UA 1997+[7]   2008+[9]      
Shropshire            
Somerset            
South Humberside  
South Yorkshire      
Staffordshire            
Suffolk          
Surrey            
Sussex    
Tyne and Wear      
Warwickshire            
West Midlands      
Westmorland      
West Suffolk   Division
West Sussex         Division
West Yorkshire      
Wiltshire            
Worcestershire     1998+        
Yorkshire    
Yorkshire, East Riding   UA 1996+[7] L[10]   Division
Yorkshire, North Riding L[10]   Division
Yorkshire, West Riding L[10]   Division

♠ denotes a counter-intuitive pronunciation. See list of places in the United Kingdom and Ireland with counterintuitive pronunciations.

Northern IrelandEdit

County Before 1899 1899–1973 Current
lieutenancy[11]
Postal
before 1996[4]
County Administrative
Antrim          
Armagh          
City of Belfast Part of counties Antrim and Down   CB[12]     Special post town
Down          
Fermanagh          
Londonderry          
City of Derry Part of County Londonderry   CB[12]     Special post town
Tyrone          

ScotlandEdit

County Before 1890 1890–1975 Lieutenancy Registration[13] Postal
before 1996[4]
City of Aberdeen   1900   Special post town
Aberdeenshire          
Angus (Forfarshire)          
Argyll          
Ayrshire          
Banffshire          
Berwickshire          
Bute          
Caithness          
Clackmannanshire          
Cromartyshire  
Dumfriesshire          
Dunbartonshire (Dumbarton)          
City of Dundee   1894   Special post town
East Lothian (Haddingtonshire)          
City of Edinburgh       Special post town
Fife          
City of Glasgow   1893     Special post town
Inverness-shire          
Kincardineshire          
Kinross-shire          
Kirkcudbrightshire          
Lanarkshire          
Midlothian (County of Edinburgh)          
Moray♠ (Elginshire)          
Nairnshire          
Orkney          
Peeblesshire          
Perthshire          
Renfrewshire          
Ross and Cromarty      
Ross-shire    
Roxburghshire          
Selkirkshire          
Shetland (Zetland)          
Stirlingshire          
Sutherland          
West Lothian (Linlithgowshire)          
Wigtownshire          

♠ denotes counter-intuitive pronunciation.

WalesEdit

County Before 1889 1889–1974 1974–1996 1996+ Postal
1974–1996[4]
Preserved[2] County[14]
Anglesey       Isle of Anglesey
Brecknockshire    
Caernarfonshire    
Cardiganshire       Ceredigion
Carmarthenshire      
Clwyd      
Denbighshire      
Dyfed      
Flintshire       Flintshire
Glamorgan    
Gwent      
Gwynedd        
Merionethshire    
Mid Glamorgan      
Monmouthshire       Monmouthshire
Montgomeryshire    
Pembrokeshire      
Powys        
Radnorshire    
South Glamorgan      
West Glamorgan      
Wrexham  

♠ denotes counter-intuitive pronunciation for counties of English etymology which all have Welsh language counterparts. Welsh etymology county names reflect standard Welsh pronunciation rules. In Welsh most of the counties ending '-shire' are instead preceded by the Welsh near-homophone translation 'Sir'.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ HMSO, Aspects of Britain: Local Government, (1996)
  2. ^ a b Lieutenancies Act 1997
  3. ^ Local Government Act 1972
  4. ^ a b c d Royal Mail - PAF Digest Issue 6.0[permanent dead link] Since 1996 these have been known as "former postal counties", and need no longer be used in addressing mail. Post Towns created since 1996 are not allocated to a postal county. The PAF also includes an "Alias File" that includes postally not required information including "Traditional County" and "Administrative County" fields. The list is not comprehensive and Royal Mail does not guarantee its accuracy.
  5. ^ The Berkshire (Structural Change) Order 1996; SI 1996 No. 1879
  6. ^ For ceremonial purposes only
  7. ^ a b c Non-metropolitan district with the powers of a county, following the Local Government Act 1992
  8. ^ The Metropolis was an ad hoc administrative area covering parts of three counties
  9. ^ AFD Software - Latest PAF Data News
  10. ^ a b c Appointed a Lord Lieutenant, but not a county under the Local Government Act 1888
  11. ^ Northern Ireland (Lieutenancy) Order 1975 (SI 1975 No. 156)
  12. ^ a b County styled as county borough by the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898
  13. ^ Registers of Scotland - Land Register Counties Archived 2013-09-28 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Local Government (Wales) Act 1994 S.1 - Principal areas styled as a county