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List of county exclaves in England and Wales 1844–1974

  (Redirected from List of county exclaves in England and Wales 1844 - 1974)

Until 1844, many of the counties in England and Wales had exclaves or detached parts, entirely surrounded by other counties. The Counties (Detached Parts) Act 1844 resulted in many of these exclaves being absorbed by the county in which they were locally situated. Nevertheless, a number of exclaves remained; which were dealt with in a piecemeal manner over a period of decades.

The Local Government Act 1894 empowered the county councils of administrative counties to exchange areas in order to make a more effective local government area. As the Local Government Act 1888 had redefined the lieutenancy and shrievalty to be based on administrative counties, the changes also affected them as well as judicial boundaries. Accordingly, many anomalies in county boundaries were removed in the next three years, including the elimination of outlying areas of Derbyshire and Huntingdonshire.

The last major transfer of areas was in 1931, when the boundaries of Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire were realigned. Following the creation of a new administrative county of Huntingdon and Peterborough in 1965, and boundary changes at Dudley in 1966, Flintshire was left as the only county with detached areas — these remained right up to the abolition of the county council in 1974.


Areas transferredEdit


The detached parish of Llysfaen was transferred to Denbighshire and the urban district of Colwyn Bay in 1923.



Flintshire highlighted within Wales's pre-1974 boundaries, showing Maelor Saesneg separated from coastal Flintshire by Denbighshire

Flintshire was unique in maintaining exclaves until 1974.

  • The largest of these was the area of Maelor Saesneg, which became the Overton Rural District in 1894, and was renamed Maelor Rural District in 1953.
  • The second area was the township of Marford and Hoseley, in the parish of Gresford (otherwise in Denbighshire). Originally this township had an exclave that included part of the village of Rossett, but this was transferred to the Denbighshire township of Allington in 1885. At the same date, small exclaves of Gresford and Allington townships were transferred from Denbighshire to the main Marford exclave. Marford and Hoseley became a parish in the Hawarden Rural District in 1894, although surrounded by Wrexham Rural District in Denbighshire. It remained an exclave until local government reorganisation in 1974, when the two rural districts were united in Wrexham Maelor.
  • The township of Abenbury Fechan, east of Wrexham, consisted of five small areas totalling 160 acres (65 ha). The township was transferred to the Denbighshire township of Abenbury Fawr in 1885.[1]


After 1844, Gloucestershire had no detached parts, although the areas that became Campden Rural District and Pebworth Rural District were only joined to the rest of the county by narrow necks of land. In 1931, the county's boundaries with Warwickshire and Worcestershire were realigned, removing the narrow salients from Gloucestershire; in compensation, Gloucestershire gained a number of detached Worcestershire parishes.


The detached parish of Fwthog was transferred to Monmouthshire in 1891.



The hundreds of pre-1974 Lancashire, showing Lonsdale in two parts, separated by Morecambe Bay. The green outline shows the post-1974 boundaries of Lancashire.

Lees Urban District was an exclave of the administrative county of Lancashire, being separated from the rest of the county by the County Borough of Oldham (shown within the hundred of Salford in the map to the right), and enclosed on the other side by Saddleworth Urban District in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The Urban District was abolished by the Local Government Act 1972, taking effect on 1 April 1974, with its former area transferred to the newly created metropolitan county of Greater Manchester, with much of the hundred of Salford to form part of the new Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, where it was also joined by Saddleworth.

Additionally, the North Lonsdale area of Lancashire, or "Lancashire north of the sands", was cut off from the main body of Lancashire by Westmorland and Morecambe Bay. This area was transferred to Cumbria by the Local Government Act 1972.

Middlesex and the County of LondonEdit

When the County of London was made in 1889, it was made up of parishes from Kent, Surrey and Middlesex. One parish in the last, Clerkenwell, had a detached part that became an exclave of London surrounded by Middlesex. The area - a residential 0.1 sq mi (0.26 km2) area of north-central Muswell Hill — was absorbed by Middlesex in 1899.

The formation of the County of London severed two small parts (on some measures therefore exclaves) of the parish and urban district of South Hornsey to fall within it. This lasted 10 years then the whole of South Hornsey passed to the County of London. At the same time, the distant Muswell Hill outlier of the parish of Clerkenwell, was transferred to Middlesex.


In 1889, the extra-parochial place of Dudley Castle, formerly in Worcestershire, became a detached part of Staffordshire, surrounded by the county borough of Dudley, itself a detached part of Worcestershire. In 1894, the area became the only parish in Dudley Rural District. In 1929, it was absorbed by the civil parish and county borough of Dudley, Worcestershire.


Ilmington, Stretton-on-Fosse, and Whitchurch formed a detached part of Warwickshire, separated from the main part of the county by an exclave of four Worcestershire parishes. In 1931, the intervening area of Worcestershire was transferred to Warwickshire, so that the three parishes became joined to the rest of the county.


Dudley, shown on an 1814 map as being an exclave of Worcestershire locally situated in Staffordshire. Also note the exclave of Shropshire at Halesowen, which was abolished by the Counties (Detached Parts) Act 1844