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.

England


Changes between the 1990s and 2009 subdivided the short-lived non-metropolitan counties of Cleveland and Humberside into unitary authorities, but the former 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 the Avon Fire and Rescue Service.

The historic counties of Yorkshire, Cumberland, Westmorland, Huntingdonshire and Middlesex are the five defunct ceremonial counties which were historically counties. With their abolition as ceremonial counties, Yorkshire is divided for that purpose into North Yorksire, East Yorkshire etc, Cumberland and Westmorland were combined with a former exclave of Lancashire to form Cumbria, Huntingdonshire merged 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]
From 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 Brighton and HoveUA 1997+[6]
City of BristolSpecial post townCounty boroughCounty 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 SuffolkDivision
East SussexDivision
Essex
Gloucestershire
Greater LondonCounty[7] 1965–1974
Greater Manchester
Hampshire
Hereford and Worcester 1974–1998
HerefordshireUA 1998+[6]
Hertfordshire
Humberside 1974–1996
Huntingdon and Peterborough 1965–1974 1965–1974
Huntingdonshire 1889–1965 1889–1965
Isle of Ely 1889–1965Division
Isle of Wight 1890–1974
Kent
Lancashire
Leicestershire
Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire, Parts of HollandDivision
Lincolnshire, Parts of KestevenDivision
Lincolnshire, Parts of LindseyDivision
LondonSpecial post townThe Metropolis[8]
City of LondonCounty corporate
Merseyside
Middlesex
Norfolk
Northamptonshire
Northumberland
North Humberside
North Yorkshire
Nottinghamshire
Oxfordshire
Soke of Peterborough 1889–1965Liberty
RutlandUA 1997+[6] 2008+[9]
Shropshire
Somerset
South Humberside
South Yorkshire
Staffordshire
Suffolk
Surrey
Sussex
Tyne and Wear
Warwickshire
West Midlands
Westmorland
West SuffolkDivision
West SussexDivision
West Yorkshire
Wiltshire
Worcestershire 1998+
Yorkshire
Yorkshire, East RidingUA 1996+[6]L[10]Division
Yorkshire, North RidingL[10]Division
Yorkshire, West RidingL[10]Division

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

Northern Ireland


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

Scotland


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.

Wales


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
Glamorgan
Gwent
Gwynedd
Merionethshire
Mid Glamorgan
Monmouthshire
Montgomeryshire
Pembrokeshire
Powys
Radnorshire
South Glamorgan
West Glamorgan
Wrexham

See also


References


  1. HMSO, Aspects of Britain: Local Government, (1996)
  2. Lieutenancies Act 1997
  3. Local Government Act 1972
  4. 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. Non-metropolitan district with the powers of a county, following the Local Government Act 1992
  7. For ceremonial purposes only
  8. The Metropolis was an ad hoc administrative area covering parts of three counties
  9. AFD Software - Latest PAF Data News
  10. 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. 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