List of county exclaves in England and Wales 1844–1974

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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 transferred[edit]


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



Flintshire was unique in maintaining exclaves until 1974.


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.



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, and enclosed on the other side by Saddleworth Urban District in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

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.

County of London[edit]

When the county was formed in 1889, it was made up of a number of parishes in Kent, Surrey and Middlesex. One parish in the latter, Clerkenwell, had a detached part that became an exclave of London surrounded by Middlesex. The area — Alexandra Park — was absorbed by Middlesex in 1899.


Until 1889, Middlesex did not have any detached parts, but the formation of the County of London left two small exclaves of the parish and urban district of South Hornsey surrounded by the new county. This situation lasted until 1899, when the whole of South Hornsey passed to the County of London. At the same time, Alexandra Park, an outlier of the parish of Clerkenwell in London, 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