Talk:Counties of England

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Counties of England:
  • More on local authority services
  • Politics and governance
  • History: Need to mention industrial revolution and suburban expansion
  • Subdivisions
  • Symbols and vexillology

Postal counties[edit]

It might be a thought to throw in a mention of the "Postal Counties". Although the Post Office now no longer (since 1996) formally requires a county to be included on an address, they do organise on a county basis but don't always follow either traditional or administrative boundaries - for example Denham is in the postal county of Middlesex but the traditional and administrative county of Buckinghamshire. Even without the formal requirement, many given addresses still include the county, whilst a lot of forms for postal addresses have a clear section for a "County" and many people will decide what county a place is in on the basis of what would be in that section, irrespective of what the traditional or administrative boundaries are. It's not that different from people in London saying they live in, say, "W1". -- Timrollpickering 22:39, Feb 9, 2004 UTC.

Go for it. Ideally we would have a list of postal counties and the post towns they correspond to, but even a pention of the concept would be useful. Morwen 22:30, Feb 9, 2004 (UTC)
Okay how's that for a start? -- Timrollpickering 22:52, Feb 9, 2004 UTC.

Article title[edit]

I think that this would make more sense at county (England), since it is about what a county is, in England. What do other people think? -- Oliver P.

There is a precedent of county_(United_States) so that may be a good idea. -- Segye

Er why? G-Man 20:16, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

Intro rewrite, April 2006[edit]

I've just rewritten the intro of this page and am looking for feedback and comments. When I looked at it earlier, it struck me that it didn't really define what the "counties of England" were (as much as one can anyway), so I've tried to correct that. I've also tried to give a sense of the ambiguity this term has when used in the strictest sense.

I imagine this article would be the one most readers would look at first if they were interested in the development of England's county structure, so it's important to get it spot on.

I look forward to seeing what people have to say! Aquilina 17:02, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

basic reference[edit]

I came to this article looking for a list of the current counties of England. It is not clear on first glance what is what today. I'd expect to be given a list of each county linking to an individual page and the number of counties in current existence given.Ashfan83 20:51, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

The lists of counties are on the subpages based on which kind of county you're looking for. With the exception of the administrative counties they could all be considered "current" Kmusser 17:38, 2 August 2006 (UTC)


Been searching through The Times archive looking for usage. The term "geographical county" seems to pop up first in 1888. Tracking down usages which actually show the precise sense it is being used in is tricky - especially regarding county boroughs.

I note that a report in the 1901 Middlesex census (The Census Of Middlesex, on August 25, 1902), contrasts "geographical county of Middlesex" with the "ancient county of Middlesex" (which included bits of the county of London). There's a reference in 1904 to the "geographic county of London". A reference in 1932 says that the administrative county of Essex is the "geographical county of Essex exclusive of the county boroughs of West Ham, East Ham and Southend". A 1945 report outright says that geographical county=administrative county+county boroughs. Morwen - Talk 18:22, 10 October 2006 (UTC)


There are no labels on any of these maps. JIMp talk·cont 00:09, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Wrong name[edit]

Shires of England, with explanation that they have been modified and redefined over time, so that some are not shires, but are counties or unitary authorities... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:54, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

I don't think that would be either helpful or accurate. Somewhere like County Durham was never a "shire", plus there are plenty of "shires" that were never counties (Hallamshire, Richmondshire etcetera): a glance at the shire article shows that it is/was far from simple. Don't really understand what you mean by "modified and redefined over time, so that some are not shires, but are counties or unitary authorities". "Shire" doesn't have any particular legal or administrative meaning today, as far as I know, but "county" does. Perhaps you are thinking of the various Anglo-Saxon shires and how they have altered down the centuries? Perhaps the changes since 1974? I have put a couple of links to the more detailed articles using the "main" template which should help in clarifying either of the above. Lozleader (talk) 17:39, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Comment by anon IP[edit]

why doesn't this just tell me how many counties are is England?!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 18:35, 27 January 2010

I moved this to the bottom of the page Lozleader (talk) 12:03, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
And in reply to the query, the article does give the number of counties in the first paragraph:
So... 48 or 83 depending on the sort of county (yes it is complicated/confusing) Lozleader (talk) 18:35, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Isles of Scilly[edit]

The article states that there are three exceptions, namely Greater London, City of London and Isles of Scilly, which are ceremonial counties, but do not correspond to any metropolitan and non-metropolitan county, unlike the rest of England. Is this correct? As far as I know, the Isles of Scilly are not a ceremonial county in themselves, but are part of the ceremonial county of Cornwall, which, of course, does correspond to a non-metropolitan county.

It would only be correct to say that the Isles of Scilly are anomalous in that unlike the rest of England (outside Greater London), it is an area not within any metropolitan or non-metropolitan county. Yamor2 (talk) 12:08, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

I think The Isles of Scilly are in ceremonial Cornwall, otherwise there would be Lord Lieutenant of the Isles of Scilly and a High Sheriff of the Isles of Scilly, but there isn't :-) Lozleader (talk) 13:23, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
Well, I've changed it... Yamor2 (talk) 13:38, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

South Gloucestershire[edit]

COMMENT by David Southwell

The County of South Gloucestershirew does not appear in the table. I added the county but it was removed. For reference about the county see [1] This county is a county of England. Its administrative centre is in Thornbury. It is NOT part of Gloucestershire and is a separate County with its own Lord Lieutenant. Please make sure it is included in the table. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vizion (talkcontribs) 10:04, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Please explain if South Gloucestershire doesn't think it has its own Lord Lieutenant why should Wikipedia? Best Wishes S a g a C i t y (talk) 15:30, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
"The local government areas (or parts of local government areas) described in each entry in the second column of the following Table shall be regarded for the purposes of this Act as one county to be known by the name specified in the first column:
Gloucestershire: Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire"
[1] Lozleader (talk) 22:25, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

County flags[edit]

An image has been added to the page of the flags representing the Historic counties of England, labelled simply "County Flags of England". It replaced a similar image that represented the flags of the contemporary ceremonial counties. This is obviously highly misleading, as it implies that the historic counties are the contemporary counties of England, an impression that is being encouraged by the Association of British Counties as part of a deliberate campaign here - [2]. I've therefore deleted it. Correctly labelled something like "Flags of historic counties of England" it could perhaps sit comfortably on the Historic counties of England page? The ceremonial counties image belongs more comfortably on this page, but it too should be accurately labelled before being restored. JimmyGuano (talk) 19:07, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

"Oxon" - Where does the "n" come from?[edit]

In the map, Oxfordshire has been abbreviated to "Oxon", which I find confusing as there is no "n" in the word. Might another abbreviation be better, e.g. "Oxfordsh"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:23, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

Latin. It's a long-standing abbreviation for the city and county. Argovian (talk) 16:15, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
You may as well ask why the English pronounce Wor cester shire the way they do or the Thames River. (PeacePeace (talk) 00:08, 2 November 2017 (UTC))

List Of Counties In The UK[edit]



Nobody Understands English Government[edit]

Speaking as a non-Englishman who lived in England over two years, the logical conclusion to this article (written with very little source citations) is that NOBODY HAS A CLUE on how English government works; it seems a hodgepodge of arcane incomprehensible complexity. A tale told by an idiot, full of sound & fury, signifying nothing.(PeacePeace (talk) 00:06, 2 November 2017 (UTC))