List of counties of the United Kingdom facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

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

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

Northern Ireland

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

Scotland

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

♠ denotes counter-intuitive pronunciation.

Wales

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

♠ 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'.


List of counties of the United Kingdom Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.