Counties of England

Counties (English county ) are territorial units in England, go back to their roots to the 12th century. They are not just administrative units, but have over time also to geographical names.

A whole series of reforms, the first took place in 1888, has led to the term county in England has become ambiguous.

Traditional counties

The system of the 39 traditional counties was built between the 12th and 16th centuries, some are even older. This traditional counties were until 1888 administrative units of England. Although the administrative divisions since then knows its own administrative counties, to distinguish them from the traditional counties and with this in terms of zoning and are not identical, use to this day many Englishmen the names of the traditional counties.

Administrative counties

1888 were in England county councils ( County councils ) were introduced that were selected. These councils took on a whole series of administrative tasks. Not to administrative counties of the newly formed (English Administrative counties ) included the County Boroughs, independent administrative units. The then made ​​division of England did not agree with the previous traditional counties, several were divided into two administrative counties.

1965 Greater London has been formed and dissolved the former County of London as an administrative unit from. This Middlesex was dissolved as an administrative county. In addition, Huntingdonshire and the Soke of Peterborough was merged to the new administrative county of Huntingdon and Peterborough; as Cambridgeshire was combined with Isle of Ely Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely.

In 1974, the structure of local government was fundamentally reformed. A number of new counties were created, such as Avon, Cleveland, Cumbria and Humberside. Great Urban agglomerations were to Metropolitan counties (Greater Manchester, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, West Midlands and West Yorkshire ). The counties of Cumberland, Herefordshire, Rutland, Westmorland and Worcestershire were dissolved. The County Boroughs were also abolished. After this reform passed in England in addition to the six metropolitan counties 39 so-called non-metropolitan counties, all of which were broken for the purpose of a two-stage management in Districts. The term Administrative County has since no longer used in England.

Since 1996, the management structure was changed again several times. A number of the 1974 counties created in 1996 disbanded; then resolved as Herefordshire, Rutland and Worcestershire restored. In addition, from the areas of the counties densely populated areas were spun and made into an administratively independent unitary authorities. Most of the new unitary authorities were given the formal status of a County. In 1998, the Berkshire County Council ( County Council ) was abolished. The six existing in Berkshire District were collected for unitary authorities, but were not given the status of a County.

Today there are in England at the middle management level

  • 56 unitary authorities, including 49 unitary authorities with county status
  • 6 Unitary Authorities in Berkshire County without status
  • The special unitary authority Isles of Scilly
  • 27 non-metropolitan counties that own and subdivided into districts a County Council ( County Council ) (also called shire counties )

At the same administrative level, but with specific characteristics, also includes the six metropolitan counties. Although Greater London is a ceremonial county shall administratively but not as a County, but as a region.

For today's administrative divisions see also the article administrative divisions of England.

Ceremonial counties

Traditionally, the British monarch in the various regions of the United Kingdom of a personal representative, the Lord Lieutenant. Each of the Lord- Lieutenant is assigned to an area that is called ceremonial county (English ceremonial county ). This agreed earlier with essentially the traditional counties. The subsequent change in the system of administrative counties were taken for the mostly ceremonial counties.

Since the municipal reform of 1974 initially voted the ceremonial counties consistent with the administrative counties. Since 1996, so-called unitary authorities have been extracted from the administrative counties or replace. In Lieutenancies Act 1997, the allocation of the unitary authorities to the 48 ceremonial counties was controlled.