Historic counties of England

The Counties of England as recorded in the Domesday Book.
An 1824 map of the English and Welsh counties
This (rather inaccurate) 1814 map shows Dudley in a detached part of Worcestershire surrounded by Staffordshire. Note the exclave of Shropshire (the parish of Halesowen), just to the south-east and part of Staffordshire (Broome and Clent) to the south-west as well.
Notice on the Corn Exchange, Royal Tunbridge Wells, mentioning the historic county boundary
The ancient county boundaries of Warwickshire cover a larger area than the administrative area in 1974 (in green).
Former postal counties of England from 1974 to 1996

The historic counties of England are areas that were established for administration by the Normans, in many cases based on earlier kingdoms and shires created by the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Celts and others.

- Historic counties of England

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Historic county in South East England.

Windsor Castle, viewed from the Long Walk
Virginia Water Lake on the southern edge of Windsor Great Park
Historic map of Berkshire
The Oracle Corporation campus
Slough Trading Estate plays a major part in making Slough an important business centre in South East England
The grandstand at Ascot Racecourse
The Select Car Leasing Stadium in Reading
King Edward III of England
Catherine, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge
Ricky Gervais

Berkshire is a county of historic origin, a ceremonial county and a non-metropolitan county without a county council.

County Palatine of Durham

County Durham in the British Isles
Durham palatinate plaque.
John Wilson Carmichael A View of Murton Colliery near Seaham, County Durham, 1843
Durham Miners' Gala 2008
County Durham flag
Alf Common of England, the world's first £1000 footballer
Sedgefield Racecourse
"The Doctor", a testing golf hole named after Dr McCuaig, founder of Seaton Carew Golf Club. (par 3 encircled by 8 bunkers)
Durham Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Construction began in 1093.
The Angel of the North in Gateshead
Tyne bridge between Gateshead and Newcastle, Northumberland
The Transporter Bridge between Port Clarence and Middlesbrough, Yorkshire
The Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle
The Penshaw Monument.
Yarm Viaduct between Eaglescliffe and Yarm, Yorkshire

The County Palatine of Durham and Sadberge, commonly referred to as County Durham or simply Durham, is a historic county in Northern England.


County in South East England on the coast of the English Channel.

Danebury Fort – aerial image
Plaque on Freemantle Common marking the route of the Roman Road from Chichester to Bitterne
Portchester combined Roman and Norman castles
Portsmouth historic dockyard, 2005
South West Hampshire & South East Dorset green belt (shown in green)
New Forest Pony in Burley
Winchester Cathedral
Hampshire County Council offices and Jubilee Fountain
Eastleigh railway works
Southampton Docks
The M3 near Basingstoke
County flag of Hampshire
Milestones Museum, Basingstoke
Ageas Bowl cricket ground, West End, 2010
Fratton Park football ground, Portsmouth, from Milton End, 2006
Former Hampshire Chronicle office in Winchester, circa 1999

Historically part of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight was made a separate ceremonial county and the towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch were administered as part of the ceremonial county of Dorset.


Ceremonial county in the East Midlands of England.

The historic boundaries of the county shown in John Speed's map of the county in his Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine, c. undefined 1611. A depiction of the town of Northampton is inset in the top left, and the city of Peterborough in the bottom right.
Kilworth Wharf on the Grand Union Canal
Silverstone adds millions every year to the local economy - Kimi Räikkönen testing for McLaren at Silverstone in April 2006
Brackley bypass on the A43
The Grand Union Canal at Braunston
An East Midlands Trains service approaching Wellingborough on the Midland Main Line
Sywell Aerodrome
BBC Radio Northampton's Broadcasting House
Statue inscribed ‘They tackled the job’ outside Franklin's Gardens

The Soke of Peterborough falls within the historic boundaries of the county, but its area has been part of the ceremonial county of Cambridgeshire since 1974.


Landlocked county in the far west of the government statistical region of South East England.

Brasenose Lane in Oxford city centre, a street onto which three colleges back.
The University of Oxford's Chemistry Research Laboratory.
The Abbey, Sutton Courtenay, a ‘textbook’ example of the English medieval manor house.
Wantage Market Place

All its zones south of the Thames: the Vale of White Horse and parts of South Oxfordshire were within the historic county of Berkshire, including the highest point, the 261 m White Horse Hill.


Map of Middlesex, 1824. Note: west is at the top.
Middlesex as part of the Diocese of London in 1714. The diocese was based on the East Saxon kingdom, and was probably originally larger than shown here.
Map of Middlesex, drawn by Thomas Kitchin, geographer, engraver to the Duke of York, 1769.
County of Middlesex (circa 1891–1895)
Map showing boundaries of Middlesex in 1851 and 1911, aside from minor realignments. The small yellow area in the North is Monken Hadley, which was transferred to Hertfordshire; the larger yellow area in the Southeast was transferred to the newly created County of London in 1889.
Map in 1882 shows complete urbanisation of the East End
The Middlesex Guildhall at Westminster, which now houses the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
Middlesex former postal county
Coats of arms of Middlesex (left) and Buckinghamshire (right) in stained glass at the exit from Uxbridge tube station.
County of Middlesex sign in 2014, on the border between the London Boroughs of Barnet and Enfield.
Middlesex Regiment Cap Badge
Twickenham Stadium
Middlesex vs Sussex at Lord's
North Middlesex Golf Club

Middlesex (abbreviation: Middx) is a historic county in southeast England.


The traditional Sussex emblem first known recording in 1611 by John Speed: Azure, six martlets or
The round-headed rampion, or Pride of Sussex, is Sussex's county flower
The South Downs meets the sea at the Seven Sisters
Museum model of how Fishbourne Roman Palace may have appeared
Map of Britain around 800 AD showing the kingdom of Sussex
Battle Abbey was founded to commemorate William's victory in the Battle of Hastings. The high altar was placed to mark the spot where King Harold died.
Lewes Crown Court is the first-tier Crown Court for Sussex
Map of Sussex in 1851 showing the six Rapes
The main building of the Royal Sussex County Hospital
The Royal Pavilion, Brighton
Percy Bysshe Shelley is one of Sussex's best-known poets
The Cure performing live in Singapore
Chichester Cathedral became the seat of Sussex's cathedral in 1075 after it was moved from Selsey
JM Keynes lived at Tilton near Firle from 1925 to 1946
Sliced Sussex Pond Pudding
The Long Man of Wilmington is Europe's largest representation of the human form
Chichester Canal by JMW Turner

Sussex, from the Old English Sūþsēaxe , is a historic county in South East England that was formerly an independent medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdom.

Administrative counties of England

Administrative counties were subnational divisions of England used for local government from 1889 to 1974.

England – Administrative Counties 1890–1965
England – Administrative Counties 1965–1974

Some geographically large historic counties were divided into several administrative counties, each with its own county council.


British monarch's personal representative in each lieutenancy area of the United Kingdom.

Banner flown by lord-lieutenants.
The Royal Banner of Scotland, which can be used by lord-lieutenants in Scotland.
The lieutenancy areas of the United Kingdom as of 2012
The uniform of an English lord-lieutenant includes a rose-and-crown badge on the cap and epaulettes
Lord-lieutenant, full dress uniform (early 20th century)
The Duchess of Northumberland, wearing her badge as Lord-Lieutenant of Northumberland, at a Battle of Britain commemoration in 2018.

Lieutenants were first appointed to a number of English counties by King Henry VIII in the 1540s, when the military functions of the sheriffs were handed over to them.

Local Government Act 1888

The Local Government Act 1888 (51 & 52 Vict.

A graphic representation of the legislative procedure in the United Kingdom.

The counties to be used for local government were to be the historic counties of England and Wales.