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Counties of England, Scotland and Wales
- ABER**Aberdeenshire**, one of the 32 unitary council areas in Scotland. Aberdeenshire has a rich prehistoric and historic heritage. It is the locus of a large number of Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeological sites, including Longman Hill, Kempstone Hill, Catto Long Barrow and Cairn Lee. The present council area is named after the historic county of Aberdeen, which had different boundaries and was abolished in 1975 under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973. It was replaced by Grampian Regional Council and five district councils: Banff and Buchan, Gordon, Kincardine and Deeside, Moray and the City of Aberdeen. Local government functions were shared between the two levels. In 1996, under the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994, the Banff and Buchan district, Gordon district and Kincardine and Deeside district were merged to form the present Aberdeenshire council area, with the other two districts becoming autonomous council areas.ANGL**Anglesey** /ˈæŋɡəlsi/, also known by its Welsh name Ynys Môn [ˈənɨs ˈmoːn], is an island and, as Isle of Anglesey, a county off the north west coast of Wales. Two bridges, spanning the Menai Strait, connect it to the mainland: the original Menai Suspension Bridge (carrying the A5), designed by Thomas Telford in 1826; and the more recently constructed Britannia Bridge (originally designed by Robert Stephenson); which carries the A55 and the North Wales Coast Railway Line. Historian and author John Davies argues that it was during the tumultuous 10th century that the Norse name for Môn, Anglesey, came into existence; the name was later adopted into English after Anglo-Norman occupiers arrived to conquer the island during the Norman invasions of Gwynedd. The name Anglesey was later used in the English language as a county name which included Holy Island and other nearby small islands. About half of the inhabitants can speak, read and write Welsh as well as English, and 70% have a knowledge of Welsh. Once the Welsh language was granted equal status in government with the Welsh Language Act, the representative constituency names for the island were changed to the Welsh name of the island, Ynys Môn (UK Parliament constituency) in the UK parliament, and Ynys Môn (Assembly constituency) in the National Assembly for Wales. With an area of 720 square kilometers (278 sq mi), Anglesey is the largest Welsh island, the sixth largest surrounding the island of Great Britain, and the largest island in the Irish Sea ahead of the Isle of Man.ANGU**Angus** (Aonghas in Gaelic) is one of the 32 local government council areas of Scotland, a registration county and a lieutenancy area. The council area borders Aberdeenshire, Perth and Kinross and Dundee City. Angus was historically a county (known officially as Forfarshire from the eighteenth century until 1928, when it reverted to its ancient name) until 1975 when it became a district of the Tayside Region. In 1996, two-tier local government was abolished and Angus was established as a unitary authority. The former county had borders with Kincardineshire to the north-east, county of Aberdeenshire to the north and Perthshire to the west. Southwards, it faced Fife across the Firth of Tay. The boundaries of the present council area are exactly the same as those of the old county minus the City of Dundee.ARGY**Argyll and Bute** (Scottish Gaelic: Earra-Ghaidheal agus Bòd pronounced [ɛrˠəˈɣɛːəlˠ̪ ɪs̪ pɔːtʲ]) is both one of 32 unitary council areas; and a Lieutenancy area in Scotland. The administrative centre for the council area is located in Lochgilphead. Argyll and Bute covers the second largest administrative area of any Scottish council. Including islands, there are over 3,000 miles (4,800 km) of coastline, and this is claimed to be more than for the whole of France. The council area adjoins those of Highland, Perth and Kinross, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire. Its border runs through Loch Lomond. The present council area was created in 1996, when it was carved out of the Strathclyde region, which was a two-tier local government region of 19 districts, created in 1975. Argyll and Bute merged together the existing Argyll and Bute district and one ward of the Dumbarton district. The Dumbarton ward, called 'Helensburgh and Lomond', included the burgh of Helensburgh and consisted of an area to the west of Loch Lomond, north of the Firth of Clyde and mostly east of Loch Long. The council area can be described also by reference to divisions of the counties which were abolished in 1975. The council area includes most of the county of Argyll (Argyll minus the Morvern area, north of Mull, which became become part of the Highland region in 1975), part of the county of Bute (the Isle of Bute) and part of the county of Dunbartonshire (the Helensburgh and Lomond ward).AYR**Ayrshire and Arran** is a lieutenancy area of Scotland. It consists of the Scottish council areas of East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire and South Ayrshire. The area has joint electoral, valuation and health boards. For electoral and valuation purposes, the same area is simply called Ayrshire. Ayrshire (Scots: Coontie o Ayrshire; Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir, pronounced [ʃirˠəxk iɲiˈɾʲaːɾʲ]) is a registration county, and former administrative county in south-west Scotland, United Kingdom, located on the shores of the Firth of Clyde. Its principal towns include Ayr, Kilmarnock and Irvine. Ayrshire, under the name the County of Ayr, is a registration county. The electoral and valuation area named Ayrshire covers the three council areas of South Ayrshire, East Ayrshire and North Ayrshire, therefore including the Isle of Arran, Great Cumbrae and Little Cumbrae. The three islands were part of the County of Bute until 1975 and are not always included when the term Ayrshire is applied to the region. The same area is known as Ayrshire and Arran in other contexts. The area became part of the kingdom of Scotland during the 11th century. In 1263, the Scots successfully drove off of the Norwegian leidang-army in a skirmish known as the Battle of Largs. A notable historic building in Ayrshire is Turnberry Castle, which dates from the 13th century or earlier, and which may have been the birthplace of Robert the Bruce. The historic shire or sheriffdom of Ayr was divided into three districts or bailieries which later made up the county of Ayrshire. The three districts were: 1. Carrick in the south. It was situated between the Doon and the wild district of Galloway in the adjoining Stewartries, an area that was little else than a vast tract of hills and mosses. 2. Kyle in the centre, which included the royal burgh of Ayr, occupied the central district between the Irwine on the north, and the Doon on the south and south-west, an area that is partly mountainous. It was subdivided into "Kyle Stewart", (sometimes called "Stewart Kyle" or "Walter's Kyle") and "King's Kyle," the former embracing the country between the Irvine and the Ayr; and the latter, the triangular portion between the Ayr and the Doon, which is honoured as the birth-place and youthful home of Robert Burns. 3. Cunninghame in the north which included the royal burgh of Irvine was that part of the county which lay north of the Irvine water, and was in an area that is generally level and fertile. The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889 established a uniform system of county councils in Scotland and realigned the boundaries of many of Scotland’s counties. Ayr county council was created in 1890, under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889. In 1930 the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929 was implemented. This re-designated the Burghs into large burghs and Small Burghs. This new categorisation influenced the level of autonomy that the Burghs enjoyed from the county council. The act also abolished the parish as a unit of local government in Scotland. In Ayrshire in excess of 30 parishes were consolidated into ten district councils. In May 1975 the county council was abolished and its functions transferred to Strathclyde Regional Council. The county area was divided between four new districts within the two-tier Strathclyde region: Cumnock and Doon Valley, Cunninghame, Kilmarnock and Loudoun and Kyle and Carrick. The Cunninghame district included the Isle of Arran, Great Cumbrae and Little Cumbrae, which had until then been administered as part of the County of Bute. In 1996 the two-tier system of regions and districts was abolished and Ayrshire was divided between the unitary council areas of East Ayrshire (covering the area of the former Kilmarnock & Loudon District and Cumnock & Doon Valley District), North Ayrshire (covering the area of the former Cunninghame District Council) and South Ayrshire (covering the area of the former Kyle and Carrick District).
- BANFBanffBEDFBedfordBERKBerkshireBERWBerwickBRECBrecknock / BreconBUCKBuckinghamBUTEBute
- CAER**Carnarvon** and **Caernarvon** are older forms of the name of the town in North Wales currently known as Caernarfon. The older names, in place for centuries, were anglicised phonetic spellings; since the 1970s the Welsh spelling has been generally adopted. Most places and things named for Caernarfon were and still are named using the older spelling. Caernarfon (pronounced [kaɨrˈnarvɔn] or [kəɨrˈnar.von] or /kəˈnɑːvᵊn/) is a Royal town, community and port in Gwynedd, Wales, with a population of 9,611. It lies along the A487 road, on the east banks of the Menai Straits, opposite the Isle of Anglesey. The city of Bangor is 8.6 miles (13.8 km) to the northeast, while Snowdonia fringes Caernarfon to the east and southeast. Caernarvon and Carnarvon are archaic anglicised spellings of Caernarfon, but used rarely. Caernarfon derives its name from the Roman fortifications. In Welsh, the place was called "y gaer yn Arfon", meaning "the stronghold in the land over against Môn"; Môn is the Welsh name of the island of Anglesey. In 1221, a charter granted to the canons of Penmon priory, in Anglesey, by Llywelyn the Great, refers to Kaerinarfon, and Brut y Tywysogion uses the forms Kaerenarvon and Caerenarvon. An early alternative name was Caer Seiont. It is called Caer Aber Sei(o)n(t) ("the fort on the estuary of the river Seiont") in the medieval Welsh tale Breuddwyd Macsen ("Macsen's Dream"), and was also known as Caer Gystennin ("The Castle of Constantin"). Caernarfon is the county town of the historic county of Caernarfonshire. It is best known for the great stone-built Caernarfon Castle, built by Edward I, King of England and consequently sometimes seen as a symbol of English domination. Edward's architect, James of St. George, may well have modelled the castle on the walls of Constantinople, possibly being aware of the alternative Welsh name Caer Gystennin; in addition, Edward was a supporter of the Crusader cause. On higher ground on the outskirts of the town are the remains of an earlier occupation, the Segontium Roman Fort. Caernarfon was constituted a borough in 1284 by charter of Edward I. The charter, which was confirmed on a number of occasions, appointed the mayor of the borough Constable of the Castle ex officio. The former municipal borough was designated a royal borough in 1963. The borough was abolished by the Local Government Act 1972 in 1974, and the status of "royal town" was granted to the community which succeeded it.CAITCaithnessCAMBCambridgeCARDCardiganCARM**Carmarthen** ( /ˌkɑrˈmɑrðən/ kar-mar-dhən; Welsh: Caerfyrddin pronounced [kɑːɨrˈvərðɪn]) is a community in, and the county town of, Carmarthenshire, Wales. It is sited on the River Towy 8 miles (13 km) north of its mouth at Carmarthen Bay. In 2001, the population was 14,648. Carmarthen lays claim to being the oldest town in Wales but the two settlements of Old and New Carmarthen were only united into a single borough in 1546. Carmarthen was the most populous borough in Wales between the 16th and 18th centuries and was described by William Camden as "the chief citie of the country". When Britannia was a Roman province, Carmarthen was the civitas capital of the Demetae tribe, known as Moridunum (meaning sea fort). Carmarthen is possibly the oldest town in Wales and was recorded by Ptolemy and in the Antonine Itinerary. The Roman fort is believed to date from AD75-77. A coin hoard of Roman currency was found nearby in 2006. Near the fort is one of seven surviving Roman amphitheatres in the United Kingdom and one of only two in Roman Wales (the other being at Isca Augusta or Roman Caerleon). It was excavated in 1968. The arena itself is 46 by 27 meters; the circumference of the cavea seating area is 92 by 67 meters. The strategic importance of Carmarthen was such that the Norman William fitz Baldwin built a castle, probably around 1094. The existing castle site is known to have been used since 1105. The castle was destroyed by Llywelyn the Great in 1215. In 1223, the castle was rebuilt and permission was received to wall the town and crenellate (a murage). Carmarthen was among the first medieval walled towns in Wales. In 1405, the town was taken and the castle was sacked by Owain Glyndŵr. The famous Black Book of Carmarthen, written around 1250, is associated with the town's Priory of St John the Evangelist and Teulyddog. During the Black Death of 1347-49, the plague was brought to Carmarthen via the thriving river trade. The Black Death "destroy'd and devastated" villages such as Llanllwch. Local historians place the plague pit, the site for mass burial of the dead, in the graveyard that adjoins the 'Maes-yr-Ysgol' and 'Llys Model' housing at the rear of St Catherine Street. According to some variants of the Arthurian legend, Merlin was born in a cave outside Carmarthen, with some noting that Merlin may be an anglicised form of Myrddin. Historians generally disagree with this interpretation of the name, preferring that Myrddin is a corruption of the Roman name but the story is popular. Many areas surrounding Carmarthen still allude to this, such as the nearby Bryn Myrddin (Merlin's Hill). Legend also had it that, when a particular tree called 'Merlin's Oak' fell, it would be the downfall of the town as well - Translated from Welsh, it reads: When Merlin's Oak comes tumbling down, down shall fall Carmarthen Town'. In order to stop this, the tree was dug up when it died and pieces are now in the museum. The occasional flooding of the appropriately-named Water Street has been attributed to ongoing redevelopment of the area. The Black Book of Carmarthen includes poems with references to Myrddin (Ymddiddan Myrddin a Thaliesin) and possibly to Arthur (Pa ŵr yw'r Porthor?). The interpretation of these is difficult because the Arthurian legend was already known by this time and many details of the modern form of the legend had been described by Geoffrey of Monmouth before the book was written. In addition, some of the stories appear to have been moved into Wales at some point before their recording in the book. Following the Acts of Union, Carmarthen became the judicial headquarters of the Court of Great Sessions for south-west Wales. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the dominant business of Carmarthen town was still agriculture and related trades, including woollen manufacture. Carmarthen was made a county corporate by charter of James I in 1604. The charter decreed that Carmarthen should be known as the 'Town of the County of Carmarthen' and should have two sheriffs. This was reduced to one sheriff in 1835 and the (now largely ceremonial) post continues to this day. Both the Priory and the Friary were abandoned during the dissolution of the monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII, the land being returned to the monarchy. Likewise, the chapels of St Catherine and St Barbara were lost, the church of St Peter's being the main religious establishment to survive this era. During the Marian persecutions of the 1550s, Bishop Ferrar of St David's was burnt at the stake in the market square - now Nott Square. A Protestant martyr, his life and death are recorded in John Foxe's famous book of martyrs.CHAIChannel IslandsCHESCheshireCLAC**Clackmannanshire**, often abbreviated to Clacks (Scots: Clackmannanshire and from the Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Chlach Mhannainn meaning 'Stone of Manau') is a local government council area in Scotland, and a lieutenancy area, bordering Perth and Kinross, Stirling and Fife. As Scotland's smallest historic county, it is often nicknamed 'The Wee County'. Between 1889 and 1975, the County of Clackmannan was a local government county, bordering on Perthshire, Stirlingshire and Fife. The council area was recreated in 1996, under the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994, with the boundaries of the former Clackmannan district of the Central region. Prior to the Central District being created in 1975 the area had historically been called Clackmannanshire and there was strong pressure to resurrect this title rather than hold to the rather bland title of "Central Region". Central Region had been created in 1975, under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, to include the county of Clackmannan plus the Muckhart and Glendevon areas, formerly in the county of Perth. Technically these two areas had been transferred to Clackmannanshire in 1971 under a reorganisation of boundaries. According to the legislation of 1996, the council area was to have the name, Clackmannan, of the former district, but this was changed to Clackmannanshire, by the council using its own powers. Clackmannan, the old county town, is named after the ancient stone associated with the pre-Christian deity Manau or Mannan. The stone now rests on a larger stone beside the Tollbooth and Mercat Cross at the top of Main street, Clackmannan. Legend has it that Robert the Bruce mislaid his glove while in the area and, on asking where it was, was told "Look aboot ye". The county's coat of arms shows a pair of gloves.CORNCornwallCUMBCumberland
- DENB**Denbighshire** (Welsh: Sir Ddinbych) is a county in north-east Wales. It is named after the historic county of Denbighshire, but has substantially different borders. Denbighshire has the distinction of being the oldest inhabited part of Wales. Pontnewydd (Bontnewydd-Llanelwy) Palaeolithic site has remains of Neanderthals from 225,000 years ago. There are several castles in the region- Denbigh Castle, Rhuddlan Castle, Ruthin Castle, Castell Dinas Bran and Bodelwyddan Castle. The present principal area was formed on April 1, 1996, under the Local Government (Wales) Act 1994, from various parts of the county of Clwyd. It included the district of Rhuddlan (which was formed in 1974 entirely from Flintshire), the communities of Trefnant and Cefn Meiriadog from the district of Colwyn (which was entirely Denbighshire) and most of the Glyndŵr district. The part of the Glyndŵr district included the entirety of the former Edeyrnion Rural District, which was part of the administrative county of Merionethshire prior to 1974 – which covered the parishes of Betws Gwerfil Goch, Corwen, Gwyddelwern, Llangar, Llandrillo yn Edeirnion and Llansanffraid. Other principal areas containing part of historic Denbighshire are Conwy, which picked up the remainder of the 1974–1996 Colwyn, and also the Denbighshire parts of the 1974–1996 Aberconwy, and Wrexham, which corresponds to the pre-1974 borough of Wrexham along with most of the Wrexham Rural District and also several parishes from Glyndŵr. The post-1996 Powys includes the historic Denbighshire parishes of Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, Llansilin and Llangedwyn, which had formed part of Glyndŵr district.DERBDerbyshireDEVODevonshireDORSDorsetshireDUMF**Dumfries and Galloway** (Scots: Dumfries an Gallowa; Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Phrìs is an Gall-Ghaidhealaibh, pronounced [t̪unˈfɾʲiʃ akəs̪ əŋ kaulˠ̪ɣəlˠ̪əv]) is one of 32 council areas of Scotland. It was created in 1975 by uniting the historic region of Galloway to the County of Dumfries (Dumfriesshire) for the purpose of council administration, hence "Dumfries and Galloway". To the north, the council borders onto South Ayrshire, East Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire; in the east the Borders; and to the south the county of Cumbria in England. It lies to the north of the Solway Firth and to the east of the Irish Sea. The region was created in 1975, by merging the former counties of Wigtownshire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Dumfriesshire as a two-tier region with the districts of Wigtownshire, Stewartry, Nithsdale and Annandale and Eskdale within it. In 1996 the region became a unitary authority area and the districts were wound up. After 1996 the unitary authority became known as Dumfries and Galloway Council, instead of Dumfries and Galloway Regional Council.DUNBDunbartonDURHDurham
- IMAN**The Isle of Man** ( /ˈmæn/; Manx: Ellan Vannin, pronounced [ˈɛlʲən ˈvanɪn]), otherwise known simply as Mann (Manx: Mannin, IPA: [ˈmanɪn]), is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is represented by a Lieutenant Governor. The island is not part of the United Kingdom, but its foreign relations and defence are the responsibility of the UK Government. Although it does not usually interfere in the island's domestic matters, its "good government" is ultimately the responsibility of the Crown (i.e., in practice, the Government of the United Kingdom). The island has been inhabited since before 6500 BC. It began to be influenced by Gaelic culture in the AD 5th century and the Manx language, a branch of the Gaelic languages, gradually emerged. In the 9th century, the Norse began to settle there. A Norse-Gaelic culture emerged and the island came under Norse control. In 1266, the island became part of Scotland. After a period of alternating rule by the kings of Scotland and England, the island came under the feudal overlordship of the English Crown in 1399. The lordship revested into the British Crown in 1764 but the island never became part of the United Kingdom and retained its status as an internally self-governing jurisdiction. The origin of the name Isle of Man is unclear. In the Manx Gaelic language the Isle of Man is known as Ellan Vannin, where ellan is a Gaelic word meaning island. The earliest form of 'Man' is Manu or Mana giving the genitive name Manann leading to the word Mannin, which is lenited when used after the feminine word Ellan, giving Mhannin. As mh is pronounced like a v in Goidelic languages, in modern Manx the name becomes Ellan Vannin. These forms are related to the figure of Celtic mythology known as Manannán to the Irish and Manawydan to the Welsh. The name enters recorded history as Mona (Julius Caesar, 54 BC), and is also recorded as Monapia or Monabia (Pliny the Elder, AD 77), Monœda (Ptolemy, AD 150), Mevania or Mænavia (Paulus Orosius, 416), and Eubonia or Eumonia by Irish writers. In Welsh records it is Manaw, and in the Icelandic sagas it is Mön. Though Mann was never incorporated into the Roman Empire, the island was noted in Greek and Roman accounts where it was called variously Monapia, Mοναοιδα (Monaoida), Mοναρινα (Monarina), Menavi and Mevania. The Old Welsh and Old Irish names for Mann, Mano and Manau, also occur in Manau Gododdin, the name for an ancient district in north Britain along the lower Firth of Forth. The name is probably connected with the Welsh name of the island of Anglesey, Ynys Môn and possibly with the Celtic root reflected in Welsh mynydd, Breton menez, Scottish Gaelic monadh mountain. These probably derive from the Proto-Indo-European root *men- to tower referring to the island apparently rising out of the Irish Sea on the horizon. The Neolithic Period marked the coming of knowledge of farming, better stone tools and pottery. It was during this period that megalithic monuments began to appear around the island. Examples from this period can be found at Cashtal yn Ard near Maughold, King Orry's Grave in Laxey, Meayll Circle near Cregneash, and Ballaharra Stones in St John's. This was not the only Neolithic culture; there were also the local Ronaldsway and Bann cultures. During the Bronze Age, the large communal tombs of the megalith builders were replaced with smaller burial mounds. Bodies were put in stone lined graves along with ornamental containers. The Bronze Age burial mounds created long lasting markers about the countryside. According to John T. Koch and others, the Isle of Man in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-networked culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age that also included the other Celtic nations, England, France, Spain and Portugal, and ancient Tartessus, and may have been where Celtic languages developed. The Iron Age marked the beginning of Celtic cultural influence. Large hill forts appeared on hill summits, and smaller promontory forts along the coastal cliffs, while large timber-framed roundhouses were built. It is likely that the first Celtic tribes to inhabit the Island were of the Brythonic variety. Around the 5th century AD, cultural influence from Ireland, probably along with some degree of migration, precipitated a process of Gaelicisation, evidenced by Ogham inscriptions, giving rise to the Manx language, which remains closely related to Irish and Scottish Gaelic. Viking settlement of Mann began at the end of the 8th century. The Vikings established Tynwald and introduced many land divisions that still exist. They also left the Manx Runestones. Although the Manx language does contain Norse influences, they are few. The Norse Kingdom of Mann and the Isles was created by Godred Crovan in 1079 after the Battle of Skyhill. During Viking times, the islands of this kingdom were called the Súðreyjar or Sudreys ("southern isles") in contrast to the Norðreyjar ("northern isles") of Orkney and Shetland. This later became Anglicised as Sodor. The Church of England diocese is still called the Diocese of Sodor and Man although it only covers Mann. (When the Rev. W.V. Awdry wrote The Railway Series, he invented the island of Sodor as an imaginary island located between Mann and the Cumbrian coast.) In 1266, as dictated in the Treaty of Perth, Norway's King Magnus VI ceded the isles to Scotland. Mann came under English control in the 14th century. During this period the Isle was dominated by the Stanley family, who also held the title of Earl of Derby, who had been given possession of Mann by King Henry IV. In 1703, the Act of Settlement secured peasant rights and marked the beginning of a move away from feudal government. In 1765, however, the British Crown secured a greater control over the island, without incorporating it into Great Britain, laying the grounds for the island's status as a Crown dependency. In 1866, greater autonomy was restored to the island's parliament and a full transition to democracy began.INVEInverness
- LANA**Lanarkshire** or the County of Lanark Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig) is a Lieutenancy area, registration county and former local government county in the central Lowlands of Scotland. Glasgow, the neighbouring major city, was formerly included as part of Lanarkshire for administrative purposes and remains part of the registration county. Historically, Lanarkshire was the most populous county in Scotland and, in earlier times, had considerably greater boundaries, including neighbouring Renfrewshire until 1402. In modern times, it was bounded to the north by Stirlingshire and a detached portion of Dunbartonshire, to the northeast by Stirlingshire, West Lothian, to the east by Peeblesshire, to the southeast and south by Dumfriesshire, to the southwest by Dumfriesshire and Ayrshire and to the west by Ayrshire, Renfrewshire and Dunbartonshire. Lanarkshire was historically divided between two administrative areas then, in the mid-18th century, was divided again into three wards: the upper, middle and lower wards with their administrative centres at Lanark, Hamilton and Glasgow respectively and remained this way until the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889. Other significant settlements include East Kilbride, Motherwell, Airdrie, Coatbridge, Blantyre, Cambuslang, Rutherglen and Wishaw. In 1975, the county council was superseded by the Strathclyde region, which itself was superseded by unitary authorities in 1996. Lanarkshire is now covered by the council areas of North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire. North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire have a joint board for valuation and electoral registration. There is also a joint health board, which does not cover Rutherglen and the surrounding area in South Lanarkshire. Without the northern portion of North Lanarkshire, this is also a Lieutenancy area.LANCLancashireLEICLeicesterLINCLincolnLONDLondon (Middlesex)
- MDSXMiddlesex (London)MERIMerionethMLOT**Midlothian** ( /mɪdˈloʊðiən/; Scots: Midlowden, Scottish Gaelic: Meadhan Lodainn) is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, and a lieutenancy area. It borders the Scottish Borders, East Lothian and the City of Edinburgh council areas. The County of Midlothian used for local government purposes formerly encompassed the city of Edinburgh, and within these borders still serves as a registration county. Midlothian Council area was created in 1996, under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994, with the boundaries of the Midlothian district of the Lothian region. The district had been created in 1975, under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, and it consisted of the local government county of Midlothian, minus the burgh of Musselburgh and Calder, Cramond, Currie and Inveresk areas.MNTG**Montgomery** (Welsh: Trefaldwyn; meaning "The Town of Baldwin") is a historic county town in Mid Wales that lies just three miles from the Wales-England border in the Welsh Marches. It is best known for its castle, Montgomery Castle, begun in 1223, and its parish church, begun in 1227. However its origins go back much further, as seen by the Iron age hill fort on the edge of the town. Other attractions include The Old Bell Museum, the Offa's Dyke Path, the Robber's Grave and the town wall, as well as several impressive buildings. Even though the town has long since lost its trappings of power as a county town, there is still a bustling small commercial centre and continues to attract increasing numbers of tourists. The town was established around a Norman stone castle on a crag. The castle had been built in the early 13th century to control an important ford over the nearby River Severn and replaced an earlier motte and bailey fortification at Hendoman, two miles away. An important supporter of King William I (the Conqueror), Roger de Montgomery, originally from Montgomery in the Pays d'Auge in Normandy, was given this part of the Welsh Marches by William and his name was given to the town surrounding the castle. Montgomery was sacked at the beginning of the 15th century by the Welsh Prince Owain Glyndŵr (Owen Glendower). At this time, the castle and surrounding estates were held by the Mortimer family (the hereditary Earls of March) but they came into royal hands when the last Earl of March died in 1425. In 1485, King Richard III was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth and the Royal Estates, including Montgomery and its castle, passed into the hands of the new King, Henry VII, the first Tudor king, and a Welshman. The castle was then given to another powerful Welsh family, the Herberts, in 1541. During the Civil War, the castle was captured by Parliamentary forces and subsequently slighted (damaged) to remove its military threat. As a county town, Montgomery prospered, and the consequent buildings give the small town its current character. In 1923 the Montgomeryshire County War Memorial was completed to commemorate fallen soldiers from Montgomeryshire County. The Memorial resides 0.75 miles to the Southwest of Montgomery, on a hill overlooking the countryside. Montgomery was the birth place of famous poet George Herbert in 1593.MONM**Monmouthshire** (pronounced /ˈmɒnməθʃər/ or /ˈmɒnməθʃɪər/), also known as the County of Monmouth (pronounced /ˈmɒnməθ/; Welsh: Sir Fynwy), is one of thirteen ancient counties of Wales and a former administrative county. It corresponds approximately to the present principal areas of Monmouthshire, Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, and Newport and those parts of Caerphilly and Cardiff east of the Rhymney River. The eastern part of the county is mainly agricultural, while the western valleys had rich mineral resources. This led to the area becoming highly industrialised with coal mining and iron working being major employers from the 18th century to the late 20th century. Monmouthshire's Welsh status was ambiguous between the 16th and 20th centuries, with it considered by some to be part of England during this time. The "county or shire of Monmouth" was formed from parts of the Welsh Marches by the Laws in Wales Act 1535. According to the Act the shire consisted of all Honours, Lordships, Castles, Manors, Lands, Tenements and Hereditaments, lying or being within the Compass or Precinct of the following Lordships, Townships, Parishes, Commotes and Cantrefs... in the Country of Wales: Monmouth • Chepstow • Matherne (Mathern) • Llanvihangel (Llanfihangel Rogiet) • Magour (Magor) • Goldcliffe (Goldcliff) • Newport • Wentlooge • Llanwerne (Llanwern) • Caerlion (Caerleon) • Usk • Treleck (Trellech) • Tintern • Skenfrith • Grosmont • Witecastle (White Castle) • Raglan • Calicote (Caldicot) • Biston (Bishton) • Abergavenny • Penrose (Penrhos) • Grenefield (Maesglas) • Maghen (Machen) • Hochuyslade (possessions of Llanthony Priory) The Act also designated Monmouth as the "Head and Shire town of the said county or shire of Monmouth", and ordered that the Sheriff's county or shire court be held alternately in Monmouth and Newport. The historic boundaries are the River Wye on the east, dividing it from Gloucestershire and the Rhymney River to the west dividing it from Glamorganshire, with the Bristol Channel to the south. The boundaries with Herefordshire to the northeast and Brecknockshire to the north were less well-defined. The parish of Welsh Bicknor, was an exclave of Monmouthshire, sandwiched between Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. The area was considered part of Monmouthshire until it was made part of Herefordshire "for all purposes" by the Counties (Detached Parts) Act 1844, while the Herefordshire hamlet of Fwthog adjoining the Honddu Valley remained an exclave within Monmouthshire until 1891. The county was divided into six hundreds in 1542: Abergavenny • Caldicot • Raglan • Skenfrith • Usk • Wentloog The county contained the three boroughs of Monmouth, Newport and Usk. Monmouth and Newport were reformed as municipal boroughs with elected town councils by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. Usk continued as an unreformed borough until its final abolition in 1886. New forms of local government were established in the urban areas of the county with the setting of local boards under the Public Health Act 1848 and Local Government Act 1858. The Public Health Act 1875 divided the rural areas into rural sanitary districts. An administrative county of Monmouthshire, governed by an elected county council, was formed in 1889 under the terms of the Local Government Act 1888. The administrative county had similar boundaries, but included the Beaufort, Dukestown, Llechryd and Rassau areas of south Breconshire. The county council was based in Newport, rather than the historic county town of Monmouth. In 1891 the borough of Newport achieved county borough status and therefore left the administrative county, although the Shire Hall continued to be based there. In the same year the parish of Fwthog was transferred to both the administrative and geographic county of Monmouthshire. Under the Local Government Act 1894 Monmouthshire was divided into urban and rural districts, based on existing sanitary districts. In 1899 Abergavenny was incorporated as a borough. Two further urban districts were formed, Mynyddislwyn in 1903, and Bedwas and Machen in 1912. The County of Monmouth Review Order 1935 revised the number and boundaries of the urban and rural districts in the administrative county. A new Cwmbran urban district was formed by the abolition of Llanfrechfa Upper and Llantarnam UDs, Abersychan and Panteg UDs were absorbed by Pontypool urban district, and Magor and St Mellons RD was formed by a merger of two rural districts. The last major boundary change to affect the administrative and geographic county was in 1938 when the parish of Rumney was removed to be included in the county borough of Cardiff, and therefore the geographic county of Glamorgan. The administrative county of Monmouthshire and county borough of Newport were abolished in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. Most of the area formed the new county of Gwent, with parts going to the new Rhymney Valley district of Mid Glamorgan and Cardiff district of South Glamorgan. Successor districts of Gwent were Blaenau Gwent, Islwyn, Monmouth, Newport and Torfaen. The name "Monmouthshire" was revived for one of the principal areas created on further local government reorganisation in 1996. The principal area covers only part of the historic county, which also includes the principal areas of Newport, Torfaen, most of Blaenau Gwent, and parts of Caerphilly and Cardiff. The preserved county of Gwent, which still exists for some ceremonial purposes, is similar in extent to historic Monmouthshire with the addition of the Rhymney Valley area.MORAMoray
- NAIRNairnNHAM**Northamptonshire** ( /nɔrˈθæmptənʃər/ or /nɔrθˈhæmptənʃɪər/; archaically, the County of Northampton; abbreviated Northants. or N/hants) is a landlocked county in the English East Midlands, with a population of 629,676 as at the 2001 census. It has boundaries with the ceremonial counties of Warwickshire to the west, Leicestershire and Rutland to the north, Cambridgeshire to the east, Bedfordshire to the south-east, Buckinghamshire to the south, Oxfordshire to the south-west, and Lincolnshire to the north-east – England's shortest county boundary at 19 meters (21 yd). The county town is Northampton. Much of Northamptonshire’s countryside appears to have remained somewhat intractable with regards to early human occupation, resulting in an apparently sparse population and relatively few finds from the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. In about 500 BC the Iron Age was introduced into the area by a continental people in the form of the Hallstatt culture, and over the next century a series of hill-forts were constructed at Arbury Camp, Rainsborough camp, Borough Hill, Castle Dykes, Guilsborough, Irthlingborough, and most notably of all, Hunsbury Hill. There are two more possible hill-forts at Arbury Hill (Badby) and Thenford. In the 1st century BC, most of what later became Northamptonshire became part of the territory of the Catuvellauni, a Belgic tribe, the Northamptonshire area forming their most northerly possession. The Catuvellauni were in turn conquered by the Romans in 43 AD. The Roman road of Watling Street passed through the county, and an important Roman settlement, Lactodorum, stood on the site of modern-day Towcester. There were other Roman settlements at Northampton, Kettering and along the Nene Valley near Raunds. A large fort was built at Longthorpe. After the Romans left, the area eventually became part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, and Northampton functioned as an administrative centre. The Mercians converted to Christianity in 654 AD with the death of the pagan king Penda. From about 889 the area was conquered by the Danes (as at one point was almost all of England except for Athelney marsh in Somerset) and became part of the Danelaw - with Watling Street serving as the boundary - until being recaptured by the English under the Wessex king Edward the Elder, son of Alfred the Great, in 917. Northamptonshire was conquered again in 940, this time by the Vikings of York, who devastated the area, only for the county to be retaken by the English in 942. Consequently, it is one of the few counties in England to have both Saxon and Danish town-names and settlements. The county was first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (1011), as Hamtunscire: the scire (shire) of Hamtun (the homestead). The "North" was added to distinguish Northampton from the other important Hamtun further south: Southampton. Rockingham Castle was built for William the Conqueror and was used as a Royal fortress until Elizabethan times. The now-ruined Fotheringhay Castle was used to imprison Mary, Queen of Scots, before her execution. In 1460, during the Wars of the Roses, the Battle of Northampton took place and King Henry VI was captured. John Speed's 17th century map of NorthamptonshireGeorge Washington, the first President of the United States of America, was born into the Washington family who had migrated to America from Northamptonshire in 1656. George Washington's great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Lawrence Washington, was Mayor of Northampton on several occasions and it was he who bought Sulgrave Manor from Henry VIII in 1539. It was George Washington's great-grandfather, John Washington, who emigrated in 1656 from Northants to Virginia. Before Washington's ancestors moved to Sulgrave, they lived in Warton, Lancashire. During the English Civil War, Northamptonshire strongly supported the Parliamentarian cause, and the Royalist forces suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Naseby in 1645 in the north of the county. King Charles I was imprisoned at Holdenby House in 1647. In 1823 Northamptonshire was said to "[enjoy] a very pure and wholesome air" because of its dryness and distance from the sea. Its livestock were celebrated: "Horned cattle, and other animals, are fed to extraordinary sizes: and many horses of the large black breed are reared." Nine years later, the county was described as "a county enjoying the reputation of being one of the healthiest and pleasantest parts of England" although the towns were "of small importance" with the exceptions of Peterborough and Northampton. In summer, the county hosted "a great number of wealthy families... country seats and villas are to be seen at every step." Northamptonshire is still referred to as the county of "spires and squires" because of the numbers of stately homes and ancient churches. In the 18th and 19th centuries, parts of Northamptonshire and the surrounding area became industrialised. The local specialisation was shoemaking and the leather industry and by the end of the 19th century it was almost definitively the boot and shoe making capital of the world. In the north of the county a large ironstone quarrying industry developed from 1850. During the 1930s, the town of Corby was established as a major centre of the steel industry. Much of Northamptonshire nevertheless remains largely rural. Northamptonshire, like most English counties, is divided into a number of local authorities. The seven borough/district councils cover 15 towns and hundreds of villages. The county has a two-tier structure of local government and an elected county council based in Northampton, and is also divided into seven districts each with their own district or borough councils. Northampton itself is the most populous urban district in England not to be administered as a unitary authority (even though several smaller districts are unitary). During the 1990s local government reform, Northampton Borough Council petitioned strongly for unitary status, which led to fractured relations with the County Council. Before 1974, the Soke of Peterborough was considered geographically part of Northamptonshire, although it had had a separate county council since the late 19th Century and separate Quarter Sessions courts before then. Now part of Cambridgeshire, the city of Peterborough became a unitary authority in 1998, but it continues to form part of that county for ceremonial purposes.NORFNorfolkNOTTNottingham
- PEEBPeeblesPEMBPembrokePERT**Perth and Kinross** (Peairt agus Ceann Rois in Gaelic) is one of 32 council areas in Scotland, and a Lieutenancy Area. It borders onto the Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee City, Fife, Clackmannanshire, Stirling, Argyll and Bute and Highland council areas. Perth is the administrative centre. It corresponds broadly, but not exactly, with the former counties of Perthshire and Kinross-shire. Perthshire and Kinross-shire had a joint county council from 1929 until 1975. The area was created a single district in 1975, in the Tayside region, under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, and then reconstituted as a unitary authority (with a minor boundary adjustment) in 1996, by the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994.
- RADNRadnorRENF**Renfrewshire** (Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Rinn Friù) is one of 32 council areas used for local government in Scotland. Located in the west central Lowlands, it is one of three council areas contained within the boundaries of the historic county of Renfrewshire, the others being Inverclyde to the west and East Renfrewshire to the east. The term Renfrewshire may also be used to refer to this historic county, also known as the County of Renfrew or Greater Renfrewshire, which remains in use as a registration county and lieutenancy area. Although containing the traditional county town of Renfrew, from which its name derives, the centre of local government in Renfrewshire is found in the nearby town of Paisley, which is the area's main settlement. Renfrewshire borders the south-west of Glasgow, lying on the south bank of the River Clyde, and contains many of Glasgow's commuter towns and villages. The ancient county of Renfrewshire covered a larger area — including both Inverclyde and East Renfrewshire. This area still exists in the form of a lieutenancy area and registration county, and has a statutory funding board called the Renfrewshire Valuation Joint Board. The county was traditionally based around its seat, the Royal Burgh of Renfrew and as such was also known as the County of Renfrew. There was also a district named Renfrew which existed between 1975 and 1996. Renfrew District covered a slightly larger area than the present local authority area, and included the towns of Barrhead, Neilston and Uplawmoor, which, following the abolition of Strathclyde Regional Council region in 1996, were transferred into the new East Renfrewshire unitary local authority.ROCRRoss & CromartyROXBBoxburghRUTLRutland
- SELKSelkirkSHET**Shetland** (from Middle Scots Ȝetland; Scottish Gaelic: Sealtainn) is a subarctic archipelago in Scotland, off the northeast coast. The islands lie some 80 km (50 mi) to the northeast of Orkney and 280 km (170 mi) southeast of the Faroe Islands and form part of the division between the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the North Sea to the east. The total area is 1,468 km2 (567 sq mi) and the population totalled 22,210 in 2009. Comprising the Shetland constituency of the Scottish Parliament, Shetland is also one of the 32 council areas of Scotland; the islands' administrative centre and only burgh is Lerwick. The largest island, known simply as "Mainland", has an area of 967 km2 (373 sq mi), making it the third-largest Scottish island and the fifth-largest of the British Isles. There are an additional 15 inhabited islands. The archipelago has an oceanic climate, a complex geology, a rugged coastline and many low, rolling hills. Humans have lived there since the Mesolithic period, and the earliest written references to the islands date back to Roman times. The early historic period was dominated by Scandinavian influences, especially Norway, and the islands did not become part of Scotland until the fifteenth century. When Shetland became part of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707 trade with northern Europe decreased, although fishing has continued to be an important aspect of the economy up to the present day. The discovery of North Sea oil in the 1970s significantly boosted incomes, employment and public sector revenues. The local way of life reflects the joint Norse and Scottish heritage including the Up Helly Aa fire festival, and a strong musical tradition, especially the traditional fiddle style. The islands have produced a variety of writers of prose and poetry, many of whom use the local Shetlandic dialect. There are numerous areas set aside to protect the local fauna and flora, including a number of important seabird nesting sites. In 43 and 77 AD the Roman authors Pomponius Mela and Pliny the Elder referred to the seven islands they call Haemodae and Acmodae respectively, both of which are assumed to be Shetland. Another early written reference to the islands may have been when Tacitus reported that the Roman fleet had seen "Thule" from Orkney in AD 98. In early Irish literature, Shetland is referred to as Inse Catt—"the Isles of Cats", which may have been the pre-Norse inhabitants' name for the islands. The Cat tribe also occupied parts of the northern Scottish mainland and their name can be found in Caithness, and in the Gaelic name for Sutherland (Cataibh, meaning "among the Cats"). The oldest version of the modern name Shetland is Hetlandensis recorded in 1190 becoming Hetland in 1431 after various intermediate transformations. It is possible that the Pictish "cat" sound forms part of this Norse name. It then became Hjaltland in the 16th century. As Norn was gradually replaced by Scots, Hjaltland became Ȝetland. The initial letter is the Middle Scots letter, "yogh", the pronunciation of which is almost identical to the original Norn sound, "/hj/". When the use of the letter yogh was discontinued, it was often replaced by the similar-looking letter z, hence Zetland, the mis-spelled form used to describe the pre-1975 county council. Most of the individual islands have Norse names, although the derivations of some are obscure and may represent pre-Norse, possibly Pictish or even pre-Celtic names or elements.SHROShropshireSOMESomersetSTAFStaffordSTIR**Stirling** (Scots: Stirlin, Scottish Gaelic: Sruighlea) is one of the 32 unitary local government council areas of Scotland, and has a population of about 87,000 (2005 estimate). It was created under the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994 with the boundaries of the Stirling district of the former Central local government region, and it covers most of the former county of Stirling (except Falkirk) and the south-western portion of the former county of Perth. Both counties were abolished for local government purposes under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973. The administrative centre of the area is the city of Stirling. The area borders the council areas of Clackmannanshire (to the east), Falkirk (to the south east), Perth and Kinross (to the north and north east), Argyll and Bute (to the north and north west), and both East and West Dunbartonshire, both to Stirling's southwest.SUFFSuffolkSURRSurreySUSSSussexSUTHSutherland
- WARWWarwickWIGTWigtownWILTWiltshireWLOTWest LothianWMORWestmorelandWORCWorcestershire