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The Cambridgeshire/Suffolk border runs along Newmarket High Street (Ben Brooksbank via Geograph)

Towns astride county borders

If ever one wanted an example of why the historic counties are not particularly suited to local government, this list of towns astride county boundaries is a case in point. From striking cases such as the Cambridgeshire/Suffolk border on Newmarket High Street, to more self-evident borders such as the Thames in Oxford, the historic counties have an eccentric geography which echoes their historical development.

Aberdeen: Aberdeenshire, Kincardineshire
Banbury: Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire
Bawtry: Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire
Belfast: Antrim, Down
Birmingham: Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire
Bristol: Glouestershire, Somerset
Burton on Trent: Staffordshire, Derbyshire
Cardiff: Glamorgan, Monmouthshire
Chepstow: Monmouthshire, Gloucestershire
Chester: Cheshire, Flintshire
Dumfries: Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire
Dunstable: Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire
Emsworth: Hampshire, Sussex
Galashiels: Selkirkshire, Roxburghshire
Glasgow: Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Dunbartonshire
Great Yarmouth: Norfolk, Suffolk
Haverhill: Suffolk, Essex
Lisburn: Antrim, Down
Livingston: Midlothian, West Lothian
Market Harborough: Leicestershire, Northamptonshire
Mossley: Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire
Muir of Ord: Ross-shire, Inverness-shire
New Mills: Derbyshire, Cheshire
Newcastle Emlyn: Carmarthenshire, Cardiganshire
Newmarket: Suffolk, Cambridgeshire
Newport (Salop): Shropshire, Staffordshire
Newry: Armagh, Down
Oxford: Oxfordshire, Berkshire
Peterborough: Northamptonshire, Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire
Portrush: Antrim, Londonderry
Reading: Berkshire, Oxfordshire
Redditch: Worcestershire, Warwickshire
Royston: Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire
Sheffield: Yorkshire, Derbyshire
Stamford: Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Rutland
Stockport: Cheshire, Lancashire
Stourbridge: Worcestershire, Staffordshire
Tadley: Hampshire, Berkshire
Tamworth: Staffordshire, Warwickshire
Thetford: Norfolk, Suffolk
Todmorden: Lancashire, Yorkshire
Tunbridge Wells: Kent, Sussex
Warrington: Lancashire, Cheshire
Whaley Bridge: Cheshire, Derbyshire
Wisbech: Cambridgeshire, Norfolk

With thanks to Owen for his continued help with the Association’s web mapping and county border data.

Have we missed a town? Contact us to let us know at abcounties.com/contact.

Image credit: © Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

12 thoughts on “Towns astride county borders

  • An excellent position for a Cheshire / Lancashire historic sign would be on the Warburton Toll Bridge across the Manchester Ship Canal

    Hundreds of cars pass this way every day

    Keep up the good work everyone !

      • It’s a slightly odd one in that the River Mersey is the traditional Lancs/Ches border but the Warburton tributary was merged into the canal many many years ago (1933 ish ?)
        I’m not exactly sure where the traditional boundary should be marked but it has to be fairly near the toll booth ( where the River boundary would have been)

        Cheers Brian

        • Incidentally the defunct ‘Greater Manchester’ boundary sign still remains on Warburton Bridge I have contacted Trafford Council to have it removed but no response

          Regards

          Brian

        • Cheers – apparently I can’t just write the word “Cheers” as it’s too short a response, so here’s a few extra words, hopefully my response is now long enough.

  • Hi, I thought I’d originally made a posting reply; I’ll try again.

    What is the purpose of this post in the first place?

    You say: “If ever one wanted an example of why the historic counties are not particularly suited to local government, this list of towns astride county boundaries is a case in point.”

    Surely the counties in the past have been used as the basis for public administration, why not in the future? We need to reknit areas for councils, services, “regions” etc as closely as possible to the counties – this is an aim Andrew Rosindell MP, patron agrees with. We also need perfection; nothing less will do.

    “From striking cases such as the Cambridgeshire/Suffolk border on Newmarket High Street, to more self-evident borders such as the Thames in Oxford, the historic counties have an eccentric geography which echoes their historical development.”

    So such river boundaries, which are all over the country, from Cornwall/Devon to Berks/Oxon, and which have been used, can naturally be used.

    Above all, we must eliminate all confusion. Remove ceremonial counties so you don’t have “Warrington”, which is in the county news recently of course, and the majority of which is in Lancashire, run by “Cheshire County Council”.

    We can make massive progress using county boundaries as a basis for areas, and we should.

  • Surely you’ve missed the obvious – London.

    I know ABC only acknowledges the City of London, but it has to be the only city/town in the country with such defined boundaries!

  • Surely you could make a feature of it, like standing astride the meridian line in Greenwich, you’re either in one or the other and can just step between them or, you’re in both at the same time, or walk up one side of the street in one county and walk back on the other side in another county. And yes the ceremonial counties should be the actual couties.

  • Can we merge London with the counties? It is often the case, I believe, that the borough boundaries adhere to county boundaries; as above for example the river splits boroughs in the way counties do. Perhaps we can cluster boroughs together to reinforce the county they belong to.

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