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A society dedicated to celebrating and promoting the 92 historic counties of the United Kingdom and the important part they play in our culture, heritage and geography.



Map of Yorkshire

Yorkshire and its Boundaries

How do you communicate the difference between Yorkshire and the many other understandings which administrative shuffling have created? Cue – the Association of British Counties map of Yorkshire – a unique map which shows the historic County of York and its three Ridings, together with the current (2013) areas for administration within its borders. While these areas are subject to periodic reorganisation, the historic County remains unchanging.

The Yorkshire Map has been updated can now be found on our county profile of Yorkshire.

27 thoughts on “Yorkshire and its Boundaries

  • …or further, at least to avoid any confusion. But what task is that?

    Also, what is “Greater Manchester Metropolitan County” (near Saddleworth)? Why is that on this map?

  • Also, if we are showing historic counties etc, eg Westmorland, where is Cheshire? Doesn’t that border Yorkshire?

    What are “administrations” exactly?

    Many thanks

  • The administrations are administrative counties or other local authority areas. They are show because the map is intended to be a comparison between the county of Yorkshire and the administrative areas.

    Cheshire borders the bit by Saddleworth.

  • Hi so in what sense is “Greater Manchester Metropolitan County” an administrative area?

    What about the general idea that administrative borders should not cross historic county borders, at least not in a way that would cause any confusion?

    So Cheshire is on now, thanks.


  • So what is meant by Greater Manchester in this context?

    Re administrative borders – why is it impractical in certain contexts, eg London? I thought London boroughs for example could follow county lines.

    Can local government areas and counties by distinct and not cause confusion?

    • Greater Manchester is defined as above. It is a general understanding. see the Wikipedia article.

      Bristol might be a better example. The Gloucestershire/Somerset border passes right through the middle of the city.

      If the areas are not called counties (or named after counties), that could create a form of distinction.

  • * Re Greater Manchester, I am sorry, you refer to defined “as above” – the first link leads to a long and complicated wikipedia article, the second a website that refers to ten authorities in “Greater Manchester”.

    In what sense is that “Greater Manchester” administering Saddleworth, for example?

    I am unsure what you mean when you go on to say that Greater Manchester is “a general understanding”. What is that exactly, and what has that to do with counties?

    * Re Bristol, are the administrative areas therefore set in a way that would not cause confusion with the historic counties you mention?

    * Is it therefore practical that we have areas not called or named after counties? How can we look at the current distinctions?

  • Saddleworth is in the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, which is part of Greater Manchester. Saddleworth is therefore not in ceremonial West Yorkshire, unlike Calderdale, for example, which is, despite part of it being in historic, real Lancashire.

  • What is Greater Manchester?

    How can part of Calderdale be in “ceremonial West Yorkshire” even though it is in “real, historic Lancashire”?


  • A similar map of Lancashire would show the western part of Calderdale – the town of Todmorden actually stands across the border between real Yorkshire and Lancashire. However, for administration, the borough is part of West Yorkshire, which is a Metropolitan “county” and used as a lieutenancy area. Cornholme is similarly in the same West Yorkshire borough, but entirely in historic Lancashire.

    Greater Manchester is a Metropolitan “county”, also used as a lieutenancy area, containing ten boroughs of which Oldham is one.

    This discussion is merely highlighting the confusing nature of the different kinds of “county”.

  • So what is a “Metropolitan ‘county’..used as a lieutenancy area”, when it is at home?

    What county is Saddleworth in; or Cornholme, for that matter?

  • The Metropolitan “counties” were created by the Local Government Act of 1972. Each consisted of a number of boroughs, and they initially had county councils, making them “two tier” administrative areas. They became single tier in 1986. The Metropolitan “counties” are Merseyside, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Tyne & Wear and West Midlands. None is a County in the normal sense of the word, though two of them borrow the name of one.

    The Lieutenancies Act of 1997 defined the areas to which Lord Lieutenants were appointed, defining them as another kind of “county”, effectively – the ceremonial counties.

    Saddleworth is in the (historic, real) County of Yorkshire, and the administrative and ceremonial “county” of Greater Manchester. Cornholme is in the (historic, real) County of Lancashire and the administrative and ceremonial “county” of West Yorkshire.

  • Appears not. Perhaps they’ve managed to escape your circular questioning and slipped into merciful oblivion.

  • hi
    is beighton/the new mosborough townships areas part of sheffield/[w.r.]yorkshire on the map?

  • Thank you Mr Garber for your patient attempt to explain the vagaries of tiers of local government which I came across while looking to see whether I found a butterfly in Yorkshire or Derbyshire. By the way Bristol used to be the City and County of Bristol for many years which was bordered by Somerset and Gloucestershire and then it became Avon before that was scrubbed.

    • …And at the same time, Bristol was divided between Gloucestershire and Somerset as it is now along the river. This is an excellent example of how county confusion arises. You might like to visit County-Wise – – where you will find out more about the historic counties.

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