Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England, bounded to the west by the Irish Sea. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Lancashire County Council is based in Preston. However, Lancaster is still considered to be the county town. Commonly, Lancashire is referred to by the abbreviation Lancs, originally used by the Royal Mail. The population of the county is 1,449,700. People from the county are known as Lancastrians.
The history of Lancashire is thought to have begun with its founding in the 12th century. In the Domesday Book (1086), some of its lands had been treated as part of Yorkshire. The area in between the rivers Mersey and Ribble (referred to in the Domesday Book as "Inter Ripam et Mersham") formed part of the returns for Cheshire. Once its initial boundaries were established, it bordered Cumberland, Westmorland, Yorkshire, and Cheshire.
Lancashire emerged during the Industrial Revolution as a major commercial and industrial region. The county encompassed several hundred mill towns and collieries. By the 1830s, approximately 85% of all cotton manufactured worldwide was processed in Lancashire. Accrington, Blackburn, Chorley, Darwen and Burnley were major cotton mill towns during this time. Blackpool was a major centre for tourism for the inhabitants of Lancashire's mill towns, particularly during wakes week.
The county was subject to a significant boundary reform in 1974, which removed Liverpool and Manchester with most of their surrounding conurbations to form part of the metropolitan counties of Merseyside and Greater Manchester. At this time, the detached Furness peninsula was made part of Cumbria. Today the county borders Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and North and West Yorkshire. The Duchy of Lancaster exercises the right of the Crown in the area known as the County Palatine of Lancaster.
The county was established in 1182 and later than many other counties. In the Domesday Book, its lands between the Ribble and the Mersey were known as "Inter Ripam et Mersham" and were included in the returns for Cheshire. Although some have taken this to mean that south Lancashire was, at that time, part of Cheshire, it cannot be said clearly to have been part of Cheshire. It is also claimed that the territory to the north formed, at that time, part of the West Riding of Yorkshire. It bordered on Cumberland, Westmorland, Yorkshire, and Cheshire. The county was divided into the six hundreds of Amounderness, Blackburn, Leyland, Lonsdale, Salford and West Derby. Lonsdale was further partitioned into Lonsdale North, which was the detached part north of Morecambe Bay (also known as Furness), and Lonsdale South.
The Red Rose of Lancaster is a symbol for the House of Lancaster, immortalized in the verse "In the battle for England's head/York was white, Lancaster red" (referring to the 15th century War of the Roses). The traditional Lancashire flag, red rose on a white field, was never officially registered with the Flag Institute and when this was attempted it was found that this flag had been registered by the town of Montrose, Scotland. As two flags of the same design can not be registered Lancashire’s official flag is now registered as a red rose on a yellow field.
Lancashire is now much smaller than its historic extent due to a local government reform. In 1889 an administrative county of Lancashire was created, covering the historic county except for county boroughs such as Blackburn, Burnley, Barrow-in-Furness, Preston, Liverpool, Manchester. The area covered by the Lord-Lieutenant (termed now a ceremonial county) continued to cover the entirety of the administrative county along with the county boroughs, and thus was expanded slightly whenever boroughs annexed areas in other neighbouring counties. Examples of this include Wythenshawe (an area of Manchester south of the River Mersey and historically in Cheshire), and southern Warrington. This area also did not cover the western part of Todmorden, where the ancient border between Lancashire and Yorkshire runs through the middle of the town.
During the 20th century the county became increasingly urbanised, particularly the southern part. To the existing county boroughs of Barrow-in-Furness, Blackburn, Bolton, Bootle, Burnley, Bury, Liverpool, Manchester, Oldham, Preston, Rochdale, Salford, St Helens and Wigan were added Blackpool (1904), Southport (1905), and Warrington (1900). The county boroughs also had many boundary extensions. The borders around the Manchester area were particularly complicated, with narrow protrusions of the administrative county between the county boroughs - Lees urban district formed a detached part of the administrative county, between Oldham county borough and the West Riding of Yorkshire.
|Lancashire in 1961|
|1. Burnley||10. Oldham|
|2. Preston||11. Wigan|
|3. Rochdale||12. Manchester|
|4. Barrow-in-Furness||13. Salford|
|5. Blackpool||14. Bootle|
|6. Blackburn||15. St Helens|
|7. Southport||16. Liverpool|
|8. Bury||17. Warrington|
By the census of 1971 the population of Lancashire (including all its associated county boroughs) had reached 5,129,416, making it then the most populous geographic county in the UK. The administrative county of Lancashire was also the most populous of its type outside of London, with a population of 2,280,359 in 1961. On 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, the administrative county of Lancashire was abolished, as were the county boroughs. The urbanised southern part largely became part of two new metropolitan counties. The south-western part became part of Merseyside, the south-eastern part was incorporated into Greater Manchester. The new county of Cumbria took the Furness exclave. The boroughs of Liverpool, Knowsley, St Helens and Sefton were entirely from Lancashire. In Greater Manchester the successor boroughs were Bury, Bolton, Manchester, Oldham (part), Rochdale, Salford, Tameside (part), Trafford (part) and Wigan. Warrington and Widnes, south of the new Merseyside/Greater Manchester border, rather than become part of Greater Manchester or Merseyside were instead made part of the new non-metropolitan county of Cheshire. The urban districts of Barnoldswick and Earby, the Bowland Rural District and the parishes of Bracewell and Brogden and Salterforth from the Skipton Rural District from the West Riding of Yorkshire became part of the new Lancashire. One parish, Simonswood, was transferred from the borough of Knowsley in Merseyside to the district of West Lancashire in 1994.
In 1998 the county borough system re-appeared in all but name, when Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen became independent unitary authority areas. The City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA, founded in 1742, was named after Lancaster, Lancashire. Its neighbour city, York, PA, is located about 30 miles to the west. The War of the Roses tradition continued with Lancaster using as its symbol the red rose and York the white.
Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen are unitary authorities which form part of the county for various functions such as Lord Lieutenant but do not come under county council control. The Lancashire Constabulary covers the two unitary authorities. The ceremonial county, the area including the unitary authorities, borders Cumbria, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside, and forms part of the North West England region.
Lancashire drains west from the Pennines into the Irish Sea. Rivers in Lancashire include the Ribble, Wyre and Lune. Major tributaries of these rivers include the Calder, Crake, Darwen, Douglas, Hodder, Irwell, and Yarrow.
The county council, serving the shire county, is based in County Hall in Preston, built as a home for the Lancashire county administration (including the Quarter Sessions and Lancashire Constabulary) and opened on 14 September 1882.
High Sheriffs for Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside are appointed "within the Duchy and County Palatine of Lancaster".
The Duchy administers bona vacantia within the County Palatine, receiving the property of persons who die intestate, and where the legal ownership cannot be ascertained.
There is no separate Duke of Lancaster, the title having merged in the Crown many centuries ago - but the Duchy is administered by the Queen in Right of the Duchy of Lancaster. A separate court system for the county palatine was finally abolished by Courts Act 1971. A particular form of The Loyal Toast is still in regular local use: 'The Queen, Duke of Lancaster'.
Today Lancashire is home to firms such as BAE Systems (which has four factories in Lancashire including Warton Aerodrome and BAE Samlesbury, major centres of production for the Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter), TVR cars, Leyland Trucks and Telent telecoms.
|Year||Regional Gross Value Added||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
Lancashire is home to four universities; Lancaster University, University of Central Lancashire, Edge Hill University and the Lancaster campus of The University of Cumbria. Additionally there are also seven colleges which offer higher education courses.
Heysham and Fleetwood offer ferry services to Ireland and the Isle of Man. As part of its industrial past, Lancashire gave rise to an extensive network of canals, which extend into neighbouring counties. These include the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Lancaster Canal, Bridgewater Canal, Rochdale Canal, Ashton Canal and Manchester Ship Canal.
|Ceremonial county||Administration borough/district||Centre of administration||Other towns, villages and settlements|
|Lancashire||Blackburn with Darwen Borough (Unitary)||Blackburn||Belmont, Chapeltown, Darwen, Edgworth, Tockholes|
|Blackpool Borough (Unitary)||Blackpool||Bispham, Layton|
|Burnley Borough||Burnley||Harle Syke, Padiham, Rose Grove, Worsthorne, Cliviger.|
|Chorley Borough||Chorley||Adlington, Clayton-le-Woods, Coppull, Croston, Eccleston, Euxton, Whittle-le-Woods|
|Fylde Borough||Lytham St Annes||Freckleton, Kirkham, Warton, Wrea Green|
|Hyndburn Borough||Accrington||Altham, Church, Clayton-le-Moors, Great Harwood, Oswaldtwistle, Rishton|
|City of Lancaster||Lancaster||Bolton-le-Sands, Carnforth, Heysham, Morecambe,|
|Pendle Borough||Nelson||Barnoldswick †, Barrowford, Brierfield, Colne, Earby †, Foulridge, Trawden|
|City of Preston||Preston||Barton, Broughton, Fulwood, Goosnargh, Grimsargh, Whittingham|
|Ribble Valley Borough||Clitheroe||Bolton-by-Bowland, Chipping, Hurst Green, Longridge, Read, Ribchester, Slaidburn, Whalley, Wilpshire,|
|Rossendale Borough||Rawtenstall||Bacup, Chatterton, Edenfield, Haslingden, Helmshore, Whitworth|
|South Ribble Borough||Leyland||Bamber Bridge, Farington, Longton, Lostock Hall, Penwortham, Samlesbury, Walton-le-Dale|
|West Lancashire District||Ormskirk||Appley Bridge, Aughton, Banks, Bickerstaffe, Burscough, Downholland, Great Altcar, Halsall, Lathom, Parbold, Rufford, Scarisbrick, Skelmersdale, Tarleton, Upholland|
|Wyre Borough||Poulton-le-Fylde||Churchtown, Cleveleys, Fleetwood, Garstang, Pilling, Preesall, St Michael's On Wyre, Thornton|
|Greater Manchester||Ashton-in-Makerfield, Ashton-under-Lyne, Bolton, Bury, Chadderton, Denton, Eccles, Farnworth, Heywood, Horwich, Hindley, Leigh, Manchester, Middleton, Oldham, Prestwich, Radcliffe, Rochdale, Salford, Swinton and Pendlebury, Tyldesley, Westhoughton, Wigan|
|Merseyside||Bootle, Crosby, Formby, Huyton, Kirkby, Liverpool, Maghull, Newton-le-Willows, Prescot, St Helens, Southport|
|Cumbria||Barrow-in-Furness, Coniston, Dalton-in-Furness, Grange-over-Sands, Ulverston|
Boundary changes to occur before 1974 include:
Historically important local cricket leagues include the Lancashire League and the Central Lancashire League, both of which were formed in 1892. These league clubs hire international professional players to play alongside their amateur players.
The six professional league teams based in Lancashire, as of the start of the 2008/09 season, are:
Lancashire is widely-known for its eponymous Lancashire Hotpot, a casserole dish traditionally made with lamb and for Lancashire cheese, reputed to be the best toasting cheese in the world. Other traditional foods from the area include: