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Ceremonial Counties in Great Britain

What is a County?

A county is an administrative or ceremonial region with clearly defined geographical boundaries.

Origins of Counties

The formation of English counties can be traced back to the Norman Conquest.


A County or Cont`e was an area that was overseen by a Count.

Counties replaced the Saxon Shires. An old name for Shire is a Sheriffdom. Looked after by an official called a Shire-Reeve later known as a Sheriff.

Some counties in England have never been Shires. This is because they were either Kingdoms in their own right, (Sussex, Essex, Kent) or because they resisted Saxon invasion following the withdrawal of the Roman legions in 400 AD, (Cornwall, Devon and the whole of Wales).


Alphabetical List of Ceremonial Counties in England

Map showing counties in England
Map showing counties in Wales
Map showing counties in Scotland