The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






County town

A county town is the location of the administrative headquarters of a county.

In the case of Yorkshire in England, there are three county towns, one for each Riding: Northallerton for the North Riding, Beverley for the East Riding, and Wakefield for the West Riding. Contrary to popular belief, there are no civil administrative offices for the county of Yorkshire as a whole (not even in York).

Note that in Canada and the United States of America, the term county seat is usually used for the same purpose.


List of County Towns

Traditional Counties of England

Other counties of England

Traditional counties of Scotland

Traditional counties of Wales

Counties of the Republic of Ireland

Counties of Northern Ireland

Note - Despite the fact that Belfast is the capital, it is not the county town of any county as it is in two counties (Antrim and Down).

Former county towns

In 1974 the administrative boundaries of the United Kingdom were altered and in some areas (particularly Scotland and Wales) the old administrative counties were replaced by new administrative areas. The boundaries were altered again in 1996 to create Unitary Authorities and some of the traditional counties and county towns were restored for administrative purposes.

Counties of England created in 1974

Preserved counties of Wales

Since 1996, these towns have had no administrative functions and are no longer referred to as county towns, except where they have become county towns or administrative centres of new areas e.g. Cwmbran which is the administrative centre for Torfaen and Monmouthshire, although it actually lies in Torfaen. The county towns in Glamorgan were seldom referred to as such.

Last updated: 08-19-2005 08:40:57