- This article is about the English county. For other uses, see Yorkshire (disambiguation).
Yorkshire is the largest traditional county of England, covering some 6,000 sq. mi. (15,000 kmē) with a population of some five million. It is traditionally divided into West, North and East Ridings (from Old Norse þriðing, "third part", a legacy of the area's ninth century Scandinavian settlers). The county town, York, was not part of any riding.
Much of Yorkshire is now represented by the region of Yorkshire and the Humber.
The emblem of Yorkshire is the White Rose of the House of York, and there is a Yorkshire Day: August 1. There is also an "anthem" for the county in the form of the folk song "On Ilkla Moor Baht'at".
The Yorkshire dialect is colloquially known as "Tyke", and this is also the affectionate term for a Yorkshireman. The social stereotype of a Yorkshireman has a tendency to include such accessories as a flat cap and a whippet. Among Yorkshire's unique traditions is the Long Sword dance, a traditional dance not found elsewhere in England.
The Ridings were divided further into wapentakes. In about 1823 these were
Harthill - Bainton beacon, Holme beacon, Hunsley beacon and Wilton beacon
Holderness South Middle and North
- Ouse and Derwent
- Agbrigg and Morley (Agbrigg and Morley divisions)
Claro Lower and Upper
- Skyrack Lower and Upper
- Staincliffe East and West
- Strafforth and Tickhill Lower and Upper
Apart from these there were the Ainsty wapentake, the City of York (not part of any riding), and Hullshire (geographically in the East Riding though not part of it).
The Ridings were used as the basis of administrative counties upon the introduction of local government, in 1888, although many boroughs within the area were made county boroughs in their own right.
In 1974 this system was reformed, with the area being split between North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Humberside and Cleveland. South and West Yorkshire are termed metropolitan counties, as they cover mostly built-up areas. Additionally, small portions were ceded to the control of Cumbria, Lancashire, County Durham and Greater Manchester.
In 1986 the county councils of West and South Yorkshire were abolished, and in 1996 Humberside and Cleveland were broken up into districts, which became independent administrative counties (unitary authority areas) in their own right, as did an expanded City of York.
Towns and cities in Yorkshire
Local government areas in ceremonial Yorkshire
Last updated: 10-12-2005 02:54:37