The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Status: Ceremonial & (smaller) Administrative County
Region: North West England
- Total
- Admin. council
- Admin. area
Ranked 17th
3,075 km²
Ranked 16th
2,903 km²
Admin HQ: Preston
ISO 3166-2: GB-LAN
ONS code: 30
- Total (2002 est.)
- Density
- Admin. council
- Admin. pop.
Ranked 8th
462 / km²
Ranked 4th
Ethnicity: 93.4% White
5.3% S.Asian
Arms of Lancashire County Council
Lancashire County Council
Executive: Labour
Members of Parliament
Janet Anderson, David Borrow, Hilton Dawson, Nigel Evans, Mark Hendrick, Lindsay Hoyle, Joan Humble, Michael Jack, Gordon Marsden, Colin Pickthall, Peter Pike, Greg Pope, Gordon Prentice, Geraldine Smith, Jack Straw
  1. West Lancashire
  2. Chorley
  3. South Ribble
  4. Fylde
  5. Preston
  6. Wyre
  7. Lancaster
  8. Ribble Valley
  9. Pendle
  10. Burnley
  11. Rossendale
  12. Hyndburn
  13. Blackpool (Unitary)
  14. Blackburn with Darwen (Unitary)

Lancashire (archaically, the County of Lancaster) is a county palatine of England, lying on the Irish Sea. Its name is sometimes abbreviated to Lancs. Its traditional county town was Lancaster, but the county council is now based in Preston.

The county borders Cumbria, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, and Merseyside, and contains the unitary authorities of Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen.

Lancashire is divided into a number of local government districts. These are Burnley, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Lancaster, Pendle, Preston, the Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire, and Wyre.



These are the main towns in Lancashire, for a complete list of settlements see list of places in Lancashire.

Places of interest

A cobblestone mosaic of a red Lancashire Rose
A cobblestone mosaic of a red Lancashire Rose


Main article: History of Lancashire.

Lancashire as a .
Lancashire as a traditional county.

The county was established in 1183. In the Domesday Book, its lands had been treated as part of Cheshire and of Yorkshire. It bordered Cumberland, Westmorland, Yorkshire, and Cheshire.

The historic 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 Loyal Toast , 'The Queen, the Duke of Lancaster' is still in regular use. See also Duchy of Lancaster.

The modern administrative area is now rather smaller than that of the historic county due to a local government reform.

On April 1, 1974 the Furness exclave was given to the new county of Cumbria, the south east being given to Greater Manchester, and the south-west becoming Merseyside

Warrington and surrounding districts including the villages of Winwick and Croft and Risley and Culcheth were annexed to Cheshire. A part of the West Riding of Yorkshire near Clitheroe, was transferred to Lancashire also.

In 1998 Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen became independent of the county as unitary authorities, but remained in Lancashire for ceremonial purposes, as well as for fire and rescue and policing.

Rejected options for change

On May 25, 2004 the Boundary Committee for England published recommendations for systems of Unitary Authorities to be put to referendum as described under Subdivisions of England, but on Thursday 4 November 2004 the referendum for the North East decided by a margin of 78% to 22% against an elected regional assembly. On 8 November the Deputy Prime Minister announced "I will not therefore be bringing forward orders for referendums in either the North West, or Yorkshire and the Humber".

External links

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