Historic Counties Standard

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The Historic Counties Standard provides a comprehensive definition of the names, areas and borders of the Counties of the United Kingdom. It also provides that the phrase 'historic county' shall be the standard term to refer to them.

By providing a definition for the terminology and the names, areas and borders of the historic counties, the Standard enables a more consistent use of the historic counties to be made in those numerous contexts for which they are the most natural geographical framework, principally in the fields of history, geography, heritage and education.

Detached parts

Following historical precedent, detached parts of counties shall be considered to be associated with both their parent county and the county in which they locally lie (their ‘host’ county). This means that two sets of areas are defined by this Standard:

  • Definition A, in which detached parts of counties are treated as part of the county in which they are locally situate.
  • Definition B, where detached parts are separately identified.

Note that the Maelor Saesneg area of Flintshire, the Furness area of Lancashire and the CumbernauldKirkintilloch area in Dunbartonshire form such large fractions of their respective total county area, that they are better considered separate parts of the main bodies of these counties. Hence, these areas are represented in Definition A.

The codes

HCS HCS No. County Alternative Spellings/Names
ABN 01 Aberdeenshire
AGL 02 Anglesey
ANG 03 Angus Forfarshire
ANM 04 Antrim
ARG 05 Argyllshire
ARH 06 Armagh
AYS 07 Ayrshire
BNF 08 Banffshire
BED 09 Bedfordshire
BER 10 Berkshire
BRW 11 Berwickshire
BRN 12 Brecknockshire Breconshire
BUC 13 Buckinghamshire
BTE 14 Buteshire
CRN 15 Caernarfonshire Caernarvonshire
CTN 16 Caithness
CMB 17 Cambridgeshire
CRD 18 Cardiganshire
CRM 19 Carmarthenshire
CHE 20 Cheshire
CLM 21 Clackmannanshire
CNW 22 Cornwall
CRT 23 Cromartyshire
CUM 24 Cumberland
DBH 25 Denbighshire
DRB 26 Derbyshire
DVN 27 Devon Devonshire
DRS 28 Dorset Dorsetshire
DWN 29 Down Downshire
DMF 30 Dumfriesshire
DUN 31 Dunbartonshire Dumbartonshire
DRH 32 Durham
ELT 33 East Lothian Haddingtonshire
ESE 34 Essex
FRM 35 Fermanagh
FFE 36 Fife Fifeshire
FLT 37 Flintshire
GLM 38 Glamorgan Glamorganshire
GLC 39 Gloucestershire
HMP 40 Hampshire Southamptonshire
HRF 41 Herefordshire
HTF 42 Hertfordshire
HNT 43 Huntingdonshire
INS 44 Inverness-shire
KNT 45 Kent
KNC 46 Kincardineshire
KNR 47 Kinross-shire
KCB 48 Kirkcudbrightshire
LNK 49 Lanarkshire
LCS 50 Lancashire
LCR 51 Leicestershire
LNC 52 Lincolnshire
LDR 53 Londonderry
MRN 54 Merionethshire
MSX 55 Middlesex
MLT 56 Midlothian Edinburghshire
MNM 57 Monmouthshire
MTG 58 Montgomeryshire
MOY 59 Morayshire Elginshire
NRN 60 Nairnshire
NRF 61 Norfolk
NHP 62 Northamptonshire
NHB 63 Northumberland
NOT 64 Nottinghamshire
ORN 65 Orkney
OXD 66 Oxfordshire
PBS 67 Peeblesshire
PMB 68 Pembrokeshire
PRT 69 Perthshire
RDN 70 Radnorshire
RNF 71 Renfrewshire
RSS 72 Ross-shire
RXB 73 Roxburghshire
RTL 74 Rutland
SKK 75 Selkirkshire
SHT 76 Shetland
SHP 77 Shropshire
SMS 78 Somerset Somersetshire
STF 79 Staffordshire
STL 80 Stirlingshire
SFF 81 Suffolk
SUR 82 Surrey
SUS 83 Sussex
SRL 84 Sutherland Sutherlandshire
TYN 85 Tyrone
WRW 86 Warwickshire
WLT 87 West Lothian Linlithgowshire
WML 88 Westmorland
WGT 89 Wigtownshire
WTS 90 Wiltshire
WRC 91 Worcestershire
YRK 92 Yorkshire

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