Historic Counties Trust

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The Historic Counties Trust is a British charity which aims to further the education of the public in the history, geography, natural history, architecture and traditions of the counties of the United Kingdom.

The Trust was founded in 2005. It is a registered charity.

Heritage founded in the counties

The counties of the United Kingdom are the oldest extant national divisions in the western world, and for centuries these 92 counties have formed the familiar geographical background to our national life. In this context the Historic Counties Trust seeks to educate the public about the counties and the heritage bound up with them.

The Trust observes that the counties are much more than a convenient geographical reference frame. They are fundamental to our notion of the Briton's idea of his country and his own place within it. Local identity is based on ounties, as any Yorkeshireman or Cornishman will tell you. The idea of home is bound up with ones native shire, and the county provides a living link to past generations who trod the same ground and nurtured the same loyalties as today's Britons. Each possesses its own distinctive history, landscapes, traditions, dialects and building styles. A huge literature, going back centuries, focuses on each historic shire. Their long unbroken histories have made them the natural basis for cultural, social and sporting organisations. This common inheritance is something which we should value and cherish, as we should all parts of our national heritage.

Aims and activities

The Trust seeks:

  • To educate the public concerning the counties and aspects of them, which activity has included:
    • Providing information on its website;
    • Advising the Supreme Court as to the history and heritage of the Middlesex Guildhall.
  • To ensure high standards of surveying and recording on definitive maps and other public records of the borders of the historic counties, and to make such maps and records available to the public:
    • The Historic County Borders Project, digitising the borders of the counties at a scale of 1:100 000.
    • Providing maps of the counties and Key Facts on each.
  • To provide a definitive statement of the names, areas and borders of the historic counties of the United Kingdom:
    • The Historic Counties Standard, providing a definition for the terminology and the names, areas and borders of the historic counties, to enable 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;

See also

Outside links