Home Counties

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The Home Counties are the counties of the southeast of Great Britain which encircle London. It is an undefined, indefinable group, and whether any place falls within the Home Counties will frequently be a matter of opinion and degree.

Origin of the term

The term is believed to have originated in the 19th century, and is possibly derived from the Home Circuit of the itinerant Court of Assizes.[1] The first use of the exact term "home counties", rather than home circuit, cited in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1898.

The Court of Session also has a "Home" circuit, centred on Edinburgh.

Attempted definitions

Though vernacular and undefined, the term "home counties" has been used in legislation and the administration of the armed forces during the twentieth century:

See also


  1. "Country, County and Town: Patterns of Regional Evolution in England" by Alan Everitt in Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Vol. 29, (1979), pp. 79-108.