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Ancient extent of Lancashire
The History of Lancashire begins with its establishment as a county of Englandmarker in 1182, making it one of the youngest of the historic counties of England.

Early history

In the Domesday Book, some of its lands had been treated as part of Yorkshiremarker. The area in between the Merseymarker and Ribblemarker (referred to in the Domesday Book as "Inter Ripam et Mersam") formed part of the returns for Cheshiremarker. Although some have taken this to mean that, at this time, south Lancashire was part of Cheshire, it is not clear that this was the case, and more recent research indicates that the boundary between Cheshire and what was to become Lancashire remained the river Mersey. Once its initial boundaries were established, it bordered Cumberlandmarker, Westmorlandmarker, Yorkshiremarker, and Cheshiremarker.

Lancashire, which takes its name from the city of Lancastermarker, which itself is derived from the River Lune, was established some time after the Norman conquest when William the Conqueror gave the land between the Ribblemarker and the Merseymarker, together with Amoundernessmarker, to Roger de Poitou. In the early 1090s Lonsdale, Cartmelmarker and Furness were added to Roger's estates to facilitate the defence of the area south of Morecambe Baymarker from Scottishmarker raiding parties, which travelled round the Cumberlandmarker coast and across the bay at low water, rather than through the mountainous regions of the Lake Districtmarker.

The county was divided into the six hundred of Amoundernessmarker, Blackburnmarker, Leylandmarker, Lonsdalemarker, Salfordmarker and West Derby. Lonsdale was further partitioned into Lonsdale North, which was the detached part north of Morecambe Baymarker (also known as Furness), and Lonsdale South.Image:Lancashire.AD400.jpg|Map of mid-Lancashire, c. 400.Image:North.Lancashire.1610.jpg|North Lancashire in 1610.Image:Southwest.Lancashire.1610.jpg|Southwest Lancashire in 1610.

Boundary changes

The modern county is now rather smaller than that of the historic county due to significant local government reform. On April 1, 1974 the Furness exclave was transferred to the new county of Cumbriamarker,George, D., Lancashire, (1991) the south east went to Greater Manchestermarker and the south west became part of Merseyside.Jones, B. et al., Politics UK, (2004) Warringtonmarker and surrounding districts including the villages of Winwick and Croft and Risley and Culcheth were annexed to Cheshiremarker. A part of the West Riding of Yorkshire near Clitheroemarker, was transferred to Lancashire also.

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

Although the county town of Lancashire is considered to be Lancastermarker, the county council is seated at the city of Prestonmarker.

See also

Notes and references

  1. Morgan (1978). pp.269cā€“301c,d.
  2. Sylvester (1980). p. 14.
  3. Harris and Thacker (1987). write on page 252:
  4. Phillips and Phillips (2002). pp. 26ā€“31.
  5. Crosby, A. (1996) writes on page 31:


  • Crosby, A. (1996). A History of Cheshire. (The Darwen County History Series.) Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Phillimore & Co. Ltd. ISBN 0850339324.
  • Harris, B. E., and Thacker, A. T. (1987). The Victoria History of the County of Chester. (Volume 1: Physique, Prehistory, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Domesday). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0197227619.
  • Morgan, P. (1978). Domesday Book Cheshire: Including Lancashire, Cumbria, and North Wales. Chichester, Sussex: Phillimore & Co. Ltd. ISBN 0850331404.
  • Phillips A. D. M., and Phillips, C. B. (2002), A New Historical Atlas of Cheshire. Chester, UK: Cheshire County Council and Cheshire Community Council Publications Trust. ISBN 0904532461.

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