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Rutland ( ) is a county of mainland Englandmarker, bounded on the west and north by Leicestershiremarker, northeast by Lincolnshiremarker, and southeast by Peterboroughmarker (a unitary authority ceremonially in Cambridgeshire) and Northamptonshiremarker.

Its greatest length north to south is only , greatest breadth east to west, . It is the smallest (in terms of population) normal unitary authority in mainland England (only the City of Londonmarker is smaller), and is 348th of the 354 districts in terms of population. It is the smallest historic English county, leading to the adoption of the Latin motto Multum In Parvo or "much in little" by the county council in 1950. Among modern ceremonial counties the Isle of Wightmarker, City of London and City of Bristolmarker are all smaller. The former County of London, in existence 1889 to 1965, also had a smaller area.

The only towns in Rutland are Oakhammarker, the county town, and Uppinghammarker. At the centre of the county is the large reservoir, Rutland Watermarker, with a similar surface area to Windermeremarker. It is an important nature reserve serving as an overwintering site for wildfowl and a breeding site for ospreys. The town of Stamfordmarker is just over the border in a protruding part of Lincolnshiremarker.

Rutland's older cottages are built from limestone or ironstone and many have roofs of Collyweston stone slate or thatch.


The origin of the name of the county is unclear. In a 1909 edition of Notes and Queries Harriot Tabor suggested "that thename should be Ruthland, and that there is a part of Essex called the Ruth, and that the ancient holders of it were called Ruthlanders, since altered to Rutland", however responses suggest "that Rutland, as a name, was earlier than the Norman Conquest. Its first mention, as "Roteland", occurs in the will of King Edward the Confessor; in Domesday it is "the King's soc of Roteland", not being then a shire; and in the reign of John it was assigned as a dowry to Queen Isabella.

The northwestern part of the county was recorded as Rutland, a detached part of Nottinghamshiremarker, in the Domesday Book; the south-eastern part as the wapentake of Wicelsea in Northamptonshiremarker. It was first mentioned as a separate county in 1159, but as late as the 14th century it was referred to as the 'Soke of Rutland'. Historically it was also known as Rutlandshire, but in recent times only the shorter name is common.

Rutland may be from Old English hryþr/ hrythr "cattle" and land "land", as a record from 1128 as Ritelanede shows.


Earl of Rutland and Duke of Rutland are titles in the peerage of England, derived from the historic county of Rutland. The Earl of Rutland was elevated to the status of Duke in 1703 and the titles were merged. The family seat is Belvoir Castlemarker.

The office of High Sheriff of Rutland was instituted in 1129, and there has been a Lord Lieutenant of Rutland since at least 1559.

By the time of the 19th century it had been divided into the hundred of Alstoe, East, Martinsley, Oakhammarker and Wrandike.

Rutland covered parts of three poor law unions and rural sanitary districts: those of Oakham, Uppingham and Stamford. The registration county of Rutland contained the entirety of Oakham and Uppingham RSDs, which included several parishes in Leicestershire and Northamptonshire – the eastern part in Stamford RSD was included in the Lincolnshire registration county.

In 1894 under the Local Government Act 1894 the rural sanitary districts were partitioned along county boundaries to form three rural districts. The part of Oakham and Uppingham RSDs in Rutland formed the Oakham Rural Districtmarker and Uppingham Rural Districtmarker, with the two parishes from Oakham RSD in Leicestershire becoming part of the Melton Mowbray Rural Districtmarker, the nine parishes of Uppingham RSD in Leicestershire becoming the Hallaton Rural Districtmarker, and the six parishes of Uppingham RSD in Northamptonshire becoming Gretton Rural Districtmarker. Meanwhile, that part of Stamford RSD in Rutland became the Ketton Rural Districtmarker.

Oakhammarker was split out from Oakham Rural District in 1911 as an urban district.

Rutland was included in the "East Midlands General Review Area" of the 1958–67 Local Government Commission for England. Draft recommendations would have seen Rutland split, with Ketton Rural Districtmarker going along with Stamfordmarker to a new administrative county of Cambridgeshire, and the western part added to Leicestershiremarker. The final proposals were less radical and instead proposed that Rutland become a single rural district within the administrative county of Leicestershire.

This victory was to prove only temporary, with Rutland being included in the new non-metropolitan county of Leicestershire under the Local Government Act 1972, from 1 April 1974. Under proposals for non-metropolitan districts Rutland would have been paired with what now constitutes the Meltonmarker district – the revised and implemented proposals made Rutland a standalone non-metropolitan district (breaking the 40,000 minimum population barrier).

In 1994, the Local Government Commission for England, which was conducting a structural review of English local government, recommended that Rutland become a unitary authority. This was implemented on April 1, 1997, with Rutland regaining a separate Lieutenancy and shrievalty as well as its council regaining control of county functions such as education and social services.

Royal Mail included Rutland in the Leicestershire postal county in 1974. After a lengthy and well organised campaign, and despite a code of practice which excludes amendments to former postal counties, the Royal Mail agreed to create a postal county of Rutland in 2007. This was achieved in January 2008 by amending the former postal county for all of the Oakhammarker (LE15marker) post town and a small part of the Market Harboroughmarker (LE16) post town.

The council remained formally a non-metropolitan district council, with ward rather than electoral divisions, but has renamed the district to 'Rutland County Council' to allow it to use that name. This means the full legal name of the council is Rutland County Council District Council.

Under the Poor Laws, Oakham Union workhouse was built in 1836–37 at a site to the north-east of the town, with room for 100 paupers. The building later operated as the Catmose Vale Hospital, and now forms part of the Oakham Schoolmarker. Workhouses website


There are 26 councillors representing 16 wards on Rutland County Council (unitary authority).

Rutland formed a Parliamentary constituency on its own until 1918, when it became part of the Rutland and Stamford constituency, along with Stamford in Lincolnshire. Since 1983 it has formed part of the Rutland and Meltonmarker constituency along with Meltonmarker borough and part of Harboroughmarker district from Leicestershire.

Alan Duncan has been the Conservative Member of Parliament for Rutland and Melton since 1992.


The population in the 2001 Census was 34,560, a rise of 4% on the 1991 total of 33,228. This is a population density of 87 people per square kilometre. 1.9% of the population are from ethnic minority backgrounds compared to 9.1% nationally.

Year Population
1831 19,380
1861 21,861
1871 22,073
1881 21,434
1891 20,659
1901 19,709
1991 33,228
2001 34,560

In 2006 it was reported that Rutland has the highest fertility rate of any English county - the average woman having 2.81 children, compared with only 1.67 in Tyne and Wear

In December 2006, Sport England published a survey which revealed that residents of Rutland were the 6th most active in England in sports and other fitness activities. 27.4% of the population participate at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes.


The particular geology of the area has given its name to the Rutland Formation which was formed from muds and sand carried down by rivers and occurring as bands of different colours, each with many fossil shells at the bottom. At the bottom of the Rutland Formation is a bed of dirty white sandy silt. Under the Rutland Formation is a formation called the Lincolnshire Limestone. The best exposure of this limestone (and also the Rutland Formation) is at the Castle Cement quarry just outside Kettonmarker.

Rutland is dominated by Rutland Watermarker, a large artificial lake formerly known "Empingham Reservoir", in the middle of the county, which is almost bisected by a large spit of land. The west part is in the Vale of Catmosemarker. Rutland Water, when construction started in 1971, became Europe's largest man-made lake; construction was completed in 1975, and filling the lake took a further four years. This has now been voted Rutland's favourite tourist attraction.

The highest point of the county is at Flitteris: Flitteriss Park (a farm east of Cold Overton Parkmarker) at 197 m (646 ft) above sea level. Grid Reference: SK8271708539The lowest point is a section of secluded farmland near Belmesthorpe, 17 m (56 feet) above sea level. Grid Reference: TF056611122



There are 17,000 people of working age in Rutland, of which the highest percentage (30.8%) work in Public Administration, Education and Health, closely followed by 29.7% in Distribution, Hotels and Restaurants and 16.7% in Manufacturing industries. Significant employers include Lands' End in Oakham and Castle Cement in Ketton. Other employers in Rutland include two Ministry of Defence bases - RAF Cottesmoremarker and St George's Barracks (previously RAF North Luffenhammarker), two public schools - Oakhammarker and Uppinghammarker - and two prisons - Ashwellmarker and Stockenmarker. The county used to supply iron ore to Corbymarker steel works but these quarries closed in the 1960s. Agriculture thrives with much wheat farming on the rich soil. Tourism continues to grow.The Ruddles brewery was Langham'smarker biggest industry until the brewery was closed in 1997.

It is 348th out of 354 on the Indices of Deprivation for England, showing it to be one of the least economically deprived areas in the country.

In March 2007 Rutland became only the fourth Fairtrade County.

This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of the non-metropolitan county of Leicestershire and Rutland at current basic prices published (pp.240-253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.
Year Regional Gross Value Added Agriculture Industry Services
1995 6,666 145 2,763 3,758
2000 7,813 112 2,861 4,840
2003 9,509 142 3,045 6,321

 includes hunting and forestry

 includes energy and construction

 includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured

 Components may not sum to totals due to rounding


  • The castle in Oakhammarker is little more than an old Great Hall. It features a large collection of horseshoes. These have been presented over the years by royalty, and some are significantly more elaborate than others. The horseshoe features prominently on the county coat of arms.
  • Rutlanders were proverbially called Raddlemen.
  • The events in several Peter F. Hamilton books (like Misspent Youth and Mindstar Rising) are situated in Rutland, where the author lives.
  • The county's small size has led to a number of joke references such as Rutland Weekend Television, a television series hosted by Eric Idle.
  • In the first episode of The Black Adder, the title character claims that if his side loses the Battle of Bosworthmarker, Rutland would become the new location of part of his anatomy:
If we lose I'll be chopped to pieces.
My arms will end up in Essex, my torso in Norfolk, and my genitalia stuck in a tree somewhere in Rutland.
  • Rutland was the last county in England without a direct rail service to London (apart from the Isle of Wight and several administrative counties which are unitary authorities). East Midlands Trains commenced a single service to London St Pancras via Corby on 27 April 2009.
  • The Jackson Stops Inn at Stretton hosts the World Nurdling Championships every Late May Bank Holiday, in which 13 old pennies are hurled into a hole drilled into the seat of an oaken settle. The tradition game of Nurdling dates back to the Middle Ages. The 2009 Champion, or 'Best Tosser' is Don Bentley.


Rutland has many varied traditions.
  • Letting of the Banks (Whissendinemarker): Banks are pasture land, this traditionally occurs on the third week of March
  • Rush Bearing & Rush Strewing (Barrowdenmarker): Reeds are gathered in the church meadow on the eve of St Peter’s Day and placed on the church floor (late June, early July)
  • Uppingham Market was granted by Charter in 1281 by Edward I.
  • Nurdling - see above section for a description of this ancient sport.


The above colleges are for pupils in years 7-11 (ages 11-16), they are not FE or Sixth Form colleges.

Places of interest

See also


  1. C Wilfrid Scott-Giles, Civic Heraldry of England and Wales, 2nd edition, London, 1953
  3. Little Rutland To Go It Alone - No Merger with Leicestershire. The Times, 2 August 1963.
  4. Stamford Mercury, MP wins seven-year postal address battle, 5 November 2007.
  5. Royal Mail, Postcode Address File Code of Practice, (2004)
  6. AFD Software - Latest PAF Data News
  8. Sports England


External links

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