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Lancashire is a county in the North of England, bounded to the west by the Irish Sea. It takes its name from the City of Lancaster, though the county council is currently based at Preston. Commonly, Lancashire is referred to by the abbreviation Lancs, originally used by the Royal Mail.
A red rose is the traditional symbol for Lancashire and the House of Lancaster, immortalized in the verse "In the battle for England's head/York was white, Lancaster red" (referring to the 15th century War of the Roses).
The highest point of the county is Green Hill, near Whernside, which reaches a height of 687m (2250 ft).
The county was established in 1183. In the Domesday Book, its lands had been treated as part of Cheshire (whose northern boundary had been the River Ribble) and of Yorkshire. It bordered on Cumberland, Westmorland, Yorkshire, and Cheshire.
It is traditionally divided into the six hundreds of Amounderness, Blackburn, Leyland, Lonsdale, Salford and West Derby. Lonsdale was further partitioned into Lonsdale North, which was the detached part north of Morecambe Bay (also known as Furness), and Lonsdale South.
By the census of 1971 the population of Lancashire had reached 5,129,416, making it the most populous county in the UK.
A particular form of the The Loyal Toast is still in regular local use: 'The Queen, the Duke of Lancaster'.
Environs and divisions
The ceremonial county currently borders on Cumbria, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, and the metropolitan counties of Greater Manchester, and Merseyside; and contains the unitary authorities of Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen.
Administrative Lancashire is divided into a number of local government districts. Currently these are Burnley, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Lancaster, Pendle, Preston, the Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire, and Wyre.
Historic administrative divisions
The modern administrative area is now much smaller than that of the traditional county due to a local government reform. In 1889 an administrative county of Lancashire was created, covering the historic county except for county boroughs such as Liverpool and Manchester. The area covered by the Lord-Lieutenant (termed now a ceremonial county) continued to cover the entirety of the administrative county along with the county boroughs, and thus was expanded slightly whenever boroughs annexed areas in other neighbouring counties. Examples of this include Wythenshawe (an area of Manchester south of the River Mersey and historically in Cheshire), and southern Warrington. This area also did not cover the western part of Todmorden, where the traditional border between Lancashire and Yorkshire runs through the middle of the town.
On April 1, 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, the administrative county of Lancashire was abolished, as were the county boroughs. By this time the south of the county had become nearly entirely urbanised, and thus became part of two new metropolitan counties. The south-western part became part of Merseyside, the south-eastern part was incorporated into Greater Manchester. The new county of Cumbria took the Furness exclave.
Warrington and Runcorn, rather than become part of Greater Manchester or Merseyside were instead made part of the new non-metropolitan county of Cheshire. The Bowland Rural District and Barnoldswick from the West Riding of Yorkshire became part of the new Lancashire.
In 1998 the county borough system re-appeared in all but name, when Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen became independent unitary authorities. They remain part of Lancashire for ceremonial purposes, however, and are still covered by county level public services such as the Lancashire Constabulary, etc.
Rejected options for change
On May 25, 2004 the Boundary Committee for England published recommendations for systems of Unitary Authorities to be put to referendum as described under Subdivisions of England, but on Thursday November 4 2004 the referendum for the North East decided by a margin of 78% to 22% against an elected regional assembly. On November 8 the Deputy Prime Minister announced "I will not therefore be bringing forward orders for referendums in either the North West, or Yorkshire and the Humber".
Lancashire in the 19th century was a major centre of industrial activity and hence of wealth. Activities included mining and textile production, though on the coast there was also fishing.
Today Lancashire is home to firms such as BAE Systems (which has four factories in Lancashire including Warton and Samlesbury, major centres of production for the Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter), Heinz, TVR cars, Leyland Trucks and Marconi telecoms.
Lancashire is policed by the Lancashire Constabulary, whose territory covers the ceremonial county of Lancashire. Its headquarters is in Preston and is split into six divisions. Like most British police forces, those of the Lancashire Constabulary are not habitually armed, but armed response teams are on patrol around the county armed with G36 assault rifles and GLOCK pistols.
Lancashire's railways are policed by the British Transport Police
These are the main cities, towns, townships and villages in traditional Lancashire.
Lancashire is one of Britain's most successful sporting counties.
Lancashire is heavily connected with the sports development with several Lancashire teams founding the Football League. Traditional Lancashire has been home to seven Premier League clubs and several Football League teams. These include:
Together Lancashire has achieved:
9 Premier Leagues
Lancashire being a northern county is heavily connected to the sport of Rugby League, teams include:
Lancashire is home to several rugby union teams, these include:
Places of interest
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