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Status Ceremonial & (smaller) Non-metropolitan county
Traditional county
Region North West England
- Total
- Admin. council
- Admin. area
Ranked 17th
3,075 km²
Ranked 16th
2,903 km²
Admin HQ Preston
ISO 3166-2 GB-LAN
ONS code 30
- Total (2002 est.)
- Density
- Admin. council
- Admin. pop.
Ranked 8th
465 / km²
Ranked 4th
Ethnicity 93.4% White
5.3% S. Asian
Arms of Lancashire County Council
Lancashire County Council
Executive Labour
Members of Parliament
  1. West Lancashire
  2. Chorley
  3. South Ribble
  4. Fylde
  5. Preston
  6. Wyre
  7. Lancaster
  8. Ribble Valley
  9. Pendle
  10. Burnley
  11. Rossendale
  12. Hyndburn
  13. Blackpool (Unitary)
  14. Blackburn with Darwen (Unitary)

Lancashire is a county of England, lying on the Irish Sea. Its traditional county town is Lancaster and the county council is based at Preston. The Royal Mail abbreviated its name to Lancs.

The highest point of the county is Green Hill, near Whernside, which reaches a height of 687m (2250 ft). 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).

Red Lancashire rose
Red Lancashire rose



Lancashire grew out of the cotton industry and slave industries in the 19th century which gave Lancashire its wealth. Lancashire is also a pround mining and fishing county.

Today Lancashire is home to firms such as BAE Systems who have 4 factorys in Lancashire, Heinz, TVR cars, Leyland Trucks and Marconi telecoms.

Environs and divisions

The ceremonial county borders 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.

Lancashire is divided into a number of local government districts. These are Burnley, Chorley, Fylde, Hyndburn, Lancaster, Pendle, Preston, the Ribble Valley, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire, and Wyre.

Some parts of the traditional county fall under the ceremonial counties of West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cumbria.

Law Enforcement

Lancashire is policed by Lancashire Constabulary which covers the current county of Lancashire. Its HQ is in Preston and is split into six divisions. Like most British police forces Lancashire Officers are not armed but armed response teams are on patrol around the county armed with G36 assault rifles and Glock pistols.

Lancashires railways are policed by the British Transport Police


These are the main towns in Lancashire. For a complete list of settlements see list of places in Lancashire.

Places of interest

A cobblestone mosaic of a red Lancashire Rose
A cobblestone mosaic of a red Lancashire Rose


Main article: History of Lancashire

The traditional county was established in 1183. In the Domesday Book, its lands had been treated as part of Cheshire and of Yorkshire. It borders Cumberland, Westmorland, Yorkshire, and Cheshire.

It was 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.

The Loyal Toast, 'The Queen, the Duke of Lancaster' is still in regular use. See also Duchy of Lancaster.

The modern administrative area is now rather smaller than that of the traditional county due to a local government reform. Between 1889 and 1974 there was an administrative county of Lancaster which was much smaller than the historic County Palatine. For example, it did not include Liverpool, Manchester, Preston or Wigan all of which were technically separate adminsitrative county boroughs.

On April 1, 1974 the Furness exclave was given to the new county of Cumbria, the south east being given to Greater Manchester, and the south-west becoming Merseyside.

Warrington and surrounding districts including the villages of Winwick and Croft and Risley and Culcheth were annexed to Cheshire. A part of the West Riding of Yorkshire near Clitheroe, was transferred to Lancashire also.

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


Lancashire is famous for these things:

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 4 November 2004 the referendum for the North East decided by a margin of 78% to 22% against an elected regional assembly. On 8 November 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".

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