History of Lancashire

See also article on Lancashire

Location of Lancashire
- Total
- % Water
Ranked 6th
1,207,605 acres
? %
County town Lancaster
Chapman code LAN

Lancashire was established as a county in 1182, making it one of the youngest of the traditional counties of England, although there is evidence that the boundaries of the county were settled as early as 1100. In the Domesday Book, its lands had been treated as part of Cheshire (the area south of the River Ribble) and of Yorkshire. It bordered Cumberland, Westmorland, Yorkshire, and Cheshire.

Lancashire was established soon after the Norman conquest when King William gave the land between the Ribble and the Mersey, together with Amounderness, to Roger de Pitou. In the early 1090s Lonsdale, Cartmel and Furness were added to Roger's estates to facilitate the defence of the area south of Morecambe Bay from Scottish raiding parties, which travelled round the Cumberland coast and across the bay at low water, rather than through the mountainous regions of the Lake District.

The county 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.

The modern administrative area is now rather smaller than that of the historic county due to a local government reform.

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.

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