However, this is only a small portion of the extent of the historic county palatine
, which includes the large cities of Manchester
as well as the Furness
peninsulas in the Lake District
, and has an area of 1,909 square miles (4,940 km2
). Many of these places still identify strongly with the county, particularly in areas of Greater Manchester
(such as Oldham
) where Lancashire is still used as part of the postal address. The population of Lancashire
in the 1971 census (before local government changes) was 5,118,405, making it the most heavily populated county in the United Kingdom at the time (other than Greater London
, which had only been created in 1965).
Lancashire emerged as a major commercial and industrial region during the Industrial Revolution
. Liverpool and Manchester grew into its largest cities, with economies built around the docks and the cotton mills
These cities dominated global trade and the birth of modern industrial capitalism
. The county contained several mill towns
and the collieries of the Lancashire Coalfield
. By the 1830s, approximately 85% of all cotton
manufactured worldwide was processed in Lancashire.Accrington
were major cotton mill
towns during this time. Blackpool
was a centre for tourism for the inhabitants of Lancashire's mill towns, particularly during wakes week
The historic county was subject to a significant boundary reform in 1974 which created the current ceremonial county and removed Liverpool and Manchester, and most of their surrounding conurbations to form the metropolitan and ceremonial counties of Merseyside
and Greater Manchester
The detached northern part of Lancashire in the Lake District
, including the Furness Peninsula
, was merged with Cumberland and Westmorland to form Cumbria
. Lancashire lost 709 square miles of land to other counties, about two fifths of its original area, although it did gain some land from the West Riding of Yorkshire
Today the ceremonial county borders Cumbria to the north, Greater Manchester and Merseyside to the south, and North
and West Yorkshire
to the east; with a coastline on the Irish Sea
to the west. The county palatine
boundaries remain the same as those of the pre-1974 county with Lancaster
serving as the county town
, and the Duke of Lancaster
(i.e. the Queen) exercising sovereignty rights,
including the appointment of lords lieutenant in Greater Manchester and Merseyside.
The Countie Pallatine of Lancaster Described and Divided into Hundreds, 1610
, a map of Lancashire engraved in around 1627 by John Speed
. The map features a street plan of the county town, Lancaster
, and side panels containing portraits of kings from the House of Lancaster
and the House of York
Lancashire is smaller than its historical extent following a major reform of local government.
In 1889, the administrative county
of Lancashire was created, covering the historic county
except for the county boroughs
, St. Helens
. The area served by the Lord-Lieutenant
(termed now a ceremonial county
) covered the entirety of the administrative county and the county boroughs, and was expanded whenever boroughs annexed areas in neighbouring counties such as Wythenshawe
in Manchester south of the River Mersey and historically in Cheshire, and southern Warrington
. It did not cover the western part of Todmorden
, where the ancient border between Lancashire and Yorkshire passes through the middle of the town.
During the 20th century, the county became increasingly urbanised, particularly the southern part. To the existing county boroughs of Barrow-in-Furness
, St. Helens
were added Warrington
(1904) and Southport
(1905). The county boroughs also had many boundary extensions. The borders around the Manchester area were particularly complicated, with narrow protrusions of the administrative county between the county boroughs – Lees urban district
formed a detached part of the administrative county, between Oldham county borough and the West Riding of Yorkshire.
By the census
of 1971, the population of Lancashire and its county boroughs had reached 5,129,416, making it the most populous geographic county in the UK.
The administrative county was also the most populous of its type outside London, with a population of 2,280,359 in 1961. On 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972
, the southern part of the administrative county was transferred to the two newly established metropolitan counties
and Greater Manchester
The new county of Cumbria
incorporated the Furness exclave
from the same date.
Lancashire, the shire county
controlled by the county council is divided into local government districts, Burnley
, Ribble Valley
, South Ribble
, West Lancashire
, and Wyre
Geology, landscape and ecology
Topography of Lancashire
Lancashire contains green belt
interspersed throughout the county, covering much of the southern districts and towns throughout the Ribble Valley
, West Lancashire and The Fylde coastal plains to prevent convergence with the nearby Merseyside
and Greater Manchester
conurbations. Further pockets control the expansion of Lancaster, and surround the Blackpool urban area, as part of the western edge of the North West Green Belt. It was first drawn up from the 1950s. All the county's districts contain some portion of belt, the portion by Burnley also abutting the Forest of Pendle Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
General Election 2019: Lancashire
Overall Number of Seats as of 2019
Duchy of Lancaster
The Duchy of Lancaster
is one of two royal duchies in England
. It has landholdings throughout the region and elsewhere, operating as a property company, but also exercising the right of the Crown in the County Palatine of Lancaster.
While the administrative boundaries changed in the 1970s, the county palatine boundaries remain the same as the historic boundaries
As a result, the High Sheriffs
for Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside are appointed "within the Duchy and County Palatine of Lancaster".
The High Sheriff is an ancient county officer, but is now a largely ceremonial post. High Shrievalties are the oldest secular titles under the Crown, in England and Wales. The High Sheriff is the representative of the monarch and is the "Keeper of The Queen's Peace" in the county, executing judgements of the High Court.
The Duchy administers bona vacantia
within the County Palatine, receiving the property of persons who die intestate and where the legal ownership cannot be ascertained. There is no separate Duke of Lancaster
; the title merged into the Crown with the ascension of Henry V
. Rather, the Duchy is administered by the Queen in Right of the Duchy of Lancaster. A separate court system for the county palatine was abolished by Courts Act 1971
. A particular form of The Loyal Toast
, 'The Queen, Duke of Lancaster' is in regular use in the county palatine. Lancaster serves as the county town
of the county palatine.
Lancashire in the 19th century was a major centre of economic activity, and hence one of wealth. Activities included coal mining, textile production, particularly cotton
, and fishing. Preston Docks, an industrial port are now disused for commercial purposes. Lancashire was historically the location of the port of Liverpool
is famous for shipbuilding
Other companies with a major presence in Lancashire include:
- Airline Network, an internet travel company with headquarters in Preston.
- Baxi, a heating equipment manufacturer has a large manufacturing site in Bamber Bridge.
- Crown Paints, a major paint manufacturer based in Darwen.
- Enterprise plc, one of the UK's leading support services based in Leyland.
- Hanson plc, a building supplies company operates the Accrington brick works.
- Hollands Pies, a major manufacturer of baked goods based in Baxenden near Accrington.
- National Savings and Investments, the state-owned savings bank, which offers Premium Bonds and other savings products, has an office in Blackpool.
- Thwaites Brewery, a regional brewery founded in 1807 by Daniel Thwaites in Blackburn.
- Xchanging, a company providing business process outsourcing services, with operations in Fulwood.
- Fisherman's Friend, a confection company, famous for making strong mints and lozenges.
The Foulnaze cockle
fishery is in Lytham. It has only opened the coastal cockle beds three times in twenty years; August 2013 was the last of these openings.
The creation of Lancashire Enterprise Zone was announced in 2011. It was launched in April 2012, based at the airfields owned by BAE Systems in Warton and Samlesbury. Warton Aerodrome
covers 72 hectares (180 acres) and Samlesbury Aerodrome
is 74 hectares.
Development is coordinated by Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Lancashire County Council and BAE Systems.
The first businesses to move into the zone did so in March 2015, at Warton.
This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of the non-metropolitan county of Lancashire at basic prices published by the Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British pounds sterling.
Lancashire has a mostly comprehensive system with four state grammar schools. Not including sixth form colleges
, there are 77 state schools (not including Burnley's new schools) and 24 independent schools. The Clitheroe area has secondary modern schools. Sixth form provision is limited at most schools in most districts, with only Fylde and Lancaster districts having mostly sixth forms at schools. The rest depend on FE colleges and sixth form colleges, where they exist. South Ribble has the largest school population and Fylde the smallest (only three schools). Burnley's schools have had a new broom and have essentially been knocked down and started again in 2006. There are many Church of England and Catholic faith schools in Lancashire.
The Lancashire economy relies strongly on the M6 motorway
which runs from north to south, past Lancaster and Preston. The M55
connects Preston to Blackpool and is 11.5 miles (18.3 km) long. The M65 motorway
, connects Burnley, Accrington, Blackburn to Preston. The M61
from Preston via Chorley
and the M66
starting 500 metres (0.3 mi) inside the county boundary near Edenfield
, provide links between Lancashire and Manchester] and the trans-Pennine M62
. The M58
crosses the southernmost part of the county from the M6 near Wigan to Liverpool via Skelmersdale
Railways in Lancashire
There is an operational airfield at Warton
near Preston where there is a major assembly and test facility for BAE Systems
and many more.
The major settlements in the ceremonial county are concentrated on the Fylde
coast (the Blackpool Urban Area
), and a belt of towns running west–east along the M65
. South of Preston are the towns of Leyland
; the three formed part of the Central Lancashire
New Town designated in 1970. The north of the county is predominantly rural and sparsely populated, except for the towns of Lancaster
which form a large conurbation of almost 100,000 people. Lancashire is home to a significant Asian
population, numbering over 70,000 and 6% of the county's population, and concentrated largely in the former cotton mill towns in the south east.
The largest towns and cities of Lancashire
Population totals for modern (post-1998) Lancashire
The table below has divided the settlements into their local authority district. Each district has a centre of administration; for some of these correlate with a district's largest town, while others are named after the geographical area.
Boundary changes to occur before 1974 include:
The Red Rose of Lancaster
Seven professional full-time teams were based in Lancashire, at the start of the 2018–2019 season:
Along with Yorkshire and Cumberland, Lancashire is recognised as the heartland of Rugby League. The county has produced many successful top flight clubs such as St. Helens
. The county was once the focal point for many of the sport's professional competitions including the Lancashire League
competition which ran from 1895 to 1970, and the Lancashire County Cup
which ran until 1993. Rugby League has also seen a representative fixture between Lancashire and Yorkshire
contested 89 times since its inception in 1895.
In recent times there were several rugby league
teams that are based within the ceremonial county which include Blackpool Panthers
, East Lancashire Lions
, Blackpool Sea Eagles
, Bamber Bridge RLFC
, Leyland Warriors
, Chorley Panthers
, Blackpool Stanley
, Blackpool Scorpions
and Adlington Rangers
There are many archery clubs located within Lancashire.
In 2004 Lancashire took the winning title at the Inter-counties championships from Yorkshire
who had held it for 7 years.
Lancashire has a long and highly productive tradition of music making. In the early modern era the county shared in the national tradition of balladry
, including perhaps the finest border ballad
, "The Ballad of Chevy Chase
", thought to have been composed by the Lancashire-born minstrel Richard Sheale.
The county was also a common location for folk songs
, including "The Lancashire Miller", "Warrington Ale" and "The soldier's farewell to Manchester", while Liverpool, as a major seaport, was the subject of many sea shanties
, including "The Leaving of Liverpool
" and "Maggie May
beside several local Wassailing
In the Industrial Revolution
changing social and economic patterns helped create new traditions and styles of folk song, often linked to migration and patterns of work.
These included processional dances, often associated with rushbearing or the Wakes Week
festivities, and types of step dance
, most famously clog dancing
Lancashire had a lively culture of choral and classical music
, with very large numbers of local church choirs
from the 17th century,
leading to the foundation of local choral societies from the mid-18th century, often particularly focused on performances of the music of Handel
and his contemporaries.
It also played a major part in the development of brass bands
which emerged in the county, particularly in the textile and coalfield areas, in the 19th century.
The first open competition for brass bands was held at Manchester in 1853, and continued annually until the 1980s.
The vibrant brass band culture of the area made an important contribution to the foundation and staffing of the Hallé Orchestra
from 1857, the oldest extant professional orchestra in the United Kingdom.
The same local musical tradition produced eminent figures such as Sir William Walton
(1902–88), son of an Oldham choirmaster and music teacher,
Sir Thomas Beecham
(1879–1961), born in St. Helens, who began his career by conducting local orchestras
and Alan Rawsthorne
(1905–71) born in Haslingden.
The conductor David Atherton
, co-founder of the London Sinfonietta
, was born in Blackpool in 1944.
Lancashire also produced more populist figures, such as early musical theatre
composer Leslie Stuart
(1863–1928), born in Southport, who began his musical career as organist of Salford Cathedral
More recent Lancashire-born composers include Hugh Wood
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
Sir Harrison Birtwistle
(1934–, Accrington),Gordon Crosse
(1937–, Bury),John McCabe
(1939–2015, Huyton), Roger Smalley
(1943–2015, Swinton), Nigel Osborne
(1948–, Manchester), Steve Martland
(1954–2013, Liverpool), Simon Holt
and Philip Cashian
The Royal Manchester College of Music
was founded in 1893 to provide a northern counterpart to the London musical colleges. It merged with the Northern College of Music (formed in 1920) to form the Royal Northern College of Music in 1972.
, both during its time in Lancashire and after being moved to the new county of Merseyside
, has produced a number of successful musicians. This includes pop stars such as Frankie Vaughan
and Lita Roza
, as well as rock stars such as Billy Fury
, who is considered to be one of the most successful British rock and roll
stars of all time.
Many Lancashire towns had vibrant skiffle
scenes in the late 1950s, out of which a culture of beat
groups emerged by the early 1960s, particularly around Liverpool and Manchester
. It has been estimated that there were at least 350 bands—including the Beatles
—active in and around Liverpool during this era, playing ballrooms, concert halls, and clubs.
A number of Liverpool performers followed the Beatles into the charts, including Gerry & the Pacemakers
, the Searchers
, and Cilla Black
The first musicians to break through in the UK who were not from Liverpool or managed by Beatles manager Brian Epstein
were Manchester's Freddie and the Dreamers
with Herman's Hermits
and the Hollies
also hailing from Manchester.
The Beatles led a movement by various beat groups from the region which culminated in the British Invasion
of the US, which in turn made a major contribution to the development of modern rock music
After the decline of beat groups in the late 1960s, the centre of rock culture shifted to London, and there were relatively few Lancashire bands who achieved national prominence until the growth of a disco
scene and the punk rock
revolution in the mid-and-late 1970s.
- Black peas, also known as parched peas: popular in Darwen, Bolton and Preston.
- Bury black pudding has long been associated with the county. The most notable brand, Chadwick's Original Bury Black Puddings, are still sold on Bury Market, and are manufactured in Rossendale.
- Butter cake: slice of bread and butter.
- Butter pie: a savoury pie containing potatoes, onion and butter. Usually associated with Preston.
- Clapbread: a thin oatcake made from unleavened dough cooked on a griddle.
- Chorley cakes: from the town of Chorley.
- Eccles cakes are small, round cakes filled with currants and made from flaky pastry with butter, originally made in Eccles.
- Faggot: savoury duck
- Fag pie: pie made from chopped dried figs, sugar and lard. Associated with Blackburn and Burnley, where it was the highlight of Fag Pie Sunday (Mid-Lent Sunday).
- Fish and chips: the first fish and chip shop in northern England opened in Mossley, near Oldham, around 1863.
- Frog-i'-th'-'ole pudding: now known as "toad in the hole"
- Frumenty: sweet porridge. Once a popular dish at Lancashire festivals, such as Christmas and Easter Monday.
- Goosnargh cakes: small flat shortbread biscuits with coriander or caraway seeds pressed into the biscuit before baking. Traditionally baked on feast days like Shrove Tuesday.
- Jannock: cake or small loaf of oatmeal. Allegedly introduced to Lancashire (possibly Bolton) by weavers of Flemish origin.
- Lancashire cheese has been made in the county for several centuries. Beacon Fell Traditional Lancashire Cheese has been awarded EU Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status.
- Lancashire Flat Cake: A lemon flavoured sponge cake, traditionally made with a couple too many eggs, best eaten after being chilled.
- Lancashire oatcake, resembling a large oval pancake, eaten either moist or dried
- Lancashire Sauce, a lightly spiced mustard produced by the Entwistle family of Bury
- "Stew and hard": a beef and cowheel stew with dried Lancashire oatcake
- Nettle porridge: a common starvation diet in Lancashire in the early 19th century. Made from boiled stinging nettles and sometimes a handful of meal.
- Ormskirk gingerbread: local delicacy that was sold throughout South Lancashire.
- Parkin: a ginger cake with oatmeal.
- Pobs or pobbies: bread and milk.
- Potato hotpot: a variation of the Lancashire Hotpot without meat that is also known as fatherless pie.
- Ran Dan: barley bread. A last resort for the poor at the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th century.
- Rag pudding: traditional suet pudding filled with minced meat, originating in Oldham.
- Sad cake: a traditional cake that may be a variation of the more widely known Chorley cake that was once common around Burnley.
- Throdkins: a traditional breakfast food of the Fylde.
- Uncle Joe's Mint Balls: traditional mints produced by William Santus & Co. Ltd. in Wigan.
Places of interest
The following are places of interest in the ceremonial county:
- Arnside and Silverdale AONB
- Astley Hall
- Bank Hall
- Beacon Fell
- Blackburn Cathedral
- Blackpool Pleasure Beach
- Blackpool Tower
- Blackpool Zoo
- British Commercial Vehicle Museum, Leyland
- Camelot Theme Park
- Clitheroe Castle
- Darwen Tower
- East Lancashire Railway
- Forest of Bowland: Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- Gawthorpe Hall, Padiham
- Harris Museum
- Helmshore Mills Textile Museum
- Hoghton Tower
- Irwell Sculpture Trail
- Lancaster Castle
- Lancaster Cathedral
- Lathom Park Chapel, site of Lathom Hall, seat of the Earls of Derby
- Lytham Hall
- Leighton Moss nature reserve, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
- Martin Mere, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust nature reserve, Burscough
- Morecambe Bay
- Museum of Lancashire
- Pendle Hill
- The Pennines
- Ribble Steam Railway
- Rivington Pike
- Rufford Old Hall
- Samlesbury Hall
- St Walburge's Church
- Stonyhurst College – manor house dating from 1592, now a Jesuit public school
- Towneley Hall, Burnley
- Queen Street Mill, Burnley
- West Lancashire Light Railway
- West Pennine Moors
- Williamson Park and the Ashton Memorial
- Witton Country Park
- Yarrow Valley Park
, a Jacobean mansion house, awaiting restoration. Home to Lancashire's oldest Yew
tree and one of the two fallen sequoia
in the UK.
Whistle Down the Wind
(1961) was directed by Bryan Forbes, set at the foot of Worsaw Hill and in Burnley
, and starred local Lancashire schoolchildren.
The tunnel scene was shot on the old Bacup-Rochdale railway line, location 53°41'29.65"N, 2°11'25.18"W, off the A6066 (New Line) where the line passes beneath Stack Lane. The tunnel is still there, in use as an industrial unit but the railway has long since been removed.
(1995) was set mostly in Blackpool, after opening scenes in Las Vegas.
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