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Yorkshire - Main Page

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Historic County of England

This is the Umbrella Project Page for Yorkshire, England.

The emblem of Yorkshire is the white rose of the English royal House of York - image right

Related Projects

Yorkshire Famous People
Yorkshire Genealogical Resources
Historical Yorkshire
Historic Buildings of Yorkshire
Yorkshire Monumental Inscriptions, Cemeteries & Graveyards
People Connected to Yorkshire
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Succeeded by ; Ceremonial Counties of North Yorkshire,formed on 1 April 1974, East Riding of Yorkshire (see also Humberside) and parts of County Durham.

  • Administrative centre York
  • County Flower - Harebell
  • People from Yorkshire are called - Yorkshire Men
  • Famous for:
  • Yorkshire Pudding
  • Yorkshire Terriers
  • Cricket
  • Landmarks and Places of Interest
  • Castle Howard
  • Newby Hall
  • Nunnington Hall

Yorkshire (abbreviated Yks.) is a county of historic origin in Northern England. It is the largest English county. It was originally divided into 3 divisions called Ridings, or "thridings" (Third parts. North, east and West Ridings between them account for about an eighth of England's land area.

The county of Yorkshire is the Shire of the City of York or York's Shire. "York" comes from the Viking name for the city, Jórvík. "Shire" is from Old English, scir, and appears to be allied to shear as it is a division of the land. York comes originally from the latinized Celtic Eboracum, meaning the estate of Eburos; to this was added the wic (dwelling) termination of the Angles, producing Eoforwic. This was rendered as Jorvik by the Danes to become York. The name was first recorded in 1050 as Eoferwicucir.

Areas within Yorkshire are widely considered to be among the greenest in England, due to the vast stretches of unspoiled countryside in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moor

Historically, the northern boundary of Yorkshire was the River Tees, the eastern boundary was the North Sea coast and the southern boundary was the Humber Estuary and River Don and River Sheaf. The western boundary meandered along the western slopes of the Pennine Hills to again meet the River Tees.[ It is bordered by several other historic counties in the form of County Durham, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Cheshire, Lancashire and Westmorland.

Yorkshire is drained by several rivers. In western and central Yorkshire the many rivers empty their waters into the River Ouse which reaches the North Sea via the Humber Estuary. The most northerly of the rivers in the Ouse system is the River Swale, which drains Swaledale before passing through Richmond and meandering across the Vale of Mowbray. Next, draining Wensleydale, is the River Ure, which joins the Swale east of Boroughbridge. The River Nidd rises on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and flows along Nidderdale before reaching the Vale of York.

Yorkshire includes the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks, and part of the Peak District National Park. Nidderdale and the Howardian Hills are designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Spurn Point, Flamborough Head and the coastal North York Moors are designated Heritage Coast areas, and are noted for their scenic views with rugged cliffs such as the jet cliffs at Whitby, the limestone cliffs at Filey and the chalk cliffs at Flamborough Head. Moor House - Upper Teesdale, most of which is part of the former North Riding of Yorkshire, is one of England's largest national nature reserves.

The Ridings of Yorkshire

Left the Riding Divisions; Right Today's divisions

1. North Riding

Stretching across the county from the Pennines to the North Sea is generally speaking predominantly pastoral.

Towns in North Riding

(See Parish Map Below)

  • Capital - Northallerton.
  • Hawes
  • Hemsley
  • Middlesborough
  • Pickering
  • Scarborough
  • Whitby
  • Bowed
  • Guisborough
  • Marske
  • Yarm

2. West Riding

Running from the Pennines Southeast, West Riding is generally industrial.

Towns in West Riding

(See Parish Map Below)

  • Capital - Wakefield
  • Harrogate
  • Huddersfield
  • Leeds
  • Pontefract
  • Sheffield
  • Skipton
  • Barnoldswick
  • Barnsley
  • Dewsbury
  • Earby
  • Goole
  • Rotherham
  • Saddleworth
  • Sedburgh
  • Selby
  • Todmorden (Partly in Lancashire)

3. East Riding

Running between North and West Riding to the Humber Estuary, East Riding is primarily given over to arable farming.

Towns in East Riding

(See Parish Map Below)

  • Capital - Beverley
  • Kingston-upon-Hull (otherwise known as Hull)
  • Bridlington
  • Filey
  • Hedon
  • Pocklington 1. North Riding Parish Map

from The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers 1984.

See - open full view. 2. West Riding Parish Maps

West Riding a)

See - open full view.

West Riding b)

See - open full view 3. East Riding Parish Map

See - open full view.

Yorkshire Today

Yorkshire is the largest historic English county. It has been subject to a number of significant reforms of local government structures in modern times, the most significant being the Local Government Act 1972 and the 1990s UK local government reform. It currently corresponds to several counties and districts and is mostly contained within the Yorkshire and the Humber region.

Controversially in the 1970 Yorkshire and its Ridings lost status in 1974 as part of the Local Government Act 1972. The East Riding was resurrected with reduced boundaries in 1996 with the abolition of Humberside. Most of Yorkshire (with slightly different borders) is now contained within the government office of Yorkshire and the Humber region of England. This region includes a northern slice of Lincolnshire, but does not include the northern part of the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire (Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland), which is in the North East England region. Other parts of the historic county of Yorkshire are also in other official regions.

North West England region

  • Saddleworth (now in Greater Manchester);
  • the Forest of Bowland (Lancashire);
  • Sedbergh and Dent (Cumbria)

North East England.

  • Upper Teesdale (County Durham)

The area of Yorkshire was divided between a number of metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties:

  • Cleveland (southern part) - now Teesside and part of the North Riding
  • Cumbria (part only) - now Sedbergh Rural District from the West Riding
  • Durham (part only) - now Startforth Rural District from the North Riding
  • Greater Manchester (part only) - now Saddleworth Urban District from the West Riding
  • Humberside (northern part) - now Kingston upon Hull and most of the East Riding plus Goole from the West Riding
  • Lancashire (part only) - now Bowland Rural District, Barnoldswick, Earby, and part of Skipton Rural District from the West Riding
  • North Yorkshire - now York; most of the North Riding; Harrogate, Knaresborough and Selby from the West Riding; and part of the East Riding around Filey
  • South Yorkshire - now Barnsley, Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham from the West Riding
  • West Yorkshire - now Bradford, Dewsbury, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds and Wakefield from the West Riding

Keypoints of changes 1974

1974 - Local Government Act 1972 - the ridings lost their lieutenancies and shrievalties and the administrative counties, county boroughs and their councils were abolished. The area of Yorkshire was divided between a number of metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties:

Some areas of the historic county were transferred to other counties:

  • Sedbergh, Dent and the rest of the Sedbergh Rural District was transferred from the West Riding to Cumbria (see Westmorland
  • Slaidburn and the rest of Bowland Rural District was transferred from the West Riding to Lancashire
  • Barnoldswick and other places in West Craven were transferred from the West Riding to Lancashire
  • Saddleworth was transferred from the West Riding to Greater Manchester
  • Bowes and the rest of Startforth Rural District was transferred from the North Riding to County Durham
  • Middlesbrough, Redcar and nearby areas were transferred from the North Riding to Cleveland. (The area was returned to Yorkshire in 1996 as part of the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire).
  • most of the East Riding was transferred to Humberside. The area became the larger part of the new ceremonial county of the East Riding of Yorkshire in 1996.
  • Goole and Goole Rural District was transferred from the West Riding to Humberside. The area became part of the East Riding of Yorkshire in 1996.
  • The remaining areas of the East Riding and the North Riding, the city of York and northern and eastern areas of the West Riding became North Yorkshire.
  • The remaining areas of the West Riding became the metropolitan counties of South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.

1996 A review of local government took place during the 1990s making a number of changes to the counties created in 1974. As part of the review, Cleveland and Humberside were abolished in 1996 and their districts were reconstituted as unitary authorities. In addition to becoming a unitary authority, the East Riding of Yorkshire was reintroduced as a county for the purposes of lieutenancy and shrievalty (also including Hull) and North Yorkshire gained territory for this purpose; the changes to the ceremonial counties were reconfirmed by the Lieutenancies Act 1997. The unitary districts created are as follows:

  • East Riding of Yorkshire - now Humberside: Beverley, Boothferry (part), East Yorkshire, Holderness; Ceremonial County - East Riding of Yorkshire
  • Hull - now Humberside: Hull; Ceremonial County - East Riding of Yorkshire
  • Middlesbrough - now Cleveland: Middlesbrough; Ceremonial County - North Yorkshire
  • Redcar and Cleveland - now Cleveland: Langbaurgh; Ceremonial County - North Yorkshire
  • Stockton-on-Tees - now Cleveland: Stockton-on-Tees; Ceremonial County - North Yorkshire and County Durham
  • York - now North Yorkshire: York and parts of Selby, Harrogate and Ryedale; Ceremonial County - North Yorkshire

Reference: WIKI History of local government in Yorkshire

If you have Yorkshire connections please join the project.

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