Think of Lancashire towns and villages and a debate will immediately ensue. The real county of Lancashire has a very different border to that of the administrative county of Lancashire. The latter is the area of England that is administered by Lancashire County Council. The former is the area of England that forms the Duchy of Lancaster and which, historically, goes back hundreds of years.
Despite what people think, the real county of Lancashire was never abolished when the government decided to change the areas that were administered by the county councils in the 1970’s and it still exists. Because signposts on roads tell us when we are entering an administrative county many people have come to believe that these are the borders of the real counties. However, that is not true and many people outside the Lancashire County Council borders still rightly celebrate Lancashire Day as true Lancastrians living in Lancashire towns and villages.
Parts of areas that we refer today as Merseyside, Sefton, Greater Manchester, Cumbria, Cheshire and Yorkshire are actually part of the real county of Lancashire; always have been and always will be. So Lancashire towns and villages like Liverpool, Manchester, Salford, Warrington, Southport, Oldham, Wigan, Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, St Helens, Blackburn, Blackpool, Coniston, Hawkshead and Barrow in Furness are still in Lancashire.
It is difficult to find a map of the real county of Lancashire, showing Lancashire towns and villages, as most map producers show the borders of administrative areas. The Friends of Real Lancashire do produce one based on Ordnance Survey data and is available to purchase on their website – sadly it is not available for sale in many shops.
More helpful is GENUKI‘s web site which lists all the towns and villages that existed in the real county of Lancashire as of 1837. It represents an accurate picture of the boundaries of Real Lancashire.
Below you will find a list of all those towns and villages together with links to the GENUKI web site which provides a fascinating insight in to what Lancashire was like at the end of the nineteenth century.