Historical and alternative regions of England

Historical and alternative regions of England

England is divided into a number of different regional schemes for various purposes. Since the creation of the Government Office Regions in 1994 and their adoption for statistical purposes in 1999, some historical regional schemes have become obsolete. However, many alternative regional designations also exist and continue to be widely used.


Informal regions

Informal and overlapping regional designations are often used to describe areas of England. They include:

*East Anglia
*Home Counties
*North of England
*Thames Valley
*Welsh Marches
*West Country

Britain in Bloom regions

Britain in Bloom divide England into 12 regions. They are broadly the same as the government office regions, except that Cumbria is a region in itself, and South East England into three - Thames and Chilterns, Southern England and a rump South East England.

National Trust

The National Trust has 10 regional offices in England. These are

*Devon and Cornwall - part of the official South West region
*East of England - as region
*East Midlands - as region
*North East England - North East England and Yorkshire and the Humber
*North West England - as region
*Thames and Solent - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, London, Oxfordshire, Hampshire
*South East England - East Sussex, Kent, Surrey, West Sussex
*West Midlands - as region
*Wessex - South West England without Devon and Cornwall



After the end of the Roman occupation of Britain, the area now known as England became divided into seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms: Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia, Essex, Kent, Sussex, Wessex and the Cornwall. A number of other smaller political divisions and sub-kingdoms existed. The kingdoms were eventually united into the Kingdom of England in a process beginning with Egbert of Wessex in 829 and completed by King Edred in 954.


During The Protectorate, Oliver Cromwell experimented with the Rule of the Major-Generals. There were ten regional associations covering England and Wales administered by major-generals. Ireland under Major-General Henry Cromwell, [Henry Cromwell was nominally under the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Charles Fleetwood, but Fleetwood's departure for England in September 1655 left him for all practical purposes the ruler of Ireland] and Scotland under Major-General George Monck were in administrations already agreed upon and were not part of the scheme.Royal, Trevor References; pages 698,699]

World War II

In the Second World War the civil defence regions were: [http://www.richmond.edu/~wgreen/Earporgan.htm]

#Northern : Durham, Northumberland, Yorkshire, North Riding
#North Eastern : Yorkshire, East and West Riding
#North Midland: Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland
#Eastern: Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Norfolk, Suffolk
#London: London (larger area than County of London/Middlesex, possibly same as Metropolitan Police District
#Southern: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Oxfordshire
#South Western: Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire
#Wales: Wales (including Monmouthshire) (Not in England, fellow constituent country of the United Kingdom)
#Midland: Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire
#North Western: Cheshire, Cumberland, Lancashire and Westmorland
#Scotland (Not in England, fellow constituent country of the United Kingdom)
#South Eastern: Kent, Surrey and Sussex


Economic planning regions

Eight economic planning regions were named by the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, George Brown in December 1964. These were:

* Northern - Cumberland, Durham, North Riding of Yorkshire, Northumberland, Westmorland
* North-West - Cheshire, Lancashire, High Peak area of Derbyshire
* Yorkshire and Humberside - East Riding of Yorkshire, West Riding of Yorkshire - Lincolnshire, Parts of Lindsey
* East Midlands - Derbyshire (minus High Peak), Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Parts of Holland, Lincolnshire, Parts of Kesteven, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland
* West Midlands - Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire
* South West - Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire
* South East - Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Greater London, Hampshire, Kent, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Sussex
* East Anglia - Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Isle of Ely, Huntingdon and Peterborough

tandard statistical regions

Prior to the adoption of the government office regions for statistics, there were eight 'standard statistical regions':

# North - current North East plus Cumbria
# North West - current North West less Cumbria
# Yorkshire and Humberside - as now
# West Midlands - as now
# East Midlands - as now
# East Anglia - Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire
# South West - as now
# South East - as now, plus Greater London, Bedfordshire, Essex, and Hertfordshire

Civil defence regions

The present government office regions closely resemble Civil Defence Regions. During the latter part of the Cold War, the United Kingdom was divided into 11 such regions, most of which were divided themselves into sub-regions. The regions were numbered as shown in the list, numbers for sub-regions were of the form 11.

The regions were based on pre-Second World War regions, but were substantially altered in the 1970s, with the merger of South East and Southern regions, and alterations in the north. They were again altered in 1984, to merge the English regions 1 and 2 to become a single North East region, and Scotland's two southern regions (East and West Zones) becoming a single South Zone. [cite web|url=http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/features/sfs/file_8.htm|title=File 8 Rethinking Regional Government|publisher=Subterranea Britannica|author=Steve Fox]


From the mid-1980s, these were as follows (using 1974/1975 boundaries)

#Scotland (Not in England, fellow constituent country of the United Kingdom)
##Fife/Grampian/Highland/Orkney/Shetland/Tayside/Western Isles
##Borders/Central/Dumfries and Galloway/Lothian/Strathclyde
#North East England
##(North East England) - Cleveland/Durham/Northumberland/Tyne and Wear
##(Yorkshire and the Humber) - Humberside/North Yorkshire/South Yorkshire/West Yorkshire
#East Midlands
#East of England
#Greater London - see Civil defence centres in London for sub-regions
#South East England
##East Sussex/Kent/Surrey/West Sussex
##Berkshire/Buckinghamshire/Hampshire/Isle of Wight/Oxfordshire
#South West England
#Wales (Not in England, fellow constituent country of the United Kingdom)
##Dyfed/Gwent/Mid Glamorgan/Powys/South Glamorgan/West Glamorgan
#West Midlands
##Staffordshire/Warwickshire/West Midlands
##Hereford and Worcester/Shropshire
#North West England
##Cheshire/Greater Manchester/Merseyside
#Northern Ireland (Not in England, fellow constituent country of the United Kingdom)

Redcliffe-Maud provinces

The Redcliffe-Maud Report produced by the Royal Commission on local government reform in 1969 recommended the creation of eight provinces. In approximate terms, these were to be:

# North East - per North East England
# Yorkshire - per Yorkshire and the Humber
# North West - per North West England, excluding southern Cheshire
# West Midlands - per West Midlands, including southern Cheshire
# East Midlands - per East Midlands, less Northamptonshire
# South West - per South West England
# East Anglia - Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, northern Essex
# South East - South East England and Greater London with Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, southern Essex

ee also

*ITV Television Regions


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