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smallest county of England

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gfred0071
759924.  Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:35 pm Reply with quote

it was stated on 1 off the shows that the Isle of Wight was the smallest county but i put nit 2 you Bristol being a city and county is the smallest

 
suze
759929.  Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:41 pm Reply with quote

There are at least seven different ways to define the term "county"; this is one of my husband's specialist subjects and he has posted about the matter at some length at post 231659 and the post immediately following. I shall now allow him to explain the matter.


As you'll see from those posts, only two of the definitions consider Isle of Wight and Rutland both to be counties - and clearly, we need them both to be for the argument presented on the show to be worth having.

The two definitions which have both as counties are these:

a. The "ceremonial county" basis, whereby we define "county" as that area under the auspices of a Lord Lieutenant as per the Lieutenancies Act 1997. On this basis, IoW and Rutland are the third and fourth smallest counties. The City and County of Bristol is the second smallest, but the City of London is smaller yet.

b. The "administrative county" basis, whereby we define "county" as an area having a county council under the terms of the Local Government Act 1888, and not being a county borough. On this basis, IoW and Rutland are again the third and fourth smallest counties. The two smaller were the County of London (that part of London which now has London postcodes excluding the City of London) and the Soke of Peterborough. The City and County of Bristol was a county borough, and thus not a county on this basis.

We could vary b. by also construing the county boroughs as counties. This would bring in the City and County of Bristol, but it was far from the smallest. That, in fact, was the County Corporate of the City of Canterbury. The C C of the C of C included only that area within the historic walls - the suburbs were in Kent - and so the area of the county was but 130 acres.

A

 

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