The Info List - County Of London

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The County of London
County of London
was a county of England from 1889 to 1965, corresponding to the area known today as Inner London. It was created as part of the general introduction of elected county government in England, by way of the Local Government Act 1888. The Act created an administrative County of London, which included within its territory the City of London. However, the City of London
City of London
and the County of London formed separate ceremonial counties for "non-administrative" purposes.[1] The local authority for the county was the London County Council (LCC), which initially performed only a limited range of functions, but gained further powers during its 76-year existence. The LCC provided very few services within the City of London, where the ancient Corporation monopolised local governance.[1] In 1900 the lower-tier civil parishes and district boards were replaced with 28 new metropolitan boroughs. The territory of the county was 74,903 acres (303.12 km2) in 1961. During its existence there was a long-term decline in population as more residents moved into the outer suburbs; there were periodic reviews of the local government structures in the greater London area and several failed attempts to expand the boundaries of the county. In 1965, the London Government Act 1963 replaced the county with the much larger Greater London administrative area.


1 Geography 2 History

2.1 Creation of the county 2.2 County council 2.3 Local government 2.4 Decline in population 2.5 Abolition

3 See also 4 References 5 Works cited 6 External links

Geography[edit] The county occupied an area of just under 75,000 acres (30,351 ha) and lay within the London Basin.[2] It was divided into two parts (north and south) by the River Thames, which was the most significant geographic feature. It was bordered by Essex
to the north-east, Kent
to the south-east, Surrey
the south-west and Middlesex
to the north. The highest point was Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath
in the north of the county at 440 feet (134 m), which is one of the highest points in London. In 1900 a number of boundary anomalies were abolished. These included the loss of the Alexandra Park exclave to Middlesex, gaining South Hornsey
South Hornsey
in return, and the transfer of Penge to Kent. History[edit] Creation of the county[edit] The local government arrangements in London had last been reformed in 1855. This reform created an indirectly elected Metropolitan Board of Works which initially provided basic infrastructure services for the metropolitan area.[3] Over time the board gained more functions and became the de facto local authority and provider of new services for the London area. The board operated in those parts of the counties of Middlesex, Surrey
and Kent
that had been designated by the General Register Office as "the Metropolis" for the purposes of the Bills of Mortality.[3] This area had been administered separately from the City of London, which came under the control of the Corporation of London. There had been several attempts during the 19th century to reform London government, either by expanding the City of London
City of London
to cover the whole of the metropolitan area; by creating a new county of London;[4] or by creating ten municipal corporations matching the parliamentary boroughs of the metropolis.[5] These had all been defeated in Parliament, in part because of the agency power of the City Corporation.[6] Ultimately, the Local Government Act 1888
Local Government Act 1888
and the introduction of county councils in England provided the mechanism for creating a territory and authority encompassing the expanded London area. For expediency, the area of the metropolitan board was chosen for the new county, and no attempt was made to select new boundaries.[1] This area had been out of line with the expansion of London even in 1855.[3] For example, it anomalously omitted built-up and expanding areas such as West Ham, but included some sparsely populated areas on the metropolitan fringe.[3] The City of London
City of London
and the County of London
County of London
each formed counties for "non-administrative" purposes, with a separate Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff for the county of London.[1] However, the administrative county, which corresponded to the area of control of the county council, also included the City of London. In practice, the county council had very little authority over the ancient City, with some powers over drainage, roads, fire brigade, embankment of the river and flood prevention.[1] In common with the rest of the country, the 1888 Act provided no reform of lower-tier authorities and the county was, initially at least, locally governed by a series of parish vestries and district boards. County council[edit] Main article: London County Council The local authority for the county was the London County Council (LCC). Initially, the LCC provided the services it had inherited from the Metropolitan Board of Works.[1] However, it eventually absorbed functions from ad-hoc agencies such the London School Board
London School Board
and Metropolitan Asylums Board. The council was initially based in Spring Gardens, but moved to a purpose-built County Hall in the 1930s. The housing policy of the council included provision of large housing estates outside the boundaries of the county, such as that at Becontree.[7] Local government[edit] In 1900, eleven years after its foundation, the London Government Act divided the County of London
County of London
into 28 metropolitan boroughs. These replaced the ancient parish vestries and district boards as the second tier of local government. County of London
County of London
boroughs numbered in the information box on the right side:

Metropolitan Borough





No. on map

City of London
City of London
† London 1900 1965 City of London 1

Battersea Met. B London 1900 1965 Wandsworth 28

Bermondsey Met. B London 1900 1965 Southwark 8

Bethnal Green Met. B London 1900 1965 Tower Hamlets 6

Camberwell Met. B London 1900 1965 Southwark 10

Chelsea Met. B London 1900 1965 Kensington and Chelsea 29

Deptford Met. B London 1900 1965 Lewisham 11

Finsbury Met. B London 1900 1965 Islington 4

Fulham Met. B London 1900 1965 Hammersmith 25

Greenwich Met. B London 1900 1965 Greenwich 14

Hackney Met. B London 1900 1965 Hackney 16

Hammersmith Met. B London 1900 1965 Hammersmith 24

Hampstead Met. B London 1900 1965 Camden 20

Holborn Met. B London 1900 1965 Camden 3

Islington Met. B London 1900 1965 Islington 18

Kensington Met. B (Royal Borough) London 1900 1965 Kensington and Chelsea 23

Lambeth Met. B London 1900 1965 Lambeth 27

Lewisham Met. B London 1900 1965 Lewisham 12

Paddington Met. B London 1900 1965 Westminster 22

Poplar Met. B London 1900 1965 Tower Hamlets 15

Shoreditch Met. B London 1900 1965 Hackney 5

Southwark Met. B London 1900 1965 Southwark 9

St Marylebone Met. B London 1900 1965 Westminster 21

St Pancras Met. B London 1900 1965 Camden 19

Stepney Met. B London 1900 1965 Tower Hamlets 7

Stoke Newington Met. B London 1900 1965 Hackney 17

Wandsworth Met. B London 1900 1965 Lambeth, Wandsworth 26

Westminster Met. B (City) London 1900 1965 Westminster 2

Woolwich Met. B London 1900 1965 Greenwich, Newham 13

† Not a metropolitan borough. Decline in population[edit] The county had a declining population throughout its life. In 1901 the population was 4.5 million and by 1961 it had fallen to 3.2 million. Following the 1931 census more of the population of "Greater London" (defined at the time as the Metropolitan Police District and City of London) lived outside the county than in it.[8] The following table illustrates the approximate population according to the census at various intervals:[9]

Year Central Area† Inner Ring‡ Second Ring§ County of London Total Outer Ring# of Greater London

1881 1,743,000 1,008,000 1,093,000 3,844,000 950,000[10]

1901 1,623,000 1,201,000 1,601,000 4,425,000 1,422,000[11]

1921 1,364,000 1,186,000 1,933,000 4,483,000 2,993,000[12]

1931 1,260,000 1,163,000 1,976,000 4,399,000 3,807,000[8]

1951 738,000 927,000 1,683,000 3,348,000 4,998,000[13]

†The City of London
City of London
and the Metropolitan Boroughs of Bermondsey, Bethnal Green, Finsbury, Holborn, St Marylebone, St Pancras, Shoreditch, Southwark, Stepney and Westminster. ‡The Metropolitan Boroughs of Battersea, Chelsea, Islington, Kensington, Lambeth and Paddington. §The Metropolitan Boroughs of Camberwell, Deptford, Fulham, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith, Hampstead, Lewisham, Poplar, Stoke Newington, Wandsworth and Woolwich. #Defined as the area of the Metropolitan Police district outside the County of London. Abolition[edit]

County of London
County of London
superimposed upon Greater London

The county was abolished in 1965 and was replaced by the much larger Greater London, which took in nearly all of Middlesex, along with areas in Surrey, Kent, Essex
and Hertfordshire.[14] The area that had formed the county was henceforth known as Inner London
Inner London
and an Inner London Education Authority operated in the area until 1990. The 28 metropolitan boroughs were merged to form 12 new Inner London boroughs. See also[edit]

List of civil parishes in the County of London
County of London
in 1891 Home counties London postal district


^ a b c d e f Robson 1939, pp. 80–92. ^ Natural England – London Basin
London Basin
Natural Area. Retrieved on 22 July 2009. ^ a b c d Robson 1939, pp. 54–61. ^ County of London
County of London
Bill, 1870 ^ Municipal Boroughs (Metropolis) Bill, 1870 ^ Robson 1939, pp. 71–79. ^ Robson 1939, pp. 168–169. ^ a b "London census – Decline in County Population". The Times. London. 27 July 1932. p. 7.  ^ Pevsner, Niklaus (1952). The Buildings of England – London, except the Cities of London and Westminster. Harmondsworth: Penguin. pp. 37–39.  ^ "Some Results of the Census". The Times. London. 9 June 1891.  ^ "London and the Outer Ring". The Times. London. 15 May 1901.  ^ "Official Census Figures – London's Shrinkage". The Times. London. 24 August 1921.  ^ "Census of England and Wales". The Times. 12 July 1951.  ^ Redcliffe-Maud & Wood, B., English Local Government Reformed, (1974)

Works cited[edit]

Robson, William A. (1939). The government and misgovernment of London. London: Allen & Unwin. OCLC 504395625. 

External links[edit]

County of London
County of London
boundary map

v t e

History of London


Londinium Lundenwic City of London City of Westminster Middlesex County of London Greater London Timeline


Roman London Anglo-Saxon London Norman and Medieval London Tudor London Stuart London 18th-century London 19th-century London 1900–39 The Blitz 1945–2000 21st century


Peasants' Revolt Black Death Great Plague Great Fire 1854 cholera outbreak Great Stink Great Exhibition 1908 Franco-British Exhibition The Battle of Cable Street Festival of Britain Great Smog Swinging London London Plan 1966 FIFA World Cup Final 7/7 bombings Olympic Games (1908 1948 2012) 2012 Summer Paralympics Grenfell Tower fire


Metropolitan Board of Works London County Council Greater London
Greater London
Council Greater London
Greater London
Authority London Assembly Mayor of London London independence


Bow Street Runners Metropolitan Police Service London Ambulance Service London Fire Brigade Port of London Authority London sewerage system London Underground

City of London

City of London
City of London
Corporation Lord Mayor of the City of London Wards of the City of London Guildhall Livery Companies Lord Mayor's Show City of London
City of London
Police Bank of England


St Paul's Cathedral Tower of London Palace of Whitehall Westminster Hall London Bridge Tower Bridge Westminster Abbey Big Ben The Monument Fortifications


v t e

Local government districts abolished or transferred by the London Government Act 1963



Battersea Bermondsey Bethnal Green Camberwell Chelsea Deptford Finsbury Fulham Greenwich Hackney Hammersmith Hampstead Holborn Islington Kensington Lambeth Lewisham Paddington Poplar Shoreditch Southwark St. Marylebone St. Pancras Stepney Stoke Newington Wandsworth Westminster Woolwich

Constituent parts of Greater London


Barking Chigwell (part) Chingford Dagenham East Ham Hornchurch Ilford Leyton Romford Walthamstow Wanstead and Woodford West Ham


Barnet East Barnet

Middlesex, CC

Acton Brentford and Chiswick Ealing Edmonton Enfield Feltham Finchley Friern Barnet Harrow Hayes and Harlington Hendon Heston and Isleworth Hornsey Ruislip-Northwood Southall Southgate Tottenham Twickenham Uxbridge Wembley Willesden Wood Green Yiewsley and West Drayton


Beckenham Bexley Bromley Chislehurst and Sidcup Crayford Erith Orpington Penge


Barnes Beddington and Wallington Carshalton Coulsdon and Purley Croydon Kingston-upon-Thames Malden and Coombe Merton and Morden Mitcham Sutton and Cheam Surbiton Richmond Wimbledon


to Hertfordshire: Potters Bar

to Surrey: Staines Sunbury-on-Thames

v t e

before 1889 ← Counties of England
Counties of England
(1889–1974) → 1974–1996

Bedfordshire Berkshire Buckinghamshire Cambridgeshire
(including Isle of Ely) Cambridgeshire
and Isle of Ely Cheshire Cornwall Cumberland Derbyshire Devon Dorset Durham Essex Gloucestershire Hampshire Herefordshire Hertfordshire Huntingdonshire Huntingdon and Peterborough Kent Lancashire Leicestershire Lincolnshire
(including Parts of Holland, Parts of Kesteven and Parts of Lindsey) London (including City of London) Middlesex Norfolk Northamptonshire
(including Soke of Peterborough) Northumberland Nottinghamshire Oxfordshire Rutland Shropshire Somerset Staffordshire Suffolk
(including East Suffolk
and West Suffolk) Surrey Sussex
(including East Sussex
and West Sussex) Warwickshire Westmorland Wiltshire Worcestershire Yorkshire
(including East Riding, North Riding and West Riding)

Coordinates: 51°30′56″N 0°05′32″W / 51.5155°N 0.0922°W