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For information on the fictional Shire of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, see Shire (Middle-earth)

Table of contents
1 Shires in Australia
2 Shires in the United Kingdom
3 Shires in England
4 Shires in Scotland
5 Shires in Wales
6 Administration
7 See also

Shires in Australia

In Australia, a shire is a Local Government Area. See that article for a list of lists.

Shires in the United Kingdom

In Great Britain, a shire is a county that is named after its prinicpal town. The county takes the name of the town with the 'shire' suffix.

Shires in England

In England, the counties of Devon and Dorset are occasionally referred to with the 'shire' suffix.

Shires in Scotland

In Scotland four counties have alternative names with the 'shire' suffix: Angus/Forfarshire, East Lothian/Haddingtonshire, Midlothian/Edinburghshire and West Lothian/Linlithgowshire. Sutherlandshire is also know as simply Sutherland.

Shires in Wales

In Wales, the counties of Merioneth and Glamorgan are occasionally referred to with the 'shire' suffix. The only Welsh county that never takes it is Anglesey.


The suffix -shire was also included in the name of some areas subsequently incorporated into administrative counties, for instance Hallamshire in South Yorkshire, Richmondshire and Cravenshire in North Yorkshire, and Bedlingtonshire, Norhamshire and Islandshire, exclaves of County Durham which were incorporated Northumberland in 1844. The term shire thus predates the creation of England's counties, referring originally to a more local jurisdiction.

In local government terms, the phrase 'Shire county' refers to the non-metropolitan administrative counties of England outside London. The term is often used by political commentators to describe the areas of England outside London and the 'metropolitan counties' created for the principal conurbations in 1974.

See also

Shire is also the name for a breed of large draft horse.