County town

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A county town is the 'capital' of a county in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland. County towns are usually the location of administrative or judicial functions, or established over time as the de facto main town of a county. The concept of a county town eventually became detached from its original meaning of where the county administration is based (see County halls below). In fact, many county towns are no longer part of "their" administrative county e.g. Nottingham is administered by a unitary authority entirely separate from the rest of Nottinghamshire. Many county towns are in fact cities, but all are referred to as county towns irrespective of whether city status is held or not.

Note that in Eastern Canada and the United States of America, the term county seat is usually used for the same purpose. However, in the state of Louisiana the term parish seat is used instead. In both instances, county seats or parish seats throughout the US or Eastern Canada range from large cities of 1,000,000 or more residents to towns with fewer than 200 residents and county populations of around 200.


List of county towns

United Kingdom

Historic counties of England

This list shows county towns prior to the reforms of 1889. For 1889 and later see the section below

Counties of Scotland

Historic counties of Wales

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