List of cities in the United Kingdom

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This is a list of cities in the United Kingdom, as of 2013. It lists those places that have been granted city status by letters patent or royal charter. In some cases the area holding city status does not coincide with the built up area or conurbation of which it forms part. In the case of Greater London, for example, only the City of London and City of Westminster hold city status. In other cases the status can extend to include a number of towns and rural areas within the local government district containing the main settlement after which it is named. Examples include the City of Canterbury and City of Lancaster.[1]

The column headed Cathedral shows the applicable cathedrals that were the grounds for the granting of city status in the case of cities recognised prior to 1888, i.e. cathedrals of the Church of England (including cathedrals that are now part of the Church in Wales) or pre-Reformation cathedrals in the Church of Scotland. Certain cities also have Roman Catholic cathedrals, but these are not listed.

As from 1888, the presence of a cathedral ceased to be a relevant factor in granting city status and all entries after this date are, therefore, marked not applicable. Cities that have acquired cathedrals since 1888 are Birmingham, Bradford, Derby, Leicester, Newport, Portsmouth and Sheffield, while Llandaff Cathedral was included within the boundaries of the city of Cardiff in 1922. In Ireland, possession of a diocesan cathedral has never (except in the anomalous case of Armagh) been sufficient to attain city status.[citation needed]

There are currently a total of 69 official cities in the United Kingdom (51 in England, 5 in Northern Ireland, 7 in Scotland and 6 in Wales).[2]

There are a number of cities in the British Overseas Territories, such as Jamestown;[3] these are however not part of the United Kingdom.


City[2]Year granted city statusCathedral (pre-1888)City councilImagePopulation
Bath1 time immemorialBath Abbey4Charter trusteesSouthGate and Bath from Beechen Cliff.jpg83,992
Birmingham2 188933not applicableLocal government districtBirmingham-Skyline-from-the-West.jpg1,074,300 (2011)[4]
Bradford1 1897not applicableLocal government districtBradfordskyline.jpeg522,452 (2011)[4]
Brighton & Hove15 2000not applicableLocal government districtBrighton.UK.JPG273,369 (2011)[4]
Bristol1 1542Bristol CathedralLocal government districtColston Avenue, Bristol.jpg428,234 (2011)[4]
Cambridge3 195125not applicableLocal government districtKingsCollegeChapelWest.jpg123,867 (2011)[4]
Canterbury3 time immemorialCanterbury CathedralLocal government districtView of the city from Augustine House - - 1713524.jpg151,145 (2011)[4]
Carlisle1 1158Carlisle CathedralLocal government districtCarlisle Cathedral from the Air.jpg107,524 (2011)[4]
Chelmsford37 2012not applicableLocal government districtChelmsfordcath.jpg168,310 (2011)[4]
Chester3 1541Chester CathedralCharter trusteesBridge Street, Chester.jpg90,925
Chichester1 time immemorialChichester CathedralCivil parishChichester - Bishop's Palace Gardens - - 1349835.jpg25,749 (2010)[5]
Coventry1 time immemorialCoventry Cathedral5Local government districtSkyline of Coventry as seen from Baginton 3g06.JPG316,915 (2011)[4]
Derby13 1977not applicableLocal government districtIron Gate, Derby - - 587015.jpg248,752 (2011)[4]
Durham1 time immemorialDurham CathedralCharter trusteesDurham Cathedral from the train viaduct.jpg94,375 (2011)[6]
Ely1 time immemorialEly CathedralCivil parishEly Cathedral From Air.jpg20,240 (2010)[5]
Exeter1 time immemorialExeter CathedralLocal government districtExeter panorama 1.jpg117,773 (2011)[4]
Gloucester1 1541Gloucester CathedralLocal government districtGloucester and its cathedral - - 1454853.jpg121,688 (2011)[4]
Hereford119 time immemorialHereford CathedralCivil parishHereford cathedral 002.JPG58,896 (2011)[7]
Kingston upon Hull12 1897not applicableLocal government districtHull from Paull.jpg256,406 (2011)[4]
Lancaster1 193726not applicableLocal government districtCity of Lancaster (2).jpg138,375 (2011)[4]
Leeds1 1893not applicableLocal government districtLeedsSkyline2013.jpg751,485 (2011)[4]
Leicester1 191922not applicableLocal government districtCurve Leicester full panorama.jpg329,839 (2011)[4]
Lichfield17 time immemorialLichfield CathedralCivil parishLichfield Cityscape.jpg31,068 (2010)[5]
Lincoln3 time immemorialLincoln CathedralLocal government districtCathedral and Castle Square - - 134108.jpg93,541 (2011)[4]
Liverpool2 1880Liverpool Cathedral (1880)Local government districtLiverpool waterfront from Birkenhead 300809.JPG466,415 (2011)[4]
City of London6 time immemorialSt Paul's CathedralLocal government districtCity of London skyline from London City Hall - Oct 2008.jpg7,375 (2011)[4]
Manchester1 185334Manchester Cathedral (1847)Local government districtManchester Skyline.jpg503,127 (2011)[4]
Newcastle upon Tyne1 1882Newcastle Cathedral (1882)Local government districtBridges opening up - - 178375.jpg280,177 (2011)[4]
Norwich1 time immemorialNorwich CathedralLocal government districtGentlemanswalk.JPG132,512 (2011)[4]
Nottingham1 1897not applicableLocal government districtClipston Nottingham.JPG305,680 (2011)[4]
Oxford1 1542Christ Church CathedralLocal government districtOxford from Boars Hill.jpg151,906 (2011)[4]
Peterborough2 1541Peterborough CathedralLocal government districtPeterborough Cathedral oblique view.jpg183,631 (2011)[4]
Plymouth1 192827not applicableLocal government districtPlymouth from Mount Batten - - 1580485.jpg256,384 (2011)[4]
Portsmouth1 192624not applicableLocal government districtPortsmouthskyline.jpg205,056 (2011)[4]
Preston14 2002not applicableLocal government districtPreston City Centre.jpg140,202 (2011)[4]
Ripon1 1836Ripon Cathedral (1836)Civil parishRiponMarket.jpg17,193 (2010)[5]
Salford1 192624not applicableLocal government districtMariners Canal from Waterfront Quay, Salford Quays.jpg233,933 (2011)[4]

(formally known as New Sarum until 2009)

1227Salisbury CathedralCivil parishSalisbury Cathedral.jpg39,896 (2010)[5]
Sheffield3 1893not applicableLocal government districtPeaceGdnsSheffd.jpg552,698 (2011)[4]
Southampton1 1964not applicableLocal government districtSouthampton from Aurora 01.JPG236,882 (2011)[4]
St Albans7 187736St Albans Cathedral (1876)Local government districtCathedral.png140,644 (2011)[4]
Stoke-on-Trent3 192528not applicableLocal government districtHanley City - - 155173.jpg249,008 (2011)[4]
Sunderland18 1992not applicableLocal government districtSunderlandBridges.jpg275,506 (2011)[4]
Truro1 1877Truro Cathedral (1877)Civil parishTruro stmarysst.jpg19,382 (2010)[5]
Wakefield3 1888Wakefield Cathedral (1888)Local government districtWakefield County Hall.jpg325,837 (2011)[4]
Wells1 1205Wells CathedralCivil parishWells main street arp.jpg10,491 (2010)[5]
City of Westminster21 1540Westminster Abbey4Local government districtHdr parliament.jpg219,396 (2011)[4]
Winchester1 time immemorialWinchester CathedralLocal government districtWinchester 13.JPG116,595 (2011)[4]
Wolverhampton16 2000not applicableLocal government districtSt Peter's Church, Wolverhampton.jpg249,470 (2011)[4]
Worcester3 time immemorialWorcester CathedralLocal government districtRiver Severn, Worcester - - 894221.jpg98,768 (2011)[4]
York18 time immemorialYork MinsterLocal government districtYork Davygate.jpg198,051 (2011)[4]


CityYear granted
city status
City councilImagePopulation
(Scots: Aiberdeen)
(Scottish Gaelic: Obar Dheathain)
city status confirmed 189131
(royal burgh 1179)
St Machar's CathedralLocal government districtAberdeen from Torry - - 1454885.jpg189,12038
(Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Dèagh)
(royal burgh 1191)
not applicableLocal government districtMidsummer night^ - - 9752.jpg153,99038
(Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Èideann)
accepted as city by ancient usage by the eighteenth century
and confirmed in subsequent local government legislation[8]
(royal burgh 1329)
St. Giles' CathedralLocal government districtEdinburgh. View from Calton Hill.jpg468,72038
(Scots: Glesga)
(Scottish Gaelic: Glaschu)
accepted as city by ancient usage by the eighteenth century
and confirmed in subsequent local government legislation[8]
(royal burgh 1492)
St. Mungo's CathedralLocal government district(looking down) Buchannan Street, Glasgow.jpg589,90038
(Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Nis)
2000not applicablenoneInverness view 3.jpg57,960[9]
(Scots: Pairth)
(Scottish Gaelic: Peairt)
(city status had previously been held by the Royal Burgh of Perth, created in the twelfth century and abolished in 1975.[11])
not applicablenonePerthScotland.jpg45,77038
(Scots: Stirlin)
(Scottish Gaelic: Sruighlea)
2002not applicablenoneStirling(DonaldMacDonald)Dec2005.jpg34,79038


CityYear granted
city status
City councilImagePopulation
Bangor1 time immemorialBangor CathedralCommunityBangor from Bangor-mountain.jpg14,875 (2010)[5]
(Welsh: Caerdydd)
190529not applicableLocal government districtCardiff City Hall cropped.jpg346,090 (2011)[4]
2002not applicableLocal government districtNewportciviccentre.jpg145,736 (2011)[4]
St Asaph37
2012not applicableCommunitySt Asaph, Cathedral.jpg3,444 (2010)[5]
St David's20
1994not applicableCommunitySt.Davids, Wales, UK.jpg1,661 (2010)[5]
196923not applicableLocal government districtSwansea Railway Station - - 1484946.jpg239,023 (2011)[4]

Northern Ireland[edit]

CityYear granted city statusCity councilImagePopulation
(Irish: Ard Mhacha)
(Ulster-Scots: Airmagh)
1994Local government districtThe Mall, Armagh.jpg59,340 (2011)[12]
(Irish: Béal Feirste)
(Ulster-Scots: Bilfawst)
1888Local government districtBelfast City Hall 2.jpg280,962 (2011)[12]
(Irish: Doire / Doire Cholmchille)
Derrie / Lunnonderrie)
1604[13]Local government districtSt Eugene's Cathedral, August 2009.JPG107,877 (2011)[12]
(Irish: Lios na gCearrbhach)
2002Local government districtIrish Linen Centre Lisburn Museum.jpg120,165 (2011)[12]
(Irish: Iúr Cinn Trá)
(Ulster-Scots: Newrie)
2002noneMarcus Sq Newry.jpg27,433

See also[edit]


  • ^1 City Status confirmed by Letters Patent issued under the Great Seal dated 1 April 1974.[16]
  • ^2 City Status confirmed by Letters Patent issued under the Great Seal dated 25 June 1974.[17]
  • ^3 City Status confirmed by Letters Patent issued under the Great Seal dated 28 May 1974.[18]
  • ^4 Bath Abbey and Westminster Abbey are no longer cathedrals.
  • ^5 Coventry has had three cathedrals: the first, St Mary's, from 1043 to 1539; the second, St Michael's, from 1918 to 1940, when it was destroyed by German bombardment; and its replacement, also St Michael's, built alongside the old cathedral, consecrated in 1962.
  • ^6 Note that the City of London covers only the "square mile", and is usually just referred to as "the City". The larger conurbation of Greater London has no city charter, and consists of the City of London, the City of Westminster and 31 other London boroughs. This can be compared to the City of Brussels, within Brussels.
  • ^7 City status was confirmed by Letters Patent dated 9 July 1974.[19] The city status extends to the entire district, although the district council calls itself "St Albans District Council" or "St Albans City and District".
  • ^8 Letters Patent under the Great Seal conferring City Status were issued to the unitary authority of York on 1 April 1996, confirming the right of the Lord Mayor to be styled "Right Honourable", in continuation to those granted to the previous City Council abolished 31 March 1996.[20]
  • ^9 Letters Patent under the Great Seal were issued on 29 March 1996 ordaining that the counties of Swansea and Cardiff should have the status of cities from 1 April 1996. The counties replaced the previous district councils which had enjoyed city status.[20]
  • ^10 According to the Municipal Year Book, 1972 the royal burghs of Perth and Elgin officially enjoyed city status. The royal burghs of Brechin, Dunfermline and Kirkwall had also been officially described as "cities". As all burghs were abolished in 1975, these areas are now often called "former cities". Although Brechin does not have city status, the community council formed for the area uses the title "City of Brechin and District".
  • ^11 Armagh had previously enjoyed city status, with St Patrick's Cathedral the seat of the metropolitan primate of all Ireland. The city status was lost in 1840 when the city corporation was abolished. However, the successor urban district council and district council frequently used the title of city without official sanction prior to 1994.
  • ^12 City Status confirmed by Letters Patent issued under the Great Seal dated 18 March 1975.[21]
  • ^13 City status granted by Letters Patent dated 7 June 1977.[22]
  • ^14 City status granted to the "Town of Newport in the County Borough of Newport" and the "Town of Preston" by Letters Patent dated 15 May 2002.[23]
  • ^15 Letters Patent dated 31 January 2001 ordained that "the Towns of Brighton and Hove shall have the status of a City".[24]
  • ^16 Letters Patent dated 31 January 2001 ordained that "the Town of Wolverhampton shall have the status of a City".[24]
  • ^17 Letters Patent dated 4 November 1980 ordained that the "Town of Lichfield shall have the status of a City". A town council had been constituted in 1980 leading to the dissolution of the Charter Trustees of the City of Lichfield.[25][26]
  • ^18 City status granted by Letters Patent dated 23 March 1992.[27]
  • ^19 City status was conferred on Hereford Town Council 11 October 2000.[28] The status had previously been confirmed to the district council formed in 1974. When that council was abolished in 1996 charter trustees were formed for the City of Hereford. On the formation of a town council for Hereford in April 2000 the charter trustees were dissolved, and the city status temporarily lapsed.
  • ^20 St David's historically had city status because of the presence of St David's Cathedral. In 1849 it was noted that the city had no municipal corporation: There was however a recognised "city" in which a mayor had limited jurisdiction.[29] A Royal Commission appointed in 1876 reported that the corporation had long been extinct, and the city was formally abolished in 1886 under the provisions of the Municipal Corporations Act 1883.[30] Letters Patent dated 16 September 1994 ordained that the "Town of St. David's shall have the status of a City".[31]
  • ^21 The title of City was used "by courtesy" after 1550 when Westminster ceased to be the see of a bishop. By Letters Patent dated 27 October 1900 city status was conferred on the newly created Metropolitan Borough of Westminster from 1 November.[32] This status was continued on the creation of the City of Westminster as a London borough in 1965.
  • ^22 A letter from the Home Secretary to the Mayor of Leicester dated 14 June 1919, confirming that the city status would be bestowed, noted that this was a "restoration to your ancient town of its former status of a city".[33][34][35]
  • ^23 Letters Patent dated 10 December 1969.[36]
  • ^24 Letters Patent dated 21 April 1926.[37]
  • ^25 Letters Patent dated 21 March 1951.[38]
  • ^26 Letters Patent dated 14 May 1937.[39]
  • ^27 Letters Patent dated 18 October 1928.[40]
  • ^28 Letters Patent dated 5 June 1925.[41]
  • ^29 Letters Patent dated 28 October 1905, which also granted the title of Lord Mayor.[42]
  • ^30 Warrant issued 28 January 1889 that Letters Patent be issued under the Seal appointed by the treaty of union to be used in place of the Great Seal of Scotland, ordaining and declaring that the Burgh of Dundee shall be a City, and shall be called and styled "The City of Dundee"[43]
  • ^31 Burghs of Old Aberdeen and Woodside and the district of Torry incorporated as the City and Royal Burgh of Aberdeen by the Aberdeen Corporation Act 1891 (1891 c.cxxiv)
  • ^32 The present council areas are designated "cities" by virtue of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994, which also reserves the post of Lord Provost for the convener of the four councils. The previous local government districts and district councils created by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 enjoyed the same privileges.
  • ^33 Letters Patent dated 14 January 1889[44]
  • ^34 Letters Patent dated 29 March 1853[45]
  • ^35 Letters Patent dated 1 April 2009 [46] City status had been held prior to this date by the Charter Trustees of the City of New Sarum.[47]
  • ^36 Letters Patent dated 28 August 1877.[48]
  • ^37 Letters Patent dated 1 June 2012 "to ordain that the Town of Chelmsford in the County of Essex and the Town of St Asaph in the County of Denbighshire shall have the status of a City".[49]
  • ^38 Mid-2010 Populations Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland.[50]


  1. ^ Beckett, John (2005). City Status in the British Isles: 1830 - 2002. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 9780754650676. 
  2. ^ a b Government list
  3. ^ The St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Constitution Order 2009 "...and declared Jamestown to be a city called the “City of James Town”" (Schedule Preamble)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq "2011 Census: KS101EW Usual resident population, local authorities in England and Wales". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Civil Parish population estimates in England and Wales, mid-2010". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  6. ^ City status extends to the area of the former District of Durham "Charter trust and Mayor for Durham City". Durham County Council. Retrieved 2 February 2013.  "2011 Census Statistical Profile". Durham County Council. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "2011 Census: Usual resident population estimates by broad age group for Wards & Market Towns in Herefordshire". Herefordshire Council. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Beckett, J. V. (2005). City status in the British Isles, 1830-2002. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 16–17. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  9. ^ From NRS 2010 mid-year estimates, population of Inverness including Culloden - "Highland Profile". Highland Council. Retrieved 9 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Letters Patent dated 21 May 2012 "News: The National Records of Scotland seals Perth's city status". National Archives of Scotland. 6 July 2012.  "'We really feel part of history being made' — Letters Patent makes Perth's city status official". The Courier. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  11. ^ The term "civitas" or "city" had been used in early charters of the Royal Burgh of Perth. The royal burgh had been created at some date in the King David I (1124-53) and the earliest surviving charter dates from 1209 or 1210. A A M Duncan (24 March 1973). "Perth. The First Century of the Burgh". Transactions of the Perthshire Society of Natural Science.  J V Beckett (2005). City Status in the British Isles, 1830-2002. Ashgate. pp. 16–17. ISBN 9780754650676. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Usual Resident Population: KS101NI (administrative geographies)". Census 2011. Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  13. ^ City commemorates the 400th Anniversary of the City’s first charter, Derry City Council press release dated 7 July 2004, (accessed 15 December 2007)
  14. ^ "Local Government (Structural Changes) (Miscellaneous Amendments and Other Provision) Order 2009". Tow. Office of Public Sector Information. 2009. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  15. ^ "New Parish Council for the City of Salisbury". Towards One Council. Wiltshire County Council. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  16. ^ The London Gazette: no. 46255. p. 4400. 4 April 1974. Retrieved 18 April 2008.
  17. ^ The London Gazette: no. 46303. pp. 6485–6486. 28 June 1974. Retrieved 18 April 2008.
  18. ^ The London Gazette: no. 46334. p. 7419. 31 May 1974. Retrieved 18 April 2008.
  19. ^ The London Gazette: no. 46352. p. 7920. 24 September 1974. Retrieved 18 April 2008.
  20. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 54363. p. 4925. 4 April 1996. Retrieved 18 April 2008.
  21. ^ The London Gazette: no. 46522. p. 3729. 20 March 1975. Retrieved 18 April 2008.
  22. ^ The London Gazette: no. 47246. p. 7656. 14 June 1977. Retrieved 18 April 2008.
  23. ^ The London Gazette: no. 56573. p. 6160. 21 May 2002. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
  24. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 56109. p. 1431. 2 May 2001. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
  25. ^ The London Gazette: no. 48364. p. 15451. 7 November 1980. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
  26. ^ Lichfield City Council website
  27. ^ The London Gazette: no. 52874. p. 5413. 26 March 1992. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
  28. ^ Charters of Hereford City Council
  29. ^ Samuel Lewis (ed.), Dale - St. David's, from A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1849), accessdate=2008-05-15
  30. ^ Municipal Corporations Act 1883 (c.19), S.3 and Sch II, part I
  31. ^ The London Gazette: no. 53798. p. 13403. 23 September 1994. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
  32. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27242. p. 6613. 30 October 1900. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
  33. ^ The Times: Leicester, a City: Sequel to the Recent Royal Visit, 17 June 1919
  34. ^ Civic history: The making of a City, (Leicester City Council), accessed 14 February 2008
  35. ^ Leicester: The Dignity of a City 655–1926, Leicester's city status, its loss and its regaining over thirteen centuries by Daniel Williams
  36. ^ The London Gazette: no. 44986. p. 12450. 12 December 1969. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
  37. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33154. pp. 2776–2777. 23 April 1926. Retrieved 18 April 2008.
  38. ^ London Gazette, issue no.39201, 13 April 1951
  39. ^ London Gazette, issue no.34400, 21 May 1937
  40. ^ London Gazette, issue no.33433, 26 October 1928
  41. ^ London Gazette, issue no.33063, 3 July 1925
  42. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27849. p. 7249. 31 October 1905. Retrieved 22 April 2008.
  43. ^ London Gazette, 29 January 1889
  44. ^ From the London Gazette, January 18, 1889, The Times, 19 January 1889
  45. ^ London Gazette Issue 21426, p.950, 1 April 1853
  46. ^ The London Gazette: no. 59250. p. 20329. 24 November 2009.
  47. ^ "Civic History Its Charters and Silver". The Guildhall Salisbury. Salisbury City Council. 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2009. [dead link]
  48. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24502. p. 5185. 11 September 1877. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  49. ^ The London Gazette: no. 60167. p. 11125. 11 June 2012.
  50. ^ "Mid-2010 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland". General Register Office for Scotland. General Register Office for Scotland. 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012.