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.
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).
^1 City Status confirmed by Letters Patent issued under the Great Seal dated 1 April 1974.
^2 City Status confirmed by Letters Patent issued under the Great Seal dated 25 June 1974.
^3 City Status confirmed by Letters Patent issued under the Great Seal dated 28 May 1974.
^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.
^7 City status was confirmed by Letters Patent dated 9 July 1974. 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.
^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.
^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.
^13 City status granted by Letters Patent dated 7 June 1977.
^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.
^15 Letters Patent dated 31 January 2001 ordained that "the Towns of Brighton and Hove shall have the status of a City".
^16 Letters Patent dated 31 January 2001 ordained that "the Town of Wolverhampton shall have the status of a City".
^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.
^18 City status granted by Letters Patent dated 23 March 1992.
^19 City status was conferred on Hereford Town Council 11 October 2000. 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. 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. Letters Patent dated 16 September 1994 ordained that the "Town of St. David's shall have the status of a City".
^29 Letters Patent dated 28 October 1905, which also granted the title of Lord Mayor.
^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"
^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)
^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. ISBN9780754650676.