Boundary Changes 1889-92 : Scotland


Scottish Boundary Changes

Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889

Under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889, the following issues were to be addressed:

Areas and Boundaries

  • The counties were initially to have the same boundaries as those already existing with some stated exceptions:
    • The county of Lanark was to be united. Previously, for some administrative purposes it comprised three counties, known as the counties of the lower, middle or upper ward of Lanark.
    • The counties of Ross and Cromarty were to be united "for all purposes whatsoever" as the county of Ross and Cromarty.
    • The boundaries of the counties of Dumbarton and Stirling were to be adjusted, so that the entire parishes of Cumbernauld and Kirkintilloch were to be in Dunbartonshire. This area remained an exclave of Dunbartonshire until the county council's abolition in 1975. Stirling was to gain the lands north of Endrick Water as far as the centre-line of Loch Lomond.
    • Part of the county of Banff was transferred to the county of Aberdeen; and part of the county of Elgin (Moray) was transferred to the county of Banff. These areas had already been administered by the counties in question under highways legislation.
    • The county of Orkney and lordship of Zetland (Shetland) were separated to form two counties with those names.

Boundary Changes

  • It was recognised in the Act that the boundaries of the counties (and parishes) would need to be altered.
    • Accordingly, section 45 established a body styled the "Boundary Commissioners for Scotland" to form county electoral divisions, and to simplify the boundaries of counties, burghs and parishes, so that
      (1) each burgh and county would be, if expedient, within a single county,
      (2) no part of a county would be detached therefrom, and
      (3) no part of a parish would be detached therefrom, and to arbitrate disputes between local authorities arising from boundary changes.
    • All boundary changes made by the Boundary Commissioners came into full effect on 15 May 1892. For most purposes, however, the bulk of the changes became effective a year earlier, on 15 May 1891.

Boundaries of Counties and Parishes in Scotland as Settled By the Boundary Commissioners Under the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1889

The book "Boundaries of Counties and Parishes in Scotland as Settled By the Boundary Commissioners Under the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1889" by Hay Shennan was published by William Green and Sons in Edinburgh, 1892.

Here you can find information on the boundary changes that took places in Scotland in 1889. Such changes affected the boundaries of counties, parishes, and burghs.

The "Explanation of the Orders" effected by the Boundary Commissioners have now been transcribed, and for convenience, the counties can be selected from the list below.