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English midlands

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English midlands

The Midlands is an area comprising central England that broadly corresponds to the early medieval Kingdom of Mercia. It borders Southern England, Northern England, East Anglia and Wales. Its largest city is Birmingham, and it was an important location for the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries. The greater part of the area is now administered as the Government Office Regions of the West Midlands and East Midlands, though parts of the traditional Midlands are also in surrounding regions, namely Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough (East of England), Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire (South East), Gloucestershire (South West) and Northern Lincolnshire (Yorkshire and the Humber).

Extent of the Midlands

The Midlands does not correspond to any current administrative area, and there is therefore no strict definition. However, it is generally considered to include the counties of Derbyshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, the West Midlands and Worcestershire. Lincolnshire is considered by some part of the Midlands but generally excluded, on account of its extensive coastline. The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica describes Gloucestershire as "west midland", Bedfordshire as "south midland", and Huntingdonshire as "east midland" counties respectively.

With more restricted boundaries than the traditional area known as the Midlands, two modern Government Office Regions together represent the latter: West Midlands and East Midlands. These are also constituencies of the European Parliament.

The West Midlands comprises the shire counties of (1) Staffordshire, (2) Warwickshire and (3) Worcestershire (with their respective districts), the unitary counties of (4) Herefordshire and (5) Shropshire, the metropolitan boroughs of (6) Birmingham, (7) Coventry, (8) Dudley, (9) Sandwell, (10) Solihull, (11) Walsall and (12) Wolverhampton, and the unitary boroughs of (13) Stoke-on-Trent and (14) Telford and Wrekin. The East Midlands comprises the shire counties of (15) Derbyshire, (16) Leicestershire, (17) Lincolnshire, (18) Northamptonshire and (19) Nottinghamshire (with their respective districts) and the unitary county of (20) Rutland. The two regions have a combined population of 9,439,516 (2001 census), and an area of 11,053 sq mi (28,631 km²).

The largest Midlands conurbation, which includes the cities of Birmingham and Wolverhampton, is approximately covered by the metropolitan county (which also includes the city of Coventry) of the West Midlands. Parts of the East Midlands are also densely populated, particularly the triangle formed by the cities of Nottingham, Leicester and Derby, which also includes sizeable towns such as Loughborough and the Long EatonBeestonStapleford subconurbation.

Various part of the Midlands (particularly Warwickshire and Leicestershire) are somewhat poetically referred to as the Heart of England, especially in tourist literature.

The various areas of the Midlands have their own distinctive character, giving rise to a high number of local history and industrial heritage groups. Nottingham played a notable part in the English Civil War, which is commemorated in a number of place names (Parliament Terrace, Parliament Street, Standard Hill). Areas such as Derbyshire's Amber Valley and Erewash combine attractive countryside with industrial heritage and are home to historic canals and sites associated with the mining industry.

Cities and notable towns



Club League City/Town Stadium Capacity
Aston Villa F.C. Premier League Birmingham Villa Park 42,788
Stoke City F.C. Premier League Stoke-on-Trent Britannia Stadium 28,384
West Bromwich Albion F.C. Premier League West Bromwich The Hawthorns 26,500
Birmingham City F.C. Football League Championship Birmingham St Andrew's 30,079
Derby County F.C. Football League Championship Derby Pride Park Stadium 33,597
Leicester City F.C. Football League Championship Leicester Walkers Stadium 32,500
Nottingham Forest F.C. Football League Championship Nottingham City Ground 30,576
Coventry City F.C. Football League One Coventry Ricoh Arena 32,609
Notts County F.C. Football League One Nottingham Meadow Lane 21,300
Shrewsbury Town F.C. Football League One Shrewsbury Prostar Stadium 9,875
Walsall F.C. Football League One Walsall Bescot Stadium 11,300
Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. Football League One Wolverhampton Molineux Stadium 30,852
Burton Albion F.C. Football League Two Burton Upon Trent Pirelli Stadium 6,912
Chesterfield F.C. Football League Two Chesterfield B2net Stadium 10,600
Northampton Town F.C. Football League Two Northampton Sixfields Stadium 7,653
Mansfield Town F.C. Football League Two Mansfield Field Mill 10,000
Port Vale Football League Two Stoke-on-Trent Vale Park 19,052

Rugby union

Club League City/Town Stadium Capacity
Leicester Tigers Aviva Premiership Leicester Welford Road 24,000
Northampton Saints Aviva Premiership Northampton Franklin's Gardens 13,600
Worcester Warriors Aviva Premiership Worcester Sixways Stadium 12,068
Moseley RFU Championship Birmingham Billesley Common 3,000
Nottingham RFU Championship Nottingham Meadow Lane 19,588

External links

  • Tourism info for the midlands

Coordinates: 52°42′N 1°30′W / 52.7°N 1.5°W / 52.7; -1.5

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