Why Are The Home Counties Called The Home Counties?

2 August 2017, 13:45 | Updated: 4 August 2017, 10:00

The Home Counties
Picture: LBC

Why do we call Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey, and Sussex the home counties?

Mystery Hour Question

Why are the home counties called the home counties?

Lawrence, Esher


Name: Nick, Croyden

Qualification: Read books on the subject

Answer: It comes from the army and navy personnel coming home from the various world tours and European tours, particularly during the 18th and 19th centuries. It’s in the footnotes of both The Flashman Papers by George McDonald Fraser and the Aubrey–Maturin naval books by Patrick O'Brian. The personnel lived in those counties so that they could embark quickly when needed.

Name: Johnathan, Guildford

Qualification: Lives in a home county

Answer: Judges used to have circuits when they were presiding over the assizes and the London circuit included the home counties. London was seen as home.