The counties and parishes of Scotland
Scotland is divided into 33 counties or shires, the majority of which were established between the 11th and 17th centuries. By 1890 there were 32 shires plus Orkney and Zetland (Shetland) but in that year Ross and Cromarty were amalgamated and Orkney and Zetland were included to reach the modern total of 33. The counties were replaced as administrative units by larger regions and districts, and later council areas.
The counties are in turn divided into a further 903 parishes. These civil parishes have their origins in the ecclesiastical parishes of the Church of Scotland which were adapted for civil administration purposes. Some parishes overlap county boundaries due to changes to earlier territorial divisions.