Finally, someone at Sheffield Uni has told us where the North is

Putting the debate to rest

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In 2007 Sheffield University were asked to provide a map of where we thought the North-South dividing line lay for an exhibition at The Lowry gallery in Salford called “Myth of the North”.

The North/South divide has long fuelled pronunciation based arguments, but now Danny Dorling, a former Geography professor at the University of Sheffield, has had a go at defining the split once and for all.

The divide has been prevalent since the 19th Century, with the marked difference between poverty and life expectancy in the two areas of the country causing a lot of contention.

The West Midlands have so long been an enigma in terms of north/south placement, have we finally got the answer?


Danny Dorling has commented that “The closer you look at it the more detail you see. It weaves between fields and houses. That such an exact line can be drawn is, of course, a fiction but it is also fair to say that moving from North to South is not that gradual an experience.”

The line lies above Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire, and runs below West and Mid Worcestershire, Loughborough, Scunthorpe, Cleethorpes and Great Grimsby.

A bold move

Dorling also said that “within the North are places that look and sometimes act (e.g. vote) like the south. Areas around the vale of York and Cheshire are contenders here – but they are still northern.”

Pictures: Danny Dorling, The University of Sheffield