Three Towns

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Map of c.1854 showing the Three Towns: Devonport with its defences to the left, Stonehouse in the centre, Plymouth to the right New Passage Map.jpg
Map of c.1854 showing the Three Towns: Devonport with its defences to the left, Stonehouse in the centre, Plymouth to the right

Three Towns is a term used to refer to several groups of towns.


United Kingdom

There are several groups of towns in the United Kingdom referred to as the Three Towns, many of which form contiguous settlements, or are in close proximity to each other.



The Three Towns is a term used to refer to the neighbouring towns of Plymouth, Devonport and East Stonehouse in the county of Devon, England. [1] [2] [3] They were formally merged in 1914 to become the Borough of Plymouth. [4] In 1928, the Borough was granted City status by Royal Charter.


Three towns has been used to refer to the towns of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in South-East Dorset, which form a single conurbation. The name was used to refer to an infrastructure project in the area, [5] [6] which became a single authority in 2019 called Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. One of the parties which stood for the inaugural elections was initially called Three Towns Together.


The term is also sometimes used to refer to the towns of Great Harwood, Clayton-le-Moors and Rishton, situated to the north of Accrington in the Hyndburn district of Lancashire. [7] [8]


The term 'three towns' is also used [9] [10] [11] [12] in reference to the towns of Ardrossan, Saltcoats and Stevenston in North Ayrshire (historically Cunninghame) which together form one contiguous settlement along the eastern shore of the Firth of Clyde with a population of around 32,000; most local amenities are shared across the localities. [13]


In Sudan, the term "Three Towns" refers to Khartoum, North Khartoum, and Omdurman. [14]


The term 'three cities' (more commonly: Tricity, Polish : Trójmiasto) is used for the metropolitan area of Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot on the Baltic Coastline (as well as minor towns in their vicinity [15] ). Their total metropolitan population amounts to around 1,100,000. [16]


  1. "The Deanery of the Three Towns". Devon Family History Society. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  2. "Three towns amalgamation centenary stone". Plymouth City Council . Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  3. "Plymouth's Great War: Three Towns United in Conflict". Devon Museums . Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  4. "Plymouth City Council - Local history". Archived from the original on 9 June 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2008.
  5. "Three Towns Travel". Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  6. "Three Towns Travel project: what the £12m scheme to tackle congestion will mean for you". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  7. "Three Towns Food Bank". St Charles RC Church Rishton. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  8. "Office: Great Harwood". Woodcocks Haworth and Nuttall Solicitors. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  9. "The Three Towns". North Ayrshire Community Planning Partnership. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  10. "Home". Threetowners. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  11. "Three Towns". North Ayrshire Health & Social Care Partnership. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  12. "The Three Towns". Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  13. "Mid-2016 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland". National Records of Scotland. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  14. Essien, Kwame; Falola, Toyin (2008). Culture and Customs of Sudan. ABC-CLIO. p. 110. ISBN   978-0-313-34439-8.
  15. "Tricity, Poland", Wikipedia, 16 December 2020, retrieved 21 January 2021
  16. "Urban Audit - Home Page". 31 May 2013. Archived from the original on 31 May 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2021.

Related Research Articles

Dorset Ceremonial county of England

Dorset is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The ceremonial county comprises the unitary authority areas of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and Dorset. Covering an area of 2,653 square kilometres (1,024 sq mi), Dorset borders Devon to the west, Somerset to the north-west, Wiltshire to the north-east, and Hampshire to the east. The county town is Dorchester, in the south. After the reorganisation of local government in 1974, the county border was extended eastward to incorporate the Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch. Around half of the population lives in the South East Dorset conurbation, while the rest of the county is largely rural with a low population density.

Ayrshire Historic county in Scotland

Ayrshire is a historic county and registration county in south-west Scotland, located on the shores of the Firth of Clyde. Its principal towns include Ayr, Kilmarnock and Irvine and it borders the counties of Renfrewshire and Lanarkshire to the north-east, Dumfriesshire to the south-east, and Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire to the south. Like many other counties of Scotland it currently has no administrative function, instead being sub-divided into the council areas of North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and East Ayrshire. It has a population of approximately 366,800.

North Ayrshire Council area of Scotland

North Ayrshire is one of 32 council areas in Scotland.

Bournemouth Town in Dorset, England

Bournemouth is a coastal resort town in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council area of Dorset, England. At the 2011 census, the town had a population of 183,491, making it the largest town in Dorset. It is situated on the English south coast, equidistant from Dorchester and Southampton. Bournemouth is part of the South East Dorset conurbation, which has a population of 465,000.

Poole Town in England

Poole is a large coastal town and seaport in Dorset, on the south coast of England. The town is 21 miles (34 km) east of Dorchester and adjoins Bournemouth to the east. Since 1 April 2019, the local authority is Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council which is a unitary authority. Poole had an estimated population of 151,500 making it the second-largest town in the ceremonial county of Dorset. Together with Bournemouth and Christchurch, the conurbation has a total population of nearly 400,000.

Saltcoats Town in Scotland

Saltcoats is a town on the west coast of North Ayrshire, Scotland. The name is derived from the town's earliest industry when salt was harvested from the sea water of the Firth of Clyde, carried out in small cottages along the shore. It is part of the 'Three Towns' conurbation along with Ardrossan and Stevenston and is the third largest town in North Ayrshire.

Ardrossan Town in Scotland

Ardrossan is a town on the North Ayrshire coast in southwestern Scotland. The town has a population of 10,670 and forms part of a conurbation with Saltcoats and Stevenston known as the 'Three Towns'. Ardrossan is located on the east shore of the Firth of Clyde.

Ayrshire Bus Owners Ltd was a prominent independent co-operative bus operator in Ayrshire, Scotland. Based in Ardrossan, it provided local bus services around the towns of Ardrossan, Saltcoats, Stevenston, Kilwinning, Irvine and Dreghorn, as well as the company's trunk route from Ardrossan to Kilmarnock. It also provided express coach services from Ardrossan to Glasgow throughout the 1980s.

Stevenston Town in Scotland

Stevenston is a town and parish in North Ayrshire, Scotland. Along with Ardrossan and Saltcoats it is one of the "Three Towns", all of similar size, on the east coast of the Firth of Clyde; the easternmost parts of Stevenston are about 12 mile from western parts of Kilwinning, with the A78 trunk road running between the settlements.

Saltcoats Victoria Football Club are a Scottish football club based in the town of Saltcoats, North Ayrshire. Nicknamed the Seasiders, the club were originally formed in 1889 and play at Campbell Park. They currently compete in the West of Scotland League Third Division.

North Ayrshire and Arran (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 2005 onwards

North Ayrshire and Arran is a constituency of the British House of Commons, located in the south-west of Scotland within the North Ayrshire council area. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) at least once every five years using the first-past-the-post voting system of voting.

Saltcoats railway station Railway station in North Ayrshire, Scotland

Saltcoats railway station is a railway station serving the town of Saltcoats, North Ayrshire, Scotland. The station is managed by ScotRail and is on the Ayrshire Coast Line.

Cunninghame North (Scottish Parliament constituency) Region or constituency of the Scottish Parliament

Cunninghame North is a constituency of the Scottish Parliament (Holyrood) covering part of the council area of North Ayrshire. It elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) by the first past the post method of election. It is also one of ten constituencies in the West Scotland electoral region, which elects seven additional members, in addition to the ten constituency MSPs, to produce a form of proportional representation for the region as a whole.

The Lanarkshire and Ayrshire Railway (L&AR) was an independent railway company built to provide the Caledonian Railway with a shorter route for mineral traffic from the coalfields of Lanarkshire to Ardrossan Harbour, in Scotland.

A78 road

The A78 is an A road in Scotland. It connects Greenock and Prestwick on a route which follows the northern section of the Ayrshire coast.

St. Matthew's Academy is a Roman Catholic secondary school in the Scottish town of Saltcoats, North Ayrshire. The Headteacher is Mr Stephen Colligan. He is supported by 4 Depute Head Teachers. Mr McGuigan is Head of S2 and S6. Mrs Schlesiger is Head of S1 and S4. Mrs Holmes is acting Head of S3 and Mr Ross is Head of S5.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Unitary authority area in England

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) is a unitary authority area in the ceremonial county of Dorset, England. It was created on 1 April 2019 by the merger of the areas that were previously administered by the unitary authorities of Bournemouth and Poole, and the non-metropolitan district of Christchurch. The authority covers much of the area of the South Dorset conurbation.

Saltcoats Town Hall Municipal building in Saltcoats, Scotland

Saltcoats Town Hall is a municipal building in Countess Street, Saltcoats, Scotland. The building, which is used by North Ayrshire Council as hub for the delivery of local services, is a Category B listed building.

Ardrossan Civic Centre Municipal Building in Ardrossan, Scotland

Ardrossan Civic Centre is a municipal building in Glasgow Street, Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, Scotland. The building, which is largely used as a community events venue, is a Category B listed building.

Elections to North Ayrshire Council took place on 5 May 2022 on the same day as the 31 other Scottish local government elections. The election was the first to use the nine wards created under the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018, with 33 councillors being elected. Each ward – except Arran which returned one member – elected either three, four or five members, using the STV electoral system.