Yorkshire used to be a county in Northern England, and was once the largest county, divided into three 'Ridings' (OE thridings, 'thirds'). However, the Local Government Act of 1972 broke it into three smaller counties - North, South and West Yorkshire, as well as transferring the East (and part of the West) Riding to Humberside, and parts of the traditional county to Durham, Cumbria and Greater Manchester.
The county has varied geography from the hills and mountains of the Pennines and North Yorkshire moors, to the flatlands of the Vale of York and the fen country of the Humberhead Levels. Principal cities in Yorkshire include Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, York, and Goole, Britain' most inland seaport.
Historically, the symbol of Yorkshire was the white rose.
The principle sports in Yorkshire are soccer and rugby league, with the traditional game of Yorkshire being cricket, though in recent years the county side has lagged. Similarly, Yorkshire soccer teams no longer occupy their former prominent positions in the soccer leagues.
Yorkshire people are supposed to be dour and of few words, careful with money but loyal friends once their reserve has been penetrated. A traditional rhyme runs:
- Yorkshire born, Yorkshire bred
- Strong in't arm and thick in't head
Yorkshire is associated with the Yorkshire Pudding, and with the Yorkshire Ripper, the serial killer Peter Sutcliffe (b. 2 June 1946) of Bradford who murdered thirteen women in northern England between 1975 and 1980.