The North-South Divide - Where is the line?
In 2007 we 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". Below is some information Danny Dorling provided to accompany the map.
About the line
The country is best typified as being divided regionally between the north and the south. Ideas of a midlands region add more confusion than light.
The line that separates the North from the South is fractal. 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.
This map shows the line created by using parliamentary constituency borders. Click the image for a more detailed map.
It would be possible to go further and split some of these constituencies in half. It would be possible to identify enclaves and exclaves along the border, but this would suggest too much of a rigid line, and the border does move, especially when a new motorway is built or train line to London improved.
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. Similarly there are parts of the south, especially within London that are very unlike much of the rest of the south, but they are still southern. Scotland and Wales are part of the North, despite having managed to eschew the Victorian attempts to label them North and West Britain respectively.
(from Sheffield, near the border, looking down on the South)
|SASI Group, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Winter Street, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK.
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