About Rutland

About Rutland – did you know...

Rutland is landlocked by Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire. It is the smallest historic county in England (its greatest length north to south is just 18 miles while east to west 17 miles) and the fourth smallest in the UK as a whole.

The only towns in Rutland are Oakham, the county town, and Uppingham. At the centre is Rutland Water, a large artificial reservoir, an important nature reserve serving as an overwintering site for wildfowl and a breeding site for ospreys.

Rutland was reinstated as a county in 1997 after being absorbed into Leicestershire in 1974.

Peers of the realm who pass through Oakham for the first time must give a horseshoe to the Lord of the Manor. This unique custom started over 500 years ago and still continues today. Over 200 horseshoes are displayed in Oakham Castle (which is actually a Great Hall). The oldest surviving horseshoe is said to have been given by Edward IV in about 1470.

Oakham Castle is the oldest English court building that has remained in continuous use with trials taking place there as early as 1229.

Other interesting facts about Rutland

  • In 2006 it was reported that Rutland had the highest fertility rate of any English county.
  • When construction started in 1971, Rutland Water became Europe's largest man-made lake; construction was completed in 1975, and filling the lake took a further four years.
  • In December 2006, a Sport England survey revealed that residents of Rutland were the 6th most active in England in sports and other fitness activities.
  • In 2012, a well-being report by the Office for National Statistics found Rutland to be the ‘happiest county’ in mainland UK.
  • Stephen Fry was a student at Uppingham School.
  • Rutland is the only county not to have a 'McDonalds' fast food chain (or Burger King or KFC!).
  • Rutland has a Latin motto: ‘Multum in Parvo’ which means ‘Much in Little’.
  • The Duke and Duchess of Rutland reside in Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire.
  • Oakham is the finishing point for The Viking Way - a 147-mile footpath which starts near the Humber Bridge in North Lincolnshire.

* Thanks to Discover Rutland for much of this information.