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Rutland

Rutland is the smallest county in England, and indeed the smallest of them all after Clackmannanshire and Kinross-shire. Rutland is the heart of the Midlands. Rutland is almost entirely agricultural, the only towns of any size being Oakham and Uppingham, both small and charming. Elsewhere Rutland is characterized by delightful villages. Those in the east of the county are built mostly in oolitic limestone, those in the south and west more in warm limestone. Rutland is a well watered place; the Eye Brook, the Chater, and the Gwash flowing through green vales between rolling hills. The south-eastern border is the Welland. The Gwash was dammed in the 1970s, flooding a huge area for a reservoir; Rutland Water. Although its construction was the subject of considerable opposition and involved the demolition of the hamlet of Nether Hambleton, Rutland Water today provides a major recreational resource to the county and is a wetland of international wildlife importance. Around Uppingham the ground rises into broken and picturesque scenery. The county town, Oakham lies in the Vale of Catmose. It is a small, charming market town centred around a small square and market-cross. Oakham Castle, within the town, is a fortified manor house with an important 12th century great hall and home of an extraordinary collection of presentation horseshoes.

County Facts

County Town: Oakham

Main Towns: Cottesmore, Ketton, Oakham, Market Overton, Uppingham.

Main Rivers: Welland, Eye, Gwash, Chater.

Highlights: Market place, Oakham; Oakham School; Rutland Water.

Highest Point: Flitteriss Park, 646 feet (SK 827 085).

Area: 152 sq miles

County Flower: Clustered Bellflower