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Metropolitan county (pop., 2001: 1,266,337), north-central England. It lost its administrative functions in 1986 and is now only a geographic and ceremonial county; its administrative seat was Barnsley. South Yorkshire extends from the Pennine moorlands in the west to lowland marshes in the east. The Romans built roads and forts in the area, and Anglian and later Scandinavian settlers cleared woodlands. In the 19th century the region grew as a major industrial area, and the River Don valley became the focus of iron- and steelworks extending east from Sheffield. Today South Yorkshire includes most of England's coalfields; its industries produce iron, steel, and cutlery.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on South Yorkshire, visit Britannica.com.