Historic county, northern England. Yorkshire was divided into three administrative countiesNorth Riding, East Riding, and West Ridingand the city of York. For most purposes the ridings were separate administrative units for a thousand years; Yorkshire and the ridings, comprising the country's largest county, ceased to exist with the administrative reorganization of 1974. Yorkshire was an agricultural, fishing, and manufacturing centre. Its main cities and towns include Leeds, Sheffield, Kingston upon Hull, Bradford, and Wakefield.