Civil parish, Territorial designation and lowest tier of local government in England.
In England, a civil parish is a type of administrative parish used for local government. It is a territorial designation which is the lowest tier of local government below districts and counties, or their combined form, the unitary authority. Civil parishes can trace their origin to the ancient system of ecclesiastical parishes which historically played a role in both civil and ecclesiastical administration; civil and religious parishes were formally split into two types in the 19th century and are now entirely separate. The unit was devised and rolled out across England in the 1860s.
A civil parish can range in size from a sparsely populated rural area with fewer than a hundred inhabitants, to a large town with a population in the tens of thousands.
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