In a previous post, we learned the difference between a “town” and “not a town” in the United States. England was only mentioned briefly, in that there is no unincorporated land there, meaning every place is already a town or a city. So what’s the difference between a town and a city? Yeah, once again the answer depends on where you are. Each nation has their own way of distinguishing a town from a city -or else they don’t even bother. In the US, it’s usually a size thing, which is only legally defined in 20 states. I had heard that in England, you had to have a cathedral to be designated as a city, but according to Tom Scott, that is no longer true, if it ever was.
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There doesn’t seem to be any real world difference between town and a city in England, anyway. In this video, Tom chronicles a comedy of errors that caused Rochester’s accidental decline from a city, which it had been for 800 years, to not even a town anymore. The place itself has not changed. It’s just bureaucracy, but the loss in status seems to be rather embarrassing.