LETTERS / Smallest county

From Mr Roderick Dixon Sir: Rutland is to be congratulated on becoming an independent county again. However, it should be pointed out that it is not actually England's smallest county, measuring in at 97,272.08 acres or 39,364 hectares.

This distinction has been held by the Isle of Wight (94,134.12 acres or 38,094 hectares) since county councils were formed in 1890. The island avoided absorption by Hampshire county council in 1974.

It also has both a Lord Lieutenant and a governor; posts held by the late Earl Mountbatten of Burma and now by Lord Mottistone.

Yours faithfully, RODERICK DIXON Chedzoy, Somerset 13 December