Lancashire were relegated to LV= County Championship Division Two after their decider with Middlesex ended in a draw.
The visitors beat the drop at Emirates Old Trafford and condemned the hosts to the second tier after reaching 341-8 in their second innings, with Lancashire in no position to force a positive result as they trailed by 253 with an hour of the final day remaining.
Lancashire kept their survival hopes alive when they secured a dramatic extra batting bonus point on day three but needed to go on and complete the win to stay up.
Their chances took a blow when bad weather took 14 overs out of the last day and Middlesex then dug in to ensure the match ended in a stalemate.
Junaid Khan (3-84) and Simon Kerrigan (3-106) tried in vain to fashion a realistic target for Lancashire but lower-order batsmen Toby Roland-Jones, James Harris and Tim Murtagh combined to see out more than 34 crucial overs late in the day.
By the time Red Rose captain Glen Chapple had to accept the inevitable, glorious evening sunshine had replaced the morning rain which narrowed Lancashire's window of opportunity.
Middlesex had resumed on 202-4, just 114 in front and vulnerable to a surge of wickets from the home attack. But they were to lose only four in 60 overs before Chapple shook hands with his opposite number Chris Rogers
In the 10.2 overs possible before the morning rain arrived, Junaid provided the solitary wicket as he trapped Eoin Morgan lbw for 45 after undoing the England star with some late movement.
There was then time for just one more ball before heavy drizzle swept in and precluded all but 35 minutes of the morning session.
When play resumed after lunch Junaid ended the vigil of Neil Dexter, who was dropped on a duck the previous evening before going on to reach 17 from 105 balls.
Another drop, Lancashire's seventh of the match, cost just a single when John Simpson (7) mis-pulled Kerrigan to mid-wicket just two balls after being put down by a diving Jos Buttler.
Roland-Jones (34) then started his resistance before he was trapped lbw by Chapple 40 minutes before tea, at which time there was still only a deficit of 189 and a glimmer of hope for Lancashire.
But Harris (41 not out from 109 balls) and Murtagh (29no from 81 balls) resisted with minimal alarm in an unbroken stand of 64 - to hugely contrasting emotions on the pitch but uniform misery among the crowd.