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From Wikipedia
The Cheshire Portal


Cheshire Plain from the Mid Cheshire Ridge

Cheshire shown within England

Cheshire showing four unitary authorities

Cheshire is a ceremonial county in the North West of England. Chester is the county town, and formerly gave its name to the county. The largest town is Warrington, and other major towns include Congleton, Crewe, Ellesmere Port, Macclesfield, Nantwich, Northwich, Runcorn, Sandbach, Widnes, Wilmslow and Winsford. The county is administered as four unitary authorities.

Cheshire occupies a boulder clay plain (pictured) which separates the hills of North Wales from the Peak District of Derbyshire. The county covers an area of 2,343 km2 (905 sq mi), with a high point of 559 m (1,834 ft) elevation. The estimated population is a little over one million, 19th highest in England, with a population density of around 450 people per km2.

The county was created in around 920, but the area has a long history of human occupation dating back to before the last Ice Age. Deva was a major Roman fort, and Cheshire played an important part in the Civil War. Predominantly rural, the county is historically famous for the production of Cheshire cheese, salt and silk. During the 19th century, towns in the north of the county were pioneers of the chemical industry, while Crewe became a major railway junction and engineering facility.

Selected article

Crewe Hall: south face and entrance gates

Crewe Hall is a Jacobean mansion located east of Crewe. Described by Nikolaus Pevsner as one of the two finest Jacobean houses in Cheshire, it is listed at grade I.

Built in 1615–36 for Sir Randolph Crewe, perhaps using drawings by Inigo Jones, Crewe Hall was said to have "brought London into Cheshire", and it was among the county's largest houses in the 17th century. The hall was extended in the late 18th century and altered by Edward Blore in the early Victorian era. It was extensively restored by E. M. Barry after a devastating fire in 1866, and is considered among his best works. The restoration also employed J. Birnie Philip, J. G. Crace, Henry Weekes and the firm of Clayton and Bell. The interior is elaborately decorated and contains many fine examples of wood carving, chimneypieces and plasterwork, some of which are Jacobean in date.

The park was landscaped during the 18th century by Lancelot Brown, William Emes and Humphry Repton, and formal gardens were designed by W. A. Nesfield in the 19th century. The stables quadrangle is contemporary with the hall and is listed at grade II*.

Selected image

Arley Hall, near Lymm

Arley Hall, near Lymm, is the seat of Viscount Ashbrook. The original 15th-century timber-framed building was replaced in the 19th century by a brick hall, designed by Nantwich architect George Latham and modelled on various Elizabethan buildings.

Credit: Pixie2000 (26 October 2006)

In this month

Grosvenor Park Lodge

November 1867: Grosvenor Park, Chester (pictured) opened.

1 November 1831: Harry Atkinson, Premier of New Zealand, born in Broxton.

4 November 1553: Lawyer Roger Wilbraham born in Nantwich.

7 November 1805: Railway builder Thomas Brassey born in Bulkeley.

11 November 1662: Lawyer John Chesshyre born in Halton.

14 November 1762: Tarporley Hunt Club first met.

15 November 1941: Author Heathcote Williams born in Helsby.

22 November 1961: Pianist Stephen Hough born in Heswall.

24 November 1935: Cyclist Vin Denson born in Chester.

24 November 1955: Cricketer Ian Botham born in Heswall.

26 November 1574: River Weaver in Nantwich flooded, affecting 40 dwellings and 24 salthouses.

29 November 1933: Musician John Mayall born in Macclesfield.

Selected list

Sandbach Town Hall and Market Hall

The 78 listed buildings in Sandbach include two at Grade I, two at Grade II* and the remainder at Grade II. By far the earliest listed structures are the two 9th-century Sandbach Crosses, recorded in the town in the mid-16th century and reinstalled in the Market Square in 1816. The other Grade-I-listed building is Old Hall Hotel, a timber-framed building dating from 1656, on the site of a former manor house. Another timber-framed building is the Grade-II*-listed Black Bear Inn, which dates from 1634. Several buildings in and around Sandbach are by the Victorian architect George Gilbert Scott, in the Tudor and Gothic Revival styles. These include Sandbach School and its lodge, the Literary Institute and a set of almshouses. He rebuilt the Grade-II*-listed St Mary's Church in Sandbach, and designed St John the Evangelist's Church in Sandbach Heath. Sandbach Town Hall and Market Hall (pictured) was designed by Thomas Bower in 1889.

The Trent and Mersey Canal runs through the parish and several listed buildings are associated with it, including bridges, locks, mileposts, accommodation for canal workers, a stable and ticket office, and a warehouse. More unusual listed structures include three war memorials, a drinking fountain and a telephone kiosk.


Top: Map of modern Cheshire showing urban areas (grey) and the major road network. Chester (red) is the county town, and Warrington has the greatest population. Towns with more than 10,000 inhabitants in 2011 are highlighted; the size of dot gives a rough indication of the relative population. Wales and the adjacent English counties are shown in capitals.

Bottom: Relief map showing the major hills. The Mid Cheshire Ridge is a discontinuous ridge of low hills running north–south from Beacon Hill (north of Helsby Hill) to Bickerton Hill. Most other high ground falls within the Peak District in the east of the county. Shining Tor (559 metres), on the boundary with Derbyshire, forms the county's high point.


Cheshire West and Chester Cheshire East Cheshire East Cheshire East Halton WarringtonCheshire unitary number.png
About this image

The ceremonial county of Cheshire is administered by four unitary authorities (click on the map for details):

1 – Cheshire West and Chester

2 – Cheshire East

3 – Warrington

4 – Halton

In the local government reorganisation of 1974, Cheshire gained an area formerly in Lancashire including Widnes and Warrington. The county lost Tintwistle to Derbyshire, part of the Wirral Peninsula to Merseyside, and a northern area including Stockport, Altrincham, Sale, Hyde, Dukinfield and Stalybridge to Greater Manchester.

Selected biography

Thomas Harrison by H. Wyatt (1820)

Thomas Harrison (1744 – 29 March 1829) was an architect and bridge engineer. He worked in northwest England, and many of his buildings were in Cheshire and Lancashire.

His most important project in Cheshire was the design of new buildings within the grounds of Chester Castle, a commission on which he worked from 1786 until 1815. He created accommodation for prisoners, law courts and a shire hall. His other works include public buildings, gentlemen's clubs, churches, houses and monuments. Most of his designs, particularly those at Chester Castle, were Neoclassical in design, and he was a major influence in the emergence of the Greek Revival in British architecture.

Harrison was also known for his innovative work on bridges. Skerton Bridge in Lancaster was the first substantial bridge in England to have a flat roadway, and Grosvenor Bridge in Chester, his final major commission, was the longest single-arched masonry bridge in the world at the time of its construction. He died at his home in Chester in 1829.

Did you know...

Sculpture of the Lovell Telescope

Selected town or village

The centre of Acton village, with St Mary's church tower in the background

Acton is a small village and civil parish lying immediately west of Nantwich. The civil parish covers 762 acres (3.08 km2) and also includes Dorfold and part of Burford, with an estimated population of 340 in 2006. The area is agricultural, with dairy farming the main industry.

The parish is believed to have been inhabited since the 8th or 9th century. Acton appears in the Domesday Book of 1086, when it was one of the wealthiest townships in the Nantwich Hundred, being valued for the same sum as Nantwich. The name means "oak town", referring to the pedunculate oaks that predominated in the adjacent Forest of Mondrem. During the Civil War, the village was taken by siege several times. The Shropshire Union Canal reached the parish in 1835, using a long embankment to avoid Dorfold Park. The parish contains many historic buildings, notably Dorfold Hall, considered by Nikolaus Pevsner to be one of the two finest Jacobean houses in Cheshire, and St Mary's Church, whose 13th-century tower is among the earliest in the county.

In the news

Crewe Market Hall
Crewe Market Hall

29 October, 1 November: Warrington council and the mayor of Crewe each announce plans to bid for city status in 2022.

13–14 October: Prince Edward visits Chester and opens a Fire Service training centre in Winsford.

8 October: Castle Street shopping area in Macclesfield reopens after refurbishment.

4 October: Restoration of the grade-I-listed Bridgegate, part of Chester city walls, is completed.

25 September: A bronze frieze by the sculptor Tom Murphy is unveiled in Warrington, as a memorial to the band Viola Beach.

9 September: The fifth stage of the Tour of Britain cycle race takes place in Cheshire, starting at Alderley Park and finishing in Warrington.

24 July: The grade-II-listed Crewe Market Hall (pictured) formally reopens after refurbishment.

15 July: Crewe, Runcorn and Warrington are awarded potential funding under the "Town Deal" government scheme.


The ayr is very wholesome, insomuch that the people of the countrey are seldom infected with Diseases or Sicknesse, neither do they use the help of the Physicians, nothing so much, as in other countries: For when any of them are sick, they make him a posset, and tye a kerchieff on his head; and if that will not amend him, then God be merciful to him! The people there live till they be very old; some are Grandfathers, their Fathers yet living; and some are Grandfathers before they be married.

From The Vale Royall of England by Daniel King (1656)



Towns & Districts CHESHIRE | PLACES | CIVIL PARISHES | BY POPULATION | Alsager | Bollington | Chester | Congleton | Crewe | Ellesmere Port | Frodsham | Knutsford | Lymm | Macclesfield | Middlewich | Nantwich | Neston | Northwich | Poynton | Runcorn | Sandbach | Warrington | Widnes | Wilmslow | Winsford | Wirral
Geography & Ecology GEOLOGY | Cheshire Plain | Geology of Alderley Edge | HILLS | Bickerton Hill | Cats Tor | Kerridge Hill | Peckforton Hills | Shining Tor | Shutlingsloe | Tegg's Nose | Windgather Rocks | RIVERS & LAKES | Lamaload Reservoir | River Bollin | River Dane | River Dean | River Dee | River Gowy | River Goyt | River Mersey | River Weaver | SITES OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST | Cheshire Wildlife Trust | rECOrd | WOODLAND | Delamere Forest | Macclesfield Forest | Northwich Woodlands
History HISTORY | TIMELINE | [Agricultural history | Ancient parishes | History of Chester | Deva Victrix | History of Middlewich | History of salt in Middlewich | History of Northwich | History of Sandbach | Forests of Mara and Mondrem | ARCHAEOLOGY | SCHEDULED MONUMENTS: Pre-1066 | 1066–1539 | Post-1539 | Bridestones | Chester Roman Amphitheatre | Eddisbury hill fort | Lindow Man | Maiden Castle | Sandbach Crosses | MILITARY HISTORY | Battle of Brunanburh | Battle of Chester | First Battle of Middlewich | Battle of Nantwich | Battle of Rowton Heath | Bunbury Agreement | Cheshire Regiment | RAF Burtonwood | RAF Hooton Park | RAF Ringway
Sights PLACES OF INTEREST | CASTLES | Beeston Castle | Chester Castle | Cholmondeley Castle | Halton Castle | HISTORIC BUILDINGS | Adlington Hall | Arley Hall | Combermere Abbey | Dorfold Hall | Eaton Hall | Gawsworth Old Hall | Little Moreton Hall | Lyme Park | Norton Priory | Tatton Park | MUSEUMS & VISITOR ATTRACTIONS | Anderton Boat Lift | Anson Engine Museum | Blue Planet Aquarium | Catalyst Science Discovery Centre | Chester Zoo | Crewe Heritage Centre | Cuckooland Museum | Grosvenor Museum | Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker | Jodrell Bank Observatory | Lion Salt Works | National Waterways Museum | Quarry Bank Mill | Stretton Watermill | Warrington Museum | Weaver Hall Museum  |  PUBLIC PARKS | Grosvenor Park | Marbury Country Park | Ness Botanic Gardens | Queens Park
Architecture ARCHITECTURE | Norman architecture | LISTED BUILDINGS | Grade I listed churches | Non-ecclesiastical grade I listed buildings outside Chester | Chester | Congleton | Frodsham | Great Budworth | Knutsford | Lymm | Macclesfield | Nantwich | Neston | Runcorn | Sandbach | Warrington | Wilmslow
Sport & Recreation SPORTING TEAMS | Alsager Town F.C. | Chester F.C. | Chester City F.C. | Cheshire County Cricket Club | Cheshire Phoenix | Crewe Alexandra F.C. | Crewe Railroaders | Congleton Town F.C. | Macclesfield F.C. | Macclesfield Town F.C. | Nantwich Town F.C. | 1874 Northwich F.C. | Northwich Victoria F.C. | Runcorn Linnets F.C. | Vauxhall Motors F.C. | Warrington Town F.C. | Warrington Wolves | Widnes Vikings | Winsford United F.C. | Witton Albion F.C. | SPORTING VENUES | Chester Racecourse | Oulton Park | County Cricket Club grounds | RECREATION | Walks
Economy ECONOMY | Agriculture | Cheshire cheese | Cheshire Show | Crewe Railway Works | Salt | Silk | Textile mills 
Transport BUSES | Arriva | CANALS | Cheshire Ring | Bridgewater Canal | Ellesmere Canal | Llangollen Canal | Macclesfield Canal | Manchester Ship Canal | Shropshire Union Canal | RAIL | Birkenhead Railway | Chester–Manchester Line | Crewe railway station | Crewe–Derby Line | Crewe–Manchester Line | Ellesmere Port–Warrington Line | Mid-Cheshire Line | Welsh Marches Line | ROADS | A34 | A41 | A49 | A50 | A56 | A500 | A537 | A556 | M6 | M53 | M56
Governance UNITARY AUTHORITIES | Cheshire East | Cheshire West and Chester | Halton | Warrington | PARLIAMENTARY CONSTITUENCIES | EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
Education, Health & Services SCHOOLS | HIGHER EDUCATION | University of Chester | University of Law | Reaseheath College | HEALTH | Countess of Chester Hospital | Halton General Hospital | Leighton Hospital | Macclesfield Hospital | Warrington Hospital | PRISONS | HMP Risley | HMP Styal | HMP Thorn Cross | SERVICES | Fire and Rescue | Police | United Utilities
 Culture & Media LITERATURE | Cheshire Cat | Cheshire dialect | THEATRE | The Brindley | Lyceum Theatre | Storyhouse | CONCERT HALLS | Parr Hall | NEWSPAPERS | Chester Chronicle | Crewe Chronicle | RADIO | BBC Radio Manchester | BBC Radio Merseyside | BBC Radio Stoke
 Religion RELIGION | CHURCHES | Bishop of Chester | Chester Cathedral | Diocese of Chester | Roman Catholic Diocese of Shrewsbury

Recommended articles

Towns & Villages Bradwall | Middlewich | Runcorn | Widnes
Sights Adlington Hall | All Saints' Church, Runcorn | Beeston Castle | Capesthorne Hall | Chester Cathedral | Chester Rows | Cholmondeley Castle | Churche's Mansion | Crewe Hall | Darnhall Abbey | Eaton Hall | Gawsworth Old Hall | Goat tower | Jodrell Bank Observatory | Little Moreton Hall Featured article | Lovell Telescope | Lyme Park | Norton Priory Featured article | Peckforton Castle | Rode Hall | St Mary's Church, Acton | St Mary's Church, Astbury | St Mary's Church, Nantwich | St Mary's Church, Nether Alderley | Tabley House | Vale Royal Abbey
History Battle of Brunanburh | Battle of Rowton Heath | Deva Victrix | Dispute between Darnhall and Vale Royal Abbey | Eddisbury hill fort | Lindow Man Featured article | Maiden Castle
Geography & Transport Bridgewater Canal | Chester Canal | Manchester Ship Canal Featured article | Northern England Featured article | Peak District | River Weaver
People Jonathan Agnew Featured article | Muthu Alagappan | Ben Amos | Adrian Boult Featured article | Thomas Brassey | Neil Brooks Featured article | Sir John Brunner, 1st Baronet | James Chadwick Featured article | Djibril Cissé | Daniel Craig | Hilda Ellis Davidson | John Douglas Featured article | Rowland Egerton-Warburton | Thomas Harrison | Reginald Heber Featured article | Eddie Johnson | Margaret Ursula Jones | Levi Mackin | One Direction | Peter, Abbot of Vale Royal | Plegmund | Joseph Priestley Featured article | Mark Roberts | Nick Robinson | Edmund Sharpe Featured article | Robert Tatton | Stuart Tomlinson | Alan Turing | William Windsor
Lists Castles Featured article | Church restorations, amendments and furniture by John Douglas Featured article | Grade I listed churches Featured article | Houses and associated buildings by John Douglas Featured article | Listed buildings in Runcorn (rural area) Featured article | Listed buildings in Runcorn (urban area) Featured article | Listed buildings in Widnes Featured article | New churches by John Douglas Featured article | Non-ecclesiastical and non-residential works by John Douglas Featured article

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