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From Wikipedia


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

Nave of Chester Cathedral

Chester Cathedral is a Church of England cathedral dedicated to Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary. It became the cathedral of the city of Chester in 1541, and has been the centre of worship, administration, ceremony and music for both city and diocese since that date.

A Christian basilica is believed to have occupied the site in the late Roman era, and an abbey church containing a shrine to St Werburgh, patron saint of the city, was destroyed in 1090.

The present cathedral was formerly the abbey church of a Benedictine monastery founded by Hugh Lupus in 1093. The existing building in New Red Sandstone dates from between the foundation and the early 1500s. Monastic buildings survive to the north of the cathedral. Extensive restorations were carried out during the 19th century, notably by George Gilbert Scott, and a free-standing bell tower, designed by George Pace, was added in the 1970s. The site is a major tourist attraction, and the cathedral is used for concerts and exhibitions.

Selected image

Sumatran tiger at Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo at Upton by Chester opened in 1931. Founder George Mottershead used moats and ditches to confine the animals, aiming to create a zoo without cages.

Credit: Brian McKay (21 July 2010)

In the news

Silver Jubilee Bridge
Silver Jubilee Bridge

26 February: The Silver Jubilee Bridge (pictured) between Runcorn and Widnes reopens to traffic as a toll bridge after three years' refurbishment.

11 February: Phase 2a of HS2, from the West Midlands to Crewe, is approved by Parliament.

25 January: The trial of Wood Treatment Ltd and its director for corporate manslaughter over the Wood Flour Mills explosion of July 2015 in Bosley, in which four employees were killed, opens at Chester Crown Court.

21 January: Widespread flooding occurs in the north of the county during Storm Christoph, particularly affecting Northwich.

26 December: As part of a national town-centre recovery plan, Winsford is allocated nearly £10 million in funding and Crewe is provisionally allocated £14 million.

24 November: The Crewe Town Clock, known as "Big Bill", is taken down, as part of the demolition of the Royal Arcade in Crewe, including the clock tower.

11 November: After an investigation into increased neonatal mortality at the Countess of Chester Hospital in 2015–16, a nurse is charged with 8 counts of murder and 10 of attempted murder.

4 November: Cheshire Wildlife Trust reintroduces a pair of Scottish beavers near Hatchmere.

2 November: An outbreak of the H5N8 strain of avian influenza at a farm in Frodsham requires the slaughter of 13,000 birds.

Selected list

Cuckoo clocks at the Cuckooland Museum, Tabley

Many Cheshire museums focus on the area's industrial heritage, including Quarry Bank Mill and Clarence Mill (cotton), the Macclesfield Museums (silk), the Catalyst Science Discovery Centre (chemicals), and the Lion Salt Works and Weaver Hall Museum (salt). Poynton's Anson Engine Museum is on the site of a former colliery. Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre explores astronomy. There are also several transport museums, including the Crewe Heritage Centre (railways), the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port, and the Anderton Boat Lift (canals). There are water-powered mills at Bunbury, Nether Alderley and Stretton.

Chester and Warrington have combined museums and art galleries, Grosvenor and Warrington Museums, and Congleton and Nantwich have local museums. Norton Priory is the remains of an Augustinian abbey, and Englesea Brook Chapel documents the Primitive Methodist movement. Historic house museums are also represented in the county, including Little Moreton Hall and Lyme Park. Cheshire Military Museum in Chester Castle covers the county's regimental history, and RAF Burtonwood and Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker explore more recent military history. The Museum of Policing in Warrington documents Cheshire's police forces. Unusual specialist museums include Cuckooland Museum (pictured), which exhibits cuckoo clocks.


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

5th-century Romano-British or Anglo-Saxon belt fittings from the Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Mucking

Margaret Ursula Jones ( née Owen; 16 May 1916 – 23 March 2001) was an archaeologist.

Born in Birkenhead, Jones first became involved in archaeology while studying at the University of Liverpool, where she volunteered on W. J. Varley's 1930s excavations of Cheshire hillforts, including Maiden Castle and Eddisbury hill fort. In 1956, she began working for the Ministry of Works as a freelance archaeologist in the burgeoning field of rescue archaeology.

Jones is best known for directing the Mucking excavation in Essex (1965–78), a major Anglo-Saxon settlement and associated cemetery, with finds ranging from the Stone Age to the Medieval period. It was Britain's largest ever archaeological excavation, producing an unprecedented volume of material. Some academic archaeologists have criticised the fact that the results did not appear in print until decades after the excavation had ended. Jones' work at Mucking, as well as her role in founding the campaign group Rescue, was influential in the establishment of modern commercial archaeology in Britain.

Did you know...

Hall Caine, by RE Morrison

Selected town or village

Poynton town centre

Poynton is a town on the easternmost edge of the Cheshire Plain, near Macclesfield and Stockport. The manor was first recorded in 1289. The town straddles the Red Rock Fault, which brings the PermoTriassic sandstones and mudstones of the Cheshire Plain up against the Millstone Grit and shales of the Peak District. To the immediate east of the fault are the coal measures of the Carboniferous period. Coal was mined at Poynton from the 16th century, and its collieries were the largest in Cheshire. Anson Engine Museum, on the site of a former colliery, has a collection of stationary engines.

Consequent urbanisation and socioeconomic development necessitated better transport links; these came with the completion of the Macclesfield Canal through the town in 1831, and the arrival of the Manchester and Birmingham Railway in 1845 and the Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway in 1869. The collieries closed in 1935. The population has nearly trebled since 1945, to over 14,000 in 2011. In the late 20th century, Poynton became a commuter town for Manchester.

In this month

Nuclear structure research tower at Daresbury Laboratory

5 June 1965: Engine fire on Crewe–Carlisle train between Crewe and Winsford fatally injured driver Wallace Oakes.

6 June 1690: William III stayed at Combermere Abbey on his way to the Battle of the Boyne.

7 June 1940: Actor Ronald Pickup born in Chester.

7 June 1954: Mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing died in Wilmslow.

8 June 1825: Ten to twelve thousand people attended the funeral of Sir John Grey Egerton of Oulton Park, MP for Chester and Freemason, at Little Budworth.

10 June 1878: Chester Tramways Company started operating horse-drawn trams in Chester.

10 June 1931: Chester Zoo opened.

14 June 1988: Lindow IV discovered at Lindow Moss.

16 June 1967: Daresbury Laboratory (pictured) officially opened by Harold Wilson, prime minister.

18 June 1886: Mountaineer George Mallory born in Mobberley.

19 June 2011: Fire damaged east wing of Peckforton Castle.

23 June 1999: Train crash near Winsford injured 31 people.

24 June 1604: Plague started in Nantwich, with around 430 deaths by the following March.

25 June 1897: Actor Basil Radford born in Chester.

26 June 1923: Jazz musician and bandleader Syd Lawrence born in Wilmslow.

27 June 1919: X-ray crystallographer Alexander Stokes born in Macclesfield.


Never had huger
Slaughter of heroes
Slain by the sword-edge —
Such as old writers
Have writ of in histories —
Hapt in this isle, since
Up from the East hither
Saxon and Angle from
Over the broad billow
Broke into Britain with
Haughty war-workers who
Harried the Welshman, when
Earls that were lured by the
Hunger of glory gat
Hold of the land.

From Battle of Brunanburh (c. 10th century), translated by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1880)



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 | 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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