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
Winsford. The county is administered as four
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
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.
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.
basilica is believed to have occupied the site in the late
Roman era, and an abbey church containing a
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.
In the news
Silver Jubilee Bridge
26 February: The
Silver Jubilee Bridge (pictured) between
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
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.
Cheshire Wildlife Trust reintroduces a pair of Scottish
2 November: An outbreak of the
H5N8 strain of
avian influenza at a farm in
Frodsham requires the slaughter of 13,000 birds.
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).
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
Nether Alderley and
Warrington have combined museums and art galleries,
Warrington Museums, and
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
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.
Did you know...
Selected town or village
Poynton is a town on the easternmost edge of the
Cheshire Plain, near
Stockport. The manor was first recorded in 1289. The town straddles the
Red Rock Fault, which brings the
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
Anson Engine Museum, on the site of a former colliery, has a collection of
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
In this month
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.
|Click on "►" below to display subcategories: