Portal:Cheshire

The Cheshire Portal

Welcome

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

Eddisbury hill fort from the west

Eddisbury hill fort, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, is the largest and most complex of the seven Iron Age hill forts, or fortified hill-top settlements, in Cheshire. Located on Eddisbury Hill of the Mid Cheshire Ridge near the village of Delamere, Eddisbury falls within the southern group of Cheshire forts, together with Kelsborrow Castle and Oakmere hill fort.

Eddisbury was constructed before 200–100 BC and expanded in 1–50 AD. The fort was partially destroyed by the Romans in the 1st century AD, to prevent the site being reused. It was reoccupied in the 6th–8th centuries AD, and an Anglo-Saxon burh was probably established there in 914 by Æthelflæd, daughter of Alfred the Great. Excavations were carried out on the site in 1935–38.

The fort measures 200 by 380 metres and is surrounded by two ramparts separated by a ditch 10 metres wide and 0.5 metres deep. Quarrying and ploughing have damaged the site, leading to it being assessed as "at high risk". The land is partly owned by the Forestry Commission and partly in private ownership.

Selected image

"The Making of Eastham Dock" by Benjamin Williams Leader (1891)

The Manchester Ship Canal took six years to build and cost about £15 million (now around £1.7 billion). This painting shows the construction of Eastham Dock.

Credit: Benjamin Williams Leader (1891)

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

6–11 Grosvenor Park Road, Chester (c. 1879–80)

The output of Chester-based architect John Douglas (1830–1911) included a diverse collection of residential buildings. The majority of his works were in Cheshire and North Wales. His architectural styles were eclectic, but as he worked during the Gothic Revival period much of his output incorporates elements of the English Gothic style. He is probably best remembered for his incorporation of vernacular elements in his buildings, especially half-timbering, but also tile-hanging, pargeting, and decorative brickwork in diapering and tall chimney stacks.

Douglas' new houses embraced a range of sizes and types, and included substantial country houses, such as Oakmere Hall, as well as terraces of houses built for speculation, such as 6–11 Grosvenor Park Road (pictured) and 1–11 and 13 Bath Street in Chester. He also designed many humbler projects, including farmhouses, cottages and workers' houses. Work carried out on grand houses included additions to Vale Royal Abbey. Other commissions included park entrance gates and a set of kennels.

Geography

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.

Administration

Cheshire West and ChesterCheshire EastCheshire EastCheshire EastHaltonWarringtonCheshire 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

Coat of arms of Ranulf le Meschin, Earl of Chester

Ranulf le Meschin (died 1129) (coat of arms pictured) was a late 11th- and early 12th-century Norman magnate based in northern and central England, who is also known as Ranulf de Briquessart and Ranulf I. Originating in Bessin in Normandy, Ranulf made his career in England thanks to his kinship with Hugh d'Avranches, first earl of Chester, the patronage of kings William II and Henry I, and his marriage to Lucy, heiress of the Bolingbroke–Spalding estates in Lincolnshire.

Ranulf fought in Normandy on behalf of Henry I, and served the English king as a semi-independent governor in the far north-west, in Cumberland and Westmorland, founding Wetheral Priory. After the death of his cousin Richard d'Avranches in the White Ship Disaster of November 1120, Ranulf became the third earl of the county of Chester. He held this position for the remainder of his life, and passed the title on to his son, Ranulf de Gernon. He was buried in Chester Abbey.

Did you know...

Obelisk Commemorating Roger Barnston

Selected town or village

Warmingham village centre and the Bear's Paw pub

Warmingham is a village and civil parish on the River Wheelock, near the towns of Crewe, Middlewich and Sandbach. The parish had a population of just under 250 in 2011.

The land is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, with a village being documented from the 13th century. The oldest surviving building dates from the late 16th century. In the 17th and 18th centuries the parish had a finery forge, which was among the earliest in the county. The area is agricultural, with dairy farming the predominant land use. The Northwich Halite Formation, a Triassic salt field, underlies the parish, and there is a long history of local salt production, with the Warmingham brine field remaining an important source of the mineral. Cavities in the salt-bearing stratum are used to store natural gas. Several flashes were created in the 20th century by subsidence after natural brine pumping in the area, some of which form part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The village maintains the tradition of holding a wake each May.

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.

Quotation

We got to Chester about midnight on Tuesday; and here again I am in a state of much enjoyment ... Chester pleases my fancy more than any town I ever saw. I told a very pleasing young lady, niece to one of the Prebendaries, at whose house I saw her, "I have come to Chester, Madam, I cannot tell how; and far less can I tell how I am to get away from it."

From letter to Samuel Johnson by James Boswell (22 October 1779)

Subcategories

Topics

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 HallFeatured article | Lovell Telescope | Lyme Park | Norton PrioryFeatured 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 ManFeatured article | Maiden Castle
Geography & Transport Bridgewater Canal | Chester Canal | Manchester Ship CanalFeatured article | Northern EnglandFeatured article | Peak District | River Weaver
People Jonathan AgnewFeatured article | Muthu Alagappan | Ben Amos | Adrian BoultFeatured article | Thomas Brassey | Neil BrooksFeatured article | Sir John Brunner, 1st Baronet | James ChadwickFeatured article | Djibril Cissé | Daniel Craig | Hilda Ellis Davidson | John DouglasFeatured article | Rowland Egerton-Warburton | Thomas Harrison | Reginald HeberFeatured article | Eddie Johnson | Margaret Ursula Jones | Levi Mackin | One Direction | Peter, Abbot of Vale Royal | Plegmund | Joseph PriestleyFeatured article | Mark Roberts | Nick Robinson | Edmund SharpeFeatured article | Robert Tatton | Stuart Tomlinson | Alan Turing | William Windsor
Lists CastlesFeatured article | Church restorations, amendments and furniture by John DouglasFeatured article | Grade I listed churchesFeatured article | Houses and associated buildings by John DouglasFeatured article | Listed buildings in Runcorn (rural area)Featured article | Listed buildings in Runcorn (urban area)Featured article | Listed buildings in WidnesFeatured article | New churches by John DouglasFeatured article | Non-ecclesiastical and non-residential works by John DouglasFeatured article

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