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Cheshire Plain

Cheshire shown within England

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, 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 1,028,600, 19th highest in England, with a population density of 439 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

All Saints' Church, Runcorn

All Saints' Church, Runcorn is a grade-II*-listed parish church that stands on the south bank of the River Mersey, overlooking Runcorn Gap. Designed by Anthony Salvin, it was built in 1847–49; Hartwell and co-authors in the Buildings of England series describe it as "more generous and rounded than many of Salvin's other later churches." The first church on the site is said to have been founded by Ethelfleda in 915, when she built a castle nearby. The present building replaced a medieval church of around 1250.

The church is built in local sandstone in Early English style with a steeple at the southwest corner, consisting of a square tower with an octagonal spire rising to 161 feet (49 m), which Hartwell and co-authors describe as "high" and "graceful." Some of the furniture in the church was moved from the previous building, as were some of the memorials, the majority of which are to members of the Brooke family from nearby Norton Priory. A former hearse house in the churchyard dates from about 1833.

Selected picture

"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)

Selected list

Woodhey wayside cross

Of the over 200 Scheduled Monuments in Cheshire, at least 129 date from the Medieval period, more than half the total. Scheduled Medieval archaeological sites are defined as dating from between 1066 and 1539, and range from the remains of deserted villages and large buildings to boundary stones. Monuments are defined as sites deliberately constructed by human activity; in many cases they consist only of earthworks or foundations.

The 55 moats or moated sites are the most frequent monument remaining from this period. Houses were built on moated sites during this period partly for defensive purposes but also as a sign of prestige. The remains of twelve motte and bailey castles and three abbeys are scheduled. There are many churchyard and wayside crosses, such as the one at Woodhey (pictured), which were variously used as sites for prayer and pilgrimage, for public proclamations, as guides to local abbeys, and as "plague stones", used for the transfer of money and items during periods of plague. Other monuments include holy wells, halls, bridges, Chester city walls, a lime kiln, a pottery kiln, a hospital, a former chapel, a monastic grange, a tomb, an ice house and a hunting lodge.

In this month

St Mary's Church, Acton

2 March 1968: Actor Daniel Craig born in Chester.

3 March 1614: Antiquarian Sir Peter Leycester born in Nether Tabley.

7 March 1544: Thomas Holcroft purchased Vale Royal Abbey after its dissolution.

7 March 2010: David Briggs became Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire.

10 March 2010: Chester City F.C. closed.

11 March 1584: Elizabeth I issued a brief supporting the rebuilding of Nantwich after the 1583 fire.

13 March 1643: First Battle of Middlewich during the Civil War.

15 March 1757: Tower of St Mary's Church, Acton (pictured) collapsed.

20 March 1488: Stockport Grammar School founded.

20 March 1993: IRA explosive devices killed two children and injured 54 people in Warrington.

20 March 2002: Anderton Boat Lift reopened after restoration.

22 March 1846: Illustrator Randolph Caldecott born in Chester.

29 March 1829: Architect and engineer Thomas Harrison died in Chester.

30 March 2007: Cheshire FM, a Winsford-based local radio station, launched.

31 March 2009: Chester, Congleton, Crewe & Nantwich, Ellesmere Port & Neston, Macclesfield and Vale Royal boroughs abolished.


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.

Recommended articles

Places: 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 • Eaton Hall • Gawsworth Old Hall • Halton Castle • 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

History: Battle of Brunanburh • Battle of Rowton Heath • Deva Victrix • Eddisbury hill fort • Lindow ManFeatured article • Maiden Castle

Geography & Transport: A500 road • Bridgewater Canal • Chester Canal • Manchester Ship CanalFeatured article • Peak District • River Weaver

People: Jonathan AgnewFeatured article • Ben Amos • Adrian BoultFeatured article • Thomas Brassey • Neil BrooksFeatured article • Sir John Brunner, 1st Baronet • James ChadwickFeatured article • Djibril Cissé • Daniel Craig • John DouglasFeatured article • Rowland Egerton-Warburton • Thomas Harrison • Reginald HeberFeatured article • Eddie Johnson • Margaret Ursula Jones • One Direction • Plegmund • Joseph PriestleyFeatured article • Mark Roberts • Nick Robinson • Edmund SharpeFeatured article • Robert Tatton • 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

Selected biography

The freeze-dried body of Lindow Man

Lindow Man, sometimes called Pete Marsh, is a naturally preserved bog body of an Iron Age man, discovered in a peat bog at Lindow Moss near Mobberley in 1984. The body has been preserved by freeze drying and is usually on display at the British Museum.

Lindow Man was a healthy male in his mid-20s, perhaps someone of high status, such as a druid, as his body has manicured fingernails and shows little evidence of heavy or rough work. He would have stood around 5'7" (1.7 m) tall and have weighed about 132 pounds (60 kg). He had healthy teeth but was suffering from slight osteoarthritis and an infestation of whipworm and maw worm. The body retains a trimmed beard, moustache and sideburns of brown hair, and was naked apart from a fox-fur armband.

The nature of his death was violent, possibly ritualistic. After a last, charred meal, he was strangled, hit on the head, and his throat was cut. His body was deposited into Lindow Moss, face down, in around March or April some time between 2 BC to 119 AD.

Did you know...

Garden front of Capesthorne Hall

In the news

23 January: The prime minister chairs a regional cabinet meeting at Daresbury Laboratory near Warrington at which she unveils her industrial strategy for the UK.

19 January: Cheshire Constabulary announces that it is investigating more than 200 reports of alleged sex abuse involving 83 young footballers.

15 January: A memorial to Thomas Mottershead VC, DCM is unveiled in Victoria Park, Widnes.

10 January: Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester and Warrington gain "cultural destination" recognition from the Arts Council and VisitEngland, with a £300,000 grant to improve arts and culture provision across the county.

2 January: Government plans for a new garden village at Handforth are announced.

15 December: The first phase of the Barons Quay retail and leisure complex opens in Northwich.

15 December: Cheshire East's revised local plan, including 36,000 new houses, is approved by the government planning inspector.

5 December: The Macclesfield-born sculptor Helen Marten wins the Turner Prize, shortly after winning the inaugural Hepworth Prize.

29 November: Chester wins the EC's Access City Award for the city's ease of access by the elderly or disabled.


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)

Newest articles



 Towns &  Districts CHESHIRE | PLACES | CIVIL PARISHES | 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 | 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 Community Woodlands
 History HISTORY | TIMELINE | 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 | Weaver Hall Museum  | PUBLIC PARKS | Grosvenor Park | Marbury 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 | Runcorn | Sandbach | Wilmslow | Warrington
 Sport &  Recreation SPORTING TEAMS | 1874 Northwich F.C. | 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. | 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 | Scouting | Walks
 Economy ECONOMY | 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 &  Services SCHOOLS | UNIVERSITIES | Manchester Metropolitan University | University of Chester | SERVICES | Fire and Rescue | Police | United Utilities
 Culture &  Media LITERATURE | Cheshire Cat | Cheshire dialect | THEATRE | The Brindley | Lyceum Theatre | 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

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Associated Wikimedia

Cheshire on Wikimedia Commons  Cheshire on Wikivoyage  Cheshire on Wikisource  Cheshire on Wiktionary
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