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Cheshire Plain

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, 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

St Mary's Church, Nether Alderley

St Mary's Church, Nether Alderley is an Anglican parish church in the Gothic style, near the village of Nether Alderley. A Grade I listed building, it was built in around 1300, probably on the site of an earlier timber-framed church. The original dedication was to St Lawrence. The tower, considered by F. H. Crossley to be the church's best feature, dates from 1530. A major restoration was carried out by Paley and Austin in 1877–78.

Interior features include a 14th-century font, the richly carved Stanley pew, which dates from around 1600 and is entered by an external staircase, an 18th-century musicians' gallery, and several monuments to the Barons Stanley of Alderley, with whom the church has historically been associated. The grounds contain a medieval church cross and a Grade-II*-listed schoolhouse dating from 1628, now used as a parish hall. The neo-Jacobean Stanley Mausoleum was built in 1909 by Edward Lyulph, 4th Baron Stanley. An ancient yew tree stands in the churchyard.

Selected picture

Church of St James and St Paul, Marton

The Church of St James and St Paul at Marton, founded in 1343 by Sir John de Davenport and his son Vivian, is one of the oldest timber-framed churches in Europe. Traces of an early medieval painting of the Last Judgement were discovered in 1930.

Credit: Richard Slessor (10 April 2004)

Selected list

All Saints' Church, Daresbury

The 26 listed buildings in Runcorn rural area include three at Grade II* and 23 at Grade II. In contrast to the Runcorn urban area, the surrounding borough contains small villages – Clifton, Daresbury, Moore, Preston Brook and Preston on the Hill – which have experienced only limited population growth since the Industrial Revolution, and are still separated by farmland and woodland.

The oldest listed structure is the ruin of Clifton Hall, built in 1565. The three Grade II* listed buildings are All Saints' Church, Daresbury (pictured), dating originally from the 16th century, and two 18th-century former mansion houses, Daresbury Hall and Moore Hall. Many of the structures are related to the network of canals in the area, with several canal bridges, including a swing bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal, a former warehouse, a tunnel entrance, a milepost and two air shafts, as well as a railway viaduct crossing the Weaver Navigation. Other listed buildings include a public house, a former school and a former sessions house, as well as several farmhouses and cottages. The most recent listed structure is a K6-type telephone kiosk dating from the 1930s.

In this month

Cartoon of Hall Caine, by Harry Furniss

3 May 1938: Cheshire County Council granted a banner of arms, now the county flag.

8 May 1817: Early paper on Cheshire dialect read at Society of Antiquaries by Roger Wilbraham.

12 May 1278: Fire destroyed much of Chester.

13 May 1983: Lindow Woman bog body discovered.

14 May 1853: Novelist and playwright Hall Caine (pictured) born in Runcorn.

18 May 1980: Musician Ian Curtis committed suicide at Macclesfield.

21 May 1868: First train crossed Runcorn Railway Bridge.

21 May 1894: Manchester Ship Canal officially opened by Queen Victoria.

23 May 1911: Architect John Douglas died in Chester.

24 May 1847: Five people killed in the Dee bridge disaster.

27 May 1899: Eastgate Clock unveiled, marking the 80th birthday of Queen Victoria.

29 May 1905: Widnes–Runcorn Transporter Bridge officially opened by Sir John Brunner.

31 May 1807: Primitive Methodism originated in a prayer meeting at Mow Cop.

31 May 1939: Humanitarian Terry Waite born in Styal.


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...

39 Welsh Row, Nantwich

In the news

20 April: The North Approach Viaduct to the Mersey Gateway is completed.

19 April: George Osborne, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, and recently appointed editor of the London Evening Standard, decides not to stand for re-election to the constituency of Tatton.

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.


The tortuous wall—girdle, long since snapped, of the little swollen city, half held in place by careful civic hands—wanders in narrow file between parapets smoothed by peaceful generations, pausing here and there for a dismantled gate or a bridged gap, with rises and drops, steps up and steps down, queer twists, queer contacts, peeps into homely streets and under the brows of gables, views of cathedral tower and waterside fields, of huddled English town and ordered English country.

Description of Chester city walls, from The Ambassadors by Henry James (1909)

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