Brereton, Cheshire

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The Bears Head, Brereton Green - - 793127.jpg
The Bears Head public house, Brereton Green
Brereton is located in Cheshire
Location within Cheshire
Population1,190 (2011)
OS grid referenceSJ777642
Civil parish
  • Brereton
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtCW11
Dialling code01477
AmbulanceNorth West
EU ParliamentNorth West England
UK Parliament
List of places
53°10′26″N 2°20′02″W / 53.174°N 2.334°W / 53.174; -2.334Coordinates: 53°10′26″N 2°20′02″W / 53.174°N 2.334°W / 53.174; -2.334

Brereton /ˈbrɪərtən/ is a civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East and the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. According to the 2001 census, the population of the entire civil parish was 1,012,[1] increasing to 1,190 at the 2011 Census.[2] Brereton is mentioned in the Domesday book as the Manor of Bretune.[3] The civil parish includes the hamlets of Brereton Green, Brereton Heath, Smethwick Green, Medhurst Green, Sandlow Green and Davenport.

It also contains Brereton Hall, a Grade I listed Elizabethan house that is in private ownership and not open to the public. This used to be the family seat of the Lords Brereton, but the Lordship ended in 1722 when the fifth Baron Brereton died a bachelor.[4]


The civil parish was created in 1936 by uniting the civil parishes of Brereton cum Smethwick and Davenport. Brereton cum Smethwick was an Ancient Parish in Northwich Hundred. Davenport began as a township in Astbury Ancient Parish (which has had no separate civic identity since 1866.[5]) Davenport was created a separate civil parish in 1866 which existed until the merger in 1936.[6] Both these "parent civil parishes" of Brereton had similar administrative histories: both were in Northwich Hundred, and they both later became members of Congleton Poor Law Union and Rural Sanitary District. Later still, they became part of Congleton Rural District, in which they remained until they merged.[7]


The parish has used the legend of Lord Brereton and the bear in inaugurating a unique 'scarecrow festival' called 'The Brereton Bear Festival'. The legend is that William Brereton killed his valet in a temper after he was interrupted at his meal. His punishment was to be a fight with a bear, but the King gave him three days to make a muzzle to contain the bear. After three days the bear was let loose on the lord, and luckily for him, the muzzle proved to be successful. The muzzled bear became the Crest on the Brereton Coat of Arms.

In 2004, the Church introduced a Bear Festival to the Parish as a means of raising funds for St Oswald's church. It proved popular with residents and with visitors, so now it is held biennially in odd-numbered years. Local residents and organisations create displays on the theme of 'Bears' - often with great ingenuity! There are prizes for both bear makers and for the bear hunters. The Festival takes place for five weekends during July and August. Many bear-themed events are held over the period to raise money for St Oswald's Church and local organizations. See Brereton website for more information. The 2015 Bear Festival will be held between July 11 and August 9.

Felicia Hemans's poem The Vassal's Lament for the Fallen Tree of 1824 refers to another legend, one she has from William Camden, that the falling of trees here foretells the death of an heir.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Official 2001 Census Figures. Neighbourhood Statistics website, Retrieval Date: 23 August 2007.
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  3. ^ Natural England - Brereton Heath Archived January 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Brereton Hall Information. Alsager and Area Online Guide. Retrieval Date: 23 August 2007.
  5. ^ Youngs, F. A. (1991). pages 6 - 7.
  6. ^ Youngs, F. A. (1991). page 17.
  7. ^ Youngs, F. A. (1991). pages 10, 17.


  • Youngs, F. A. (1991). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England. Volume I: Northern England. London: Royal Historical Society. ISBN 0-86193-127-0.