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.
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.
A Christian basilica is believed to have occupied the site in the late Roman era, and an abbey church containing a shrine to 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 was added in the 1970s. The site is a major tourist attraction, and the cathedral is used for concerts and exhibitions.
The 61 listed buildings in Runcorn urban area include two at Grade I, nine at Grade II* and 50 at Grade II. Runcorn's earliest listed buildings, Halton Castle and Norton Priory, date from the 11th and 12th centuries and are now in ruins. The oldest standing building, the Seneschal's House, dates from 1598. Other early buildings include ones relating to stately homes, such as the loggia and ice house in the grounds of Norton Priory; domestic buildings, such as Halton Old Hall, and church-related buildings, such as Halton Vicarage and the Chesshyre Library.
The diversity of Runcorn's buildings increased during the Industrial Revolution. Structures such as Bridgewater House were associated with industry, while large domestic buildings such as Halton Grange were financed by the new wealth created. The enlarged town required new civic buildings and transport infrastructure such as the railway bridge (pictured) and the tide dock, while the needs of the growing population were met by structures such as Norton Water Tower. The most recent listed structure is the Silver Jubilee Bridge, constructed in 1961.
John Douglas (11 April 1830 – 23 May 1911) was an English architect, practising in Chester. Pevsner described him, without qualification, as "the best Cheshire architect".
Born in Sandiway, his father was a former labourer who rose to be a surveyor. He trained with Edmund Sharpe and Edward Graham Paley in Lancaster, and later practised with Paley. Other early influences included Pugin and the Cambridge Camden Society. He set up his own practice in Chester in 1860, working with Daniel Fordham, Charles Minshall and his two surviving sons. His early buildings were High Victorian; he later became an important practitioner of the half-timbered revival style.
Douglas' most popular works are the black-and-white buildings on Chester's St Werburgh Street and the nearby Eastgate Clock. Many of his works are on the Eaton Hall estate of the 1st Duke of Westminster, an important patron. He also designed churches, large houses and many smaller properties.
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.
28 November: Cyclists Jason Kenny, Laura Kenny and Sarah Storey are shortlisted for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.
- [Alice] went on. "Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
- "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
- "I don't much care where –" said Alice.
- "Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
- "– so long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.
- "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
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