Portal:Cheshire

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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

Maiden Castle rampart

Maiden Castle, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, is one of the seven Iron Age hill forts, or fortified hill-top settlements, in Cheshire. The name probably means a "fortification that looks impregnable" or one that has never been taken in battle. Maiden Castle is an outlier from the other Cheshire hill forts, lying around 9 miles to the south of the southernmost group. It stands at 212 metres elevation on Bickerton Hill at the southern end of the Mid Cheshire Ridge, near the village of Bickerton.

The hill fort was probably occupied from its construction in 600 BC until the Roman conquest of Britain in the 1st century AD. The remaining earthworks include two semicircular banks 11 metres apart which partially enclose an area of 6,700 square metres; the northern and western sides had no artificial defences, being protected by the steep slopes of the hill. The main entrance was on the east side of the fort. Excavations were carried out on the site in 1935–38 and 1980–81.

Maiden Castle is owned by the National Trust. The site is open to visitors, but unrestricted access has resulted in it being classified as "at high risk" from erosion.

Selected picture

Arley Hall, near Lymm

Arley Hall, near Lymm, is the seat of Viscount Ashbrook. The original 15th-century timber-framed building was replaced in the 19th century by a brick hall, designed by Nantwich architect George Latham and modelled on various Elizabethan buildings.

Credit: Pixie2000 (26 October 2006)

Selected list

Runcorn Railway Bridge

The 60 listed buildings in Runcorn urban area include two at Grade I, nine at Grade II* and 49 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.

In this month

Edward the Elder

July 1538: Dissolution of Combermere Abbey.

July 1804: Runcorn to Latchford Canal opened.

1 July 1869: Statue of Richard Grosvenor unveiled in Grosvenor Park.

4 July 1837: First trains crossed Dutton Viaduct.

4 July 1887: Queens Park, Crewe dedicated.

11 July 1910: Pulp author Hugh B. Cave born in Chester.

11 July 1978: Hybrid elephant Motty born at Chester Zoo.

14 July 1876: Chapel builder Thomas Hazlehurst born in Runcorn.

17 July 924: Edward the Elder (pictured) died at Farndon or Aldford.

17 July 1256: Edward, heir of Henry III and Lord of Chester, first visited Chester.

20 July 1376: Charter of disafforestation of Wirral issued.

20 July 1816: Histologist and ophthalmologist William Bowman born in Nantwich.

21 July 1961: Silver Jubilee Bridge officially opened by Princess Alexandra.

23 July 1403: Sir Richard Venables and Richard de Vernon executed for supporting Henry "Hotspur" Percy in the Battle of Shrewsbury.

27 July 1962: Olympic gold medallist swimmer Neil Brooks born in Crewe.

29 July 1940: Crewe hit by first Cheshire air raid of Second World War.

Administration

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 • 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

John Brunner in 1885

Sir John Tomlinson Brunner, 1st Baronet (8 February 1842 – 1 July 1919) was a chemical industrialist and Liberal Party politician.

Born in Liverpool, he worked at Hutchinson's alkali works in Widnes, rising to general manager. In 1873, in partnership with Ludwig Mond, he started the chemical company Brunner Mond & Co. at Winnington near Northwich, initially making alkali by the Solvay process. It became the wealthiest British chemical company of the late 19th century and, after Brunner's death, was one of the four companies that merged to found Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI).

Brunner represented Northwich in Parliament in 1885–86 and 1887–1910. He was a prominent Freemason, a paternalistic employer and a generous benefactor to the towns in his constituency and to the University of Liverpool. He is the great grandfather of HRH The Duchess of Kent.

Did you know...

Tollemache Almshouses, Nantwich

  • ...that the stables of Oakfield Manor have been used to house lions?

In the news

26 June: Daresbury Hall, a grade II* listed building, was severely damaged by fire.

21 March: An exhibition on the Gothic Revival in Cheshire opens at the Grosvenor Museum in Chester.

20 March: An exhibition commemorating the 75th anniversary of Macclesfield Synagogue opens in Macclesfield.

4 March: The Lion Salt Works restoration wins the conservation award at the Civic Trust Awards.

4 March: Consultation opens on Cheshire East's local plan, which has been revised to contain an extra 7,000 houses, to include greenbelt sites near Knutsford, Macclesfield and Wilmslow.

1 March: Disused offices in Runcorn are to be converted into a "healthy new town" providing 800 dwellings.

25 February: Listed railway viaducts at Holmes Chapel and Peover Superior, as well as railway bridges at Crewe, Rudheath and Davenham, reopen after refurbishment.

22 February: DONG Energy announces the first plant to convert unsorted household waste into biogas, to be built in Northwich.

22 February: Restoration work commences on the Chester Castle Propylaeum.

21 February: An exhibition celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Brazilian World Cup football team's visit to Lymm opens.

Quotation

It lay in the midst of a demesne of considerable extent, and richly wooded with venerable timber; but, apart from the somber majesty of these giant groups, and the varieties of the undulating ground on which they stood, there was little that could be deemed attractive in the place. A certain air of neglect and decay, and an indescribable gloom and melancholy, hung over it. In darkness, it seemed darker than any other tract; when the moonlight fell upon its glades and hollows, they looked spectral and awful, with a sort of churchyard loneliness; and even when the blush of the morning kissed its broad woodlands, there was a melancholy in the salute that saddened rather than cheered the heart of the beholder.

From "The Evil Guest" by Sheridan Le Fanu (1895)

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Categories

Topics

 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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