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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

Lovell telescope

The Lovell Telescope is a radio telescope at the Jodrell Bank Observatory, near Goostrey. When it was constructed in the mid 1950s, it was the largest steerable dish radio telescope in the world at 76.2 m (250 ft) in diameter. It is now the third largest, after the Green Bank and Effelsberg telescopes. It forms part of the MERLIN and European VLBI Network arrays of radio telescopes.

Originally known as the 250 ft telescope or the Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank, then as the Mark I telescope when future telescopes (the Mark II, III and IV) were being discussed around 1961, it was renamed the Lovell Telescope in 1987 after Bernard Lovell. Lovell and Charles Husband were both knighted for their roles in creating the telescope.

The Lovell Telescope became a Grade I listed building in 1988, and won the BBC's online competition to find the UK's greatest "Unsung Landmark" in 2006.

Selected picture

17th-century map of Cheshire, by Wenceslaus Hollar

This 17th-century map of "The County Palatine of Chester" by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607–77) shows the county's seven hundreds. These administrative divisions, first recorded in the mid-13th century, originated in the twelve hundreds of the Domesday survey.

Selected list

Wrenbury Frith Bridge

Of the over 200 Scheduled Monuments in Cheshire, at least 34 date from after 1539, the end of the Medieval period. Monuments are defined as sites deliberately constructed by human activity; some sites not visible above ground. They were formerly called "scheduled ancient monuments" but as they include structures dating from as late as the 1940s and 1950s, the word "ancient" has been dropped. They range in date from the early post-Medieval period, through the Industrial Revolution, to the 20th century.

Early post-Medieval monuments tend to be similar in type to those from the Medieval period, namely moats or moated sites and churchyard crosses. Unusual post-Medieval structures include a dovecote and a duck decoy. Many structures dating from the Industrial Revolution relate to the canal network, including the Anderton Boat Lift and several canal locks and bridges (example pictured). Industrial sites include the Lion Salt Works, the remains of a mine and a transporter bridge within a factory. The structures dating from the 20th century were constructed for the World Wars or the Cold War. They consist of a former Royal Air Force airfield and the remains of three sites for anti-aircraft guns.

In this month

Portrait of Edward I in Westminster Abbey

1 August 1984: Lindow Man bog body discovered.

2 August 1957: Lovell Telescope took its first image.

3 August 1952: Pianist Martin Roscoe born in Halton.

4 August 1643: Attack on Nantwich by Royalists led by Lord Capell during the Civil War.

4–6 August 1896: Princess Louise visited Crewe Hall and opened bazaar in aid of Crewe Memorial Hospital.

6 August 2012: Astronomer Sir Bernard Lovell died in Swettenham.

8 August 1953: First (private) motor race at Oulton Park.

9 August 1886: Grosvenor Museum officially opened by the First Duke of Westminster.

11 August 1642: Confrontation between Sir William Brereton and Royalist forces near Ravensmoor during the Civil War.

13 August 1277: Foundation stones of Vale Royal Abbey laid by Edward I (pictured) and Eleanor of Castile.

15 August 1538: Dissolution of Chester's three friaries.

23–26 August 1617: James I visited Chester, Nantwich and Utkinton Hall, and hunted in Delamere Forest.

24 August 1538: Warrant issued for the dissolution of Vale Royal Abbey.


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 • 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 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

Michael Owen, while with Real Madrid

Michael James Owen (born 14 December 1979) is a former English football player who played as a striker. Born in Chester, his father Terry Owen was a professional footballer who played for Chester City and Everton.

Owen enjoyed a hugely successful and high-profile career at both club and international level, being named European Footballer of the Year in 2001, one of only four English players to gain this honour. As of June 2014, he was fourth in the list of all-time top scorers for the England team and was England's eleventh most-capped player, having scored a national record of 26 competitive goals, with 40 in total from 89 appearances (1998–2008). Pace and clinical finishing were Owen's greatest assets early in his career, though he later lost pace due to injuries.

In club football, he played for Liverpool (1996–2004), Real Madrid (2004–5), Newcastle United (2005–9), Manchester United (2009–12) and Stoke City (2012–13). He retired at the end of the 2012–13 season.

Did you know...

Risley Moss

  • ...that when George Booth built Booth Mansion in Chester, he angled the building to make it more visible from Chester Cross, but was fined £10 for encroaching into the street?

In the news

18 July: Four people are missing following explosions and a fire at a wood treatment works in Bosley.

13 July: The first phase of a new project called Islands opens at Chester Zoo.

5 June: Lion Salt Works reopens after a restoration costing £10.23m.

25 May: The temporary trestle bridge for the construction of the Mersey Gateway has been completed.

9 May: In the council elections, Labour gain Cheshire West and Chester (election) and hold Halton (election) and Warrington (election), and Conservatives hold Cheshire East (election).

8 May: Labour gain City of Chester and hold Ellesmere Port & Neston, Halton and Warrington North; Conservatives hold Congleton, Crewe & Nantwich, Eddisbury, Macclesfield, Tatton, Warrington South and Weaver Vale; the Liberal Democrats fail to make any gains in the general election.

6 May: Work commences on the £107 million Bridge Street Quarter project in Warrington town centre.

29 April: Jodrell Bank chosen as the permanent headquarters of the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope project.


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)

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 | 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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