Cheshire ( CHESH-ər, -eer; (Welsh: Sir Gaer) archaically the County Palatine of Chester) is a county in North West England, bordering Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east, Staffordshire and Shropshire to the south, and Flintshire and Wrexham County Borough in Wales to the west. Cheshire's county town is the City of Chester (118,200); the largest town is Warrington (209,700). Other major towns include Crewe (71,722), Runcorn (61,789), Widnes (61,464), Ellesmere Port (55,715), Macclesfield (52,044), Winsford (32,610) and Northwich (19,924).
The county covers 905 square miles (2,344 km2) and has a population of around 1 million. It is mostly rural, with a number of small towns and villages supporting the agricultural and other industries which produce Cheshire cheese, salt, chemicals and silk.
The River Weaver flows in a curving route of just over 50 miles (80 km) anti-clockwise across the west of Cheshire from a source in the Peckforton Hills. Improvements to make the river navigable were authorised in 1720; the work, which included eleven locks, was completed in 1732. The navigation was completely reconstructed between 1870 and 1900, with the original locks being replaced by five much larger ones. The major trade was salt.
The Anderton Boat Lift (pictured), near Northwich, links the Weaver with the Trent and Mersey Canal some 50 feet (15 m) above. Opened in 1875, it remained in use for over 100 years. It reopened after renovation in 2002 and is one of only two working boat lifts in the UK. Many other structures are of historical importance, including the Hayhurst swing bridge and Northwich Town bridge, believed to be the earliest swing bridges powered by electricity. Dutton Horse Bridge is one of the earliest surviving laminated timber structures.
Sometimes referred to as "the Matterhorn of Cheshire", Shutlingsloe is the county's third highest peak, with an elevation of 506 metres. In the east of the county, it stands on the edge of the Peak District, near Macclesfield Forest.
Credit: Ian Warburton (4 March 2006)
In the news
3 April: East Cheshire NHS Trust requests donations of medical scrubs on Twitter for Macclesfield Hospital.
17–19 March: The Storyhouse theatre in Chester, the Lyceum Theatre in Crewe, and The Brindley theatre in Runcorn all close for a temporary period.
18 March: Cases of novel coronavirus are confirmed across Cheshire, including Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Warrington and Halton.
13 March: The Queen's planned visit to Crewe and Macclesfield on 19 March has been postponed owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
10 March: Unilever announces that it plans to close its washing powder plant in Warrington, threatening more than 120 jobs.
25 February: Cransley School in Great Budworth closes for a week to reduce any possible risk of novel coronavirus spreading after pupils returning from a holiday in Bormio, northern Italy had respiratory symptoms.
18 February: Stanlow Refinery at Ellesmere Port is one of two British plants to share a government grant to begin manufacturing hydrogen as a low-emission industrial fuel.
21 January: Halton Transport, which provides bus services in Runcorn, Warrington and Widnes, has entered liquidation after making losses of £620,000 in 2019.
16 January: A stretch of Chester's Roman walls collapses due to excavations from adjacent building work.
The 78 listed buildings in Sandbach include two at Grade I, two at Grade II* and the remainder at Grade II. By far the earliest listed structures are the two 9th-century Sandbach Crosses, recorded in the town in the mid-16th century and reinstalled in the Market Square in 1816. The other Grade-I-listed building is Old Hall Hotel, a timber-framed building dating from 1656, on the site of a former manor house. Another timber-framed building is the Grade-II*-listed Black Bear Inn, which dates from 1634. Several buildings in and around Sandbach are by the Victorian architect George Gilbert Scott, in the Tudor and Gothic Revival styles. These include Sandbach School and its lodge, the Literary Institute and a set of almshouses. He rebuilt the Grade-II*-listed St Mary's Church in Sandbach, and designed St John the Evangelist's Church in Sandbach Heath. Sandbach Town Hall and Market Hall (pictured) was designed by Thomas Bower in 1889.
The Trent and Mersey Canal runs through the parish and several listed buildings are associated with it, including bridges, locks, mileposts, accommodation for canal workers, a stable and ticket office, and a warehouse. More unusual listed structures include three war memorials, a drinking fountain and a telephone kiosk.
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, and in 2001 became one of a handful of English players to win the Ballon d'Or. As of 2019, he is fifth in the list of all-time top scorers for the England team and is England's eleventh most-capped player, having scored 26 competitive goals – formerly a national record – 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 from football in 2013. He has subsequently owned and bred racehorses, and acts as a sports commentator and pundit.
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The ayr is very wholesome, insomuch that the people of the countrey are seldom infected with Diseases or Sicknesse, neither do they use the help of the Physicians, nothing so much, as in other countries: For when any of them are sick, they make him a posset, and tye a kerchieff on his head; and if that will not amend him, then God be merciful to him! The people there live till they be very old; some are Grandfathers, their Fathers yet living; and some are Grandfathers before they be married.
From The Vale Royall of England by Daniel King (1656)
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