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.
Capesthorne Hall is a grade-II*-listed country house, dating from the early 18th century, near the village of Siddington. It was built to Neoclassical designs by William Smith and (probably) his son Francis, and extended later in the 18th century. Edward Blore remodelled and extended it in the 1830s, adding a Jacobean-style frontage, and a large conservatory designed by Joseph Paxton was added in around 1837. The main part of the house was virtually destroyed by fire in 1861. Anthony Salvin was responsible for the rebuilding, which generally followed Blore's designs.
The hall is in red brick with ashlar dressings, on an asymmetrical plan with a long entrance front featuring paired turrets. A sculpture gallery houses ancient copies of famous Greek sculptures, collected by Edward Davies Davenport. The grounds include gardens, parkland and a lake crossed by a five-arched bridge. There is a grade-II*-listed private chapel with elaborate gates and gate piers; it is contemporaneous with the hall and was also designed by William Smith. The earthworks of an earlier hall and chapel, as well as a deserted medieval village in the grounds, form a scheduled ancient monument.
A total of 43 churches and chapels in Cheshire are listed at grade I. Although Christian churches have existed in the county since the Anglo-Saxon era, no significant Saxon features remain in its listed churches. Surviving Norman architecture is found, notably in Chester Cathedral and St John the Baptist, Chester.
Most churches in this list are in the Gothic style, dating between the 13th and the 17th centuries, predominantly in the Perpendicular style. There are some examples of Neoclassical architecture, including St Peter, Aston-by-Sutton, and St Peter, Congleton. The only buildings dating from a later period are Waterhouse's Eaton Chapel in French Rayonnant style, and Bodley's Church of St Mary at Eccleston, in Gothic Revival style, both from the 19th century.
Major building materials are the local sandstone and limestone. A handful of timber-framed churches survive, some of which have been encased in brick; examples include St Michael, Baddiley (pictured), St Luke, Holmes Chapel, St Oswald, Lower Peover, and St James and St Paul, Marton.
Sir James Chadwick (20 October 1891 – 24 July 1974) was an English physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for his 1932 discovery of the neutron. He later measured its mass.
Born in Bollington, he studied at the University of Manchester. His early research, under Hans Geiger, showed that beta radiation produces a continuous electromagnetic spectrum. He was Assistant Director, under Ernest Rutherford, of the University of Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory for over a decade, when it was one of the world's foremost centres for physics research.
In 1935, Chadwick joined the University of Liverpool, turning its physics laboratory into an important nuclear physics research centre by installing a cyclotron. During the Second World War, he was involved in the Tube Alloys project to build an atomic bomb, and later led the British team working on the Manhattan Project. Knighted in 1945, he served as Master of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge 1948–1958.
O! thou thrice happy Shire, confinéd so to be
Twixt two so famous floods as Mersey is and Dee.
Thy Dee upon the West from Wales doth thee divide;
Thy Mersey on the North, from the Lancastrian side,
Thy natural sister Shire; and link'd unto thee so,
That Lancashire along with Cheshire still doth go.
As tow'rds the Derbian Peak, and Moreland (which do draw
More mountainous and wild) the high-crown'd Shutlingslawe
And Molcop be thy mounds, with those proud hills whence rove
The lovely sister Brooks, the silvery Dane and Dove;
Clear Dove, that makes to Trent; the other to the West.
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