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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

The courtyard of Adlington Hall, showing the north-east corner, the oldest part of the hall

Adlington Hall is a grade-I-listed country house in the village of Adlington. The Legh family has lived on the site since the early 14th century. The hall follows a courtyard plan. The medieval Great Hall was built in 1480–1505 with a timber frame; it has a hammer-beam roof, a rare wooden canopy dated 1505, and an organ dating from the late 17th century, which was played by Handel, a friend of the Legh family. The Great Hall was encased in brick after the Civil War, when the hall was twice occupied by Parliamentary forces. The east wing dates from 1581, and retains its original "black and white" appearance. The remainder of the house largely dates from the 18th century, when Charles Legh transformed the hall into a Georgian manor.

The grounds were laid out as gardens, woodland and parkland in the 18th century; they are listed at Grade II*. They include Shell House, which has an interior decorated with shells and coloured mirrors, and Tig House, a pavilion which is an early example of the Chinoiserie style. The hall and grounds remain in private ownership, and are occasionally open to the public.

Selected picture

Church of St James and St Paul, Marton

The Church of St James and St Paul at Marton, founded in 1343 by Sir John de Davenport and his son Vivian, is one of the oldest timber-framed churches in Europe. Traces of an early medieval painting of the Last Judgement were discovered in 1930.

Credit: Richard Slessor (10 April 2004)

Selected list

Sandbach Crosses

Of the over 200 Scheduled Monuments in Cheshire, at least 84 date from before 1066, the start of the Medieval period. Monuments are defined as sites deliberately constructed by human activity; some sites not visible above ground. Scheduled archaeological sites range from prehistoric standing stones and burial sites, through Roman remains, to the Saxon period.

The oldest Scheduled Monument is believed to be The Bridestones, a Neolithic long cairn. The monument at Somerford is also thought to have been a long cairn and there is evidence of a Neolithic settlement at Tatton. The Bronze Age is the period most strongly represented during this timeframe with 44 monuments, predominantly round barrows. Eleven Iron Age hillforts or promontory forts are scheduled. The Roman occupation left parts of Chester city walls, the remains of settlements at Heronbridge and Wilderspool, and several definite or possible Roman military camps. The Dark Age and Saxon monuments consist mainly of portions of crosses, including the Sandbach Crosses (pictured). There is also evidence of Saxon occupation of villages, now deserted, at Tatton and Baddiley.

In this month

Sir William Brereton

1 February 1863: Artist and printmaker John Romney died in Chester.

1 February 1869: The first goods train crossed Runcorn Railway Bridge.

1 February 1994: Pop singer Harry Styles born in Holmes Chapel.

3 February 1646: Chester surrendered during the Civil War.

3 February 1857: First meeting of Cheshire Police committee.

3 February 1885: Foundation stone of Grosvenor Museum laid by the Duke of Westminster.

4 February 1253–4: Lordship of Chester gifted to Edward, heir of Henry III.

5 February 1977: Olympic gold medallist sailor Ben Ainslie born in Macclesfield.

6 February 1987: Lindow III discovered at Lindow Moss.

13 February 1839: Riot at Chester Castle in support of poachers awaiting trial.

14 February 1926: Fire partially destroyed Oulton Hall.

15 February 1918: Physicist John Holt born in Runcorn.

19 February 1943: Nobel prize winning biochemist Tim Hunt born in Neston.

20 February 1643: Beeston Castle seized from the Royalists by Parliamentary forces commanded by Sir William Brereton (pictured).

20 February 1907: Radar pioneer Skip Wilkins born in Chorlton.

21 February 2008: Sunny Lowry, first woman to swim the Channel, died in Warrington.

26 February 1993: IRA explosive devices went off at Warrington gasworks.


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

Ben Amos in 2011

Benjamin Paul "Ben" Amos (born 10 April 1990) is a footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Bolton Wanderers. He is also an England youth international who has represented his country at every level from Under-16 to Under-21.

Born in Macclesfield, Amos began his career with Crewe Alexandra's youth academy and also played as a centre midfielder for Bollington United. He joined Manchester United at the age of 11, making his competitive first-team debut in September 2008 and appearing for the team in the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup. He was their third-choice goalkeeper for parts of the 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons. He spent time on loan at Peterborough United (2009), the Norwegian club Molde (2010), Oldham Athletic (2011), Hull City (2012) and Carlisle United (2013). He joined Bolton Wanderers in 2015.

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

7 February: Retired gymnast Beth Tweddle is injured participating in the reality show, The Jump.

3 February: SSE announces its intention to close three of the four units at Fiddlers Ferry power station in Widnes.

1 February: Chester Zoo announces the successful breeding of tuatara lizards for the first time outside New Zealand.

26 January: The Victorian public baths in Chester reopen after repairs to the glass roofs.

18 January: The Cheshire Show becomes the Royal Cheshire County Show.

15 January: Rachel Bailey is elected leader of the Conservatives, the largest party in Cheshire East Council, after Michael Jones stood down in December.

15 January: Children's shoes are found during archeological excavations in Quarry Bank Mill gardens.

12–15 January: Stargazing Live is broadcast from the Jodrell Bank Observatory.

12 January: Police evict anti-fracking protesters who have camped at Upton by Chester since April 2014.

21 December: A bypass around the east of Crewe, linking the A500 and the A5020, is completed.


We got to Chester about midnight on Tuesday; and here again I am in a state of much enjoyment ... Chester pleases my fancy more than any town I ever saw. I told a very pleasing young lady, niece to one of the Prebendaries, at whose house I saw her, "I have come to Chester, Madam, I cannot tell how; and far less can I tell how I am to get away from it."

From letter to Samuel Johnson by James Boswell (22 October 1779)

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 | 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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