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Thelwall is located in Cheshire
Thelwall shown within Cheshire
OS grid reference SJ647874
Civil parish
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Warrington
Postcode district WA4
Dialling code 01925
Police Cheshire
Fire Cheshire
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament
List of places
53°22′57″N 2°31′51″W / 53.382400°N 2.530873°W / 53.382400; -2.530873Coordinates: 53°22′57″N 2°31′51″W / 53.382400°N 2.530873°W / 53.382400; -2.530873

Thelwall is a suburban village in Warrington, Cheshire, England, located close to the Lymm junction of the M6. It is a popular misconception that Thelwall is the 'smallest city in England' (although Thelwall is not in fact a city, nor if it were would it be the smallest in England as the City of London, which truly is the smallest city in England, is marginally smaller).


A fortified village was established at Thelwall in 923 during the reign of King Edward the Elder, which is mentioned in two very early sources, including the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle:

"Kynge Edwarde made a cite at Thelewall in [th]e northe parte of [th]e Marches, nye the water of Mersee, where he put certeyne knyghtes."--Higden's Polychronicon[1][2]

"A.D. 923. This year went King Edward with an army, late in the harvest, to Thelwall; and ordered the borough to be repaired, and inhabited, and manned. And he ordered another army also from the population of Mercia, the while he sat there to go to Manchester in Northumbria, to repair and to man it. This year died Archbishop Plegmund; and King Reynold won York."--Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[3]

An inscription on the Pickering Arms[4] records that "In the year 920 King Edward the Elder founded a city here and called it Thelwall". According to Sir Peter Leycester it was "so called from the stakes and stumps, cut from the trees, wherewith it was environed about as a wall".[5] It is more likely that the original meaning of Thelwall was "pool by a plank bridge" (the earliest record of the name is in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for 923 as "Thelwæl", in 1241 it occurs as "Thelewell").[6]

Earthworks remain of an embankment, possibly part of these fortifications, found in the grounds of Chaigeley School.[7] These remains are a designated English Heritage National Monument.[8]

At Thelwall derive many stories of ghosts, since many of the old buildings still remain in the area: sightings are relayed from the local pub, "The Little Manor". However, there are stories of witches at the well of the "Old White House"[9] too, on the outskirts of Thelwall.[10]

Thomas de Thelwall, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 1377-8, was born here in the early fourteenth century.


Thelwall nowadays borders the villages of Lymm and Grappenhall, and (across the Manchester Ship Canal), Latchford. It is also one of the two principal settlements of Grappenhall and Thelwall civil parish. According to the 2001 census, the population of the entire civil parish was 9,377.[11]

Thelwall is perhaps best known for the Thelwall Viaduct, which carries the M6 Motorway across the Manchester Ship Canal which opened in July 1963 and another in 1996.[12] The village is situated between this Canal and the Bridgewater Canal, being on the East-West A56 and B5157. To the East, between the village and the M6, is Statham.


As a locality within the Warrington South constituency, Thelwall is currently represented in the House of Commons by David Mowat MP. Thelwall is also represented on Warrington Borough Council and by Grappenhall and Thelwall Parish Council.

Warrington Borough Council[edit]

Thelwall returns officers from the Grappenhall and Thelwall Ward to serve on the Borough Council, and is allocated three representative seats. The current Councillors representing Thelwall are:

  • Councillor – Mike Biggin (Liberal Democrat)
  • Councillor – Elaine Welborn (Liberal Democrat)
  • Councillor – Wendy Johnson (Liberal Democrat)

Grappenhall and Thelwall Parish Council[edit]

The Grappenhall and Thelwall Parish Council consists of sixteen elected officials serving a term of four years, currently all sixteen Councillors are members of the Liberal Democrat Party.[13]

The following is a list of those members representing Thelwall Ward on the Parish Council, including the current Chairperson of the Council who is a serving representative of the Thelwall Ward:

  • Chairperson of the Parish Council – Louise K. Fernyhough (Liberal Democrat)
    • Councillor – Peter J. H. Catterall (Liberal Democrat)
    • Councillor – Clifford G. Taylor (Liberal Democrat)
    • Councillor – Chris White (Liberal Democrat)


The village of Thelwall contains two schools; the first is Thelwall Infant School which provides for children in Key Stages 0 (Reception) and 1 (Years 1 and 2): in its Ofsted inspection July 2008, the infant school was judged to be 'outstanding'.;[14] the second school is Thelwall Junior School which is for Key Stage 2, children between the ages of 7 and 11.[15] The Junior School is serves primary education, and is a satellite school that feeds Lymm High School (formerly Lymm Grammar School), a nearby secondary education institute. There is a pre-school at Thelwall Parish Hall, an around-school and holiday Ferry Link Club that also operates that Thelwall Parish Hall and a private day nursery Little Wonders Nursery on Thelwall New Road.


The Church of England is represented by All Saints Church[16] where several scions of the ancient Cheshire Booth family are buried.

The village has a football club, Thelwall Rangers A.F.C.[17] and a cricket club, Thelwall Parish CC.

Thelwall also has its own Morris dancing team, the "Thelwall Morris Men",[18] and its own amateur dramatic group, the "Bridgewater Players",[19]

During the summer months, Thelwall hosts its very own Rose Queen, an event that the residents are very proud of as it has now been running for well over 50 years. The event hosts the biggest float parade in the locality, featuring a different theme every year. The whole community comes together and makes for a very special day. Scouts, schools and residents take part in the parade every year. Each year its popularity has increased, getting bigger and better, with more attractions and ever more stalls set up on Thelwall Parish Field.

Thelwall also has a Royal British Legion Club[20] who hold their annual Remembrance service at either the Thelwall or Grappenhall church each year. After the 10am service on Remembrance Sunday the Legion lead a procession to the cenotaph at Thelwall for the laying of the poppy wreaths.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Higden, Ralph (1876). Polychronicon Ranulphi Higden monachi Cestrensis (first published 1587). Longman. 
  2. ^ Edward the Elder ordered a burh to be built as a defence against the Danes. "Burh" means military fort but has been mistranslated by Higden leading to Thelwall being described as a “cite" (town or city).
  3. ^ The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ca. 1130.
  4. ^ Pickering Arms
  5. ^ Coward, T. A. (1903) Picturesque Cheshire. London: Sherratt & Hughes; p. 30
  6. ^ Ekwall, E. (1940) The Concise Dictionary of English Place-names; 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press; p. 443
  7. ^ Chaigeley School
  8. ^ Monument No. 73074. National Heritage website.
  9. ^ The Meeting Place North
  10. ^ Thelwall: Smallest City in England
  11. ^ Figures from 2001 census for entire civil parish
  12. ^ The second Thelwall Viaduct in 1996
  13. ^ Grappenhall and Thewall Parish Council.
  14. ^ Thelwall Infant School.
  15. ^ Thelwall Community Junior School.
  16. ^ All Saints' Church, Thelwall
  17. ^ Thelwall Rangers A.F.C.
  18. ^ Thelwall Morris Men.
  19. ^ Bridgewater Players
  20. ^ Grappenhall and Thelwall Royal British Legion