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Cheshire Plain

Cheshire shown within England

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

Peckforton Castle (right), with Beeston Castle in the background

Peckforton Castle is a grade-I-listed Victorian country house built in the style of a medieval castle. Faced in red sandstone, it features a gatehouse, portcullis, dry moat, two large towers and external windows that are little more than arrow slots. It stands in woodland at the north end of the Peckforton Hills, near the villages of Peckforton and Beeston. The ruins of the genuinely medieval Beeston Castle are about ¾ mile to the north.

The castle was built in 1844–50 as a family home for John Tollemache, a wealthy landowner, estate manager and Member of Parliament, and his family continued to live in the house until 1939. It was designed by Anthony Salvin in the Gothic style. George Gilbert Scott described the building in 1858 as "the largest and most carefully and learnedly executed Gothic mansion of the present" and "the very height of masquerading".

The chapel and entrance lodge, also by Salvin, are listed at grade II*, and part of the surrounding woodland is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The castle has been used as a filming location, including for the Doctor Who serial The Time Warrior and a 1991 film of Robin Hood.

Selected picture

Emma Hart in a Straw Hat, by George Romney (1785)

Emma, Lady Hamilton (1761–1815), best known as the mistress of Horatio Nelson, was born at Ness, the daughter of a blacksmith. Renowned for her beauty, she became the muse of portraitist George Romney, inspiring more than 60 pictures. This portrait dates from 1785.

Selected list

The output of Chester-based architect John Douglas (1830–1911) included a diverse range of non-residential works. The majority of his works were in Cheshire and North Wales. His architectural styles were eclectic, but as he worked during the Gothic Revival period much of his output incorporates elements of the English Gothic style. He is probably best remembered for his incorporation of vernacular elements in his buildings, especially half-timbering, but also tile-hanging, pargeting, and decorative brickwork in diapering and tall chimney stacks.

In addition to numerous churches, Douglas's non-residential works included a great variety of buildings such as schools, shops, offices, hotels, public houses, banks, model farms, cheese factories, a gentlemen's club, a public baths and a public convenience. The Eastgate Clock in Chester, a memorial of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, is perhaps the best known of the smaller commissions he undertook. Other examples include memorials, a canopy over a well (pictured), a temporary triumphal arch, a garden ornament and an obelisk.


Fiddlers Ferry Power Station

1 January 1894: Manchester Ship Canal first opened to traffic.

2 January 1644: Dorfold Hall taken by Royalist forces during the Civil War.

3 January 1866: Crewe Hall gutted by fire.

13 January 1984: A cooling tower at Fiddlers Ferry Power Station (pictured) collapsed in high winds.

17 January 1644: Royalist forces attacked Nantwich during the Civil War.

20 January 1540: Dissolution of St Werburgh's Abbey.

20 January 1971: Singer–songwriter Gary Barlow born in Frodsham.

24 January 1909: Film star Ann Todd born in Hartford.

25 January 1837: Fire damaged the new wing of Vale Royal Abbey.

26 January 1644: Battle of Nantwich.

27 January 1832: Author and mathematician Lewis Carroll born in Daresbury.

27 January 1941: Cosmologist Beatrice Tinsley born in Chester.

28 January 1643: First battle of Nantwich.

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Cheshire West and Chester Cheshire East Cheshire East Cheshire East Halton WarringtonCheshire unitary number.png
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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. Template:/box-footer Template:/box-header 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 Template:/box-footer

Selected biography

One Direction performing in Glasgow in 2015

One Direction is a four-member boy band formed in 2010, which shot to fame after finishing third in the television singing competition The X Factor that year. Singer Harry Styles (born 1 February 1994) is from Holmes Chapel, and the group's other members are from England and Ireland. Their prominent social media presence has been judged a factor in their rapid success. Their style includes teen pop, dance pop, pop rock and power pop.

The group's 2011 debut album Up All Night topped the charts in sixteen countries, and was the first debut album by a British group to enter the US Billboard 200 chart at the top. Their subsequent albums, Take Me Home, Midnight Memories and Four, topped the charts in most major markets. A fifth album, Made in the A.M., was released in 2015. Their first single "What Makes You Beautiful" reached number one in the UK charts; subsequent hit singles include "Live While We're Young", "Story of My Life" and "Steal My Girl". The biographical film This Is Us was released in 2013. One Direction has won five Brit Awards and four MTV Video Music Awards.

Did you know...


21 March: An exhibition on the Gothic Revival in Cheshire opens at the Grosvenor Museum in Chester.

20 March: An exhibition commemorating the 75th anniversary of Macclesfield Synagogue opens in Macclesfield.

4 March: The Lion Salt Works restoration wins the conservation award at the Civic Trust Awards.

4 March: Consultation opens on Cheshire East's local plan, which has been revised to contain an extra 7,000 houses, to include greenbelt sites near Knutsford, Macclesfield and Wilmslow.

1 March: Disused offices in Runcorn are to be converted into a "healthy new town" providing 800 dwellings.

25 February: Listed railway viaducts at Holmes Chapel and Peover Superior, as well as railway bridges at Crewe, Rudheath and Davenham, reopen after refurbishment.

22 February: DONG Energy announces the first plant to convert unsorted household waste into biogas, to be built in Northwich.

22 February: Restoration work commences on the Chester Castle Propylaeum.

21 February: An exhibition celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Brazilian World Cup football team's visit to Lymm opens.

13 February: The four members of Warrington band Viola Beach are killed in a car accident in Sweden.



Sometyme I was a taverner,
a gentle gossippe and a tapster,
of wyne and ale a trustie bruer,
which woe hath me wrought.
Of kannes I kept no trewe measure.
My cuppes I sould at my pleasure,
deceavinge manye a creature,
thoe my ale Were nought.

And when I was a bruer longe,
with hoppes I made my alle stronge;
esshes and hearbes I blend amonge
and marred so good malt.

From "The Harrowing of Hell", in the Chester Mystery Cycle (c. 15th century)


A selection of recent articles of interest include:

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 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