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Cheshire ( ) is a
ceremonial A ceremony (, ) is a unified ritualistic event with a purpose, usually consisting of a number of artistic components, performed on a special occasion. The word may be of Etruscan language, Etruscan origin, via the Latin ''Glossary of ancient Rom ...
and
historic History (derived ) is the systematic study and the documentation of the human activity. The time period of event before the History of writing#Inventions of writing, invention of writing systems is considered prehistory. "History" is an umbr ...
county in
North West England North West England is one of nine official regions of England and consists of the ceremonial counties of England, administrative counties of Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. The North West had a population of ...
, bordered by
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the ...
to the west,
Merseyside Merseyside ( ) is a metropolitan county, metropolitan and ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county in North West England, with a population of List of ceremonial counties of England, 1.38 million. It encompasses both banks of the Merse ...
and
Greater Manchester Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county and combined authority, combined authority area in North West England, with a population of 2.8 million; comprising ten metropolitan boroughs: City of Manchester, Manchester, City of Salford, Salford ...
to the north,
Derbyshire Derbyshire ( ) is a ceremonial county in the East Midlands, England. It includes much of the Peak District, Peak District National Park, the southern end of the Pennines, Pennine range of hills and part of the The National Forest (England), Nat ...
to the east, and
Staffordshire Staffordshire (; postal abbreviation Staffs.) is a landlocked Counties of England, county in the West Midlands (region), West Midlands region of England. It borders Cheshire to the northwest, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east, Warwicks ...
and
Shropshire Shropshire (; alternatively Salop; abbreviated in print only as Shrops; demonym Salopian ) is a landlocked historic Counties of England, county in the West Midlands (region), West Midlands region of England. It is bordered by Wales to the we ...
to the south. Cheshire's
county town In the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, Ireland, a county town is the most important town or city in a county. It is usually the location of administrative or judicial functions within a county and the place where the county's members of ...
is the cathedral city of
Chester Chester is a cathedral city and the county town of Cheshire, England. It is located on the River Dee, Wales, River Dee, close to the England–Wales border, English–Welsh border. With a population of 79,645 in 2011,"2011 Census results: Peop ...
, while its largest town by population is
Warrington Warrington () is a town and unparished area in the Borough of Warrington, borough of the same name in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England, on the banks of the River Mersey. It is east of Liverpool, and west of Manchester. The populati ...
. Other towns in the county include Alsager,
Congleton Congleton is a town and civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England. The town is by the River Dane, south of Manchester and north of Stoke on Trent. At the United Kingdom Census 2011, 2011 Census, it had a pop ...
,
Crewe Crewe () is a railway town and civil parishes in England, civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England. The Crewe built-up area had a total population of 75,556 in 2011, which also covers parts of the adjacent civ ...
,
Ellesmere Port Ellesmere Port ( ) is a port town in the Cheshire West and Chester borough in Cheshire, England. Ellesmere Port is on the south eastern edge of the Wirral Peninsula, north of Chester, south of Birkenhead, southwest of Runcorn and south of ...
,
Frodsham Frodsham is a market town A market town is a Human settlement, settlement most common in Europe that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages, a market right, which allowed it to host a regular marketplace, market; this dis ...
,
Knutsford Knutsford () is a market town in the borough of Cheshire East, in Cheshire, England. Knutsford is south-west of Manchester, north-west of Macclesfield and 12.5 miles (20 km) south-east of Warrington. The population at the 2011 Census was ...
,
Macclesfield Macclesfield is a market town and civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England. It is located on the River Bollin in the east of the county, on the edge of the Cheshire Plain, with Macclesfield Forest to its east; ...

Macclesfield
,
Middlewich Middlewich is a town in the unitary authority of Cheshire East and the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England, east of Chester, east of Winsford, southeast of Northwich and northwest of Sandbach. The population at the 2011 Census was 13,595. ...
,
Nantwich Nantwich ( ) is a market town and Civil parishes in England, civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England. It has among the highest concentrations of listed buildings in England, with notably good examples of Tudor ...
,
Neston Neston is a town and civil parish on the Wirral Peninsula, in Cheshire, England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to i ...
,
Northwich Northwich is a town and civil parishes in England, civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire West and Chester in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. It lies in the heart of the Cheshire Plain, at the confluence of the rivers River ...
,
Poynton Poynton is a town in Cheshire, England, on the easternmost fringe of the Cheshire Plain, south-east of Manchester, north of Macclesfield and south of Stockport. Poynton has formed part of the Cheshire East unitary authority since the abolit ...
,
Runcorn Runcorn is an industrial town and Runcorn Docks, cargo port in the Borough of Halton in Cheshire, England. Its population in 2011 was 61,789. The town is in the southeast of the Liverpool City Region, with Liverpool to the northwest across the ...
,
Sandbach Sandbach (pronounced ) is the name of a historic market town and a civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East, Cheshire, England. The civil parish contains four settlements: Sandbach itself as the largest, Elworth, Ettiley Heath an ...

Sandbach
,
Widnes Widnes ( ) is an Industrial city, industrial town in the Borough of Halton, Cheshire, England, which at the 2011 United Kingdom census, 2011 census had a population of 61,464. Historic counties of England, Historically in Lancashire, it is on t ...
,
Wilmslow Wilmslow ( ) is a market town and civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England, south of Manchester city centre. The population was 24,497 at the 2011 Census. History Toponymy Wilmslow derives its name from Old ...
, and
Winsford Winsford is a town and civil parishes in England, civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire West and Chester and the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England, on the River Weaver south of Northwich and west of Middlewich. It grew around ...
. Cheshire is split into the administrative districts of
Cheshire West and Chester Cheshire West and Chester is a Unitary authorities of England, unitary authority with Borough status in the United Kingdom, borough status in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. It was established on 1 April 2009 as part of the 2009 str ...
,
Cheshire East Cheshire East is a unitary authority area with Borough status in the United Kingdom, borough status in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. The local authority is Cheshire East Council. Towns within the area include Crewe, Macclesfield, Co ...
, Halton, and
Warrington Warrington () is a town and unparished area in the Borough of Warrington, borough of the same name in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England, on the banks of the River Mersey. It is east of Liverpool, and west of Manchester. The populati ...
. The county covers and has a population of around 1.1 million as of 2021. It is mostly rural, with a number of towns and villages supporting the agricultural and chemical industries; it is primarily known for producing chemicals, Cheshire cheese, salt, and silk. It has also had an impact on popular culture, producing notable figures such as ''
Alice in Wonderland ''Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'' (commonly ''Alice in Wonderland'') is an 1865 English novel by Lewis Carroll. It details the story of a young girl named Alice (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), Alice who falls through a rabbit hole into a ...

Alice in Wonderland
'' author
Lewis Carroll Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (; 27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English author, poet and mathematician. His most notable works are ''Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'' (1865) and its sequel ...

Lewis Carroll
; musicians
Gary Barlow Gary Barlow (born 20 January 1971) is an English singer, songwriter, record producer, and television personality. He is the lead singer of the British pop music, pop group Take That. Barlow is one of the United Kingdom's most successful songwr ...
, Ian Curtis, and
Harry Styles Harry Edward Styles (born 1 February 1994) is an English singer, songwriter, and actor. His musical career began in 2010 as a solo contestant on the British music competition series ''The X Factor (UK TV series), The X Factor''. Following hi ...

Harry Styles
; actors
Daniel Craig Daniel Wroughton Craig (born 2 March 1968) is an English-American actor who gained international fame playing the secret agent Portrayal of James Bond in film, James Bond in James Bond, the film series, beginning with ''Casino Royale (2006 f ...
, Tim Curry, and
Pete Postlethwaite
Pete Postlethwaite
; and athletes Shauna Coxsey,
Tyson Fury Tyson Luke Fury (born 12 August 1988) is an English professional boxer. He is a two-time world heavyweight champion, having held the WBC title since defeating Deontay Wilder in 2020, and '' The Ring'' magazine title from 2020 to August 20 ...

Tyson Fury
, and
Paula Radcliffe
Paula Radcliffe
.


Toponymy

Cheshire's name was originally derived from an early name for Chester, and was first recorded as ''Legeceasterscir'' in the ''
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle The ''Anglo-Saxon Chronicle'' is a collection of annals in Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language of the ...
'',Harris, B. E. and Thacker, A. T. (1987). p. 237. meaning "the shire of the city of legions".Crosby, A. (1996). page 31. Although the name first appears in 980, it is thought that the county was created by
Edward the Elder Edward the Elder (17 July 924) was King of the Anglo-Saxons from 899 until his death in 924. He was the elder son of Alfred the Great and his wife Ealhswith. When Edward succeeded to the throne, he had to defeat a challenge from his cousin Æt ...

Edward the Elder
around 920. In the
Domesday Book Domesday Book () – the Middle English spelling of "Doomsday Book" – is a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William I, known as William the Conqueror. The manusc ...
, Chester was recorded as having the name ''Cestrescir'' (Chestershire), derived from the name for Chester at the time. A series of changes that occurred as English itself changed, together with some simplifications and
elision In linguistics, an elision or deletion is the omission of one or more sounds (such as a vowel, a consonant, or a whole syllable) in a word or phrase. However, these terms are also used to refer more narrowly to cases where two words are run toget ...
, resulted in the name Cheshire, as it occurs today. Because of the historically close links with the land bordering Cheshire to the west, which became modern
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the ...
, there is a history of interaction between Cheshire and North Wales. The Domesday Book records Cheshire as having two complete Hundreds (Atiscross and Exestan) that later became the principal part of
Flintshire , settlement_type = Local government in Wales#Principal areas, County , image_skyline = , image_alt = , image_caption = , image_flag = , imag ...
. Additionally, another large portion of the Duddestan Hundred later became known as Maelor Saesneg when it was transferred to North Wales. For this and other reasons, the
Welsh language Welsh ( or ) is a Celtic language family, Celtic language of the Brittonic languages, Brittonic subgroup that is native to the Welsh people. Welsh is spoken natively in Wales, by some in England, and in Y Wladfa (the Welsh colony in Chubut P ...
name for Cheshire (''Swydd Gaerlleon'') is sometimes used.


History


Earldom

After the Norman conquest of 1066 by
William I William I; ang, WillelmI (Bates ''William the Conqueror'' p. 33– 9 September 1087), usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first House of Normandy, Norman List of English monarchs#House of Norman ...

William I
, dissent and resistance continued for many years after the invasion. In 1069 local resistance in Cheshire was finally put down using draconian measures as part of the
Harrying of the North The Harrying of the North was a series of campaigns waged by William the Conqueror in the winter of 1069–1070 to subjugate northern England, where the presence of the last House of Wessex, Wessex claimant, Edgar Ætheling, had encouraged An ...
. The ferocity of the campaign against the English populace was enough to end all future resistance. Examples were made of major landowners such as Earl
Edwin of Mercia Edwin (Old English: ''Ēadwine'') (died 1071) was the elder brother of Morcar, Earl of Northumbria, son of Ælfgār, Earl of Mercia and grandson of Leofric, Earl of Mercia. He succeeded to his father's title and responsibilities on Ælfgār's dea ...
, their properties confiscated and redistributed amongst Norman barons. The earldom was sufficiently independent from the kingdom of England that the 13th-century
Magna Carta (Medieval Latin for "Great Charter of Freedoms"), commonly called (also ''Magna Charta''; "Great Charter"), is a royal charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, Berkshire, Windsor, on 15 June 1215. ...

Magna Carta
did not apply to the shire of
Chester Chester is a cathedral city and the county town of Cheshire, England. It is located on the River Dee, Wales, River Dee, close to the England–Wales border, English–Welsh border. With a population of 79,645 in 2011,"2011 Census results: Peop ...
, so the
earl Earl () is a rank of the nobility in the United Kingdom. The title originates in the Old English word ''eorl'', meaning "a man of noble birth or rank". The word is cognate with the Old Norse, Scandinavian form ''jarl'', and meant "Germanic ch ...
wrote up his own Chester Charter at the petition of his barons.


County Palatine

William I made Cheshire a
county palatine In England, Wales and Ireland a county palatine or palatinate was an area ruled by a hereditary nobleman enjoying special authority and autonomy from the rest of a Monarchy, kingdom. The name derives from the Latin adjective ''palātīnus'', "r ...
and gave Gerbod the Fleming the new title of
Earl of Chester The Earldom of Chester was one of the most powerful earldoms in medieval England England in the Middle Ages concerns the history of England during the Middle Ages, medieval period, from the end of the 5th century through to the start of the ...
. When Gerbod returned to
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie, Nouormandie ; from Old French , plural of ''Normant'', originally from the word for "northman" in several Scandinavian languages) is a geographical and cultural region in Northwestern ...

Normandy
in about 1070, the king used his absence to declare the earldom forfeit and gave the title to (nicknamed Hugh Lupus, or "wolf"). Because of Cheshire's strategic location on the
Welsh Marches The Welsh Marches ( cy, Y Mers) is an imprecisely defined area along the Wales-England border, border between England and Wales in the United Kingdom. The precise meaning of the term has varied at different periods. The English term Welsh Mar ...
, the Earl had complete autonomous powers to rule on behalf of the king in the county palatine.


Hundreds

Cheshire in the
Domesday Book Domesday Book () – the Middle English spelling of "Doomsday Book" – is a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William I, known as William the Conqueror. The manusc ...
(1086) is recorded as a much larger county than it is today. It included two hundreds, Atiscross and Exestan, that later became part of North
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, the Celtic Sea to the south west and the ...
. At the time of the Domesday Book, it also included as part of Duddestan Hundred the area of land later known as English Maelor (which used to be a detached part of
Flintshire , settlement_type = Local government in Wales#Principal areas, County , image_skyline = , image_alt = , image_caption = , image_flag = , imag ...
) in Wales. The area between the
Mersey The River Mersey () is in North West England. Its name derives from Old English and means "boundary river", possibly referring to its having been a border between the ancient kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria. For centuries it has formed part ...
and Ribble (referred to in the Domesday Book as "Inter Ripam et Mersam") formed part of the returns for Cheshire.Sylvester (1980). p. 14. Although this has been interpreted to mean that at that time south Lancashire was part of Cheshire, more exhaustive research indicates that the boundary between Cheshire and what was to become Lancashire remained the
River Mersey The River Mersey () is in North West England. Its name derives from Old English and means "boundary river", possibly referring to its having been a border between the ancient kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria. For centuries it has formed part ...
. With minor variations in spelling across sources, the complete list of
hundreds of Cheshire The Hundreds of Cheshire, as with other Hundred (county subdivision), Hundreds in England, were the geographic divisions of Cheshire for administrative, military and judicial purposes. They were introduced in Cheshire some time before the Norman c ...
at this time are: Atiscross, Bochelau, Chester, Dudestan, Exestan, Hamestan, Middlewich, Riseton, Roelau, Tunendune, Warmundestrou and Wilaveston.


Feudal baronies

There were 8 feudal baronies in Chester, the barons of Kinderton, Halton, Malbank, Mold, Shipbrook, Dunham-Massey, and the honour of Chester itself. Feudal baronies or baronies by tenure were granted by the Earl as forms of
feudal land tenure Under the English feudal system several different forms of land tenure existed, each effectively a contract with differing rights and duties attached thereto. Such tenures could be either free-hold, signifying that they were hereditable or perpet ...
within the palatinate in a similar way to which the king granted
English feudal baronies In the kingdom of England, a feudal barony or barony by tenure was the highest degree of feudal land tenure, namely ''per baroniam'' (Latin for "by barony"), under which the land-holder owed the service of being one of the king's barons. The du ...
within England proper. An example is the barony of Halton. One of Hugh d'Avranche's barons has been identified as Robert Nicholls, Baron of Halton and Montebourg.


North Mersey to Lancashire

In 1182, the land north of the Mersey became administered as part of the new county of
Lancashire Lancashire ( , ; abbreviated Lancs) is the name of a Historic counties of England, historic county, Ceremonial County, ceremonial county, and non-metropolitan county in North West England. The boundaries of these three areas differ significa ...
, resolving any uncertainty about the county in which the land "Inter Ripam et Mersam" was. Over the years, the ten hundreds consolidated and changed names to leave just seven—Broxton, Bucklow, Eddisbury, Macclesfield, Nantwich, Northwich and Wirral.


Principality: Merging of Palatine and Earldom

In 1397 the county had lands in the march of Wales added to its territory, and was promoted to the rank of principality. This was because of the support the men of the county had given to King Richard II, in particular by his standing armed force of about 500 men called the "Cheshire Guard". As a result, the King's title was changed to "King of England and France, Lord of Ireland, and Prince of Chester". No other English county has been honoured in this way, although it lost the distinction on Richard's fall in 1399.


Lieutenancy: North split-off


District

Through the
Local Government Act 1972 The Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70) is an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed local government in the United Kingdom, local government in England and Wales on 1 April 1974. It was one of the most sig ...
, which came into effect on 1 April 1974, some areas in the north became part of the metropolitan counties of
Greater Manchester Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county and combined authority, combined authority area in North West England, with a population of 2.8 million; comprising ten metropolitan boroughs: City of Manchester, Manchester, City of Salford, Salford ...
and
Merseyside Merseyside ( ) is a metropolitan county, metropolitan and ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county in North West England, with a population of List of ceremonial counties of England, 1.38 million. It encompasses both banks of the Merse ...
.
Stockport Stockport is a town and Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, borough in Greater Manchester, England, south-east of Manchester, south-west of Ashton-under-Lyne and north of Macclesfield. The River Goyt and River Tame, Greater Manchester, Tame m ...
(previously a county borough),
Altrincham Altrincham ( , locally ) is a market town in Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, south of the River Mersey. It is southwest of Manchester city centre, southwest of Sale, Greater Manchester, Sale and east of Warrington. At the United Kin ...
, Hyde,
Dukinfield Dukinfield is a town in Tameside, Greater Manchester, England, on the south bank of the River Tame, Greater Manchester, River Tame opposite Ashton-under-Lyne, east of Manchester. At the United Kingdom Census 2011, 2011 Census, it had a popula ...
and
Stalybridge Stalybridge () is a town in Tameside, Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 23,731 at the 2011 Census. Historic counties of England, Historically divided between Cheshire and Lancashire, it is east of Manchester city centre and no ...
in the north-east became part of Greater Manchester. Much of the
Wirral Peninsula Wirral (; ), known locally as The Wirral, is a peninsula in North West England. The roughly rectangular peninsula is about long and wide and is bounded by the River Dee, Wales, River Dee to the west (forming the boundary with Wales), the Ri ...
in the north-west, including the county boroughs of Birkenhead and Wallasey, joined Merseyside as the
Metropolitan Borough of Wirral The Metropolitan Borough of Wirral is a metropolitan borough of Merseyside, in North West England. It has a population of 321,238, and encompasses of the northern part of the Wirral Peninsula. Major settlements include Birkenhead, Wallasey, Be ...
. At the same time the Tintwistle Rural District was transferred to
Derbyshire Derbyshire ( ) is a ceremonial county in the East Midlands, England. It includes much of the Peak District, Peak District National Park, the southern end of the Pennines, Pennine range of hills and part of the The National Forest (England), Nat ...
. The area of south Lancashire not included within either the Merseyside or Greater Manchester counties, including
Widnes Widnes ( ) is an Industrial city, industrial town in the Borough of Halton, Cheshire, England, which at the 2011 United Kingdom census, 2011 census had a population of 61,464. Historic counties of England, Historically in Lancashire, it is on t ...
and the county borough of
Warrington Warrington () is a town and unparished area in the Borough of Warrington, borough of the same name in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England, on the banks of the River Mersey. It is east of Liverpool, and west of Manchester. The populati ...
, was added to the new non-metropolitan county of Cheshire.Local Government Act 1972


District and Unitary

Halton and
Warrington Warrington () is a town and unparished area in the Borough of Warrington, borough of the same name in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England, on the banks of the River Mersey. It is east of Liverpool, and west of Manchester. The populati ...
became unitary authorities independent of Cheshire County Council on 1 April 1998, but remain part of Cheshire for ceremonial purposes and also for fire and policing. A referendum for a further local government reform connected with an elected regional assembly was planned for 2004, but was abandoned.


Unitary

As part of the local government restructuring in April 2009, Cheshire County Council and the Cheshire districts were abolished and replaced by two new unitary authorities,
Cheshire East Cheshire East is a unitary authority area with Borough status in the United Kingdom, borough status in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. The local authority is Cheshire East Council. Towns within the area include Crewe, Macclesfield, Co ...
and
Cheshire West and Chester Cheshire West and Chester is a Unitary authorities of England, unitary authority with Borough status in the United Kingdom, borough status in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. It was established on 1 April 2009 as part of the 2009 str ...
. The existing unitary authorities of Halton and
Warrington Warrington () is a town and unparished area in the Borough of Warrington, borough of the same name in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England, on the banks of the River Mersey. It is east of Liverpool, and west of Manchester. The populati ...
were not affected by the change.


Governance


Current

File:Cheshire unitary labell.png, 220px, The ceremonial county showing the four unitary authorities. Click on the map for more information poly 132 343 74 237 19 152 25 129 215 134 231 120 255 121 298 172 293 195 263 221 221 222 179 257 152 293 175 350
Cheshire West and Chester Cheshire West and Chester is a Unitary authorities of England, unitary authority with Borough status in the United Kingdom, borough status in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. It was established on 1 April 2009 as part of the 2009 str ...
poly 168 293 241 241 285 239 325 225 382 264 383 272 316 308 312 348 225 368
Cheshire East Cheshire East is a unitary authority area with Borough status in the United Kingdom, borough status in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. The local authority is Cheshire East Council. Towns within the area include Crewe, Macclesfield, Co ...
poly 333 175 269 130 267 103 300 82 357 102 480 90 491 189 410 239
Cheshire East Cheshire East is a unitary authority area with Borough status in the United Kingdom, borough status in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. The local authority is Cheshire East Council. Towns within the area include Crewe, Macclesfield, Co ...
poly 313 228 334 183 419 219 354 293
Cheshire East Cheshire East is a unitary authority area with Borough status in the United Kingdom, borough status in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. The local authority is Cheshire East Council. Towns within the area include Crewe, Macclesfield, Co ...
poly 131 105 166 58 182 73 182 94 201 99 207 91 218 105 210 129 183 127 161 121 131 107 Halton poly 188 75 192 30 266 9 296 73 267 82 251 107 234 112
Warrington Warrington () is a town and unparished area in the Borough of Warrington, borough of the same name in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England, on the banks of the River Mersey. It is east of Liverpool, and west of Manchester. The populati ...
desc none
Cheshire has no county-wide elected local council, but it does have a
Lord Lieutenant A lord-lieutenant ( ) is the British monarch's personal representative in each lieutenancy area of the United Kingdom. Historically, each lieutenant was responsible for organising the county's militia. In 1871, the lieutenant's responsibility ...
under the
Lieutenancies Act 1997 The Lieutenancies Act 1997 (c. 23) is an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom that defines areas that lord-lieutenants are appointed to in Great Britain. It came into force on 1 July 1997. Creation of modern local government Prior to the Loca ...
and a High Sheriff under the Sheriffs Act 1887. Local government functions apart from the Police and Fire/Rescue services are carried out by four smaller unitary authorities:
Cheshire East Cheshire East is a unitary authority area with Borough status in the United Kingdom, borough status in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. The local authority is Cheshire East Council. Towns within the area include Crewe, Macclesfield, Co ...
,
Cheshire West and Chester Cheshire West and Chester is a Unitary authorities of England, unitary authority with Borough status in the United Kingdom, borough status in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. It was established on 1 April 2009 as part of the 2009 str ...
, Halton, and
Warrington Warrington () is a town and unparished area in the Borough of Warrington, borough of the same name in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England, on the banks of the River Mersey. It is east of Liverpool, and west of Manchester. The populati ...
. All four unitary authority areas have borough status. Policing and fire and rescue services are still provided across the county as a whole. The Cheshire Fire Authority consist of members of the four councils, while governance of
Cheshire Constabulary Cheshire Constabulary is the territorial police force responsible for policing the English unitary authority, unitary authorities of Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Borough of Halton and Borough of Warrington. The force is responsible ...
is performed by the elected Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner. Winsford is a major administrative hub for Cheshire with the Police and Fire & Rescue Headquarters based in the town as well as a majority of Cheshire West and Chester Council. It was also home to the former Vale Royal Borough Council and Cheshire County Council.


Transition into a lieutenancy

From 1 April 1974 the area under the control of the county council was divided into eight local government districts;
Chester Chester is a cathedral city and the county town of Cheshire, England. It is located on the River Dee, Wales, River Dee, close to the England–Wales border, English–Welsh border. With a population of 79,645 in 2011,"2011 Census results: Peop ...
,
Congleton Congleton is a town and civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England. The town is by the River Dane, south of Manchester and north of Stoke on Trent. At the United Kingdom Census 2011, 2011 Census, it had a pop ...
, Crewe and Nantwich,
Ellesmere Port and Neston Ellesmere Port and Neston was, from 1974 to 2009, a local government district The districts of England (also known as local authority districts or local government districts to distinguish from unofficial city districts) are a level of S ...
, Halton,
Macclesfield Macclesfield is a market town and civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England. It is located on the River Bollin in the east of the county, on the edge of the Cheshire Plain, with Macclesfield Forest to its east; ...
,
Vale Royal A vale is a type of Valley#Vale, valley. Vale may also refer to: Places Georgia * Vale, Georgia, a town in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region Norway * Våle, a historic municipality Portugal * Vale (Santa Maria da Feira), a former civil parish in t ...
and
Warrington Warrington () is a town and unparished area in the Borough of Warrington, borough of the same name in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England, on the banks of the River Mersey. It is east of Liverpool, and west of Manchester. The populati ...
. Halton (which includes the towns of
Runcorn Runcorn is an industrial town and Runcorn Docks, cargo port in the Borough of Halton in Cheshire, England. Its population in 2011 was 61,789. The town is in the southeast of the Liverpool City Region, with Liverpool to the northwest across the ...
and
Widnes Widnes ( ) is an Industrial city, industrial town in the Borough of Halton, Cheshire, England, which at the 2011 United Kingdom census, 2011 census had a population of 61,464. Historic counties of England, Historically in Lancashire, it is on t ...
) and
Warrington Warrington () is a town and unparished area in the Borough of Warrington, borough of the same name in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England, on the banks of the River Mersey. It is east of Liverpool, and west of Manchester. The populati ...
became
unitary authorities A unitary authority is a local authority Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration within a particular sovereign state. This particular usage of the word government refers specifically to a level of adm ...
in 1998. The remaining districts and the county were abolished as part of local government restructuring on 1 April 2009. The Halton and Warrington boroughs were not affected by the 2009 restructuring. On 25 July 2007, the Secretary of State Hazel Blears announced she was 'minded' to split Cheshire into two new unitary authorities,
Cheshire West and Chester Cheshire West and Chester is a Unitary authorities of England, unitary authority with Borough status in the United Kingdom, borough status in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. It was established on 1 April 2009 as part of the 2009 str ...
, and
Cheshire East Cheshire East is a unitary authority area with Borough status in the United Kingdom, borough status in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. The local authority is Cheshire East Council. Towns within the area include Crewe, Macclesfield, Co ...
. She confirmed she had not changed her mind on 19 December 2007 and therefore the proposal to split two-tier Cheshire into two would proceed. Cheshire County Council leader Paul Findlow, who attempted High Court legal action against the proposal, claimed that splitting Cheshire would only disrupt excellent services while increasing living costs for all. A widespread sentiment that this decision was taken by the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
long ago has often been portrayed via angered letters from Cheshire residents to local papers. On 31 January 2008 ''The Standard'', Cheshire and district's newspaper, announced that the legal action had been dropped. Members against the proposal were advised that they may be unable to persuade the court that the decision of Hazel Blears was "manifestly absurd". The Cheshire West and Chester unitary authority covers the area formerly occupied by the City of Chester and the boroughs of Ellesmere Port and Neston and Vale Royal; Cheshire East now covers the area formerly occupied by the boroughs of Congleton, Crewe and Nantwich, and Macclesfield. The changes were implemented on 1 April 2009. Congleton Borough Council pursued an appeal against the judicial review it lost in October 2007. The appeal was dismissed on 4 March 2008.


Geography


Physical

Cheshire covers a
boulder clay Boulder clay is an unsorted agglomeration of clastic sediment that is unstratified and structureless and contains gravel of various sizes, shapes, and compositions distributed at random in a fine-grained matrix. The fine-grained matrix consists o ...
plain separating the hills of
North Wales North Wales ( cy, Gogledd Cymru) is a regions of Wales, region of Wales, encompassing its northernmost areas. It borders Mid Wales to the south, England to the east, and the Irish Sea to the north and west. The area is highly mountainous and rural, ...
and the
Peak District The Peak District is an Highland, upland area in England at the southern end of the Pennines. Mostly in Derbyshire, it extends into Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire. It includes the Dark Peak, whe ...
(the area is also known as the Cheshire Gap). This was formed following the retreat of
ice age An ice age is a long period of reduction in the temperature of Earth's surface and atmosphere, resulting in the presence or expansion of continental and polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers. Earth's climate alternates between ice ages and Green ...
glaciers which left the area dotted with
kettle hole A kettle (also known as a kettle lake, kettle hole, or pothole) is a depression/hole in an outwash plain formed by retreating glaciers or draining floodwaters. The kettles are formed as a result of blocks of Dead-ice, dead ice left behind by retr ...
s, locally referred to as meres. The bedrock of this region is almost entirely
Triassic The Triassic ( ) is a geologic period and system (stratigraphy), system which spans 50.6 million years from the end of the Permian Period 251.902 million years ago (Year#Abbreviations yr and ya, Mya), to the beginning of the Jurassic Period 201.36 ...
sandstone Sandstone is a Clastic rock#Sedimentary clastic rocks, clastic sedimentary rock composed mainly of grain size, sand-sized (0.0625 to 2 mm) silicate mineral, silicate grains. Sandstones comprise about 20–25% of all sedimentary rocks. ...
, outcrops of which have long been quarried, notably at
Runcorn Runcorn is an industrial town and Runcorn Docks, cargo port in the Borough of Halton in Cheshire, England. Its population in 2011 was 61,789. The town is in the southeast of the Liverpool City Region, with Liverpool to the northwest across the ...
, providing the distinctive red stone for
Liverpool Cathedral Liverpool Cathedral is the Cathedral of the Anglican Diocese of Liverpool, built on St James's Mount in Liverpool Liverpool is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. With a populati ...
and
Chester Cathedral Chester Cathedral is a Church of England cathedral and the mother church of the Diocese of Chester. It is located in the city of Chester, Cheshire, England. The cathedral, formerly the abbey church of a Benedictine monastery dedicated to Werbu ...
. The eastern half of the county is Upper Triassic Mercia Mudstone laid down with large
salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in the form of a natural crystallinity, crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite. ...
deposits which were mined for hundreds of years around
Winsford Winsford is a town and civil parishes in England, civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire West and Chester and the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England, on the River Weaver south of Northwich and west of Middlewich. It grew around ...
. Separating this area from Lower Triassic Sherwood Sandstone to the west is a prominent sandstone ridge known as the Mid Cheshire Ridge. A footpath, the Sandstone Trail, follows this ridge from
Frodsham Frodsham is a market town A market town is a Human settlement, settlement most common in Europe that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages, a market right, which allowed it to host a regular marketplace, market; this dis ...
to Whitchurch passing
Delamere Forest Delamere Forest is a large Woodland, wood in the village of Delamere, Cheshire, Delamere in Cheshire, England. The woodland, which is managed by Forestry England, covers an area of making it the largest area of woodland in the county. It contain ...
, Beeston Castle and earlier
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of humanity. It was preceded by the Stone Age (Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic) and the Bronze Age (Chalcolithic). The concept has been mostly appl ...
forts. The highest point (county top) in the historic county of Cheshire was Black Hill () near Crowden in the Cheshire Panhandle, a long eastern projection of the county which formerly stretched along the northern side of Longdendale and on the border with the
West Riding of Yorkshire The West Riding of Yorkshire is one of three historic subdivisions of Yorkshire, England. From 1889 to 1974 the administrative county County of York, West Riding (the area under the control of West Riding County Council), abbreviated County ...
. Black Hill is now the highest point in the ceremonial county of
West Yorkshire West Yorkshire is a metropolitan and ceremonial county in the Yorkshire and Humber Region of England. It is an inland and upland county having eastward-draining valleys while taking in the moors of the Pennines The Pennines (), also k ...
. Within the current ceremonial county and the unitary authority of
Cheshire East Cheshire East is a unitary authority area with Borough status in the United Kingdom, borough status in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. The local authority is Cheshire East Council. Towns within the area include Crewe, Macclesfield, Co ...
the highest point is
Shining Tor Shining Tor is the highest hill in Cheshire Cheshire ( ) is a Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial and Historic counties of England, historic county in North West England, bordered by Wales to the west, Merseyside and Greater Mancheste ...
on the Derbyshire/Cheshire border between
Macclesfield Macclesfield is a market town and civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England. It is located on the River Bollin in the east of the county, on the edge of the Cheshire Plain, with Macclesfield Forest to its east; ...

Macclesfield
and
Buxton Buxton is a spa town in the High Peak, Derbyshire, Borough of High Peak, Derbyshire, England. It is England's highest market town, sited at some above sea level.Shutlingsloe, at above sea level. Shutlingshoe lies just to the south of
Macclesfield Forest Macclesfield Forest is an area of woodland, predominantly conifer plantation, located around south east of Macclesfield in the civil parish of Macclesfield Forest and Wildboarclough, in Cheshire, England. The existing woodland is the last subs ...
and is sometimes humorously referred to as the "
Matterhorn The (, ; it, Cervino, ; french: Cervin, ; rm, Matterhorn) is a mountain of the Alps, straddling the Main chain of the Alps, main watershed and border between Switzerland and Italy. It is a large, near-symmetric pyramidal peak in the extended ...
of Cheshire" thanks to its distinctive steep profile.


Human


Green belt

Cheshire contains portions of two
green belt A green belt is a policy and land-use zone designation used in land-use planning to retain areas of largely undeveloped, wilderness, wild, or agricultural landscape, land surrounding or neighboring urban areas. Similar concepts are greenway (lan ...
areas surrounding the large conurbations of Merseyside and Greater Manchester (North Cheshire Green Belt, part of the North West Green Belt) and Stoke-on-Trent (South Cheshire Green Belt, part of the Stoke-on-Trent Green Belt), these were first drawn up from the 1950s. Contained primarily within Cheshire East and Chester West & Chester, with small portions along the borders of the Halton and Warrington districts, towns and cities such as Chester, Macclesfield, Alsager, Congleton, Northwich, Ellesmere Port, Knutsford, Warrington, Poynton, Disley, Neston, Wilmslow, Runcorn, and Widnes are either surrounded wholly, partially enveloped by, or on the fringes of the belts. The North Cheshire Green Belt is contiguous with the Peak District Park boundary inside Cheshire.


Borders

The
ceremonial county The counties and areas for the purposes of the lieutenancies, also referred to as the lieutenancy areas of England and informally known as ceremonial counties, are areas of England to which lord-lieutenant, lords-lieutenant are appointed. Lega ...
borders
Merseyside Merseyside ( ) is a metropolitan county, metropolitan and ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county in North West England, with a population of List of ceremonial counties of England, 1.38 million. It encompasses both banks of the Merse ...
,
Greater Manchester Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county and combined authority, combined authority area in North West England, with a population of 2.8 million; comprising ten metropolitan boroughs: City of Manchester, Manchester, City of Salford, Salford ...
,
Derbyshire Derbyshire ( ) is a ceremonial county in the East Midlands, England. It includes much of the Peak District, Peak District National Park, the southern end of the Pennines, Pennine range of hills and part of the The National Forest (England), Nat ...
,
Staffordshire Staffordshire (; postal abbreviation Staffs.) is a landlocked Counties of England, county in the West Midlands (region), West Midlands region of England. It borders Cheshire to the northwest, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east, Warwicks ...
and
Shropshire Shropshire (; alternatively Salop; abbreviated in print only as Shrops; demonym Salopian ) is a landlocked historic Counties of England, county in the West Midlands (region), West Midlands region of England. It is bordered by Wales to the we ...
in England along with
Flintshire , settlement_type = Local government in Wales#Principal areas, County , image_skyline = , image_alt = , image_caption = , image_flag = , imag ...
and
Wrexham Wrexham ( ; cy, Wrecsam; ) is a city status in the United Kingdom, city and the administrative centre of Wrexham County Borough in Wales. It is located between the Cambrian Mountains, Welsh mountains and the lower River Dee, Wales, Dee Valley, ...
in Wales, arranged by compass directions as shown in the table. below. Cheshire also forms part of the
North West England North West England is one of nine official regions of England and consists of the ceremonial counties of England, administrative counties of Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. The North West had a population of ...
region.


Flora and fauna

In July 2022, the first
beaver Beavers are large, semiaquatic rodents in the genus ''Castor'' native to the Holarctic realm, temperate Northern Hemisphere. There are two extant taxon, extant species: the North American beaver (''Castor canadensis'') and the Eurasian beave ...
was born in Cheshire for the first time in 400 years.


Demography


Population

Based on the Census of 2001, the overall population of Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester is 673,781, of which 51.3% of the population were male and 48.7% were female. Of those aged between 0–14 years, 51.5% were male and 48.4% were female; and of those aged over 75 years, 62.9% were female and 37.1% were male. This increased to 699,735 at the 2011 Census. The population for 2021 is forecast to be 708,000. In 2001, the population density of Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester was 32 people per km2, lower than the North West average of 42 people/km2 and the England and Wales average of 38 people/km2.
Ellesmere Port Ellesmere Port ( ) is a port town in the Cheshire West and Chester borough in Cheshire, England. Ellesmere Port is on the south eastern edge of the Wirral Peninsula, north of Chester, south of Birkenhead, southwest of Runcorn and south of ...
and
Neston Neston is a town and civil parish on the Wirral Peninsula, in Cheshire, England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to i ...
had a greater urban density than the rest of the county with 92 people/km2.


Population change


Ethnicity

In 2001, ethnic white groups accounted for 98% (662,794) of the population, and 10,994 (2%) in ethnic groups other than white. Of the 2% in non-white ethnic groups: *3,717 (34%) belonged to mixed ethnic groups *3,336 (30%) were Asian or Asian British *1,076 (10%) were black or black British *1,826 (17%) were of Chinese ethnic groups *1,039 (9%) were of other ethnic groups.


Religion

In the 2001 Census, 81% of the population (542,413) identified themselves as Christian; 124,677 (19%) did not identify with any religion or did not answer the question; 5,665 (1%) identified themselves as belonging to other major world religions; and 1,033 belonged to other religions. The boundary of the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the State religion, established List of Christian denominations, Christian church in England and the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church record ...
Diocese of Chester The Diocese of Chester is a Church of England diocese in the Province of York covering the pre-1974 county of Cheshire and therefore including the The Wirral Peninsula, Wirral and parts of Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, Stockport, Metropoli ...
follows most closely the pre-1974 county boundary of Cheshire, so it includes all of Wirral,
Stockport Stockport is a town and Metropolitan Borough of Stockport, borough in Greater Manchester, England, south-east of Manchester, south-west of Ashton-under-Lyne and north of Macclesfield. The River Goyt and River Tame, Greater Manchester, Tame m ...
, and the Cheshire panhandle that included Tintwistle Rural District council area. In terms of Roman Catholic church administration, most of Cheshire falls into the Roman Catholic Diocese of Shrewsbury.


Economy

Cheshire has a diverse economy with significant sectors including agriculture, automotive, bio-technology, chemical, financial services, food and drink, ICT, and tourism. The county is famous for the production of Cheshire cheese,
salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in the form of a natural crystallinity, crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite. ...
and silk. The county has seen a number of inventions and firsts in its history. A mainly rural county, Cheshire has a high concentration of villages. Agriculture is generally based on the dairy trade, and cattle are the predominant livestock. Land use given to agriculture has fluctuated somewhat, and in 2005 totalled 1558 km2 over 4,609 holdings. Based on holdings by EC farm type in 2005, 8.51 km2 was allocated to dairy farming, with another 11.78 km2 allocated to cattle and sheep. The chemical industry in Cheshire was founded in
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to the Romans'', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter ...
times, with the mining of salt in Middlewich and Northwich. Salt is still mined in the area by British Salt. The salt mining has led to a continued chemical industry around Northwich, with
Brunner Mond Brunner may refer to: Places * Brunner, New Zealand * Lake Brunner, New Zealand * Brunner Mine, New Zealand * Brunner, Houston, United States * Brunner (crater), lunar crater Other uses * Brunner (surname) * Dogs of War (Warhammer)#Brunner, Brunne ...
based in the town. Other chemical companies, including
Ineos INEOS Group Limited is a British Multinational corporation, multinational chemicals company headquartered and registered in London. , it is the fourth largest chemical company in the world. Ineos is organised into about 20 standalone business ...
(formerly ICI), have plants at
Runcorn Runcorn is an industrial town and Runcorn Docks, cargo port in the Borough of Halton in Cheshire, England. Its population in 2011 was 61,789. The town is in the southeast of the Liverpool City Region, with Liverpool to the northwest across the ...
. The Essar Refinery (formerly
Shell Shell may refer to: Architecture and design * Shell (structure), a thin structure ** Concrete shell, a thin shell of concrete, usually with no interior columns or exterior buttresses ** Thin-shell structure Science Biology * Seashell, a hard out ...
Stanlow Refinery) is at Ellesmere Port. The oil refinery has operated since 1924 and has a capacity of 12 million tonnes per year. Crewe was once the centre of the British railway industry, and remains a major railway junction. The Crewe railway works, built in 1840, employed 20,000 people at its peak, although the workforce is now less than 1,000. Crewe is also the home of
Bentley Bentley Motors Limited is a British designer, manufacturer and marketer of Luxury vehicle, luxury cars and Sport utility vehicle, SUVs. Headquartered in Crewe, England, the company was founded as Bentley Motors Limited by W. O. Bentley (1888 ...
cars. Also within Cheshire are manufacturing plants for
Jaguar The jaguar (''Panthera onca'') is a large felidae, cat species and the only extant taxon, living member of the genus ''Panthera'' native to the Americas. With a body length of up to and a weight of up to , it is the largest cat species in t ...
and
Vauxhall Motors Vauxhall Motors LimitedCompany No. 00135767. Incorporated 12 May 1914, name changed from Vauxhall Motors Limited to General Motors UK Limited on 16 April 2008, reverted to Vauxhall Motors Limited on 18 September 2017. () is a British Automotive ...
in Ellesmere Port. The county also has an aircraft industry, with the
BAE Systems BAE Systems plc (BAE) is a British Multinational corporation, multinational arms industry, arms, Information security, security, and aerospace company based in London, England. It is the largest defence contractor in Europe, and ranked the s ...
facility at
Woodford Aerodrome Woodford Aerodrome is a former airfield and aircraft factory at Woodford, Greater Manchester, England, north of Macclesfield. It was opened by the Avro company after the First World War and became an important production centre for military ...
, part of BAE System's Military Air Solutions division. The facility designed and constructed
Avro Lancaster The Avro Lancaster is a British World War II, Second World War heavy bomber. It was designed and manufactured by Avro as a contemporary of the Handley Page Halifax, both bombers having been developed to the same specification, as well as the S ...
and
Avro Vulcan The Avro Vulcan (later Hawker Siddeley Vulcan from July 1963) is a Jet aircraft, jet-powered, Tailless aircraft, tailless, delta wing, delta-wing, high-altitude, strategic bomber, which was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1956 un ...
bombers and the
Hawker-Siddeley Nimrod The Hawker Siddeley Nimrod is a retired maritime patrol aircraft A maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), also known as a patrol aircraft, maritime reconnaissance aircraft, or by the older American term patrol bomber, is a fixed-wing aircraft de ...
. On the Cheshire border with
Flintshire , settlement_type = Local government in Wales#Principal areas, County , image_skyline = , image_alt = , image_caption = , image_flag = , imag ...
is the Broughton aircraft factory, more recently associated with
Airbus Airbus SE (; ; ; ) is a European Multinational corporation, multinational aerospace corporation. Airbus designs, manufactures and sells civil and military aerospace manufacturer, aerospace products worldwide and manufactures aircraft througho ...
. Tourism in Cheshire from within the UK and overseas continues to perform strongly. Over 8 million nights of accommodation (both UK and overseas) and over 2.8 million visits to Cheshire were recorded during 2003. At the start of 2003, there were 22,020 VAT-registered enterprises in Cheshire, an increase of 7% since 1998, many in the business services (31.9%) and wholesale/retail (21.7%) sectors. Between 2002 and 2003 the number of businesses grew in four sectors: public administration and other services (6.0%), hotels and restaurants (5.1%), construction (1.7%), and business services (1.0%). The county saw the largest proportional reduction between 2001 and 2002 in employment in the energy and water sector and there was also a significant reduction in the manufacturing sector. The largest growth during this period was in the other services and distribution, hotels and retail sectors. Cheshire is considered to be an affluent county. However, towns such as Crewe and Winsford have significant deprivation. The county's proximity to the cities of
Manchester Manchester () is a city in Greater Manchester, England. It had a population of 552,000 in 2021. It is bordered by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and the neighbouring city of City of Salford, Salford to ...
and
Liverpool Liverpool is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. With a population of in 2019, it is the List of English districts by population, 10th largest English district by population and its E ...
means
counter urbanisation Counterurbanization, or deurbanization, is a demographic Demography () is the statistics, statistical study of populations, especially human beings. Demographic analysis examines and measures the dimensions and Population dynamics, dyna ...
is common. Cheshire West has a fairly large proportion of residents who work in Liverpool and Manchester, while the town of Northwich and area of Cheshire East falls more within Manchester's sphere of influence.


Education

All four local education authorities in Cheshire operate only comprehensive state school systems. When
Altrincham Altrincham ( , locally ) is a market town in Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, south of the River Mersey. It is southwest of Manchester city centre, southwest of Sale, Greater Manchester, Sale and east of Warrington. At the United Kin ...
, Sale and
Bebington Bebington () is a town and unparished area In England, an unparished area is an area that is not covered by a civil parish (the lowest level of local government, not to be confused with an ecclesiastical parish). Most Urbanization, urbani ...
were moved from Cheshire to
Trafford Trafford is a metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester, England, with an estimated population of 235,493 in 2017. It covers Retrieved on 13 December 2007. and includes the area of Old Trafford (area), Old Trafford and the towns of Altri ...
and
Merseyside Merseyside ( ) is a metropolitan county, metropolitan and ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county in North West England, with a population of List of ceremonial counties of England, 1.38 million. It encompasses both banks of the Merse ...
in 1974, they took some former Cheshire selective schools. There are two universities based in the county, the
University of Chester , mottoeng = "He that teacheth, on teaching" , former_names = , established = (gained university status A university () is an institution Institutions are humanly devised structures of rules and norms that shape and constrain indiv ...
and the Chester campus of
The University of Law The University of Law (founded in 1962 as The College of Law of England and Wales) is a For-profit education, for-profit private university in the United Kingdom, providing law degrees, specialist legal training and Professional development, conti ...
. The
Crewe Crewe () is a railway town and civil parishes in England, civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England. The Crewe built-up area had a total population of 75,556 in 2011, which also covers parts of the adjacent civ ...
campus of
Manchester Metropolitan University Manchester Metropolitan University is located in the centre of Manchester, England. The university has over 40,000 students and over 4,000 members of staff. It is home to four faculties (Arts and Humanities, Business and Law, Health and Educat ...
was scheduled to close in 2019.


Culture


Arts and entertainment

Cheshire has produced musicians such as
Joy Division Joy Division were an English Rock music, rock band formed in Salford in 1976. The group consisted of vocalist Ian Curtis, guitarist/keyboardist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook and drummer Stephen Morris (musician), Stephen Morris. Sumner ...
members Ian Curtis and Stephen Morris,
One Direction One Direction, often shortened to 1D, are an English-Irish Pop music, pop boy band formed in London in 2010. The group are composed of Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, and previously Zayn Malik until his departure fro ...
member
Harry Styles Harry Edward Styles (born 1 February 1994) is an English singer, songwriter, and actor. His musical career began in 2010 as a solo contestant on the British music competition series ''The X Factor (UK TV series), The X Factor''. Following hi ...

Harry Styles
, the members of
The 1975 The 1975 are an English pop rock band formed in 2002 in Wilmslow, Wilmslow, Cheshire. Now based in Manchester, the band consists of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Matthew "Matty" Healy, lead guitarist Adam Hann, bassist Ross MacDonald, and ...
,
Take That Take That are an English pop group formed in Manchester in 1990. The group currently consists of Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen. The original line-up also featured Jason Orange and Robbie Williams. Barlow is the group's lead singer ...
member
Gary Barlow Gary Barlow (born 20 January 1971) is an English singer, songwriter, record producer, and television personality. He is the lead singer of the British pop music, pop group Take That. Barlow is one of the United Kingdom's most successful songwr ...
,
The Cult The Cult are an English rock music, rock band formed in 1983 in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Before settling on their current name in January 1984, the band performed under the name Death Cult, which was an evolution of the name of lead singer Ia ...
member
Ian Astbury Ian Robert Astbury (born 14 May 1962) is an English singer, best known as a founding member, lead vocalist and frontman of the rock band the Cult. During various hiatuses from the Cult, Astbury has fronted the short-lived Holy Barbarians (band ...
, Catfish and the Bottlemen member Van McCann,
Girls Aloud Girls Aloud were an pop music, pop girl group that was created through the ITV (TV network), ITV talent show ''Popstars: The Rivals'' in 2002. The group comprised singers Cheryl (singer), Cheryl, Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts an ...
member Nicola Roberts,
Stephen Hough Sir Stephen Andrew Gill Hough (; born 22 November 1961) is a British-born classical pianist, composer and writer. He became an Australian nationality law, Australian citizen in 2005 and thus has dual nationality (his father was born in Austral ...
,
John Mayall John Mayall, Order of the British Empire, OBE (born 29 November 1933) is an English blues singer, musician and songwriter, whose musical career spans over sixty years. In the 1960s, he was the founder of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, a ban ...
, The Charlatans member Tim Burgess, and Nigel Stonier. Actors from Cheshire include
Russ Abbot Russ Abbot (born Russell Allan Roberts; 18 September 1947) is an English musician, comedian and actor. Born in Chester, he first came to public notice during the 1970s as the singer and drummer with British comedy showband the Black Abbots, la ...
, Warren Brown, Julia Chan, Ray Coulthard,
Daniel Craig Daniel Wroughton Craig (born 2 March 1968) is an English-American actor who gained international fame playing the secret agent Portrayal of James Bond in film, James Bond in James Bond, the film series, beginning with ''Casino Royale (2006 f ...
, Tim Curry,
Wendy Hiller Dame Wendy Margaret Hiller, (15 August 1912 – 14 May 2003) was an English film and stage actress who enjoyed a varied acting career that spanned nearly 60 years. Writer Joel Hirschorn, in his 1984 compilation ''Rating the Movie Stars'', desc ...
, Tom Hughes, Tim McInnerny,
Ben Miller Bennet Evan Miller (born 24 February 1966) is an English actor, comedian, and author. He rose to fame as one half of the comedy duo Armstrong and Miller. Miller is also known for playing the lead role of Richard Poole (character), DI Richard Po ...
, ,
Adam Rickitt Adam Peter Rickitt (born 29 May 1978) is an English actor, singer and model. He portrayed the role of Nick Tilsley in the ITV (TV channel), ITV soap opera ''Coronation Street'' from 1997 to 1999, and again from 2002 to 2004. He later joined the ...
,
John Steiner John Steiner (7 January 1941 – 31 July 2022) was an English actor. Tall, thin and gaunt, he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and performed on-stage for the Royal Shakespeare Company, but was best known to audiences for his roles i ...
, and Ann Todd. The most famous author from the county is
Lewis Carroll Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (; 27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English author, poet and mathematician. His most notable works are ''Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'' (1865) and its sequel ...

Lewis Carroll
, who wrote ''
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ''Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'' (commonly ''Alice in Wonderland'') is an 1865 English novel by Lewis Carroll. It details the story of a young girl named Alice (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), Alice who falls through a rabbit hole into a ...
'' and named the
Cheshire Cat The Cheshire Cat ( or ) is a List of fictional felines, fictional cat popularised by Lewis Carroll in ''Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'' and known for its distinctive mischievous grin. While now most often used in ''Alice''-related contexts ...
character after it. Other notable Cheshire writers include
Hall Caine Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine (14 May 1853 – 31 August 1931), usually known as Hall Caine, was a British novelist, dramatist, short story writer, poet and critic of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Caine's popularity during ...
,
Alan Garner Alan Garner (born 17 October 1934) is an English novelist best known for his children's fantasy novels and his retellings of traditional British folk tales. Much of his work is rooted in the landscape, history and folklore of his native count ...
, and
Elizabeth Gaskell Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (''née'' Stevenson; 29 September 1810 – 12 November 1865), often referred to as Mrs Gaskell, was an English novelist, biographer and short story writer. Her novels offer a detailed portrait of the lives of many st ...
. Artists from Cheshire include ceramic artist Emma Bossons and sculptor/photographer
Andy Goldsworthy Andy Goldsworthy (born 26 July 1956) is an English sculptor, photographer, and environmentalist who produces Site-specific art, site-specific sculptures and land art situated in natural and urban settings. Early life Goldsworthy was born in ...
.Stonard, John Paul (10 December 2000). "Goldsworthy, Andy"
Grove Art Online
Retrieved on 15 May 2007.
Television programmes and news are provided by
BBC North West BBC North West is the BBC English Region serving Cheshire Cheshire ( ) is a Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial and Historic counties of England, historic county in North West England, bordered by Wales to the west, Merseyside and ...
and
ITV Granada ITV Granada, formerly known as Granada Television, is the ITV franchisee for the North West of England and Isle of Man. From 1956 to 1968 it broadcast to both the north west and Yorkshire but only on weekdays as ABC Weekend TV, ABC Weekend Te ...
. Local radio stations in the county include Chester's Dee Radio, Capital North West and Wales, Smooth Wales, Cheshire's Silk 106.9 and
Signal 1 Signal 1 is an Independent Local Radio station owned and operated by Bauer Radio, Bauer as part of the Hits Radio network. It broadcasts to Staffordshire and South Cheshire. As of September 2022, the station has a weekly audience of 172,000 l ...
. It is one of only four counties in the country (along with
County Durham County Durham ( ), officially simply Durham,UK General Acts 1997 c. 23Lieutenancies Act 1997 Schedule 1(3). From legislation.gov.uk, retrieved 6 April 2022. is a ceremonial county in North East England.North East Assembly About North East Eng ...
,
Dorset Dorset ( ; archaically: Dorsetshire , ) is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The ceremonial county comprises the unitary authority areas of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and Dorset. Covering an area of ...
, and
Rutland Rutland () is a ceremonial Counties of England, county and unitary authority in the East Midlands, England. The county is bounded to the west and north by Leicestershire, to the northeast by Lincolnshire and the southeast by Northamptonshi ...
) that does not have its own designated
BBC #REDIRECT BBC
Here i going to introduce about the best teacher of my life b BALAJI sir. He is the precious gift that I got befor 2yrs . How has helped and thought all the concept and made my success in the 10th board exam. ...
radio station; the south and parts of the east are covered by BBC Radio Stoke, while
BBC Radio Merseyside BBC Radio Merseyside is the Local BBC Radio, BBC's local radio station serving Merseyside. It broadcasts on frequency modulation, FM, Digital Audio Broadcasting, DAB, digital TV and via BBC Sounds, from studios on Hanover Street in Liverpool. ...
tends to cover the west, and
BBC Radio Manchester BBC Radio Manchester is the Local BBC Radio, BBC's local radio station serving Greater Manchester. It broadcasts on frequency modulation, FM, Digital Audio Broadcasting, DAB, digital TV and via BBC Sounds from studios at MediaCityUK in Salford ...
covers the north and parts of the east. The BBC directs readers to Stoke and
Staffordshire Staffordshire (; postal abbreviation Staffs.) is a landlocked Counties of England, county in the West Midlands (region), West Midlands region of England. It borders Cheshire to the northwest, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east, Warwicks ...
when Cheshire is selected on their website. There were plans to launch BBC Radio Cheshire, but those were shelved in 2007 after the BBC license fee settlement was lower than expected. The Royal Cheshire Show, an annual agricultural show, has taken place since the 1800s.


Sports

Athletes native to Cheshire include sailor Ben Ainslie, cricketer
Ian Botham Ian Terence Botham, Baron Botham, (born 24 November 1955) is an English cricket commentator, member of the House of Lords, a former cricketer who has been chairman of Durham County Cricket Club since 2017 and charity fundraiser. Hailed as one ...
, rock climber Shauna Coxsey, boxer
Tyson Fury Tyson Luke Fury (born 12 August 1988) is an English professional boxer. He is a two-time world heavyweight champion, having held the WBC title since defeating Deontay Wilder in 2020, and '' The Ring'' magazine title from 2020 to August 20 ...

Tyson Fury
, oarsman Matt Langridge, mountaineer
George Mallory George Herbert Leigh Mallory (18 June 1886 – 8 or 9 June 1924) was an English people, English Mountaineering, mountaineer who took part in the first three British expeditions to Mount Everest in the early 1920s. Born in Cheshire, Mallor ...
, marathon runner , cyclist
Sarah Storey Dame Sarah Joanne Storey, (née Bailey; born 26 October 1977) is a British Paralympic athlete in cycling and swimming, and a multiple gold medalist in the Paralympic Games, and six times British (able-bodied) national track champion (2 × Purs ...
, and hurdler Shirley Strong. It has also been home to numerous athletes from outside the county. Many
Premier League The Premier League (legal name: The Football Association Premier League Limited) is the highest level of the men's English football league system. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Foo ...
footballers have relocated there over the years upon joining nearby teams such as Manchester United FC, Manchester City FC,
Everton FC Everton Football Club () is an English professional association football club based in Liverpool that competes in the Premier League, the top tier of Football in England, English football. The club was a founder member of the English Football ...
, and
Liverpool FC Liverpool Football Club is a professional Football club (association football), football club based in Liverpool, England. The club competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football league system, English football. Founded in ...
. These include
Dean Ashton Dean may refer to: People * Dean (given name) Dean is an English masculine given name and middle name with several origins: * Derived from the Greek language, Greek word "δεκανός" ("dekanos"), which means "monk or dignitary in charge of ...
, Seth Johnson, Jesse Lingard,
Michael Owen Michael James Owen (born 14 December 1979) is an English former professional association football, footballer who played as a Forward (association football)#Striker, striker for Liverpool F.C., Liverpool, Real Madrid CF, Real Madrid, Newcastle ...
, and
Wayne Rooney Wayne Mark Rooney (born 24 October 1985) is an English professional Manager (association football), football manager and former Football player, player, who is the manager of Major League Soccer club D.C. United in the United States. He spent ...
. The " Cheshire Golden Triangle" is the collective name for a group of adjacent Cheshire villages where the amount of footballers, actors, and entrepreneurs moving in over the years led to the average house prices becoming some of the most expensive in the UK. Cheshire has one Football League team, Crewe Alexandra FC, which plays in
League One The English Football League One (often referred to as League One for short or Sky Bet League One for sponsorship purposes, and known as the Football League One from 2004 until 2016) is the second-highest division of the English Football Leag ...
. Chester FC, a phoenix club formed in 2010 after ex-Football League club Chester City FC was dissolved, competes in the
National League North The National League North, formerly Conference North, is a division of the National League (English football), National League in England, immediately below the National League (division), National League division. Along with the National Leag ...
. Northwich Victoria FC, another ex-League team which was a founding member of the Football League Division Two in 1892/1893, now represents Cheshire in the
Northern Premier League The Northern Premier League is an English Association football, football league that was founded in 1968. It has four divisions: the Premier Division (which stands at level 7 of the English football league system), Division One East, Division ...
along with Nantwich Town FC, Warrington Town FC, and Witton Albion FC. Macclesfield Town FC formerly played in the
National League The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League (NL), is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States and Canada, and the world's oldest extant professional team s ...
, but went into liquidation in 2020. The
Warrington Wolves The Warrington Wolves are a professional rugby league club based in Warrington, England, that competes in the Super League. They play rugby at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, having moved there from Wilderspool Stadium, Wilderspool in 2004. Fou ...
and
Widnes Vikings The Widnes Vikings are an English rugby league Rugby league football, commonly known as just rugby league and sometimes football, footy, rugby or league, is a contact sport, full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a ...
are the premier
rugby league Rugby league football, commonly known as just rugby league and sometimes football, footy, rugby or league, is a contact sport, full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular Rugby league playing field, field measur ...
teams in Cheshire; the former plays in the
Super League The Super League (officially known as the Betfred Super League due to sponsorship from Betfred and legally known as Super League Europe), is the top-level of the British rugby league system. At present the league consists of twelve teams, of wh ...
, while the latter plays in the
Championship In sport, a championship is a Competition#Sports, competition in which the aim is to decide which individual or team is the champion. Championship systems Various forms of competition can be referred to by the term championship. Title match sy ...
. There are also numerous junior clubs in the county, including Chester Gladiators. Cheshire County Cricket Club is one of the clubs that make up the
minor counties of English and Welsh cricket The National Counties, known as the Minor Counties before 2020, are the cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket ...
. Cheshire also is represented in the highest level basketball league in the UK, the BBL, by
Cheshire Phoenix The Cheshire Phoenix are a professional basketball team based in Ellesmere Port Ellesmere Port ( ) is a port town in the Cheshire West and Chester borough in Cheshire, England. Ellesmere Port is on the south eastern edge of the Wirral Peni ...
(formerly Cheshire Jets). Europe's largest motorcycle event, the
Thundersprint Organised by Carol and Frank Melling, the Thunderfest is a companion event to the now-defunct Thundersprint. A halfway house between full-on racing and parading, the Thunderfest is a time trial aimed primarily at riders. The Thundersprint The T ...
, is held in
Northwich Northwich is a town and civil parishes in England, civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire West and Chester in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. It lies in the heart of the Cheshire Plain, at the confluence of the rivers River ...
every May.


Other

Cheshire has also produced a military hero in Norman Cyril Jones, a World War I
flying ace A flying ace, fighter ace or air ace is a military aviation, military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat. The exact number of aerial victories required to officially qualify as an ace is varied, ...
who won the Distinguished Flying Cross.


Unofficial county flower

As part of a 2002 marketing campaign, the plant conservation charity
Plantlife Plantlife is the international conservation membership charity working to secure a world rich in wild plants and fungi. It is the only UK membership charity dedicated to conserving wild plants and fungi in their natural habitats and helping peo ...
chose the cuckooflower as the
county flower In a number of countries, plants have been chosen as symbols to represent specific geographic areas. Some countries have a country-wide floral emblem; others in addition have symbols representing subdivisions. Different processes have been used to ...
. Previously, a sheaf of golden wheat was the county emblem, a reference to the Earl of Chester's arms in use from the 12th century.


Landmarks

Prehistoric burial grounds have been discovered at
The Bridestones The Bridestones is a chambered cairn, near Congleton, Cheshire Cheshire ( ) is a Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial and Historic counties of England, historic county in North West England, bordered by Wales to the west, Merseysid ...
near
Congleton Congleton is a town and civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England. The town is by the River Dane, south of Manchester and north of Stoke on Trent. At the United Kingdom Census 2011, 2011 Census, it had a pop ...
(
Neolithic The Neolithic period, or New Stone Age, is an Old World archaeological period and the final division of the Stone Age. It saw the Neolithic Revolution, a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in several pa ...
) and Robin Hood's Tump near Alpraham (
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a historic period, lasting approximately from 3300 BC to 1200 BC, characterized by the use of bronze Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12–12.5% tin and often with the addition of ...
). The remains of Iron Age
hill fort A hillfort is a type of earthworks (engineering), earthwork used as a fortification, fortified refuge or defended settlement, located to exploit a rise in elevation for defensive advantage. They are typically European and of the Bronze Age or I ...
s are found on sandstone ridges at several locations in Cheshire. Examples include Maiden Castle on Bickerton Hill, Helsby Hillfort and Woodhouse Hillfort at
Frodsham Frodsham is a market town A market town is a Human settlement, settlement most common in Europe that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages, a market right, which allowed it to host a regular marketplace, market; this dis ...
. The Roman fortress and walls of
Chester Chester is a cathedral city and the county town of Cheshire, England. It is located on the River Dee, Wales, River Dee, close to the England–Wales border, English–Welsh border. With a population of 79,645 in 2011,"2011 Census results: Peop ...
, perhaps the earliest building works in Cheshire remaining above ground, are constructed from purple-grey sandstone. The distinctive local red sandstone has been used for many monumental and ecclesiastical buildings throughout the county: for example, the medieval Beeston Castle,
Chester Cathedral Chester Cathedral is a Church of England cathedral and the mother church of the Diocese of Chester. It is located in the city of Chester, Cheshire, England. The cathedral, formerly the abbey church of a Benedictine monastery dedicated to Werbu ...
and numerous parish churches. Occasional residential and industrial buildings, such as Helsby railway station (1849), are also in this sandstone. Many surviving buildings from the 15th to 17th centuries are timbered, particularly in the southern part of the county. Notable examples include the moated manor house
Little Moreton Hall Little Moreton Hall, also known as Old Moreton Hall, is a moated timber framing, half-timbered manor house southwest of Congleton in Cheshire, England. The earliest parts of the house were built for the prosperous Cheshire landowner William M ...
, dating from around 1450, and many commercial and residential buildings in Chester,
Nantwich Nantwich ( ) is a market town and Civil parishes in England, civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England. It has among the highest concentrations of listed buildings in England, with notably good examples of Tudor ...
and surrounding villages. Early brick buildings include Peover Hall near
Macclesfield Macclesfield is a market town and civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England. It is located on the River Bollin in the east of the county, on the edge of the Cheshire Plain, with Macclesfield Forest to its east; ...

Macclesfield
(1585), Tattenhall Hall (pre-1622), and the Pied Bull Hotel in Chester (17th-century). From the 18th century, orange, red or brown brick became the predominant building material used in Cheshire, although earlier buildings are often faced or dressed with stone. Examples from the Victorian period onwards often employ distinctive brick detailing, such as brick patterning and ornate chimney stacks and gables. Notable examples include
Arley Hall Arley Hall is a country house An English country house is a large house or mansion in the English countryside. Such houses were often owned by individuals who also owned a Townhouse (Great Britain), town house. This allowed them to spend ...
near
Northwich Northwich is a town and civil parishes in England, civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire West and Chester in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. It lies in the heart of the Cheshire Plain, at the confluence of the rivers River ...
, Willington Hall near Chester (both by Nantwich architect George Latham) and Overleigh Lodge, Chester. From the Victorian era, brick buildings often incorporate timberwork in a mock Tudor style, and this hybrid style has been used in some modern residential developments in the county. Industrial buildings, such as the Macclesfield silk mills (for example, Waters Green New Mill), are also usually in brick.


Settlements

The county is home to some of the most affluent areas of northern England, including
Alderley Edge Alderley Edge is a village and civil parish In England, a civil parish is a type of Parish (administrative division), administrative parish used for Local government in England, local government. It is a territorial designation which is th ...
,
Wilmslow Wilmslow ( ) is a market town and civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England, south of Manchester city centre. The population was 24,497 at the 2011 Census. History Toponymy Wilmslow derives its name from Old ...
, Prestbury, Tarporley and
Knutsford Knutsford () is a market town in the borough of Cheshire East, in Cheshire, England. Knutsford is south-west of Manchester, north-west of Macclesfield and 12.5 miles (20 km) south-east of Warrington. The population at the 2011 Census was ...
, named in 2006 as the most expensive place to buy a house in the north of England. The former Cheshire town of
Altrincham Altrincham ( , locally ) is a market town in Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, south of the River Mersey. It is southwest of Manchester city centre, southwest of Sale, Greater Manchester, Sale and east of Warrington. At the United Kin ...
was in second place. The area is sometimes referred to as The Golden Triangle on account of the area in and around the aforementioned towns and villages. The cities and towns in Cheshire are: Some settlements which were historically part of the county now fall under the counties of Derbyshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester:


Transport


Buses

Bus transport in Cheshire is provided by various operators. The major bus operator in the Cheshire area is Arriva North West. Other operators in Cheshire include Stagecoach Chester & Wirral and Network Warrington. There are also several operators based outside of Cheshire, who either run services wholly within the area or services which start from outside the area. Companies include Arriva Buses Wales, BakerBus, High Peak, First Greater Manchester, D&G bus and Stagecoach Manchester. Some services are run under contract to Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Borough of Halton and Warrington Councils.


Railway

The main railway line through the county is the
West Coast Main Line The West Coast Main Line (WCML) is one of the most important railway corridors in the United Kingdom, connecting the major cities of London and Glasgow with branches to Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh. It is one of the busiest ...
. Trains on the main London to Scotland line call at
Crewe Crewe () is a railway town and civil parishes in England, civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England. The Crewe built-up area had a total population of 75,556 in 2011, which also covers parts of the adjacent civ ...
(in the south of the county) and Warrington Bank Quay (in the north of the county). Trains stop at Crewe and Runcorn on the Liverpool branch of the WCML; Crewe and Macclesfield are each hourly stops on the two Manchester branches. The major interchanges are: *
Crewe Crewe () is a railway town and civil parishes in England, civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England. The Crewe built-up area had a total population of 75,556 in 2011, which also covers parts of the adjacent civ ...
(the biggest station in Cheshire) for trains to
London Euston Euston railway station ( ; also known as London Euston) is a London station group, central London railway terminus in the London Borough of Camden, managed by Network Rail. It is the southern terminus of the West Coast Main Line, the UK's bus ...
, Glasgow Central,
Edinburgh Waverley Edinburgh Waverley railway station (also known simply as Waverley; gd, Waverley Dhùn Èideann) is the principal railway station serving Edinburgh, Scotland. It is the second busiest station in Scotland, after Glasgow Central station, Glasgow ...
, Manchester Piccadilly and
Liverpool Lime Street Liverpool Lime Street is a Terminal train station, terminus railway station and the main station serving the Liverpool City Centre, city centre of Liverpool. Opened in August 1836, it is the oldest still-operating grand terminus mainline sta ...
(via the WCML). Trains on other routes travel to Wales, the Midlands (
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of West Midlands (county), West Midlands in England. It is the second-largest city in the United Kingdom with a population of 1. ...
, Stoke and
Derby Derby ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and Unitary authorities of England, unitary authority area in Derbyshire, England. It lies on the banks of the River Derwent, Derbyshire, River Derwent in the south of Derbyshire, which is ...
) as well as suburban services to Manchester Piccadilly,
Chester Chester is a cathedral city and the county town of Cheshire, England. It is located on the River Dee, Wales, River Dee, close to the England–Wales border, English–Welsh border. With a population of 79,645 in 2011,"2011 Census results: Peop ...
and Liverpool Lime Street. *
Warrington Warrington () is a town and unparished area in the Borough of Warrington, borough of the same name in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England, on the banks of the River Mersey. It is east of Liverpool, and west of Manchester. The populati ...
stations ( Central and Bank Quay) for suburban services to Manchester Piccadilly,
Chester Chester is a cathedral city and the county town of Cheshire, England. It is located on the River Dee, Wales, River Dee, close to the England–Wales border, English–Welsh border. With a population of 79,645 in 2011,"2011 Census results: Peop ...
and Liverpool Lime Street and regional express services to North Wales, London, Scotland, Yorkshire, the East Coast and the East Midlands *
Chester Chester is a cathedral city and the county town of Cheshire, England. It is located on the River Dee, Wales, River Dee, close to the England–Wales border, English–Welsh border. With a population of 79,645 in 2011,"2011 Census results: Peop ...
for urban services (via
Merseyrail Merseyrail is a Urban rail in the United Kingdom, commuter rail network serving the Liverpool City Region and adjacent areas of Cheshire and Lancashire. Merseyrail operates 66 railway stations across two lines – the Northern Line (Merseyrail ...
) to
Liverpool Central Liverpool Central railway station in Liverpool, England, forms a central hub of the Merseyrail network, being on both the Northern Line (Merseyrail), Northern Line and the Wirral Line. The station is located underground on two levels, below th ...
, suburban services to
Manchester Manchester () is a city in Greater Manchester, England. It had a population of 552,000 in 2021. It is bordered by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and the neighbouring city of City of Salford, Salford to ...
,
Warrington Warrington () is a town and unparished area in the Borough of Warrington, borough of the same name in the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England, on the banks of the River Mersey. It is east of Liverpool, and west of Manchester. The populati ...
, Wrexham General and rural Cheshire and express services to
Llandudno Llandudno (, ) is a seaside resort, town and community (Wales), community in Conwy County Borough, Wales, located on the Creuddyn peninsula, which protrudes into the Irish Sea. In the 2011 UK census, the community – which includes Gogarth, Pe ...
,
Holyhead Holyhead (,; cy, Caergybi , "Cybi's fort") is the list of Anglesey towns by population, largest town and a Community (Wales), community in the county of Isle of Anglesey, Wales, with a population of 13,659 at the 2011 census. Holyhead is on Ho ...
,
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of West Midlands (county), West Midlands in England. It is the second-largest city in the United Kingdom with a population of 1. ...
, the West Midlands, London and
Cardiff Cardiff (; cy, Caerdydd ) is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of Wales. It forms a Principal areas of Wales, principal area, officially known as the City and County of Cardiff ( cy, Dinas a ...
and, from May 2019, to
Leeds Leeds () is a city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: ...
. In the east of Cheshire,
Macclesfield Macclesfield is a market town and civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England. It is located on the River Bollin in the east of the county, on the edge of the Cheshire Plain, with Macclesfield Forest to its east; ...
station is served by
Avanti West Coast Avanti West Coast is a train operating company in the United Kingdom owned by FirstGroup (70%) and Trenitalia (30%) that operates the West Coast Partnership franchise. During November 2016, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced the Inter ...
,
CrossCountry CrossCountry (legal name XC Trains Limited) is a train operating company in the United Kingdom owned by Arriva UK Trains, operating the Cross Country franchise. The CrossCountry franchise was restructured by the Department for Transport (DfT) i ...
and Northern, on the Manchester–London line. Services from Manchester to the south coast frequently stop at Macclesfield.
Neston Neston is a town and civil parish on the Wirral Peninsula, in Cheshire, England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to i ...
on the Wirral Peninsula is served by a
railway station Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transport that transfers passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, which are incorporated in Track (rail transport), tracks. In contrast to road transport, where the ...
on the Borderlands line between
Bidston Bidston is a village, a parish and a suburb of Birkenhead, on the Wirral Peninsula, in the modern county of Merseyside. The area is a mixture of the well-preserved Bidston Village, Bidston Hill, a modern housing estate, and the Wallasey Pool#Bid ...
and
Wrexham Wrexham ( ; cy, Wrecsam; ) is a city status in the United Kingdom, city and the administrative centre of Wrexham County Borough in Wales. It is located between the Cambrian Mountains, Welsh mountains and the lower River Dee, Wales, Dee Valley, ...
.


Road

Cheshire has of roads, including of the M6, M62, M53 and M56 motorways; there are 23 interchanges and four service areas. It also has the A580 "East Lancashire Road" at its border with
Greater Manchester Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county and combined authority, combined authority area in North West England, with a population of 2.8 million; comprising ten metropolitan boroughs: City of Manchester, Manchester, City of Salford, Salford ...
at Leigh. The M6 motorway at the Thelwall Viaduct carries 140,000 vehicles every 24 hours.


Waterways

Anderton Boat Lift.jpg,
Anderton Boat Lift The Anderton Boat Lift is a two caisson lift lock near the village of Anderton, Cheshire Cheshire ( ) is a Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial and Historic counties of England, historic county in North West England, bordered by Wa ...
River Dee Chester England.jpg, Chester Weir on the River Dee Canal near Newton.jpg, Canal cutting by
Chester city walls Chester city walls consist of a defensive structure built to protect the city of Chester in Cheshire, England. Their construction was started by the Roman Britain, Romans when they established the Castra, fortress of Deva Victrix between 70 and ...
Ellesmere-port-stanlow.jpg,
Manchester Ship Canal The Manchester Ship Canal is a inland waterway in the North West England, North West of England linking Manchester to the Irish Sea. Starting at the River Mersey, Mersey Estuary at Eastham, near Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, it generally follow ...
from Ellesmere Port Dock towards Stanlow
The Cheshire canal system includes several
canal Canals or artificial waterways are waterways or engineered channels built for drainage management (e.g. flood control and irrigation) or for conveyancing water transport vehicles (e.g. water taxi). They carry free, calm surface flo ...
s originally used to transport the county's industrial products (mostly chemicals). Nowadays they are mainly used for tourist traffic. The
Cheshire Ring The Cheshire Ring is a canal cruising circuit or canal ring, which includes sections of six canals in and around Cheshire and Greater Manchester in North West England: the Ashton Canal, Peak Forest Canal, Macclesfield Canal, Trent and Mersey Ca ...
is formed from the
Rochdale Rochdale ( ) is a large town in Greater Manchester, England, at the foothills of the South Pennines in the dale (landform), dale on the River Roch, northwest of Oldham and northeast of Manchester. It is the administrative centre of the Metro ...
, Ashton, Peak Forest,
Macclesfield Macclesfield is a market town and civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire East in Cheshire, England. It is located on the River Bollin in the east of the county, on the edge of the Cheshire Plain, with Macclesfield Forest to its east; ...
, Trent and Mersey and Bridgewater canals. The
Manchester Ship Canal The Manchester Ship Canal is a inland waterway in the North West England, North West of England linking Manchester to the Irish Sea. Starting at the River Mersey, Mersey Estuary at Eastham, near Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, it generally follow ...
is a wide, stretch of water opened in 1894. It consists of the rivers Irwell and
Mersey The River Mersey () is in North West England. Its name derives from Old English and means "boundary river", possibly referring to its having been a border between the ancient kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria. For centuries it has formed part ...
made navigable to Manchester for seagoing ships leaving the Mersey estuary. The canal passes through the north of the county via Runcorn and Warrington.


List of rivers and canals

*
Bridgewater Canal The Bridgewater Canal connects Runcorn, Manchester and Leigh, Greater Manchester, Leigh, in North West England. It was commissioned by Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, to transport coal from his mines in Worsley to Manchester. It was ...
*
Macclesfield Canal The Macclesfield Canal is a canal in east Cheshire, England. There were various proposals for a canal to connect the town of Macclesfield to the national network from 1765 onwards, but it was not until 1824 that a scheme came to fruition. There ...
*
Manchester Ship Canal The Manchester Ship Canal is a inland waterway in the North West England, North West of England linking Manchester to the Irish Sea. Starting at the River Mersey, Mersey Estuary at Eastham, near Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, it generally follow ...
* River Bollin *
River Croco The River Croco () is a small river in Cheshire in England. It starts as lowland field drainage west of Congleton, flows along the south edge of Holmes Chapel, and joins the River Dane at Middlewich. It is about long. According to an historica ...
*
River Dane The River Dane is a tributary of the River Weaver that originates in the Peak District area of England. The name of the river (earlier ''Daven'') is probably from the Old Welsh ''dafn'', meaning a "drop or trickle", implying a slow-moving river. ...
* River Dean * River Dee / Afon Dyfrdwy * River Gowy *
River Goyt The River Goyt is a tributary of the River Mersey in North West England. Etymology The name ''Goyt'' may be derived from the Middle English ''gote'', meaning "a watercourse, a stream". Derivation from the Welsh language, Welsh ''gwyth'' meanin ...
*
River Mersey The River Mersey () is in North West England. Its name derives from Old English and means "boundary river", possibly referring to its having been a border between the ancient kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria. For centuries it has formed part ...
* River Weaver and Weaver Navigation * River Wheelock *
Shropshire Union Canal The Shropshire Union Canal, nicknamed the "Shroppie", is a navigable canal Canals or artificial waterways are waterways or engineered channels built for drainage management (e.g. flood control and irrigation) or for conveyanci ...
and the Llangollen branch *
Trent and Mersey Canal The Trent and Mersey Canal is a canal in Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire in north-central England. It is a "narrow canal" for the vast majority of its length, but at the extremities to the east of Burton upon Trent and north of Middle ...


See also

* Outline of England * Cheshire (UK Parliament constituency), historical list of MPs for Cheshire constituency * Healthcare in Cheshire * Custos Rotulorum of Cheshire – Keepers of the Rolls * Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire * High Sheriff of Cheshire * Constable of Chester


Notes


References


Bibliography

* Crosby, A. (1996). ''A History of Cheshire.'' ''(The Darwen County History Series.)'' Chichester, UK: Phillimore & Co . * * Harris, B. E., and Thacker, A. T. (1987). ''The Victoria History of the County of Chester. (Volume 1: Physique, Prehistory, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Domesday).'' Oxford: Oxford University Press. . * Morgan, P. (Ed.) (1978). ''Domesday Book. Volume 26: Cheshire''. Chichester, Sussex: Phillmore and Company Limited. . * * Phillips, A. D. M., and Phillips, C. B. (Eds.) (2002). ''A New Historical Atlas of Cheshire.'' Chester, UK: Cheshire County Council and Cheshire Community Council Publications Trust. . * Shores, Christopher; Franks, Norman; Guest, Russell (1990). ''Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915–1920''. Grub Street. , . * Sylvester, D. (1980). ''A History of Cheshire, (The Darwen County History Series.)'' (Second Edition, original publication date, 1971). London and Chichester, UK: Phillimore & Co. Ltd. .


Further reading

* Beck, J. (1969). ''Tudor Cheshire. (Volume 7 of Cheshire Community Council Series: A History of Cheshire).'' Series Editor: J. J. Bagley. Chester, UK: Cheshire Community Council. * Bu'Lock, J. D. (1972). ''Pre-Conquest Cheshire 383–1066. (Volume 3 of Cheshire Community Council Series: A History of Cheshire).'' Series Editor: J. J. Bagley. Chester, UK: Cheshire Community Council. * Dore, R. N. (1966). ''The Civil Wars in Cheshire. (Volume 8 of Cheshire Community Council Series: A History of Cheshire).'' Series Editor: J. J. Bagley. Chester, UK: Cheshire Community Council. * Driver, J. T. (1971). ''Cheshire in the Later Middle Ages 1399–1540. (Volume 6 of Cheshire Community Council Series: A History of Cheshire).'' Series Editor: J. J. Bagley. Chester, UK: Cheshire Community Council. * Harris, B. E. (1979). The Victoria History of the County of Chester. (Volume 2).'' Oxford: Oxford University Press. . * Harris, B. E. (1980). The Victoria History of the County of Chester. (Volume 3).'' Oxford: Oxford University Press. . * Hewitt, H. J. (1967). ''Cheshire Under the Three Edwards. (Volume 5 of Cheshire Community Council Series: A History of Cheshire).'' Series Editor: J. J. Bagley. Chester, UK: Cheshire Community Council. * Higham, N. J. (1993). ''The Origins of Cheshire.'' Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press. . * Hodson, J. H. (1978). ''Cheshire, 1660–1780: Restoration to Industrial Revolution. (Volume 9 of Cheshire Community Council Series: A History of Cheshire).'' Series editor: J. J. Bagley. Chester, UK: Cheshire Community Council. . * Husain, B. M. C. (1973). ''Cheshire Under the Norman Earls 1066–1237. (Volume 4 of Cheshire Community Council Series: A History of Cheshire).'' Series editor: J. J. Bagley. Chester, UK: Cheshire Community Council. * Morgan, V., and Morgan, P. (2004). ''Prehistoric Cheshire.'' Ashbourne, Derbyshire: Landmark Publishing Company. . * Scard, G. (1981). ''Squire and Tenant: Rural Life in Cheshire 1760–1900. (Volume 10 of Cheshire Community Council Series: A History of Cheshire).'' Series editor: J. J. Bagley. Chester, UK: Cheshire Community Council. . * Scholes, R. (2000). ''The Towns and Villages of Britain: Cheshire.'' Wilmslow, Cheshire: Sigma Press. . * . * Sylvester. D., and Nulty, G. (1958). ''The Historical Atlas of Cheshire.'' (Third Edition) Chester, UK: Cheshire Community Council. * Thompson, F. H. (1965). ''Roman Cheshire. (Volume 2 of Cheshire Community Council Series: A History of Cheshire).'' Series Editor: J. J. Bagley. Chester, UK: Cheshire Community Council. * Tigwell, R. E. (1985). ''Cheshire in the Twentieth Century. (Volume 11 of Cheshire Community Council Series: A History of Cheshire).'' Series Editor: J. J. Bagley. Chester, UK: Cheshire Community Council. * Varley, W. J. (1964). ''Cheshire Before the Romans. (Volume 1 of Cheshire Community Council Series: A History of Cheshire).'' Series Editor: J. J. Bagley. Chester, UK: Cheshire Community Council. * Youngs, F. A. (1991). ''Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England. (Volume 1: Northern England).'' London: Royal Historical Society. .


External links

*
Cheshire LieutenancyCheshire Market TownsChester, Cheshire & Beyond – The official tourist board for Chester & CheshireImages of Cheshire
at the English Heritage Archive
Office for National Statistics – 2001 Bicentenary – CheshireList of parks and open spaces in CheshirePlaces to visit, stay, shop and eat in Cheshire
{{Authority control Ceremonial counties of England Former non-metropolitan counties North West England NUTS 2 statistical regions of the United Kingdom Counties of England established in antiquity