"Cheshire - our neighbour"
The Historic County of Cheshire
One of the counties of North West England, Cheshire is bordered by Lancashire, Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Flintshire and Denbighshire. Although one of England’s smaller Counties, it is famous the world over for its cheese, the Cheshire Cat (from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), and Jodrell Bank (inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 2019).
Add to that the Cheshire Plain, salt mines, the oldest race course in Britain, the great centre of Britain’s railway system at Crewe, Chester – the Roman and Medieval walled city – and part of the Peak District National Park, and clearly Cheshire has much to offer to the visitor and is a source of pride to its residents.
Cheshire takes its name from the County Town, Chester. The original Anglo-Saxon Shire of Chestershire was too much of a mouthful for the Normans, so their County name was shortened to Cheshire. The first mention of Cheshire is in 980 but it is thought to be somewhat older – probably early 10th Century. At one time much of north-east Wales was part of Cheshire, before being transferred to the newly created Historic County of Flintshire in 1536, when the Act of Union between England and Wales was enacted.
ABOVE: Cheshire in 1577.
William I (ruled 1066 – 1087) created the County Palatine of Chester and this survived until 1536, although some Judicial and Exchequer powers were retained until 1830. Since 1301 the Heir Apparent to the English throne has been the Earl of Chester.
ABOVE: Cheshire in 2019.
Cheshire has one City, Chester, but many notable towns:
Stalybridge, Nantwich, Wilmslow, Birkenhead, Altrincham, Congleton, Holmes Chapel, West Kirby, Ellesmere Port, Sale, Macclesfield, Wallasey, Sandbach, Stockport, Winsford, Northwich, Wythenshawe, Hyde, Runcorn, Alderley Edge, Alsager, Middlewich, Cheadle, Dukinfield and Knutsford.
The County flag, which originated in the Twelfth Century, has three golden wheatsheaves and a sword on a blue background.
ABOVE: The County Flag.