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Cheshire occupies a boulder clay plain(pictured) which separates the hills of North Wales from the Peak District of Derbyshire. The county covers an area of 2,343 km2 (905 sq mi), with a high point of 559 m (1,834 ft) elevation. The estimated population is a little over one million, 19th highest in England, with a population density of around 450 people per km2.
The county was created in around 920, but the area has a long history of human occupation dating back to before the last Ice Age. Deva was a major Roman fort, and Cheshire played an important part in the Civil War. Predominantly rural, the county is historically famous for the production of Cheshire cheese, salt and silk. During the 19th century, towns in the north of the county were pioneers of the chemical industry, while Crewe became a major railway junction and engineering facility.
Interior features include a 14th-century font, the richly carved Stanley pew, which dates from around 1600 and is entered by an external staircase, an 18th-century musicians' gallery, and several monuments to the Barons Stanley of Alderley, with whom the church has historically been associated. The grounds contain a medieval church cross and a Grade-II*-listed schoolhouse dating from 1628, now used as a parish hall. The neo-Jacobean Stanley Mausoleum was built in 1909 by Edward Lyulph, 4th Baron Stanley. An ancient yew tree stands in the churchyard.
11 February: Phase 2a of HS2, from the West Midlands to Crewe, is approved by Parliament.
25 January: The trial of Wood Treatment Ltd and its director for corporate manslaughter over the Wood Flour Mills explosion of July 2015 in Bosley, in which four employees were killed, opens at Chester Crown Court.
21 January: Widespread flooding occurs in the north of the county during Storm Christoph, particularly affecting Northwich.
26 December: As part of a national town-centre recovery plan, Winsford is allocated nearly £10 million in funding and Crewe is provisionally allocated £14 million.
24 November: The Crewe Town Clock, known as "Big Bill", is taken down, as part of the demolition of the Royal Arcade in Crewe, including the clock tower.
11 November: After an investigation into increased neonatal mortality at the Countess of Chester Hospital in 2015–16, a nurse is charged with 8 counts of murder and 10 of attempted murder.
Of the over 200 Scheduled Monuments in Cheshire, at least 34 date from after 1539, the end of the medieval period. Monuments are defined as sites deliberately constructed by human activity; some sites not visible above ground. They were formerly called "scheduled ancient monuments" but as they include structures dating from as late as the 1940s and 1950s, the word "ancient" has been dropped. They range in date from the early post-medieval period, through the Industrial Revolution, to the 20th century.
Early post-medieval monuments tend to be similar in type to those from the medieval period, namely moats or moated sites and churchyard crosses. Unusual post-medieval structures include a dovecote and a duck decoy. Many structures dating from the Industrial Revolution relate to the canal network, including the Anderton Boat Lift and several canal locks and bridges (example pictured). Industrial sites include the Lion Salt Works, the remains of a mine and a transporter bridge within a factory. The structures dating from the 20th century were constructed for the World Wars or the Cold War. They consist of a former Royal Air Force airfield and the remains of three sites for anti-aircraft guns.
Top: Map of modern Cheshire showing urban areas (grey) and the major road network. Chester (red) is the county town, and Warrington has the greatest population. Towns with more than 10,000 inhabitants in 2011 are highlighted; the size of dot gives a rough indication of the relative population. Wales and the adjacent English counties are shown in capitals.
He inherited the family estate in Wythenshawe, then in Cheshire, aged ten, and married Anne Brereton in 1628. When Civil War broke out, he joined the Royalist side, despite his wife being closely related to Sir William Brereton, who commanded the Parliamentary forces in Cheshire. Tatton is perhaps best known for his defence of his family home, Wythenshawe Hall, during its three-month siege in the winter of 1643/44 by a Parliamentary force commanded by Robert Duckenfield. Parliamentary casualties included Duckinfield's second-in-command, but their victory was inevitable when cannons were brought in. On surrender, the hall's contents were valued at almost £1650 (now around £230,000).
Tatton served as the High Sheriff of Chester between 1645 and 1646. Although heavily fined by Parliament for fighting on the side of the king, he was subsequently rewarded for his loyalty by Charles II following the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. The Wythenshawe estate remained in the Tatton family until the 1920s.
Middlewich is one of the four Cheshirewich towns. Founded by the Romans under the name Salinae, it was a major Roman site of salt production, and salt manufacture remains an important local industry. Middlewich has also been known historically for silk and agriculture.
In common with other towns within mid-Cheshire, the good motorway and road links have seen a large influx of people since 1970, doubling the population of Middlewich to around 14,000. Events such as the annual folk and boat festival, and the Roman and Norman festivals have helped to boost tourism in the town.
This is a pretty Rich land; ... its much on Enclosures and I passed by severall large pooles of waters, but what I wonder'd at was yt tho' this shire is remarkable for a greate deale of greate Cheeses and Dairys I did not see more than 20 or 30 Cowes in a troope feeding, but on Enquiry find ye Custome of ye Country to joyn their milking together of a whole village and so make their great Cheeses.