Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Lord LieutenantThomas David Briggs
High SheriffMartin Beaumon
Area2,343 km2 (905 sq mi)
– Ranked25th of 48
Population (2011 est.)1,028,600
– Ranked19th of 48
Density439 /km2 (1,140 /sq mi)
Ethnicity97.3% White 1.7% Asian 0.6% Black 0.4% White Other
George Gideon Oliver Osborne, MP (born Gideon Oliver Osborne 23 May 1971) is a British Conservative politician. He is the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Second Lord of the Treasury of the United Kingdom, roles to which he was appointed in May 2010. He has been the Member of Parliament for Tatton since 2001.
Pictured Cheshire Oaks
Cheshire is a ceremonial county in the North West of England, United Kingdom. The western edge of the county forms part of England's border with Wales. Cheshire's county town is the city of Chester, although the largest town is Warrington, which historically was in Lancashire. Other major towns include Widnes, Congleton, Crewe, Ellesmere Port, Runcorn, Macclesfield, Winsford, Northwich, and Wilmslow. Historically the county contained the Wirral, Stockport, Altrincham and other towns. The county is bordered by Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east, Staffordshire and Shropshire to the south, and Flintshire and Wrexham in Wales to the west. The county is also a part of the Welsh Marches.
Cheshire's area is 2,343 square kilometres (905 sq mi) and its population is around 1 million. Apart from the large towns along the River Mersey and the historic city of Chester, it is mostly rural, with a number of small towns and villages that support an agricultural industry. It is historically famous as a former principality and for the production of Cheshire cheese, salt, bulk chemicals, and woven silk.
Pictured Alderley Edge village.
Cheshire is a ceremonial county. This means that although there is no county-wide elected local authority, Cheshire has a Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff for ceremonial purposes under the Lieutenancies Act 1997.
Pictured above the De Vere Venues Wychwood Park, near Crewe.
Local government functions apart from the Police and Fire/Rescue services are carried out by four smaller unitary authorities: Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton, and Warrington. All four unitary authority areas have borough status.
Policing and fire and rescue services are still provided across the County as a whole, but by unelected bodies. The Cheshire Police Authority and Cheshire Fire Authority consist of members of the four councils.
Pictured above the Cheshire hunt, on boxing day.
The Jodrell Bank Observatory (originally the Jodrell Bank Experimental Station, then the Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratories from 1966 to 1999 /'d??dr?l/) is a British observatory that hosts a number of radio telescopes, and is part of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester. The observatory was established in 1945 by Sir Bernard Lovell, a radio astronomer at the University of Manchester who wanted to investigate cosmic rays after his work on radar during the Second World War. It has since played an important role in the research of meteors, quasars, pulsars, masers and gravitational lenses, and was heavily involved with the tracking of space probes at the start of the Space Age. The managing director of the observatory is Professor Simon Garrington.
Pictured Joderell Bank in the Cheshire landscape.
The main telescope at the observatory is the Lovell Telescope, which is the third largest steerable radio telescope in the world. There are three other active telescopes located at the observatory the Mark II, as well as 42 ft (13 m) and 7 m diameter radio telescopes. Jodrell Bank Observatory is also the base of the Multi-Element Radio Linked Interferometer Network (MERLIN), a National Facility run by the University of Manchester on behalf of the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
The site of the observatory, which includes the Jodrell Bank Visitor Centre and an arboretum, is located in the civil parish of Lower Withington (the rest being in Goostrey civil parish), near Goostrey and Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, North West England. It is reached from the A535. An excellent view of the telescope can be seen by travelling by train, as the main line between Manchester and Crewe passes right by the site, with Goostrey station being only a short distance away.
Main article: History of salt in Middlewich
Following the Roman invasion, Middlewich was named Salinae on account of the salt deposits around it, as it was one of their major sites of salt production. During this time the Romans built a fort at Harbutts Field , to the north of the town and recent excavations to the south of the fort have found evidence of further Roman activity, including a well and part of a preserved Roman road.
Salt manufacture has remained one of the principal employers in Middlewich for most of the past 2,000 years. Salt making is mentioned in the Domesday Book, and by the 13th century there were approximately 100 "wich houses" packed around the towns two brine pits. By 1908 there were nine industrial scale salt manufacturers in the town, with a number of open pan salt works close to the Trent and Mersey Canal.
The origins of the settlement at Nantwich date to Roman times when salt from Nantwich was used by the Roman garrisons at Chester and Stoke-on-Trent as both a preservative and a condiment. Salt has been used in the production of Cheshire cheese and in the tanning industry, both industries being products of the dairy industry based on the Cheshire Plain around Nantwich.
In the Domesday Book, Nantwich is recorded as having eight salt houses. The salt industry peaked in the late 16th century when there were 216 salt houses, but the industry ended in 1856 with the closure of the last salt house. Similarly the last tannery closed in 1974, but the clothing industry remains important to the area.
From the 1830s, salt became important to Winsford, partly because the salt mines under Northwich had begun to collapse and another source of salt near the River Weaver was needed. A new source was discovered in Winsford, leading to the development of a salt industry along the course of the River Weaver, where many factories were established. By 1897, Winsford had become the largest producer of salt in Britain. As a result, a new town developed within a mile of the old Borough of Over which had been focused on Delamere Street. Most of the early development took place on the other side of the river, with new housing, shops, pubs, chapels and a new church being built in the former hamlet of Wharton. As the wind usually blew the smoke away from Over, it became the place for the wealthier inhabitants to live. However, people who worked on the barges and other people working in Winsford started to develop along the old Over Lane (now High Street). The old borough tried to remain separate but had been connected by the 1860s.
Current salt manufacturing in Cheshire
The manufacture of white salt for food and allied industries is now concentrated in Middlewich, in the manufacturer, British Salt, who sell under the name Saxa, and also through third parties e.g. supermarket own brands. Salt produced by British Salt in Middlewich has 57% of the UK market for salt used in cooking.
The UK's largest rock salt (halite) mine is at Winsford. It is one of only three places where rock salt is commercially mined in the UK, the others being at Boulby Mine, North Yorkshire and Kilroot near Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland.
Rock salt extraction began at Winsford in the 17th century. Initially it was used only as salt licks for animals, and to strengthen weak brine. In 1844 Winsford Rock Salt Mine was opened, and is claimed by its operator, Salt Union Ltd., to be "Britain's oldest working mine".
Cheshire cheese is one of the oldest recorded named cheeses in British history: it is first mentioned, along with Shropshire, by Thomas Muffet in Health's Improvement (c. 1580). Indeed, Cheshire cheese is Britain's oldest cheese. There is no earlier specific mention of the cheese of the county, but the importance of Cheshire as one of the main dairy regions of England is already emphasised by William of Malmesbury in the Chester section of his Gesta pontificum Anglorum ("History of the bishops of England": c. 1125). The claim that Cheshire cheese is referred to in Domesday Book has become widespread but it is "nonsense".
Cheshire was the most popular cheese on the market in the late 18th century. In 1758 the Royal Navy ordered that ships be stocked with Cheshire and Gloucester cheeses. By 1823, Cheshire cheese production was estimated at 10,000 tonnes per year  in around 1870, it was estimated as 12,000 tons per year.
Until the late 19th century, the different varieties of Cheshire cheeses were aged to a sufficient level of hardness to withstand the rigours of transport (by horse and cart, and later by boat) to London for sale. Younger, fresher, crumbly cheese that required shorter storage — similar to the Cheshire cheese of today — began to gain popularity towards the end of the 19th century, particularly in the industrial areas in the North and the Midlands. It was a cheaper cheese to make as it required less storage.
Sales of Cheshire cheese peaked at around 40,000 tonnes in 1960, subsequently declining as the range of cheeses available in the UK grew considerably. Cheshire cheese remains the UK's largest-selling crumbly cheese, with sales of around 6,500 tonnes per year.
The county remains an important centre for cheese and holds the Nantwich International Cheese Awards.
List of rivers and canals in Cheshire
Manchester Ship Canal
River Dee / Afon Dyfrdwy
River Weaver and Weaver Navigation
Shropshire Union Canal and the Llangollen branch
Trent and Mersey Canal
Pictured Warburton Bridge going over the Manchester Ship Canal near Warrington in Cheshire