The Heritage in Cheshire County

Spanning 905 square miles, Cheshire is a county in North West England. Although mostly rural, the county still boasts a population of about one million people.

Cheshire’s small towns and villages are known for their salt, Cheshire cheese, silk and chemicals products.

The Heritage in Cheshire

Cheshire has a long and rich history that dates all the way back to prehistoric times. Archaeologists discovered prehistoric burial grounds near Congleton and Alpraham.

In 70 AD, the Romans founded modern day Chester, then named Deva Victrix. The Vikings raided the county in 980. Chester was recorded for the very first time in history that same year.

The remains of several iron age forts have also been discovered along the hills of Cheshire, including Helsby Hillfort, Maiden Castle and Woodhouse Hillfort.

William I, after the Norman conquest of 1066, used draconian measures to stop local resistance as a part of the Harrying of the North. Properties of major landowners were confiscated and redistributed amongst the Norman barons.

William I would turn Cheshire into a county palatine and appointed Gerbod the Fleming as Earlof Chester. The title was taken away from Gerbod and given to Hugh d’Avranches shortly after.

The Earl of Chester was given autonomous power to rule on behalf of the king, and the county palatine was effectively independent from England. The Magna Carta did not apply to the earldom, so the Earl created the Chester Charter at the behest of his barons.

In 1397, march of Wales was added to Cheshire’s territory and was promoted to principality rank due to the support for King Richard II. The title of “Prince of Chester” was added to the king’s title as a result.

Cheshire is the only county to have been recognized in this way, but the title lost its significance after the fall of King Richard in 1399.

Cheshire is home to several historic buildings, including Beeston Castle, Chester Cathedral, Eaton Hall, Capesthorne Hall and Little Moreton Hall.

Many of the buildings from the 15th through 17th centuries were timbered, especially in the southern region of the county. Little Moreton Hall, for example, was built in 1450 and is a fine example of a timbered structure. The buildings along Chester Rows are also timbered.

While many early buildings were timbered, the county also had famous brick buildings, including Tattenhall Hall, Peover Hall, Willington Hall, Arley Hall, and Pied Bull Hotel.

From the Victorian era onward, brick has been the predominant building material in the county.

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