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County guide to Cheshire

County motto:
‘By the law and dignity of the sword’

Landscape and wildlife: Macclesfield Forest; Alderley Edge

Best thing: Cheshire cheese is undoubtedly one with a proud lineage: it was recorded in the Domesday Book and Elizabeth I also enjoyed it

Heroes: Admiral David Beatty; Lady Hamilton (Nelson’s mistress); Leonard Cheshire (highly decorated Second World War bomber pilot); Fred Perry

Events: World Worm Charming Championships, Nantwich; Chester Mystery Plays; Nantwich International Cheese Show; Knutsford Royal May Day Festival; Bawming the Thorn,
Appleton Thorn, revolves around the village’s decorated hawthorne, allegedly grown
from Joseph of Arimathea’s staff; the annual Chester Cheese Rolling Competition

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Inventions: As well as Alice and the Jabberwocky, Lewis Carroll created an early version of what is now known as Scrabble

Battle: The Battle of Nantwich in 1644 was a Royalist defeat and marked the recovery of the
Parliamentarian cause in the North, with Sir Thomas Fairfax taking some half of the 3,500 Royalists as prisoners

What they say: ‘The natives (of Cheshire) greatly enjoy milk and butter’ (William of Malmesbury)

Artistic wealth: Lewis Carroll and the Cheshire Cat; Elizabeth Gaskell immortalised Knutsford in Cranford; Andy Goldsworthy; Hall Caine; Wendy Hiller; Vivienne Westwood; Daniel Craig

Local food
: Boddingtons bitter; traditional Cheshire by The Cheese Company; Chester buns

Worst thing: Cheshire has the millionaires in the UK—must be all those Manchester United players

Architectural identity: Cheshire’s black-and-white half-timbered buildings are most finely displayed at Nantwich

: Recorded in about 980 as Legeceasterscir in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, meaning ‘the shire of the city of legions’

Did you know that: British trains are now built solely in Crewe

Historical products: Macclesfield was once the world’s largest producer of finished silk; salt has been mined around Nantwich since Roman times

Titbits: The Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank was the only one able to track the first Russian sputnik in 1957

Houses and churches: Adlington House; BramallHall; Lyme Park; Tatton Park; Peover Hall; Chester Cathedral

Population: 999,800
Acreage: 588,184
County flower: Cuckoo flower
Miles of footpath: 1,252
Hours of sunshine: 1,373.7
Highest peak: Shining Tor
Life expectancy: 79.4 years