Cheshire is a county in the North West Midlands, bordering Wales.
In 1974, the administrative county lost a considerable part of its area. Parts, including Stockport, were transferred to the new county of Greater Manchester, and part of the Wirral, including Birkenhead, became part of the new county of Merseyside, based on Liverpool.
The greater part of Cheshire is rural, with industry largely in the parts that were transferred administratively.
The county town is the ancient cathedral city of Chester, which dates back to Roman times, and has a unique architectural feature in The Rows.
Birkenhead came to prominence as a shipbuilding town, and is linked to Liverpool by the Mersey Ferry and Tunnel.
Crewe is an important railway centre.
Nantwich is one of the area's towns which gained their early prosperity because of the presence of salt.
Wilmslow developed as a residential town for wealthy industrialist from Liverpool and Manchester.
Cheshire cheese is one of England's most famous cheeses, and features in the names of a number of public houses.
The Cheshire Cat, who gradually disappeared except his grin, was an intriguing character in Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland".