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OS Grid ref:-SJ704663

Middlewich is situated in the heart of Cheshire's salt region and is a key junction on a bustling waterway, where the Trent & Mersey joins the Shropshire Union Canal.

The town was founded by the Romans, by whom it was known as Salinae owing to its its surrounding salt deposits. It was to grow to become an important Roman site for salt production, centering on the Kinderton area. It is possible that salt production in the area pre-dates the advent of the Romans, claims have been made that the Iron Age Cornovii tribe made Kinderton their capital. Salt production has remained the principal industry of the town for the past 2,000 years and has moulded Middlewich's history and geography. The suffix 'wich' indicates the presence of brine springs and salt.

In the Domesday Book of 1089 the area is described as being "wasted", as it had been cleared by William the Conqueror in his 'harrying of the north'. Soon after the Norman conquest Gilbert de Venables was created the first Baron of Kinderton, the title was conferred by Hugh Lupus, 1st Earl of Chester.

Two civil war battles were fought at the town, the first Battle of Middlewich took place on 13th March, 1643. The Parliamentarians, were under the command of Sir William Brereton, the Royalist army was led by Sir Thomas Aston. The second Battle of Middlewich was fought on 26 December 1643, 200 Parliamentarians lost their lives in the battle, along with a number of Royalists under the command of Lord Byron.

Inside St. Michael and All Angels, Middlewich

The church of St Michael and All Angels in the town dates back to the 12th century, although much of the fabric was rebuilt during the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. The church was the site of fierce fighting in the first and second Battles of Middlewich. A replica Roman theatre, known as the Bull Ring occupies the the site of the old town hall and library. This venue has been regularly used to host arts and music events and an ice rink.

The Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival is held every June, which builds on the towns industrial heritage. It is estimated that 30,000 people visit the town during the festival weekend, along with 400 boats.

Nearby places of interest

Jodrell Bank Observatory is part of the University of Manchester School of Physics and Astronomy. It is home to the Lovell Radio Telescope and the MERLIN/VLBI National Facility.

The Anderton Boat Lift, the world's first and England's only boat lift. Dating from 1875, the Anderton Boat Lift is one of the greatest monuments to Britain's canal age and known as the "Cathedral of the Canals". It provides a fifty foot vertical link between two navigable waterways: the River Weaver and the Trent and Mersey Canal.

Bridgemere Garden World, covering fifty acres and Britain's largest garden centre, is located south of the town of Nantwich and lies on the beautiful borders of Cheshire, Staffordshire and Shropshire. A gardener's paradise, the centre makes a great day out for the enthusiast.

Cheshire towns and villages