Cheshire Historic towns survey
This English Heritage funded survey took place between 1997 and 2002. The survey examined 37 towns in Cheshire and the unitary authorities of Halton and Warrington.
Survey reports were grouped by the old boroughs (abolished 2009) and covered by an introduction for each one.
The former county of Cheshire contains a rich diversity of historic towns: former Roman industrial settlements such as Wilderspool near Warrington, small medieval market towns such as Malpas and recent industrial centres such as Widnes. In addition it contains a number of virtually unique settlements, such as the salt making centres of Nantwich, Northwich and Middlewich, the canal town of Ellesmere Port and the railway town of Crewe.
The survey was divided into three phases – data gathering, assessment and strategy. During data gathering a wide range of sources was examined, collated and entered on to the Cheshire Historic Environment Record.
This data was assessed and used to write a component based summary of the history and archaeology of each town. This information was mapped on to a Geographic Information System, enabling the production of period based time-slice maps for each town.
Finally a strategy for the protection of the historic features of each town was devised, identifying, where possible, an Area of Archaeological Potential based on the assessment.
These reports may act as Supplementary Planning Guidance and assist in identifying the unique character of each town to ensure the sustainable management of each area’s archaeological urban heritage.