Ellesmere Port is a large industrial town and port in Cheshire, England. It is situated south of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal, and to the north of the city of Chester. The town had a population of 64,100 as of the 2001 Census.
The town is primarily industrial, being dominated by an oil refinery at Stanlow and a former ICI chemical works. The town is also home to the Vauxhall Motors car factory, where the Astra range of cars is produced.
The town of Ellesmere Port began in the 1790s as a hamlet in the township of Whitby. Whitby Locks and its adjoining basin at Netherpool was the outlet on the Mersea of a canal, originally named the Ellesmere Canal designed to connect the rivers Severn, Mersey and Dee. The canal was designed and engineered by William Jessop and Thomas Telford. The section between Whitby Locks and Chester was opened in 1795, connecting two of the rivers; but the connection to the Severn was never completed.
The canal mouth proved to be a worthwhile place for various industries requiring water as fuel and as a means of transport. The building of the Manchester Ship Canal (completed 1894) made the area even more lucrative.
The village of Netherpool gradually changed its name to the Port of Ellesmere, and by the early 19th century, to Ellesmere Port. The civil parishes of Netherpool and Whitby were made into the town of Ellesmere Port in 1911 and the other civil parishes surrounding the area were also absorbed into the town. In 1950 Childer Thornton, Great Stanney, Great Sutton, Hooton, Ince and Little Sutton all became parts of Ellesmere Port.
In the nationwide reorganization of municipal governments in 1974 (set into law by the Local Government Act 1972) Ellesmere Port joined with the neighbouring Neston Urban District to form the district municipality named the Borough of Ellesmere Port and Neston. In 2009 the district municipality was absorbed into the unitary authority of Cheshire West and Chester. The population of Ellesmere Port was approximately 64,100 in 2001.