Place:Nantwich, Cheshire, England

Watchers
NameNantwich
Alt namesWichsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 53
The Baronysource: hamlet in parish
Newtown in Nantwichsource: hamlet in parish
Shrewbridgesource: hamlet in parish
Vauxhallsource: hamlet in parish
Wych House Banksource: hamlet in parish
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish, Urban district
Coordinates53.067°N 2.533°W
Located inCheshire, England
See alsoNantwich Hundred, Cheshire, Englandhundred in which it was located
Nantwich Rural, Cheshire, Englandrural district in which it was located 1894-1974
Crewe and Nantwich District, Cheshire, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area 1974-2009
Cheshire East District, Cheshire, Englanddistrict municipality and unitary authority covering the area since 2009
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Nantwich is a market town and civil parish in the Borough of Cheshire East and the county of Cheshire, England. In 2011 Nantwich had a population of 17,424.

end of Wikipedia contribution
GENUKI provides the following information

Nantwich includes the hamlets of The Barony, Newtown in Nantwich, Shrewbridge, Snow Hill, Vauxhall and Wych House Bank. The population was 3,463 in 1801, 5,579 in 1851, 7,722 in 1901 and 8,843 in 1951.

History

the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

The origins of the settlement date to Roman times, when salt from Nantwich was used by the Roman garrisons at Chester (Deva Victrix) and Stoke-on-Trent as both a preservative and a condiment. Salt has been used in the production of Cheshire cheese and in the tanning industry, both products of the dairy industry based in the Cheshire Plain around the town.

In the Domesday Book of 1086, Nantwich is recorded as having eight salt houses. It had a castle and was the capital of a barony of the earls of Chester, and of one of the seven hundreds of medieval Cheshire. Nantwich is one of the few places in Cheshire to be marked on the Gough Map, which dates from 1355–66. It was first recorded as an urban area at the time of the Norman conquest, when the Normans burned the town to the ground leaving only one building standing.

The Norman castle was built at the crossing of the Weaver before 1180, probably near where the Crown Inn now stands. Although nothing remains of the castle above ground, it affected the town's layout. During the medieval period, Nantwich was the most important salt town and probably the second most important settlement in the county after Chester. By the 14th century, the town held a weekly cattle market at the end of what is today is Beam Street, and it was also important for its tanning industry centred on Barker Street.

A fire in December 1583 destroyed most of the town to the east of the River Weaver. Elizabeth I contributed financially to the town's rebuilding, which occurred rapidly and followed the plan of the destroyed town. Beam Street was so renamed to reflect the fact that timber (including wood from Delamere Forest) to rebuild the town was transported along it.

During the English Civil War Nantwich declared for Parliament, and consequently it was besieged several times by Royalist forces. The final, six-week-long, siege was lifted following the victory of the Parliamentary forces in the Battle of Nantwich on 26 January 1644.

The salt industry peaked in the mid-16th century, with around 400 salt houses in 1530, and had almost died out by the end of the 18th century; the last salt house closed in the mid-19th century. The last tannery closed in 1974. The town's location on the London to Chester road meant that Nantwich began to serve the needs of travellers in medieval times. This trade declined in the 19th century, however, with the opening of Telford's road from London to Holyhead, which offered a faster route to Wales, and later when the Grand Junction Railway bypassed the town.

The Shropshire Union Canal runs to the west of the town on an embankment, crossing the A534 via an iron aqueduct. The basin is a popular mooring for visitors to the town. It joins the Llangollen Canal at Hurleston to the north. The town is approximately four miles south-west of Crewe and 20 miles south-east of Chester.

The parish church of Nantwich is St Mary's with original registers dating from 1539 for baptisms and 1576 for marriages.

Research Tips

  • The GENUKI and UKBMD pages on Cheshire and its parishes point to many other sources of information on places within the county. The many small parishes and townships that existed before 1866 are treated individually as well as the larger towns and conurbations.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time provides a series of maps from the Ordnance Survey illustrating the towns and villages of Cheshire and also the borders between parishes. The following group of maps provide views of the county at various dates, illustrating the changes in administrative structure.
  • Cheshire Archives and Local Studies have organized a facility to compare 19th century maps (including tithe maps circa 1830) with modern Ordnance Survey maps. These are available for every civil parish. The detail is very magnified and it is difficult to read any placenames on the older maps. Cheshire Archives and Local Studies are the local keepers of historical material for the county.