Place:Chester Rural, Cheshire, England

NameChester Rural
TypeRural district
Coordinates53.191°N 2.895°W
Located inCheshire, England     (1894 - 1974)
See alsoChester, Cheshire, Englandadjacent city and county borough to Chester Rural District
Tarvin Rural, Cheshire, Englandrural district to the south and east
Chester City (borough), Cheshire, Englanddistrict municipality into which it was absorbed in 1974
Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire, Englandunitary authority of which it became a part in 2009
the text in this article is based on one in Wikipedia

Chester Rural District was located in Cheshire, England from 1894 to 1974. It was based around the city and county borough of Chester but did not include this urban area. It did include the small civil parish of Chester Castle, an exclave of the rural district within the boundaries of the county borough of Chester. The district was created by the Local Government Act 1894 as the successor to Chester Rural Sanitary District.

The district saw various boundary changes throughout its life. In 1936 the boundaries of the rural district were substantially altered under a county review order. In 1954 Hoole Urban District was abolished and the bulk of its area was added to the county borough of Chester, but 174 acres (0.70 km2) were added to the rural district. There were exchanges of very small areas of land with neighbouring districts in 1963 due to the diversion of the River Gowy. The final change in the district's boundaries came in 1967, when 135 acres (0.55 km2) passed to the Borough of Ellesmere Port.

The Local Government Act 1972 completely reorganised council boundaries throughout England and Wales. On 1 April 1974, Chester Rural District was merged with the city of Chester and Tarvin Rural District to form the new non-metropolitan district of Chester.

Civil Parishes

  1. Aldford
  2. Bache
  3. Backford
  4. Barrow
  5. Blacon cum Crabwall
  6. Bridge Trafford
  7. Buerton (near Aldford)
  8. Capenhurst
  9. Caughall
  10. Chester Castle (not shown--in the centre of the city of Chester)
  11. Chorlton by Backford
  12. Christleton
  13. Churton by Aldford
  14. Claverton
  15. Croughton
  16. Dodleston
  17. Dunham on the Hill
  18. Eaton (near Chester)
  19. Eccleston
  20. Elton in Thornton
  21. Great Boughton
  22. Great Saughall
  23. Great Stanney
  24. Guilden Sutton
  25. Hapsford
  26. Hoole Village
  27. Huntington
  28. Ince
  29. Lea by Backford
  30. Lea Newbold
  31. Ledsham
  32. Little Saughall
  33. Little Stanney
  34. Littleton
  35. Lower Kinnerton
  36. Marlston cum Lache
  37. Mickle Trafford
  38. Mollington
  39. Little Mollington (also known as Mollington Banastre)
  40. Great Mollington (also known as Mollington Tarrant)
  41. Moston (near Chester)
  42. Newton by Chester
  43. Picton
  44. Poulton
  45. Puddington
  46. Pulford
  47. Rowton
  48. Saighton
  49. Saughall
  50. Shotwick
  51. Shotwick Park
  52. Stanlow
  53. Stoke (near Chester)
  54. Thornton le Moors
  55. Upton by Chester
  56. Wervin
  57. Wimbolds Trafford
  58. Woodbank

Research Tips


  • See the Wikipedia articles on parishes and civil parishes for descriptions of this lowest rung of local administration. The original parishes (known as ancient parishes) were ecclesiastical, under the jurisdiction of the local priest and his bishop. A parish covered a specific geographical area and was sometimes equivalent to that of a manor. Sometimes, in the case of very large rural parishes, there were chapelries where a "chapel of ease" allowed parishioners to worship closer to their homes. In the 19th century the term civil parish was adopted to define parishes with a secular form of local government. In WeRelate both civil and ecclesiastical parishes are included in the type of place called a "parish". Smaller places within parishes, such as chapelries and hamlets that never became independent civil parishes, have been redirected into the parish in which they are located. The names of these smaller places are italicized within the text.
  • Rural districts were groups of geographically close civil parishes in existence between 1894 and 1974. They were formed as a middle layer of administration between the county and the civil parish. Inspecting the archives of a rural district will not be of much help to the genealogist or family historian, unless there is need to study land records in depth.
  • Registration districts were responsible for civil registration or vital statistics and census records. The boundaries of these districts were revised from time to time depending on population density and local government organization. To ascertain the registration district to which a parish belonged in the timeframe in question, see Registration Districts in Cheshire, part of the UK_BMD website.

Helpful Sources

  • Cheshire Archives and Local Studies are the local keepers of historical material for the county. But archives for places that were absorbed into Greater Manchester and Merseyside in 1974 may have been moved to the archive centres for the metropolitan county concerned.
  • FamilySearch Cheshire Research Wiki provides a good overview of the county and also articles on most of the individual parishes (very small or short-lived ones may have been missed).
  • The GENUKI 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. The GENUKI pages for individual parishes now include a map of the parish and its surrounding area.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time also has summaries and lists of statistics for each parish, but its organization is not for the beginning family historian in a hurry.
  • The pay websites Ancestry and FindMyPast have a number of county-wide collections of censuses, Church of England baptisms, marriages and burials (some from the 1500s), and some providing microfilm copies of the manuscript entries. An international subscription is necessary to access Ancestry's UK holdings.
  • A book entitled The history of the county palatine and city of Chester with the subtitle "compiled from original evidences in public offices, the Harleian and Cottonian mss., parochial registers, private muniments, unpublished ms. collections of successive Cheshire antiquaries, and a personal survey of every township in the county, incorporated with a re-publication of King's Vale royal and Leycester's Cheshire antiquities" by George Ormerod and others was published in 1819. It has been quoted by WR users interested in families traced before 1600. It is available online as images of the original pages at the Open Library (Google Books) as Vol I, Vol II and Vol III.
  • Unfortunately, the Institute of Historical Research only includes two volumes of the Victoria County History for Cheshire on their website and these only cover the City of Chester. There may be other volumes to this series in print, but a Google Search does not indicate any further volumes online.


  • Cheshire Archives and Local Studies have organized a facility to compare tithe maps circa 1830 and 19th century Ordnance Survey maps with the modern Ordnance Survey. These are available for every civil parish. A knob in the centre of the screen allows the user to move back and forth between the old and the new view. Use the key on the left to show other possibilities including land ownership.
  • The diagrammatical map of Sanitary Districts in Cheshire showing Civil Parishes 1888 produced by the Ordnance Survey and provided by A Vision of Britain through Time is helpful. "Sanitary Districts" were the predecessors of rural districts and usually followed the same boundaries.
  • The Ordnance Survey map of Cheshire circa 1900 supplied by A Vision of Britain through Time shows invidual settlements as well as parishes. There were significant administrative changes in the decade 1890-1900 that have led to some civil parishes absorbed into adjacent urban districts being omitted from this map.
  • 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.
  • For a close-up view of an area as it looked in the 19th century, try the National Library of Scotland provision. The maps include the Ordnance Survey (OS) 25-inch to the mile series for England and Wales for the period 1841-1952. Country estates and factory buildings on the edge of towns are labelled; roads, railways, rivers and canals are shown.