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Sharing the story of Cheshire's past

Cheshire Archives and Local Studies is the archives service for Cheshire.

It’s based at the Cheshire Record Office, in Duke Street, Chester, in a converted 19th-century warehouse and holds unique and irreplaceable archives, which tell the story of the people and places of Cheshire.

Growing by the day, these archives date from the 12th century to the present day and come from businesses, schools, hospitals, local societies, councils and more. They include:

  • The earliest plans for Crewe, when the town was beginning to grow after the railway opened
  • Records of the wines and spirits provided for Lord Egerton’s guests to Tatton Park in the 19th century
  • Records of people tried in Nantwich and Knutsford, including an innkeeper being accused of keeping a house of ill-repute and allowing gambling, and someone brought before the court for the heinous crime of playing ‘fotebal’ on a Sunday!

Our archives staff, together with an army of dedicated volunteers, work to make sure they are accessible and preserved for future generations. Anyone can visit the record office – just check the archive's website.

Cheshire Archives works closely with our library service to provide local history material in many local libraries, where you can also search for your ancestors online. The archives website is full of useful information, as well as historic maps of the county and photographs, which are added to all the time.

Many visitors are interested in the history of their family. The archives service welcomes people from all over Cheshire and further afield, who are interested in the history of their house, town or village, school or business, or even people who have a legal question they’d like answered.

The archives team also work across Cheshire to support people to celebrate and preserve their history. It teamed up with sports clubs, schools and local history groups recently on a wide range of projects and wants to expand this in the future.

Why not try to guess where our archive photographs are from on our #ThrowbackThursday on Twitter and Facebook? Follow @CheshireEast on Twitter and Facebook to see if you can recognise the location of the photographs we share every Thursday!