By Matthew 20/10/2017 23:03:07


Smallest City in England

The smallest city in England, Thelwall with a population combined with Grappenhall of 9,377 (Consensus 2001) is located South-East; Warrington, bordering the villages of Lymm and Grappenhall, and (across the Manchester Ship Canal), Latchford. It is one of the two principal settlements of Grappenhall and Thelwall civil parishes. The village is situated between the Manchester Ship canal and the Bridgewater Canal, being on the east-west A56 and B5157. The Trans Pennine Trail lies to the south. A well known feature is the Thelwall Viaduct which was opened in 1963 and extended in 1995 carrying the M6 Motorway across the Manchester Ship Canal. We all hear the traffic reports on TV and radio, concerning this major transport link.


With records dating back to the Anglo Saxon Chronicle in 923 AD, Thelwall originally spelt Thelwael or Thelwell is an ancient settlement. Most reliable sources claim the name is derived from the Old English for 'deep pool with a plank'. In AD 923 King Edward the Elder ordered a burh to be built to guard the crossing of the River Mersey from the Danes. It was a mistranslation of the word burh, which means military fort, which led to Thelwall being described as a “city”, hence the legend which appears on the gable end of the 17th Century Pickering Arms public house- reading "In the year 923 King Edward the Elder founded a city here and he called it Thelwall". Earthwork remains of an embankment, possibly part of these fortifications, were found on the grounds of Chaigeley School. These remains are an English Heritage National Monument.

Separate administrative parishes of Grappenhall and Thelwall were established in 1894, and although merged in 1936, the parish was only designated Grappenhall and Thelwall in 1974. This part of Cheshire flourished as an agricultural area with associated rural industries such as leather processing. Now strongly established as a semi-rural suburb of Warrington the parish has become recognised as an attractive and desirable residential area.

Chaigeley School and War Memorial

Chaigeley School with distinctive architectural style was originally Greenfield House dating back to 1747. The home of the Stanton family, who were major benefactors of Thelwall. The grounds to Chaigeley School, whilst not open to the public, lend an additional atmosphere of space to the village centre and also house the War Memorial. The War Memorial at the junction of Bell Lane and Lymm Road was erected in 1923 and honours a thousand years of settlement in Thelwall as well as the fallen of two World Wars. Opposite this is Bell Lane Cottage, locally known as Rachel's Cottage.


Thelwall is renowned for many stories of ghosts, as many of the old buildings remain in the area. Many stories of ghost's are found in the older area of Thelwall. Many of the sightings are usually from the Local Pub: The Little Manor. However there have been stories of witches at the old White House with the well on the outskirts of Thelwall.

Todays amenities and events

Much of contemporary village life centres around the Victorian - All Saints Church, which was built on the site of a much earlier church, and the Parish Hall on land adjoining the grounds of Chaigeley School. The Church of England is represented by All Saints Church.

At the centre of the old village lying next to a row of 19th century cottages is the post office. Many key features of the Conservation Area are adjacent. Ferry Lane to the north takes its name from the ancient river ferry crossing, which still provides a service across the Ship Canal, and features a number of buildings of character including the 17th Century "Old Hall". Thelwall has two public open spaces within the Conservation Area, each of which has its own distinctive character. One is the small village green on Thelwall New Road. The second is Elizabeth Park, which is of vital importance to the village with its sweeping parkland views, mature trees, walks and sports pitches.

Thelwall has two schools, Thelwall Infants and Thelwall Juniors schools. It has delightfully preserved post office, stables and its own football club: Thelwall Rangers AFC, cricket club: Thelwall Parish CC and even a Morris Dancing Team, the Thelwall Morris Men.

During the summer, the residents of Thelwall host an event known as the Rose Queen. This has been running for over 50 years and features one of the biggest float parades in the area. The local community clubs, schools, scouts and residents congregate together every year to put on a show of themed floats in the parade and set up attractions and stalls on Thelwall Parish Field.

Other Surrounding Areas

View more surrounding areas of Lymm.