The Victoria County History of Cheshire

Until 1972, Chester was one of only four English counties which had no VCH volume. In that year, however, the Cheshire VCH was set up, generously funded by grants from the Leverhulme Trust and Cheshire County Council and with much valuable support from the University of Liverpool in partnership with the Institute of Historical Research.

The first product of the new project was Volume II of the Cheshire series (1979) and included administrative and parliamentary history of the county, a chapter on its forests, and a table of population. Volume III (1980) included the ecclesiastical history of the county  from the middle ages to the 20th century and an account of education in the county to 1903. Volume I (1987) described the development, topography, archaeology and history of the county until it was surveyed in Domesday Book in 1086.

The only topographical Red Book histories published to date are in the form of the two parts of Volume V (2003 and 2005) which provide the one of the fullest historical accounts of an English city yet published. Five volumes have been completed to date.

Three of the published volumes, including both parts of Volume V on the city of Chester are available free, open-access on British History Online. For full access to all volumes, check your local library catalogue or your local archive.