Cheshire (formerly the county of Chester) is a county in the North West of England. Its administrative centre is Chester, a city on the River Dee. Cheshire has an area of 2,343 km² (904.6 sq mi), making it the 25th largest of the 48 ceremonial counties in England. The largest town is Warrington. The economy is predominantly agricultural, although the historically important production of salt continues in the east of the county and was the crucible where many advances in industrial chemistry were first made. Large petrol chemical works line the northern boundary of the country with the River Mersey.
Strategically important, a Roman garrison was stationed at Chester during the Roman occupation. During the middle ages Chester also provided a staging post for the subjugation of the Welsh by Edward I, and during the English Civil War several battles were fought on its plains.
Cheshire cheese, which is similar to cheddar, originated in Cheshire in the 16th Century.
Lewis Carroll, probably the most famous native Cestrian, named a grinning feline, one of the best-known characters in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, after the county: 'grinning like a Cheshire Cat' became a common expression.