Nantwich is known for having among the highest concentrations of listed buildings in England, with particularly good examples of Tudor and Georgian architecture. There is plenty to see around the town from one of the finest medieval town churches in Britain, to its’s traditional market and beautiful timber framed buildings.
Follow the clock dials located in the pavements for this historical walk of the town centre developed by Nantwich Civic Society.
The walk starts on the footpath near to the west end of St Mary’s Church and ends back at the Church.
Pick up a leaflet from the Tourist Information Centre or Museum.
Nantwich Brine Pool
Nantwich Outdoor Brine Pool is believed to be the only inland brine pool in Britain today.
The outdoor pool first opened to the public on 1st July 1935 and the poolwater temperature is now maintained at 74 degrees F and through solar gain is usually much warmer. There is also an indoor pool open all year round.
The Old Biot
The “Wych Houses” or Walling Lands where salt was produced from brine once stood in an area near to Town Bridge.
The brine was channelled from a brine spring to the Wych Houses for evaporation in large lead pans. Salt production peaked in the late 16th century when there were 216 Wych Houses. The brine spring or “Old Biot” is near the Welsh Row Bridge on Waterlode.
Great Fire of Nantwich Plaque
A plinth on Waterlode summarises the events of December 1583 close to the point where the fire is believed to have started.
Churche’s Mansion is a timber-framed, black-and-white Elizabethan mansion house at the eastern end of Hospital Street. The Grade I listed building dates from 1577, and is one of the very few to have survived the Great Fire in 1583.
Churche’s Mansion is currently a restaurant and bar.
Queen's Aid House
The Queen’s Aid House, or 41 High Street, is a Grade II listed timber-framed, black-and-white Elizabethan merchant’s house. It is located on the High Street opposite the junction with Castle Street. Built shortly after the fire of 1583 by Thomas Cleese, a local craftsman, it has three storeys with attics, and features ornamental panelling, overhangs or jetties at each storey, and a 19th-century oriel window.
The building is best known for its contemporary inscription commemorating Elizabeth I’s aid in rebuilding the town, which gives the building its name.
The High Street was the home of the wealthiest townspeople in the 1580s, and the houses dating from the rebuilding form the finest examples of post-fire architecture in the town.
The modern High Street still contains many other good examples of Elizabethan timber-framed buildings, all of which date from after the fire including the Grade II* listed number 46, which stands opposite the Queen’s Aid House, now Nantwich Bookshop and the Grade I listed Crown Hotel.
Holly Holy Day is held in the town centre and on Mill Island in Nantwich. The Battle of Nantwich was fought during the First English Civil War, between the Parliamentarians and Royalists, northwest of the town on 25 January 1644. The Royalists under Lord John Byron were besieging Nantwich, and Sir Thomas Fairfax led an army to relieve the town. As Fairfax approached, a sudden thaw caused the River Weaver to rise in spate, dividing Byron’s cavalry from his infantry and artillery, who were overrun and destroyed by Fairfax.
The Parliamentarian victory halted a run of Royalist successes in the area, and was a major setback to King Charles I’s plan of campaign for the year. The battle is re-enacted each year by the Sealed Knot on Holly Holy Day.
The Millennium Clock stands in the Cocoa Yard near to the museum. It was made to celebrate the Millennium in Nantwich by clockmaker Paul Beckett of Caernarfon, and is now on show in a glass case in front of a 19th century burner – all that remains of a coach manufacturer.
Its modern design includes three dials – one each for the hours, minutes and seconds. Artwork on the case helps in telling the time.
War Memorial & Airman's Grave
Located in front of St Mary’s Church on the Square the memorial records the names of those who lost their lives in the two world wars.
This site is cared for by the Nantwich branch of the Cheshire Regiment Association on behalf of a grateful town in memory of a brave American airman who lost his life on 14 January 1944 as he struggled to bring his stricken Thunderbolt plane down away from Nantwich and so avoided causing many deaths. The brave pilot was 1st Lieutenant Arthur L. Brown, a 23-year-old New York man, a member of the United States Army Air Force.