In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Cheshire like this:
Cheshire, or Chester, co. palatine and maritime co. of England, bounded on the NW. by the Irish Sea, and bordering on the cos. of Lancaster, York, Derby, Stafford, Salop, Denbigh, and Flint; extreme length, NE and SW., 58 miles; extreme breadth, 40 miles; average breadth, 18 miles; area, 657,123 ac.; pop. 644,037. C. forms, towards the Irish Sea, a flat peninsula, the Wirrall (12 miles by 7 miles), between the estuaries of the Mersey and the Dee, and inland a vast plain separating the mountains of Wales from those of Derbyshire. ...
This plain is diversified with fine woods of oak, &c., and is studded with numerous small lakes or meres. A low ridge of sandstone hills runs N. from Congleton, near the E. border, and another extends from the neighbourhood of Malpas to Frodsham, near the estuary of the Mersey. The chief rivers are the Mersey with its affluent the Bollin, the Weaver, and the Dee. The soil consists of marl, mixed with clay and sand, and is generally fertile. (For agricultural statistics see Appendix.) There are numerous excellent dairy farms, on which the celebrated Cheshire cheese is made; also extensive market gardens, the produce of which is sent to Liverpool, Manchester, and the neighbouring towns. Salt has been long worked; it. is obtained from rock salt and saline springs; the principal works are at Nantwich, Northwich, and Winsford. Coal and ironstone are worked in the districts of Macclesfield and Stockport. There are mfrs. of cotton, silk, and ribbons, carried on chiefly in the towns of the E. div.; and shipbuilding, on the Mersey. Cheshire contains 7 hundreds, 503 pars. and a part, the parl. and mun. bor. of Birkenhead (1 member), the greater part of the parl. and mun. bors. of Chester (1 member), Stalybridge (1 member), and Stockport (2 members), and the mun. bors. of Congleton, Crewe, Hyde, and Macclesfield. It is mostly in the diocese of Chester. For parl. purposes it is divided into 8 divisions, viz., Wirral, Eddisbury, Macclesfield, Crewe, Northwich, Altrincham, Hyde, and Knutsford, 1 member for each div.
For an overview of how the county has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern of Cheshire -- but you should check this covers the area you are interested in.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Cheshire | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 21st May 2013
Click here for more detailed advice on finding places within A Vision of Britain through Time, and maybe some references to other places called "Cheshire".