Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

England North West Region


There are many Iron Age hillforts are scattered throughout the county, as well as Roman sites. The county’s medieval heritage typically reflects the important role that Christianity played in this period, from the 9th-century Sandbach Crosses through to the ruins of the monastic Norton Priory and on to Chester Cathedral, still an active place of worship today. Cheshire’s more modern heritage sites include the Tudor mansion at Little Moreton Hall, the 18th-century stately home at Tatton Park, and the mid-20th-century Jodrell Bank Observatory.


As the home of the Lake District, Cumbria possesses some of the most dramatic landscapes in all of England. Some of the stone circles, such as Castlerigg, Swinside, and Long Meg and Her Daughters, are among the finest anywhere in Britain. The Romans also established a presence in Cumbria. Medieval activity can be seen at the castles of Appleby, Brough, Carlisle, and Kendall, as well as at religious sites like Carlisle Cathedral and Furness Abbey. The landscapes of the Lake District were a major inspiration for early 19th-century poets and writers.

Greater Manchester

The urban conurbation enveloping one of England’s major cities, Greater Manchester was formed in 1974 – annexing land that had previously belonged to Cheshire, Lancashire, and the West Riding. This new county contains a few scattered prehistoric remains, namely earthen mounds like Brown Low and the Saddleworth Bowl Barrow, but also Iron Age earthworks such as Castlesteads. Greater Manchester also encompasses the early medieval Nico Ditch, the medieval earthworks at Buckton and Watch Hill Castles, as well as late medieval and Tudor houses like Smithills Hall and Baguley Hall. It was only in the early 19th century, however, in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, that the area became a major urban metropolis characterised by urban sprawl. The finances generated by Manchester’s industry helped pay for various prominent buildings in the city, among them the Peel Tower and the neo-Gothic John Ryland’s Library.


From the heights of the Blackpool Tower to those of the Pennine Hills, Lancashire is a diverse county. Traces of prehistory can be seen at Lancashire’s stone circles, as well as a range of Bronze Age round barrows and hillforts like Portfield. The Roman military left behind evidence of their presence in Lancashire, most notably at Ribchester where you can visit Bremetennacum fort. Medieval structures include the fortifications of Clitheroe and Lancaster Castles, while the Middle Ages closed with the War of the Roses, in which one of the main factions was the House of Lancaster – Lancashire’s county town. Lancashire is also has several of England’s finest early modern buildings, including Rufford Old Hall, Hoghton Tower, and Gawthorpe Hall. The Industrial Revolution brought increasing urbanisation to Lancashire, a heritage that can still be seen at sites like the Bancroft Mill Engine Museum and Queen Street Mill Textile Museum.


One of England’s densest urban areas, Merseyside was formed in 1974 to unify the city of Liverpool with the suburban sprawl around it. Glimpses of a time when the area was largely rural can still be seen at the grand house of Speke Hall, one of the finest Tudor buildings in England. The Industrial Revolution sparked major change for this area, when it became one of Britain’s most important ports – Liverpool’s docks were formerly recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Growing population and wealth led to new building projects throughout the 19th century. One example was Saint Luke’s Church, a Neo-Gothic structure later left as a bombed-out shell during the Blitz. Into the 20th century, Merseyside became internationally known as the home of The Beatles, with fans of their music continuing to visit Liverpool’s Cavern Club where they once performed.