Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Cheshire is a historic county in the northwest of England.

It is said that Merlin once lived here and spoke with a farmer who he convinced to give him a horse for a purse of gold pieces. Legend has it that Merlin opened some magical gates on the side of the rock to the sound of thunder, telling the farmer that here sleeps Arthur with his knights and their horses, of which they were one short, so that they might return again when England needed them. The farmer took the gold and ran from the gates terrified. The gates have never been seen since.

Cheshire | 0 to the 9th century AD

Pre-Roman and Roman Periods | c. 1st century BC – 5th century AD
Prior to the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD, the area that would later become Cheshire was inhabited by Celtic tribes. The Cornovii were one of the dominant Celtic tribes in this region, and they likely had settlements and hillforts in the area.

The Romans occupied Cheshire as part of their conquest of Britain. They established the fortress of Deva Victrix (modern-day Chester) around 70 AD, which became an important Roman stronghold in the region. The Romans built roads and other infrastructure and would have influenced the local culture and trade.

Post-Roman Period and Anglo-Saxon Era | 5th – 9th centuries
After the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the early fifth century AD, the area saw a period of instability and change. The Anglo-Saxons, a Germanic people, gradually migrated and settled in different parts of England, including Cheshire. The exact timeline and nature of this settlement are not well-documented. Cheshire became part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, one of the major Anglo-Saxon kingdoms that emerged during this period.

Viking Invasions | 8th – 9th centuries
The Viking raids and invasions, which began in the late eighth century, impacted various parts of England, including Cheshire. Vikings, also known as Norsemen, sought wealth and territory during their incursions. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records Viking raids in the region, and the town of Chester faced Viking attacks in the ninth centry.

In response to Viking threats, King Alfred the Great of Wessex implemented defensive measures, including the construction of fortified towns known as burhs. Chester, a strategic location, likely saw enhancements during this time.

Wishing Well

There stands a cliff of sheer sandstone on the Cheshire plains with a natural spring which has formed itself into a well that many say is a wishing well.

See also
Cave Legend | The Legend of King Arthur