Cheshire is a county of great geographical contrast from the Pennines to the Plains, while its history is glorious, from hugely important Roman Chester in the west to the crucible of the Industrial Revolution in the east. However, lurking not far beneath the surface is a host of oddities and peculiarities that turn the apparently staid and conventional into something much more intriguing. Therefore even the Conventional Cheshire section of the book is interspersed with idiosyncratic “Quirk Alerts”; like anecdotes about which Cheshire knight fought the Spanish Armada, aged eighty-nine, and which Cheshire Royalist was beaten to death with his own wooden leg in 1649! Alternatively, read about the object in Macclesfield that is just plain wrong, or be amazed by the exploits of the fiddling, stilt-walking eighteenth-century Cheshire dramatist known as Maggotty Johnson! Naturally, though, it is the Quirky Cheshire section where things turn very strange, and where a seemingly random almanac of 78 Cheshire places have their quirkiest facts laid bare: like which villages are home to the Wizard’s Milestone, a library in a telephone kiosk, and a hall built around an oak-tree! Then there’s the village that used to be known as Bullock Smithy, the village that had nine vicars in nine years, and the Cheshire lake that is rumoured to be home to a mermaid every Easter! Alternatively, find out which mean-spirited Cheshire parson cut down Shakespeare’s mulberry bush and demolished his house, just to spite the people of Stratford. Or what about which former Cheshire town lends its name to a famous Agatha Christie character, or which two are home to the most successful water polo team ever, and the oldest rugby rule book in the world. Finally, why not learn about the squire who squeezed 11 boys into one tree, the 6ft 6in Cheshire convict who escaped and became an aboriginal chief for thirty-two years, or the ancient Cheshire custom which involved four giants, a camel and 16 naked boys! If you think you know Cheshire, read this fascinating and profusely illustrated book and think again.