Cheshire Record Office

The Cross and Rows, Chester. c. 1895The Cross and Rows, Chester. c. 1895

Cheshire Record Office collects and preserves documents relating to the history of the ancient and modern county, which includes the diocese and city of Chester.  

Some documents date from the twelfth century.  

The Office also promotes the use of, and interest in, these resources and makes them accessible free of charge.  

Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East Councils are served by the archive service provided by the Office.

The Archive has specially adapted strong rooms where resources are stored on over 11 kilometres of shelving.  

Resources held by the office include census returns, parish registers, electoral registers and quarter sessions records.

Whether you are researching the history of a house, tracing your family history, conducting research for a school, college or university assignment or studying the history of your local area, you will find the documents held of use.  

The knowledgeable and helpful are always on hand to offer advice and assistance if required.

Contact Information for Cheshire Record Office


Cheshire Archives and Local Studies
Duke Street 


Telephone Number:

01244 972574



For information regarding their collections, please visit their databases page, which has details of their online databases.  These databases include:

  • Chester City Gaol Reigsters 1808-1865
  • Crewe Railway Works 1890-1928
  • Freemen of Chester 1747-1925
  • Historical Maps of Cheshire
  • John Ramsbottom Presentation Volume
  • Military Records
  • Neston Building Plans 1868-1950
  • Overleigh Cemetery, Chester 1850-1950
  • Parish Map
  • Railway Staff Database 1869-1950
  • Runcorn Crew Lists
  • Tithe Maps
  • Trade Directories 1781-1840
  • Widnes Building Plans 1866-1942
  • Wills 1492-1940

You can also peruse their online catalogue, which has descriptions of archives held.  These resources include:

  • Census returns
  • Chester cathedral records
  • Diocesan records
  • Electoral registers
  • Estate records
  • Hospital records
  • Journals
  • Local history books
  • Maps
  • Nonconformist records

Resources also include:

  • Pamphlets
  • Parish records from the 16th century
  • Photographs and other illustrations
  • Poor law and workhouse records
  • Quarter sessions
  • School records
  • Tithe maps and apportionments
  • Trade directories
  • Wills(wills from 1492-1940 are on their online wills database)

Opening Hours

Opening Hours can be found by going to their Visiting the Record Office page.

Location and Directions

No parking is available at Cheshire Archives, but there is limited parking nearby. Parking is also available for blue badge holders outside the Office in Duke Street.

Booking in Advance

It is always prudent to book before visiting in order to avoid disappointment when you arrive.  Bookings can be made by e-mail, telephone or letter. If your intended visit is within 2 or 3 days of making your booking enquiry, it is advisable to ring.  3 to 10 days notice is required if you wish to consult documents held off-site.


Digital cameras are allowed, but flash must be turned off and a charge is made to people wishing to take advantage of this service. You are not allowed to take photographs of some documents because they are fragile and may be easily damaged. 


The building is fully accessible, but you need to contact the Archive in advance of your visit if you need to arrange special parking.


An area is available where you can consume food you have brought with you, but various pubs and cafes are nearby if required.

Research Service

A research service is available if you are unable to visit in person. They make a minimum charge to people taking advantage of this service.

Readers' Ticket

The Archive is a member of the CARN (County Archive Research Network) 

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