Pictures of Crewe
in the county of Cheshire
The large industrial town of Crewe is close to Nantwich, to which it contrasts greatly. Crewe has always been associated with its great railway junction, and it is from this point in the "hey-day" of rail travel that Crew began to prosper. It developed from a combination of two villages and some importance is still attached to its 19th century railway activities. Locomotives were rolling out of the railway sheds from 1843, and for the next 100 years Crewe was famous for its engines.
Crewe has undergone great changes, it has a modern town centre offering a rich shopping experience and a sprawl of new housing developments. Blessedly, it still possesses some of its old Victorian charm and a few historic properties. This can mostly be seen in the old part of the town where there are some striking Victorian and Edwardian houses, some of rustic brick with attractive stone dressings. Rows of terraced workers cottages make a sharp contrast to the larger homes occupied by former rail and factory managers. The old style corner public house in much in evidence, recalling the days when the "bookies" runner stood outside the pub taking bets on racing days.
The grandest house in the area is Crewe Hall, a magnificent Jacobean building set in 35 acres of parkland and owned until recently by the Queen. The building has undergone major refurbishment and is now re-opened as a delightful country hotel with a wealth of original features, including what is believed to be the finest staircase in the country, an ornate library, and a private chapel.
Crewe Market Hall in the town centre began life as a 19th century cheese market, it is a vibrant busy place which now operates as an outdoor and indoor market offering a tempting range of merchandise.
Crewe's fine Municipal Square is currently undergoing costly refurbishment and will have as its centrepiece the town's war memorial which has been removed from Market Square.
A place of stunning Edwardian beauty is Crewe's Lyceum Theatre. Built in 1911 and refurbished in 1994, the theatre retained its exquisite auditorium with beautiful carvings, stalls, circle, upper gallery and lovely gilded boxes. The theatre offers drama, ballet, opera, musical productions and comedy - truly a range to suit all tastes. The refurbishment has included relaxing bars and a restaurant for a pre-theatre dinner or after show drink.
The town has many pleasant green spaces and playing fields. Parkfield is a pretty area off Broad Street and there are fine gardens for relaxing. Even the old cemetery makes an interesting visit, it is crowded with old tombs and ancient gravestones lying silently beneath a canopy of tree branches.
Crewe's museum dedicated to the railway age is a must for all visitors. This museum is full of exhibits and memorabilia from the great age of steam when the town was at the forefront of railway engineering, thus preserving its history and heritage. Presently closed for refurbishment, the museum, sited in Vernon Way, is due to re-open at Easter 2007.
There is plenty here to occupy and interest visitors, clubs and pubs offer lively entertainment, there is theatre, historic buildings, museums, and shops in abundance. The nearby Shropshire Union Canal and The Trent and Mersey Canal give visitors the opportunity to enjoy quiet canal banks from which to take a peep at colourful narrow boats and enjoy rewarding waterscapes, and canal wildlife. In the wider countryside surrounding Crewe, there are plenty of quaint little Cheshire villages, a battle site of 1644 and Stapely Water Gardens, the World's largest leading water garden centre.
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