Northwich is a market town and civil parish in the unitary authority of Cheshire West and Chester. Northwich lies at the head of the Cheshire Plain, at the confluence of the rivers Weaver and Dane, some 18 miles east of Chester and 15 miles south of Warrington. The rivers Weaver and Dane meet directly at the town centre.
Exploited for its salt pans since Roman times, the settlement of Northwich was previously known as Condate.
Northwich is surrounded by the following civil parishes: Anderton with Marbury, Marston, Wincham, Lostock Gralam, Rudheath, Davenham, Hartford, Weaverham and Barton.
The population of Northwich has increased from an estimated 560 in 1664 to around 20,000 on the last Census in 2001. Northwich is described as a market town, with the economy dominated by the salt industry.
Northwich has two major key events each year. Over the August Bank Holiday weekend, Northwich Festival is held at the Moss Farm Sports Complex. Featuring 4 days of music and sport and a strongman-North Competition. The Thundersprint motorcycling event is held every May, with over 130,000 people attracted to the event it claims to be the world's largest street bike party.
Northwich has two local Newspapers: the Northwich Guardian & the Northwich Chronicle, also Northwich has two football teams, Northwich Victoria & Witton Albion.
Northwich is famous for two swing bridges, Hayhurst Bridge built in 1898 and Town Bridge built in 1899, both cross the river Weaver at Northwich. The bridges were the first two electrically powered swing bridges in Great Britain.
Key historical transport links in Northwich was by water. The Trent & Mersey Canal opened in 1775, the canal passed salt deposits near the village of Marston, and many of the salt mines were based along its banks.
The Anderton Boat Lift was opened in 1875 to connect the canal and river. It was fully restored in 2002 and now houses a visitor centre. The road system around Northwich can be dated back to Roman times. The A556 and A559 follow the route of the Roman road that runs from Chester to York.
The railway came to town in 1863. Northwich railway station, last rebuilt in 1897, is on the line from Chester to Manchester Piccadilly.
Northwich and its surroundings have a number of schools and colleges. Sir John Deane,s College is now a sixth form college. The school was originally known as Witton Grammar School. Further education is also available through Mid Cheshire College. Primary education establishments include: Barnton Primary School, Hartford Manor Primary School, Kingsmead Primary School. Northwich is also served by County High School Leftwich, a specialist media arts college, Rudheath Community High School, a specialist in performing arts, and Hartford High School.
Northwich is twinned with the French Town of Dole.