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Crewe Hall (south facade)
Crewe Hall (south facade)
Coordinates 53 ° 6 ′  N , 2 ° 26 ′  W Coordinates: 53 ° 6 ′  N , 2 ° 26 ′  W
Crewe (England)
Residents 67,683 (as of: 2001)
Post town Crewe
ZIP code section CW5
prefix 01270
Part of the country England
region North West England
Shire county Cheshire

Crewe [kɹu:] is a city in the British county of Cheshire and belongs to the Unitary Authority Cheshire East . The town, about 45 km south / south-west of Manchester , emerged from a railway junction in the 19th century and subsequently grew into one of the centers of the British automobile and rail vehicle industry . The population is 67,683 (as of 2001).


Rural area before 1830

Until the 19th century, there were only individual farms in the area of ​​today's Crewe, which were assigned to the communities of Monks Coppenhall and Nantwich . The noble Crewe family owned a large part of the land and resided in " Crewe Hall ", a manor house built in 1615–1636 today in the city . In 1831 around 70 people lived in what is now the city.

Railway junction

In the 1830s, the Grand Junction Railway (GJR) built a line between Dallam near Warrington and Birmingham to connect the Liverpool and Manchester Railway (LMR) and the London and Birmingham Railway (L&BR). The connection opened on July 4, 1837 was designed as a through route; the connection of places in the region did not play a major role. So the city of Wolverhampton was bypassed at a distance of about one kilometer. The railway line passed Nantwich a few kilometers east. There a train station was built at the intersection with a trunk road, which was named after the seller of the land there with the name "Crewe". A short time later, Crewe station became the junction of newly built rail lines to Manchester as well as Chester and Holyhead , the starting point for a ferry connection to Dublin .

The city was founded in 1842

The foundation stone for what is now Crewe was laid in 1842 when the Grand Junction Railway decided to relocate its main workshop from Liverpool to Crewe. A town of its own that was named after the train station "Crewe" was created as a place of residence for the staff of the workshop, station and trains. In the years that followed, the newly formed town grew rapidly - in 1871, Crewe already had 40,000 inhabitants.

Crewe Hall

The mansion " Crewe Hall " was transferred to the state in 1936 by the last Lord Crewe in the absence of potential heirs in the family circle. During the Second World War, the facility was initially used to accommodate British and American troops, then as a camp for German prisoners of war with officer rank. After the war, Crewe Hall was rented to various private companies and finally sold in 1998. Today the mansion houses a luxury hotel.

Development of the rail vehicle industry

In 1846, the merger of the GJR with the LMR and L&BR resulted in the London and North Western Railway (LNWR), which from 1863 concentrated the construction of locomotives in Crewe. To supply this railway workshop, a steelworks was built around the same time, which was the first British steelworks to use the Bessemer process on a large scale.

Not least because of its location at an important railway junction, the Crewe railway workshops retained their outstanding importance even after the LNWR became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in 1923, which in turn became part of British Railways through nationalization in 1948 . With the delivery of the last steam locomotive built here, the freight locomotive No. 92250, the 115-year tradition in steam locomotive construction ended in December 1958. In 1970 vehicle construction and maintenance of what was now “British Rail” were spun off into the state-owned British Rail Engineering Limited (BREL). This was in turn privatized in 1989 in major parts, including the Crewe plant. Today (as of 2009) it is a Bombardier Transportation site .

In the Crewe plant, for example, essential components of the British Intercity 125 high-speed trains as well as the experimental and test trains of the APT were built . Today the site is mainly used only for maintenance and repair. Parts of the facilities were abandoned, and the number of employees was reduced from 20,000 to around 700 over the decades.

Development of the automotive industry

In 1938, Rolls-Royce built the “Pyms' Lane” plant in Crewe, which initially only produced engines - especially for the British military. After the Second World War, both Rolls-Royce and Bentley, which was bought by Rolls-Royce in 1931, resumed production of civilian automobiles and concentrated them at the Crewe plant.

In 1998 the companies Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and Bentley, including their Crewe plant, were taken over by the Volkswagen Group , albeit without the rights to the “Rolls-Royce” brand, which BMW acquired. The two automobile groups subsequently agreed to build cars of both brands using BMW parts under Volkswagen management in Crewe by the end of 2002 and then to separate the two brands.

Rolls-Royce cars have been built in Goodwood ( Sussex ) since January 1, 2003 , while Crewe is the only place where Bentley is based.


Crewe is a major rail hub and has direct rail links to much of the UK's metropolitan areas. The south of the city-scale rail yard Basford Hall Yards was one of the largest in Britain. It was shut down in May 1972, years before the marshalling yards in Great Britain were generally closed. However, its remains are still used as a depot for the nationwide transport of container trains . The place is served by the railway companies Caledonian Sleeper , CrossCountry , East Midlands Railway , London Northwestern Railway , Northern Trains , Transport for Wales / Trafnidiaeth Cymru and Avanti West Coast .

Crewe can be reached by road via the M6 Motorway , which touches the town a few kilometers to the north and east and is connected to it via the A530 and A534 highways.


The football club Crewe Alexandra , founded in 1877, is the most famous sports club in town. The club was long known as the “worst league team in England” before Crewe Alexandra rose to the third and finally second English football league from the mid-1980s under the direction of coach Dario Gradi , who worked there until 2011 .

sons and daughters of the town

Town twinning


A crater about three kilometers wide on Mars (coordinates: 25 ° south, 10 ° west) was named after the city of Crewe.

Web links

Commons : Crewe  - collection of images, videos and audio files