For many years I was a regular visitor to Chester. Our little company had its main office there and we used to hold courses in town centre hotels. So I used to have to drive over to the city every couple of weeks or so. The visits were for business purposes, but I did sometimes pop into the city centre to nosey round the shops or just have a bit of a wander. Over the years, things changed. We started using hotels on the outskirts of the city and then even started using hotels nearer to where I live. And then even relocated our office to Deeside – not far from Chester but the rent was cheaper. As a consequence of all this for 10 years or more I’ve hardly visited the city. However, earlier this year I needed to meet up with our company pensions adviser who’s based in Chester, so I took the opportunity to have a mooch around and reacquaint myself with the sites.
Chester has been around a long time, developing around a Roman fort, Deva Victrix, in 79 AD. It has the most complete city walls in England, mainly medieval but with some Anglo Saxon and Roman foundations. I’s shopping centre is dominated by the Rows – “double decked” shopping streets – and black and white building, allegedly medieval but mainly restored by the Victorians.
After my meeting, as the walls were quite close by, I decided to go for a walk around them.
The walls run alongside the River Dee to the south of old city.
https://greatacre.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/chester-cathedral/Saint Werburgh’s Cathedral, built in dark Cheshire sandstone, was founded in 1093 as the abbey church of a Benedictine monastery and still has many monastic features, including cloisters. These survived the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII as it had already become a cathedral. There’s been significant changes and additions over the years, particularly during the Victorian period between 1868 and 1876. The original building was Romanesque, but it was gradually changed and remodelled in the Gothic style.
To the north of the Cathedral, Abbey Square, line with attractive Georgian houses, is an oasis of peace and quiet, almost hidden away behind the busy shopping streets.
The Shropshire Union Canal flows right through the centre of the city, just outside the city walls.