On our return home from Liverpool, we found another treasure--the town of Chester. Originally, a Roman fort and then a settlement, one of Chester's claims to fame is its town walls, the most complete city walls in Great Britain. Some sections date back to as early as 120, but most sections are medieval or Victorian. They form an almost continuous circle around the town 2 miles long.
We approached the city by the Eastgate, which gave us a preview of the picturesque town we were going to explore.
The Eastgate stands at the former entrance of the old Roman fort, and the current gateway supporting a walkway that is part of the City walls today, dates from 1768. The beautiful clock was built on the occasion of the Diamond Jubliee of Queen Victoria and put into place in 1899. It is considered the most photographed clock in England after Big Ben here in London.
As cold as it was on the January day we visited, the city was bustling with activity.
Many visitors come to see the black-and-white timbered buildings, some from the medieval era,
but many being Victorian restorations, as a result of the Black-and-white Revival architectural movement in the mid 19th century.
The Chester Rows are unique, in that above the street level shops you find covered walkways which front another level of shops. Often the bottom level shops are slightly below ground and have to be reached by a slight descent. Nothing exactly like this exists in the world.
A view from the Rows gives you a whole different perspective.
The Three Old Arches formed the facade of what is considered the first shop storefront, dating from the early 1200's. Even shop-a-holics need a history lesson every once in a while.
There was just time for lunch before heading back towards London, so we decided to grab some Sunday Roast at a pub we found called The Victoria. It wasn't until our roast beef and chicken dinners were ordered that I looked around and discovered its historical value.
It dates back to 1269, and still retains its low ceilings, antique settles and oak beams. Amazing!
One of the amazing structures in town is the Chester Cathedral, which deserves a blog post of its own. So come back for a visit soon and learn about the beautiful and interesting"misericords" we found inside this strikingly fascinating cathedral.