Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Town of Chester

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.


  1. You are such a FANTASTIC tour guide..thank you so much for sharing this, I love it!! Have a fabulous day/evening!! P.S. My niece is in labor right now, I am so excited!! Please keep her in your prayers! xxoo :)

  2. Debi, Thank you for your kind comments on my blog. I dearly appreciate your visits and your touring insights....Chester, now goes on the list. Great, great photos and wonderful detail.

  3. Your photos are lovely and Chester looks beautiful - might have to consider a visit... Hope you're not too disappointed with the weather here now that you're back ;-) Have a great week xo

  4. Wow, what an amazing place. I just love those gorgeous black and white buildings and the Cathedral looks stunning. Will you be doing a post on it?

    Glad you had a wonderful time there.

    Best wishes,

    PS Our Budgie's name is Chester!

  5. Another wonderful post Debi! Imagine eating in a place that was built in 1269 !! I remember visiting this city a few years ago and being delighted to see red squirrels running around the wall - to an Australian, this was like stepping into a story book.
    "All Things French"

  6. Wow, what a fascinating little town. A nice place to put on my bucket list. I enjoy reading your blog and all your adventures.

  7. you make england so accessible to all of us on the
    'wrong' side of the pond. thank you!!!

  8. I am so, so happy that you came to visit me today, so I COULD FIND YOU!!! May I enter your give away that you mentioned? And how I ADORE THESE PHOTOS! I am a French speaker, teacher and FRANCOPHILE, but since blogging, I have come to love all things DUTCH and ENGLISH! These tudor structures are marvelous and remind me of my stay in TOURS, FRANCE. We are putting up exposed beams in our new addition, and there is such beauty in the European style. BRAVO, this is a wonderful space you have created. I so appreciate your visit and your comment! Let us meet again for TEA!!! Anita

  9. Oh dear, you are not having the giveaway! SO SORRY!!! That was the other post I was to visit....I really need a cup of tea to straighten out my mind!!!

    that is really pretty!
    lovely blog!

  11. Hi Debi, Everywhere that you visit and share becomes a must see for me. I think you have quite an ability to observe and communicate wonderful details that bring the location to life and at the same time create a mystery to know more. I have now GOT to see that clock! :) Thank you.

  12. Chester has caught my attention big time. I can not say that I remember hearing of this town. Perhaps I have seen pictures of some of the buildings and just do not remember where they were taken, but if so it is not ringing any bells with me. If I should ever get over there, this is on my list, and until then I will be reading up on Chester.
    Thank you a lot

  13. How neat!! And I'm glad you two were able to find a Sunday roast. I know that's one of Mike's favorites!