As well as his famous, "The Water of Life" in the cloister garden of the cathedral, Stephen Broadbent has another bronze sculpture in Chester, in front of the Town Hall. His "Celebration of Chester" was erected in 1992.
Yes, I know in the photo there are only six of them. They are the ones that remain of an original row of nine timber-framed almshouses built in the 17th century for poor pensioners of Chester. Residents had to be aged 65 or over and not drink or smoke.
This tiny bridge at the top of Northgate Street was once used to move prisoners from the jail across to the chapel on the other side to receive last rites before execution. Both the jail and the chapel have now gone leaving the bridge behind as an inaccessible curiosity with a gruesome history. It's also said to be a haunted site in Chester.
With Chester being on the borders with England and Wales, and if you have time to spare pop over the border and see some of the lovely places in North Wales.
Conwy is not unlike Chester in that it is encircled by its ancient walls. Built by Edward I to defend his territory in 1283. Here as in Chester you can walk around the walls, see beautiful views of the coast and the mountains of Snowdonia.
Upon entering Conwy the first thing you see is the Castle which you can still walk around to this day. A beautiful house called Aberconwy House which is now owned by the National Trust can also be visited.
Here also on the quayside is the smallest house in the world and is in the Guiness Book of Records stating such. If you are driving in from Chester just before you reach the castle on your left you can see the little house over on the quayside, it is a red building.
There is mostly a one way system in operation in the town. Parking is available in a largish carpark on the far side of the castle/station.
Chester Zoo is a very popular place and is only 2 miles north of Chester in Upton-by-Chester.
Havent been for a while so havent got a recent picture so will put one of the ducks on the river instead :-)
For further information on the zoo click on the link
This section of wall takes you from the Northgate area down towards St Martin's gate and further towards the race track. The view here is towards North Wales.
On this day in March the lighting was fantastic, unfortunately my camera did not get it quite right.
This part of the wall is opposite the Canal Locks on the way down towards the race track. The wall was originally Roman but has been built and rebuilt by many through the ages with alot of the structure from Medieval times.
The city walls take you through the centre of the city itself , along by the canel (where this picture was taken) and the race track towards the River Dee. Eventually you'll end up back at the Eastgate Clock (if that's where you started). Allow a couple hours or more to walk right around, however if you're like me you'll just see bits at a time!
Between Northgate and the Racetrack just past St Martin's bridge (one of the new bridges) are a series of Canal Locks.
It's fascinating to watch canels working there way through the series of locks during the summer.
For a quiet moment in a beautiful spot you should stop at the ruins of old St. John's, between the Roman Garden and Grosvenor Park. This site has been sacred since at least the seventh century and the soothingly warm arches and walls, open to the sky, continue to provide an inviting space for contemplation.
A town like Chester, where tourism is the main industry, is not a place to look for quaint customs and ancient traditions that have survived the onslaught of Western media. Much of the center city is filled with international tourists and those who cater to them.
Along the Dee, however, you will find a different kind of tourist area that caters to middle class English from the greater Manchester area. Here you can soak up the lovely Midlands accent and watch families pushing prams, feeding squirrels and enjoying a Saturday or Sunday out of the house. As a traveller it is important to stop occasionally and observe the mundane along with the exotic.
You don't have to be a geologist to appreciate the beautiful, warm tones of the local sandstone. The walls are made almost entirely of it and you can see it in-situ along the canal or in Edgar's field across the old Dee bridge.
When you get to the old Dee bridge go ahead and cross over to the Handbridge side. There you'll share a quiet moment in Edgar's field with the Minerva shrine and some excellent outcroppings of the local red sandstone. Just above these is St. Mary's, a lovely spot for a rest.
A walk along the canal is the opposite of walking the walls in almost every way: it's low instead of high, watery instead of airy, lonely instead of crowded. After a busy day of touristing, the canal path provides some much needed solitude.
After you've seen the sights and endured the crowds you should drop down to the canal to watch life in the slow lane. With any luck at all you'll see a barge making its way through the locks. Everything is hand operated making the passage a return to simpler and slower times. It looks like a very pleasant way to see the country for those with infinite time.