Fun things to do in Chester

  • Views from the walls
    Views from the walls
    by alancollins
  • Rows
    Rows
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  • Former cloister of the monastery
    Former cloister of the monastery
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Chester

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    Ye Olde Kings Head

    by Balam Updated Feb 9, 2009

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    Built in 1622 it is a traditional timber framed black and white Tudor style building which retains the character of old Chester. Some of the many features of this historic building are the Elizabethan fireplaces and a particular timber beam taken from one of Admiral Lord Nelson's ships that sank off the coast of Blackpool, 2 Swords and a pair of old shoes were found under the floor boards of this old pub, said to be Haunted by the Ghosts of a woman and a young child among others. Certainly worth a visit for the architecture and for the ghost hunters among us.

    Ye Olde Kings Head Ye Olde Kings Head Ye Olde Kings Head Ye Olde Kings Head
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    The Rows

    by Balam Written Apr 27, 2010

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    The Medieval Merchants shops and houses, A merchants home consisted of a living hall and a shop over a stone cellar. as the sandstone bedrock was only just below the surface cellars had to be virtually at street level. All other accomodation was then pushed upwards. From the early 16th c the shops expanded outwards too and so had to be supported by wooden posts set in the street below. Eventualy more shops filled the spaces at street level and gaps between houses were built up and the galleries joined together.
    During the Civil War Chester took a great deal of damage from the guns of Oliver Cromwell who laid seige to the city for 18 months. The damage was only slowly repaired with the Georgians enclosing the Rows and adding new brick facades whilw the Victorians looked back to the middle ages and copied the half timbered apperance that now gives Chester it's unique look.
    Along the Rows you can see some facinating glimpses of history with the sloping outerboards in the galleries that used to display the wares of the shops along with some rough wattle and daub walls from the middle ages and the arched medieval cellars still visible on ground level and then under the ground and visible in some cellars there is still bits of Roman architecture.

    We observed the Original Wattle and Daub wall at The Boot Inn on Eastgate St. You can also wiew the remains of a Roman hypocaust in the cellar of Spud u Like on Bridge St (you have to ask)

    The Rows at High Cross Rows Rows on Bridge St Gallerie of the Rows on Bridge St Galleries of the Rows
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    Dewa Roman Experience

    by Balam Updated Apr 27, 2010

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    Much of the original Roman Fortress and buildings are hidden under the modern city. At Dewa Roman Experience you can get a chance to see a substantial chunk of the Roman foundations and 2000 years of history. You step abpord a Roman Galley and then experience the sights, sounds and the smells of life in a Roman Rortress.

    You can also take tours from here guided by a Roman Soldier, you will probably see a squad of children marching in formation behind a Roman Centurian while you are walking around Chester.

    Opening Times:

    Feb - Nov : 9am - 5pm Monday to Saturday
    10am - 5pm Sunday
    Dec - Jan : 10am - 4pm Daily
    Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.

    Prices:
    Adult - £4.95
    Child - £3.25
    Student/OAP - £4.50
    Family - £15.00
    Group Rate (10 or more adults/OAP’s) - £4.25
    Roman Soldier Patrol - £45.00 (maximum of 30 children)
    (1 free adult per 10 school children.)

    Entrance to Reconstructions, Main Excavations, Museum Displays and the Gift Shop have all been adapted for wheelchairs.

    Dewa Roman Experience Dewa Roman Experience Roman Patrol Roman Patrol
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    Bear and Billet

    by Balam Written Apr 27, 2010

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    The Bear and Billet is a great old pub in Chester.
    It was built in 1664 replacing a building destroyed during the civil war.
    The Bear and Billet is a great example of a black and white half timbered building.
    It was originally the town house of the Earls of Shrewsbury (the sergeants of the Bridgegate), The building has been an inn since the 18th century and it is said that the Earls of Shrewsbury leased to an innkeeper on condition that an suite of rooms was always kept available for the Earl and his family.
    In a drawing of 1820 shows it is shown as the Bridgegate Tavern but is believed to have acquired its present name not long after.
    The Bear and Billet is said to have several resident ghosts, including an old lady that greets visitors,

    Bear and Billet Bear and Billet Bear and Billet Bear and Billet Bear and Billet
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    Roman Amphitheatre

    by mickeyboy07 Written Sep 3, 2011

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    Built in the late first century A.D.its the largest Roman Amphitheatre in Britain,used for entertainment and Military training by the 20th Legion,based at the Fortress of 'Deva'(Chester).
    Excavations by English Heritage and Chester City Council in 2004-05 revealed two successive stone built Amphitheatres with wooden seating.The first included access to the upper tiers of seats via stairs on the rear wall,as at 'Pompeii',and a a small shrine next to its north entrance.
    The second provided seat access via vaulted stairways.The two buildings differed from each other and from all other British Amphitheatres,underlying the importance of Roman Chester.

    The site is open all day throughout the year and is free entry.

    View from City Walls Part of Amphitheatre part of original seating Another view from City Walls
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    Grosvenor Park

    by mickeyboy07 Written Sep 4, 2011

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    The Park is the main Ornamental park in Chester and is extremely popular residents and visitors.It is Victorian in its layout with formal avenues lined with trees,satues and lawns surrounded by shrub beds and bedding plants for which the park has become well known.
    The bedding displays are planted twice yearly to provide a colourful display throughout the spring and summer months.Most recently the park has become the focus of many cultural events such as the Summer Festival,Art in the park and Chester in Bloom shows,it is also the perfect place to relax and stroll round taking in the beautiful surroundings and feeding the Squirrels in winter.There is also a miniture railway for the kids.

    The park is free to enjoy and open everday day of the tear dwan till dusk.

    Take a stroll Heading towards the main gates Satue of Richard second Marquis of Westminster Miniture Railway
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    Roman gardens

    by mickeyboy07 Written Sep 5, 2011

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    The Roman Gardens are located just outside the City Walls near the Amphitheatre.Access is free and open to all.The gardens stretch to the River and are next to the City Walls and Souters lane.They can be accessed from Little john st near Newgate and from the Groves.the Roman gardens were designed in the year 2000 by chester city Council.
    during the 17th century this area was home to chester's flourishing Tobacco pipe industry,Kilns were set up along the city walls to produce the clay pipes for export and local use.The industry died out with the introduction of cigerettes.
    As you enter the gardens on your right is a plaque on one of the Roman stones,this is the place were on the 22nd september 1645 parlimentary cannons placed in st.johns churchyard fired some thirty two shots to create a breach in the walls at this point.Further on you come to a collection of Roman stones and columns from the Legionary baths and stones that would have been placed on top of the Roman Fortress.

    Roman Columns Entering the gardens Plaque on one of the stones The Baths Exersise Hall
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    The Boot Inn

    by Balam Written Apr 27, 2010

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    This pub is one of Chesters oldest, the building originally belonged to a Medieval Merchant but the timber frame that you see today at Row level dates from around the time it opened as a pub in 1643. The facade was rebuilt abd restored in the late 19th centuary and again in 1988. Until then the actual pub was tucked away behind a barbers shop that used to be at the front. Before that it is thought that there used to be a brothel there.
    We called in for a drink and to view the original wattle and daub wall here that can be seen on entering and on the stairs.

    The Boot Inn The Boot Inn The Boot Inn
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    The Roman Amphitheatre

    by Balam Written Apr 28, 2010

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    The Amphitheatre is the largest Roman construction in Chester but was only found by accident in 1929. It was situated outside the fortress and had walls 33ft (10m) high and 100 yards (90m) in diameter and would have been the largest of it's type in Britain being able to seat 7,000 people. Half of the arena has been revealed but the rest lays beneith more recent buildings.

    Open Daily from Easter to 30th September 10:00 - 18:00
    October to Easter 10:00 to 13:00 and 14:00 to 16:00.
    Entry is free

    The Roman Amphitheatre The Roman Amphitheatre The Roman Amphitheatre The Roman Amphitheatre
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    Chester Castle

    by Balam Written Apr 27, 2010

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    Sadly little remains of the Castle built by the Normans built from 1070 onward. it was a typical motte and bailey castle of the time. from 1788 to 1822 Thomas Harrison knocked most of the castle down to build a Shire Hall, Law Courts, Jail and barracks which are the buildings that can be seen today along with the only remaing significant survivor is the Agricola tower which dates from around the end of the 12th century.

    When we called the castle was closed and only open to booked tours.

    Chester Castle Chester Castle Chester Castle Chester Castle Chester Castle
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    The Nine Houses

    by Balam Written Apr 27, 2010

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    Although called The Nine Houses there are actualy only six of these nice looking almshouses. They date from around 1650 and are unique due to their timber framed structure on a sandstone base. These houses were saved from dereliction by the city council in 1969.
    The little plaque SMP and SOP on the houses indicates the parish boundary between St Michael's and St Olave's Churches.
    The best view of the houses is probably from the city walls.

    The Nine Houses The Nine Houses The Nine Houses
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    Roman Garden

    by Balam Written Apr 27, 2010

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    Stretching in gentle layers from Newgate down to the River Dee this lovely garden was first conceived in 1949 and developed in recent years using real Roman columns from the bath house that had previously been hidden beneith the rubble of centuries now set amongst authentic aromatic Italian trees and shrubs.
    There is a great reconstruction of a Roman Hypocaust.

    Roman Garden Roman Garden Roman Garden Roman Garden Roman Garden
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    Chester is a town of balconies

    by MarvintheMartian Written Mar 27, 2004

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    This picture taken at the corner of Bridge Street and Eastgate Street is the ancient meeting place of the principal streets of Chester. Following Bridge Street you will meet the River Dee and the Bridgegate while continuing along Eastgate Street you will lead on into Watergate Street and eventually the Watergate. On either side, you can see the openings of the remarkable covered galleries known as the Rows, an architectural feature unique to Chester.

    The Rows are simply long, covered arcades formed by running a highway through the first stories of a street of old buildings. You mount from the roadway to the Rows on frequent flights of stone steps and find yourself in the strangest shopping streets in England.

    One of the ways into the Rows

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    beautiful architecture

    by Jonathan_C Updated Oct 15, 2003

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    This is why most people come to Chester -- to stroll through a lovely, small city with some of the most beautiful architecture you'll find anywhere. Left and right, up and down, your eye and your camera will be busy taking in this magnificent collection of medieval, Georgian and Victorian architecture.

    downtown Chester
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    Chester Castle

    by mickeyboy07 Written Aug 30, 2011

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    Chester Castle is situated in the south west of the city close to the city walls and overlooks the River Dee.In the castle complex are the remaining parts of the medieval castle together with the neoclassical buildings designed by'Thomas harrison'which were built between 1788 and 1813.Parts of the neoclassical buildings are today used as crown courts and as a Military museum.The castle remains and museum are popular tourist attractions.
    The castle itself was built in 1070 by 'Hugh Lupus'the first earl of Chester,it is possible that it was built on an earlier Saxon fortification but this has not been confirmed.In the 12thcentury the wooden tower was replaced with a stone tower,during the same century the stone gateway was also built.
    During the Civil War Chester was held by the Royalists,the castle was attacked by Parlimentary forces in july 1643 and again in april 1645.After the war the castle was used as a prison,a court and a tax office.

    Looking north from the river Agricola tower and Castle walls Neo classical building(entrance to grounds) Court house and court yard Queen victoria statue in grounds
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