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)
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.
The rows are two-story shops in the centre of Chester. So there are shops on street level and on top of those shops are "balconies" that you can walk along and shops you can go into. Sort of like in a modern shopping mall.
The rows of Chester are unique covered walkways which house a fantastic array of shops restaurants and Inns. They probably date from the 13th Century. At that time buildings commonly consisted of a cellar or undercroft which was used as a shop or warehouse. In Chester, the undercrofts could not be builts below ground because of the bedrock so the halls were raised above street level with shops in front of them, with private chambers situated above. From the 16th Century, the upper chambers were enlarged and small shops were built together with the first floor walkways which formed continuous rows and a double-tiered arrangement of shops.
The rows are wonderfully restored period buildings (shops) in the main st of Chester.
Its wonderful to wander round here and imagine what it actually looked like in times gone by. You get a good idea anyhows.
The splendid black and white half-timbered buildings of The Rows in Chester's town centre are unique galleried walkways featuring shops on two levels. They have existed since Medieval times but have been rebuilt and renovated over time and a closer look reveals that most of the current buildings are in fact Victorian or even Edwardian.
This is Britain's best collection of half-timbered houses. Dating from the 13th century, they have all been well-maintained, and now comprise a group of shops, restaurants, pubs, and other businesses. It's a perfect place to just hang out.
The city has been a bustling and commercial centre since medieval times. The Rows have an unclear history, but they do offer a location to shops above street level and away from the street and weather. The shops on the upper level are interesting and meet most if not all our needs.
They are located within the confines of the four main shopping streets of the old city centre. They are somewhat unique and are approximately 700 years old - no other city seems to have this kind of building.
Chester is a quaint little Roman town in England. During my visit in November 2001, the main street of Chester was decorated with Christmas lights. The Rows of Chester are old half timbered houses with shops at street level and covered walkways on top of them. They are now occupied by shops selling a variety of goods.
A short walk from The Rows brought me through the Roman walls to the River Dee which flows through Chester.
Just in the middle of the „Rows“ (half-timbered buildings with shops on two stories), the market cross marks the centre of Chester. It was used to mark the market square and still serves as an orientation point to foreigners. Many of its kind are still preserved in Britain while most on the continent have not survived the centuries.
Unique to Chester are these half-timbered buildings with rows of shops in the ground and upper floor. The shops on the upper floors are accessible through steps. The buildings are mostly from the 16th century, but some date back to the 13th. In between, there are even some Victorian and modern ones which filled the gaps of once destroyed buildings of its kind.
The Rows are one of the best-known sights in Chester. “Crap Towns” describe them as an excuse for fitting twice as many shops as is decent into a building.
The Rows of Chester are old half timbered houses with shops at street level and covered walkways on top of them.
There's a nice mixture of unique shops and the usual shops in these houses.