Chester is a walled cathedral city in Cheshire, England, situated on the River Dee, close to the border with Wales. With a population of 79,645 in 2011, it’s the most populous settlement of Cheshire West and Chester county. The whole county had a population of 329,608 in 2011. Chester serves as the unitary authority’s administrative headquarters.
Chester is the second-largest settlement in Cheshire after Warrington. It’s also the historic county town of the ceremonial county of Cheshire.
In 79 AD, Chester was founded as a ‘castrum’, or Roman fort. It was given the name Deva Victrix in Emperor Vespasian’s reign. One of the main army camps in Roman Britain, Deva, later became a major civilian settlement. In 689, King Æthelred of Mercia founded the Minster Church of West Mercia. This later became Chester’s first cathedral. The Angles extended and strengthened the walls to protect the city against the Danes. Chester was one of the last cities in England to fall to the Normans. William the Conqueror ordered the construction of a castle to dominate the town and the nearby Welsh border. Chester was granted city status in 1541.
Chester is one of the best-preserved walled cities in Britain. It contains many medieval buildings. Most of the black-and-white buildings within the city centre are Victorian restorations, originating from the Black-and-white Revival movement. Apart from a 100-metre (330 ft) section, the Grade I listed walls are almost complete. The Industrial Revolution brought railways, canals, and new roads to the city, which entailed substantial expansion and development. Chester Town Hall, and the Grosvenor Museum, are examples of Victorian architecture from this period. Tourism, the retail industry, public administration and financial services are important to the modern economy.
Our Experiences of Chester
Having visited Chester many times both on and off the boat, it’s one of our favourite cities in the UK. We’ve also traded here from the boat at a couple of floating markets.
Barry had his citizenship ceremony at the Town Hall here back in February 2020, presided over by the Sherriff of Chester and the Queen’s Lieutenant. Chester’s also a handy place to reach Sandra’s eldest daughter Lisa and her family at Malpas by bus.
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