HISTORY OF CHESTER | SIGHTSEEING | GUIDED WALKS
HISTORY OF CHESTER
Chester's history stretches back 2000 years to the time of the Roman invasion of Britain when the Romans built Fortress Deva on the River Dee, as a military base with its deep water harbour to control the native population and to suppress the Welsh tribes.
After the Norman invasion in 1066, England was laid waste by William the Conqueror, his nephew, Hugh Lupus, nicknamed "the Wolf", was given the responsibility of controlling Cheshire. His cruel campaign was rewarded with the gift of the Earldom of Chester, and Chester Castle was built as the centre of the Earldom. When the 7th Earl died in 1237, the Earldom reverted to the Crown and since 1301 the heir to the throne has usually held the title Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.
During the Middle Ages, Chester became the most important port in North West England and trade flourished for many years.
This peaceful prosperity was broken in the 17th century by the English Civil War when the armies of Charles I and Cromwell battled for control of state. Chester supported the Crown and was besieged by Parliamentarian forces for two years after the Battle of Rowton Moor in 1645.
Chester's prosperity revived during the 18th and 19th centuries, although as the River Dee silted up, Chester's prosperity as a trading port died away. With the industrial revolution and the building of canals, railways, bridges and roads, and the establishment of new industries in Chester, prosperity returned and was reflected in the many Georgian and Victorian houses built during the 19th century.
Today Chester is a bustling prosperous city with a wealth of history to explore - the two miles of City walls, the largest Roman Amphitheatre in Britain, the oldest racecourse in the country and the unique, world famous "Rows".
back to top | GUIDED WALKS
Chester has a wealth of places to visit and explore:
Call in at the many exhibitions and museums in Chester:
If you just want to relax, enjoy the peace of the Grosvenor Park with its colourful display of flowers, cruise down the River Dee on the "Lady Diana", spend the day at Chester Zoo, the largest Zoo outside London with its spectacular gardens, cruise on a horse-drawn canal boat from Tower Wharf, or spend the day at the races, the oldest in Britain, staged on the Roodee, once site of the massive Roman harbour.
Antique shops proliferate throughout Chester and enhance the sense of history within its walls. Internationally famous stores ranging from Jaeger to Emma Somerset, Marks and Spencer to Habitat, Laura Ashley to Waterstones and the smaller traditional specialist shops, offer a comprehensive range of top quality merchandise shopping for the visitor.
Chester enjoys a host of restaurants offering international cuisine of the highest standards. There is a superb choice of eating places ranging from fast food and takeaway outlets to international menus suiting the pockets and tastes of every visitor. More and more pubs in the City offer lunchtime and evening fare and there are several traditional English teashops and cafes.
back to top | SIGHTSEEING