Saturday, 16 July 2016

Chester, Lets spend longer here.....

So for very complicated reasons, we went to Chester today, in the car.  The car was at Barbridge which is a cute little village north of Nantwich, The Olde Barbridge Inn is also there, its highly recommended too.

I have wanted to visit Chester for over thirty years, but being that we live on the south coast and Chester is in the north of England, we are never nearby to call in.  So I am soooooo very excited to be here.

The best bit about the day was that it was sunny.  To my new Reader in Brazil, take pity on the UK as we are having a very damp and chilly summer this year, frankly I am rather hacked off with it, I have suggested to David that winter sun is getting close to being an emergency.

We drove in and found the first car park.  The first thing was Google maps to see just where the City Wall was....
Nice surprise to find it was "Right in front of your big fat nose", this is a family expression usually directed at the one one you love the most.  Right next to us was the Amphitheatre  most impressive.

Semi circle of the exposed Amphitheatre, where the children are is the north entrance.

The school under which are the remains of the rest of the Amphitheatre.

Low flying Gladiator on the loose in Chester.

The remains of the main North entrance with that Ring Road behind.

Impression of how it would have looked with north gate

The amphitheatre, which in case you didn't know was the biggest in our whole country.  It was only rediscovered in the 1920's when a school teacher of the nearby school said that the curves of the brickwork uncovered to extend the buildings of the school, could be the walls of an amphitheatre, she was laughed at, but she had the last laugh when proved correct.  

The local Council wanted to re-bury in the 1960's I think, so that the Ring Road could go bang through the middle of it, (The 1960's was a bad time for our heritage...)  the is caused a furore and the road eventually went around it quite happily.

We got up onto the walls.  There are traces of the original Roman city walls here, but by and large the walls we see today are only medieval, as if medieval is anything to be sniffed at.

That weir down there is Norman, NORMAN!!!!  The bridge was built in the fourteenth century, at that time one of only a few crossings into troublesome Wales.  Are you listening America? A fourteenth Century bridge!

C14th Bridge and the Norman weir, which was built to keep a head of water flowing to run the corn mills.

 So maybe you can tell I think Chester is a tiny bit fantastic.  Three quarters of the way around the city walls we got our first glimpse of the canal, in this place its down in a deep gorge.

So who knew that Chester invented Double Decker shop?  Not me, but they did and unaccountably this super clever feature was not adopted by any other towns.  There reasons that this style was adopted here are not really known for sure, keeping out of the filth on the roads or keeping out of the weather is another idea, but not really known for sure.  But its brilliant.

So the shops with this feature are known as The Rows.  They were in the beginning all wooden framed buildings, the Victorians rebuilt some much later in they tudor style but these were all brick structures, after the Great Fire of London it was considered too dangerous to build wooden framed houses in a city and made illegal.  A couple remain.

So double the amount of shops per building.

This imposing one is a victorian copy of a tudor style.

The walkways through from shop to shop

I might be wrong but pretty sure there were not warning signs for head injuries in medieval times...

The fronts of the shops on the first floor have interconnecting covered pavementy thoroughfares so that you can walk the length of a street inside although the fronts are open to the air.  At ground level they are not joined, so the end effect is to have these double decker layer of shops, giving so much choice to shoppers, Fantastic me thinks.

So over the course of two days we walked the city walls, visited some fine hostelries, went shopping, did a guided walking tour of the city and went to The Grosvenor Museum all in all really enjoyed ourselves.
City wall with former towers incorporated into the walk.

Beautiful period house with modern ring road going past.....

Looking down onto the modern day canal.

Canal form the city wall.

One of the last wooden framed shops

Somehow this beauty survived the canon bombardment of the English Civil War

King Charles 2nd famously stayed here and escaped the Roundheads.

Hilarious Town Cryer.

Supper was spicy salmon fillets with asparagus.


  1. We too love Chester! During George’s career in the RAF we lived close to Chester on several occasions so know it well. We still have friends living nearby and visit them and Chester as often as we can. The Rows are fantastic and were great fun for the kids when they were only 6 and 8. On a quite Sunday (when shops were closed on Sundays) as they walked/ran along the rows into the shop doorways and out onto the platform over the shops below. A great place!

  2. Dear Carol,
    Aren't The Rows extremely brilliant? Do you have any clues as to why the idea didn't spread? We have a great time and would really love to visit again,
    All well on Still Rockin' Carol? Big kiss to George,
    Lisa x

    1. Firstly George says thank you for the kiss!
      I’ve always thought that the rows were fairly common practice in towns and cities around the tudor era but these thoughts are only taken from pictures I’ve seen, obviously! I can only assume that with the passing of time, wars, redevelopment that they’ve all disappeared but if you think about it perhaps the modern day retail parks or malls are their replacements?
      We are both well on SR enjoying the sunshine while it lasts and cruising whenever we feel like it.
      Regards to you both. Carol x

  3. Brilliant post Lisa! I am having a blog catch up morning. We loved Chester too. Movies are shown at the amphitheatre on summer evenings. There is so much to see and, and the flavour of history is tangible. We are glad you and David made it up there. Hugs to you both, Jaq xxx

    1. Dear Both,
      Chester for us has been a real success! We have loved it. Rubbish internet signals in the countryside so I am all behind like a dogs tail with my blog.
      Love and a big kiss to Les,
      Lisa xx

  4. How lovely to meet you today Lisa, your blog has inspired me to apply myself and make my own record of boating life more interesting. I'm on - hedgerow jottings. Hope to meet up again, somewhere out on the cut. 🍸💐

    1. Dear Linda,
      My computer stopped working last night when I had lots of time, its working today when I have no time.
      I am very behind with the blog so you will see our photo in the days to come. Good luck with your blog and remember, for all problems just ask a small child!!!! Haha
      See you next time,

    2. No wifi at all since Waverton, I'm catching up today. Just turned towards Middlewich, love this part of the world. Happy cruising ��