Stopover in Chester

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Photo of Stopover in Chester by Nirali Shah

Driving back from Wales, with time still left to catch our train to London from Manchester, we stopped over in Chester for few hours. Chester is a walled city in Cheshire, England, on the River Dee, close to the border with Wales.

Photo of Chester, UK by Nirali Shah

Chester is arguably the richest city in Britain for archaeological and architectural treasures preserved to this day from the time of the Roman occupation. It has a number of medieval buildings, but many of the black-and-white buildings within the city centre are Victorian restorations.

Photo of Northgate Street, Chester, UK by Nirali Shah

The Rows are unique in Britain. They consist of buildings with shops or dwellings on the lowest two storeys. The shops or dwellings on the ground floor are often lower than the street and are entered by steps. Much of the architecture of central Chester looks medieval and some of it is.

Photo of Eastgate Street, Chester, UK by Nirali Shah

The Rows are double-level walkways with a continuous line of balconies and with shops at street and first-floor levels. They were certainly in existence in the 14th century. Stand at Chester Cross to get an amazing view of the Rows.

Photo of Chester Cross, Watergate Street, Chester, UK by Nirali Shah

On Eastgate St. is Eastgate Clock which is said to be the most photographed clock in England after Big Ben. The original gate was built by Romans and the clock was added much later in the Victorian era to to celebrate Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee.

Photo of Eastgate Clock, Eastgate Street, Chester, UK by Nirali Shah

With the most complete set of monastic buildings in the country, a Georgian square and series of streets, the remains of Roman barracks on the Dean's field and the largest open green spaces within the walls, Chester Cathedral stands out as the most prominent building in Chester.

Photo of Chester Cathedral, Chester, UK by Nirali Shah

Chester Cathedral is built of New Red Sandstone, in this case Keuper Sandstone from the Cheshire Basin. The stone lends itself to detailed carving, but is also friable, easily eroded by rain and wind, and is badly affected by pollution and hence, this cathedral has undergone several restorations.

Photo of Chester Cathedral, Chester, UK by Nirali Shah

There are also several notable modern windows, the most recent being the refectory window of 2001 by Ros Grimshaw which depicts the Creation.

Photo of Chester Cathedral, Chester, UK by Nirali Shah

The building of the nave of six bays, and the large, aisled south transept were begun in about 1323, ceased in 1375, the year in which there was a severe outbreak of plague in England. The building of the nave was recommenced in 1485, more than 150 years after it was begun.

Photo of Chester Cathedral, Chester, UK by Nirali Shah

The west window is Perpendicular Gothic with 20th-century stained glass by W. T. Carter Shapland (1961) depicting the Holy Family with Saints Werburgh, Oswald, Aidan, Chad, Wilfrid, and Ethelfleda

Photo of Chester Cathedral, Chester, UK by Nirali Shah

The cathedral and precinct are open to visits both by individuals and by groups and the entrance is free. However, they do request that you pay min. 4GBP per person towards the restoration and maintenance of the cathedral as it costs 5500 GBP per day to keep the Cathedral open.

Photo of Chester Cathedral, Chester, UK by Nirali Shah
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