Sunday, February 03, 2013

Chester, the Walled Roman City

I've often said that in the U.S. a three hundred year old building is a museum; in England it's new construction.  My sister lives in a 300 year old farm house (updated of course).  Chester spans nearly two millenia starting as a Roman fort around 79 ad.  For a thorough history check this article on Wikipedia:

That all said, Chester is a tremendously photogenic city.  The walls that surround the city provide a great vantage point for photos and allows you to access all parts of the city without plying the streets which can be crowded with shoppers.  Chester is, above all, a marketplace.  As cynical as that may sound, it's been that way for centuries. The main streets have two levels of shops.

I'd like to be able to provide some iconic photo that would identify Chester unambiguously but I don't think it's possible so I'll just splatter some up here with explanations and see what happens.  Where I have it, I'll provide the plaque associated with the thing I photographed. As it is, the photos are mostly tagged with lat and lon info so if you download one, your photo viewing software may be able to place the photo on Google Maps. Fun and a magnificent time waster.

The following pictures are semi-random photos - they are in order of a walk around the wall and then some others in the city.  I had originally purchased a tablet to write and update this blog but I realized very quickly, even with a new keyboard app loaded (hacker's keyboard) it was painful to write and manage the HTML in a manner I wanted to do it.  So now that I'm home I can post these entries.

New Gate from wall
Looking along the wall towards Newgate
new gate explanation  board
Explanation board for Newgate
Newgate from the north wall

Newgate looking out from the city

Looking along River Dee towards Handbridge

Handbridge showing weir

Handbridge from the downstream side

A view of Chester Castle

A better view of Chester Castle. You can't get a real feel of the massiveness it projects, though.

Almost everything you want to know about Chester Castle

A view along the wall to the Chester Racecourse. This is the oldest horse racing circuit in England

Water Tower

And it's history

Another view of the water tower

Looking from the wall towards the narrow boat canal and basin

Northgate Locks

Narrowboat canal that runs along the north wall

King Charles Tower

History of King Charles Tower

Another view of King Charles Tower

Looking along the wall with the Chester Cathedral on the right

Eastgate Clock, the second most photographed clock in the world - Big Ben being the first.

Backside of Chester Cathedral
Eastgate Clock from Eastgate Street

Another closeup of the Eastgate Clock
View down one of the market streets and also proof that there are sunny days in England


Chester Town Hall
Bridge of Sighs

Bridge of Sighs Explanation

Chester Town Hall in the snow

Another market street in the snow

The area where Water Street meets Eastgate Street and Northgate Street.  You can see the two level shops, on the street level and on a walkway above the street level shops.  This area is called 'The Cross' but you can't see the monument in this photo.

Eastgate Clock in the snow, art picture.

Chester Cathedral view during a flurry

Well, that's about it for Chester.  Clearly the pictures were taken on multiple days.  You can wander around (and I have) every day for a long time and still find something new to see. 

Highly recommended: Albion Pub it's very near Newgate and the Roman Gardens. - good food, reasonably priced, and the sign states they don't want large parties, noisy kids, drunks, and racetrack patrons.