Chester is located in the north west of England on the River Dee. This is the county town of the county of Cheshire and the town has had a city status since the 1540s. The settlement here first came to notice in Roman times as it was the site of a Roman fort known as Deva Victrix. This base was a significant one for the Romans and in time the base here became a major Roman settlement.
Chester was known by two Welsh names originally, Deverdoeu and Caerlleon. The town was given its current name later as a shortened version of the Saxon term Legacastir under its Saxon leaders who also used the town as a fortified base. The town was, however, also widely referred to as Westchester during this time and for a few centuries later. Under Norman rule another castle was built to protect the town and to act as a protective measure against the nearby Welsh border.
The city became an important hub in medieval times. The shopping centre that exists in Chester today can be traced back to the shops known as ‘rows’ of medieval times. This is a city that is well known for its medieval roots and architecture. Once again, Chester really came into its own during the years of the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700s. The city at this point had two railway stations and close access to the Shropshire Union Canal. It was also the site of a large cattle market.
Visitors to Chester have plenty to see and do. Shoppers can visit a range of high street chains and independent shops and there are two shopping centres in the city. This is also the site of what is held to be the most complete example of city walls in the country which stretch for almost two miles around the city itself. Visitors can walk along the top of the walls here on a specially designed footpath.
There are also plenty of connections with the Romans for tourists in Chester. Visitors can visit the Roman amphitheatre and see Roman artefacts in the Roman Gardens. There is also a hypocaust reconstruction by the river. The Grosvenor Museum also holds some Roman gravestones and the Dewa Roman Museum has a reconstructed street. The medieval site of Chester Castle is also worth visiting - this is also the site of the Cheshire Military Museum.
Other sites worth a visit in the city include the Eastgate Clock which is considered to be the most photographed clock (apart from Big Ben in London) in the country. The cathedral is also popular with visitors. Located on the site of St Werburgh’s Abbey (St Werburgh was the patron saint of Chester) the cathedral can be traced back to the Normans and contains the shrine of St Werburgh. Chester is also home to Chester Racecourse.