We have seen many medieval buildings on our journey, so we anticipated seeing some familiar sights when we arrived in Chester. But no, our jaws dropped as we walked down the streets of this stunning city. We hadn’t seen anything like their architecture before – until, wait – don’t those magnificent half-timbered beauties remind one suspiciously of Liberty’s in London? Yes, there are many Victorian reproductions of Tudor and Jacobean buildings here, and they are glorious.
We strolled through the main streets yesterday, which are still just where the Romans put them. The original Roman walls are still around two sides of the city they built, and many remnants remain of that era, including the half-uncovered amphitheatre.
Part of the wall on which we walked was King Charles’s Tower, built in 1613, on the ruins of the original Roman tower. He climbed up the tower and watched his army retreat from Cromwell’s forces, before he was forced to flee after the Battle of Rowton Heath in 1645. Quite something to see.
There are a number of very respectably old buildings in Chester, and for some, 600 years have passed. The first building shown here is the oldest, built in 1274. We are staying next to the racecourse, which was opened in 1539. And then there are so many from the early 17th century. Sigh.
And then there is the center of this gorgeous city, with old and (relatively) new buildings following a very old pattern, where the cellars were where the craftsmen produced the goods that were sold on the floor above.
This may just be one of the most striking cities we have seen yet. It gets full marks for preserving so much of the past and for its sheer beauty. So when we win the lottery…