Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Chester wall


IMG_6970Today we decided to walk the wall of Chester. It’s nearly 2 miles long and is steeped in history.There now follows a short history lesson….

Chester's city walls are the most complete circuit of a Roman and Medieval defensive town wall in Britain. For 2000 years the walls have evolved to provide a unique thread through time, linking all the main episodes in Chester's history.

In the 70's AD the Romans built wooden defences. The legionary fortress of Deva was the main base for the Roman army in North Wales and North-West England. An area shaped like a playing card was enclosed by a turf rampart and protected by a wooden palisade, towers and gateways.

In 100 AD the fortress was rebuilt in stone. Stone walling was added to the front of the earth rampart. The towers and gateways were rebuilt in stone. These strong stone defences survived long after the collapse of the Roman Empire in about 400AD.

In 907 AD the Saxon's refortified Chester. The Mercian princess Aethelflaeda, created a burgh or fortified town as a defence against Viking raids. The Saxons re-used the old Roman walls and perhaps extended earth banks down to the river.

Between 1120 AD and 1350 AD the circuit of walls was completed. Chester's Norman earls repaired and restored the existing walls and built the southern and eastern sides facing the river. In the Middle Ages, tall projecting towers and impressive gateways were added.

Between 1642 AD and 1646 AD Civil War defences were built. The Royalists built extensive earth banks to protect the suburbs. The walls and towers were battered and breached by cannon fire, until the city was starved into surrender.

In the 18th century the walls became a fashionable promenade. Once the walls had outlived their military usefulness, they were converted to a walkway around the city. The gateways were replaced by elegant arches. Many of the towers were pulled down or altered.

Today the City Wall is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, owned and maintained by Chester City Council. The Walls form a remarkable 2 mile (3km) circular walk around the historic city giving a vivid reminder of what a medieval fortified town was like. There are numerous entry and exit points. Using them is free and, as a public thoroughfare, they are open at all times. They can be experienced as a complete walk or in shorter, convenient sections. A walk around the complete circuit takes about an hour but may take longer (perhaps two hours or more) if you want to stop and take in the sights.

IMG_6964Passing Chester racecourse and why would you pay to go in on race day . The View from the wall must be better than anywhere on the course as you can see the whole track. With online betting , I think next time we are here we will give it a go .

IMG_6869Chester cathedral is supposed to be well worth a visit, although we couldn't go inside as they don't allow dogs. It’s strange how some places of worship allow well behaved Dogs in and others don’t. Never mind it’s their loss.

IMG_6887It looks like a broken Canon ,but in fact it’s a piece of art . I did try to move one of the canon balls but it seemed to be bolted to the ground.

IMG_7005With the arrival of number one Granddaughter Curly for the Summer holidays we left Chester and cruised the eight miles to Ellesmere Port and then a visit to the canal museum.

IMG_7011For a nine year old girl it’s surprising that Curly has such an interest in the history of the canals and the knowledge she has is just amazing. Not only doe’s she know the sound of a Bollinder engine but she even knows what one looks like. But then I suppose she spends so much time with us on the canals it’s not that surprising. She particularly liked the back cabin on this boat as it’s like the one on friends Sharon and Rich’s Nb Oakapple , She would like us to get a similar boat so that she could have her own room when ever she comes to stay.

IMG_7007This is where the boats awaiting restoration are stored . I think it’s more of an area where boats are waiting to die. You can see that there have been attempts to keep them afloat with pipes which obviously at one time had pumps attached to them  ,but for most of them it seems the end is very close.

After a most enjoyable visit to the canal Museum we headed back out of Ellesmere Port and picked up a mooring near Chester Zoo . I did tease Curly a bit saying that I could hear Lions roaring in the distance. Needless to say she thought I was just being a silly old Granddad  (Yet again).

                                                                                                           Happy Days

1 comment:

  1. Wooden boats awaiting restoration are apparently better preserved under water than floating. Something to do with not allowing the wood to dry out I believe! Cheers, John, NB Samsara.