Ten great facts you might not know about Chester
Here at Rickitt Partnership we feel very privileged to work in such a great city, not only is it beautiful but it also has a rich and varied heritage. We thought we would put together some fun facts about our home city. Have a read and see if any are new to you – could be really useful in a pub quiz!
- The Roman amphitheatre is the largest in the country. It had seating for no less than 7000 spectators.
- Chester has the only surviving rock cut Roman Shrine in the Country. Called Minerva’s Shrine after the goddess of war it is situated in Edgar’s field in Handbridge and is designated as a Grade I listed building by English heritage.
- There are the remains of a Roman hypocaust in the cellar at Bridge Street’s Spud U Like. If you ask nicely they might let you have a look!
- Chester’s covered walkways, The Rows, have existed in the city since at least the 13th century. They are completely unique not only in Britain but anywhere in the world.
- In 1208 a law was passed in Chester to the effect that there cannot be another market within 6 and two thirds miles of Chester Market! In 2014 this law was used to prevent a car boot sale being held at Tescos!
- Chester is the best preserved walled city in England. Its grade I listed walls originate from 100 AD and form an almost complete circuit around the city. With a total walkway length of 1.8 miles there is only a small 100-metre section which is no longer intact.
- A Tudor law dictated that Welshmen were not allowed in the city of Chester between sunset and sunrise. Another law apparently dictated that it was legal to shoot a Welshman with a bow and arrow within the city walls after midnight. There is no record of this law ever having been repealed!
- Chester’s racecourse, the Roodee, is Britain’s oldest sporting venue in continual use. The very first race took place in 1539 and replaced the particularly violent and bloody traditional local football game which was played there. The substitution was thought up by Mayor Henry Gee. It is thought that this is where the term ‘gee-gees’ (to refer to horses), comes from.
- The first person to walk across Chester’s Grosvenor Bridge was a young Princess Victoria. The bridge was opened by her mother on October 17 1832.
- The car park just before New Gate stands on the site of the “Chester Lion Brewery Co Ltd” which was founded in 1642. The figure of the Lion belonged to the brewery and, from the 1840s, it was displayed upon a tall tower on the site of the existing car park. When it was known that the brewery was to be demolished, Chester Civic Trust stepped in to save the Lion. For a number of years his home was a Curzon park garden before he was relocated back to his original home where he stands proud atop the car park’s concrete tower.
We hope you have enjoyed learning more about our fabulous city. It certainly made us look at our home city with fresh eyes. With its rich history it is no wonder that in a 2013 poll Americans ranked Chester above the likes of Venice and Prague in a list of the prettiest European cities.