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Millennium Trail Marker The Abbey Gateway

Northgate Street, Chester (1 Minutes walk from the cross)




Chester Millennium Festival Trail
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16th January 2022 - The archway is currently open and is undergoing restoration.

Bollard Entry System Installed. Press buzzer on intercom to lower bollard


The Abbey Gate stands opposite the Town Hall, and is the entrance to Abbey Square. The Abbey Gate was built in the 13th century, and was rebuilt in 1591. The room above the gateway was used as a court for the pleas of the abbey and a registry. It was used to hold George Marsh in during his trial in the Lady Chapel of the cathedral.

The Abbey Gate was constructed of sandstone. It has a large outer semi-circular arch. Inside is the pointed main entrance arch. There is a small gate of pedestrian access. And on either side of the main entrance arch two niches.


The Abbey Gate Way looking up from inside 1 The Abbey Gate Way looking up from inside 2

The Abbey Gate Way looking up from inside 3 The Abbey Gate Way looking up from inside 4

The Abbey Gate Way looking up from inside 5 The Abbey Gate Way looking up from inside 6

The Abbey Gate Way looking up from inside 7

Civil War

On the 22nd October 1651 Sir Thomas Featherstonhaugh was beheaded in front of the Abbey Gate. He was tried and executed for corresponding with royalists.

Approach the the Abbeygate in the Evening The Abbey Gate Way from inside
Abbey Gateway 1 Abbey Gateway 2

The St. Werburgh Fair

The Gaints

The Abbot's fair was held in front of the gate for 3 days from the feast of the translation of St Werburgh on the 21st of June. On Whitsun the Mystery plays were performed by the members of the cities 25 companies. The earliest recorded performance of the plays was in 1566 or 1567. But they are said to be much older than this.

Millennium Trail Marker 1 Abbey Square - Inside the Gate

Next to the night stairs on the right is a blocked medieval arched doorway. This is the old porters lodge, it was used to hold protestant martyr George Marsh during his trial at Chester Cathedral.

Chester Millennium Festival Trail
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The horse Pool, Now Filled in 1

Abbey Square Sign 1 Abbey Square Sign 2

Inside the gate is a fine Georgian square of houses called Abbey Square. It was built on the old Abbey bakehouses and brewery in the mid 18th Century. In the centre was an area known as the horse pool. On New Year's eve 1523 Roger Ledsham, gatekeeper, fell into the pool and drowned. In 1584 the pool was filled in. There is now a green with a column from the old exchange standing in the centre. The column was erected in 1756.

Column from the Old Exchange   Spire from the Old Exchange

The two older cottages near the Cathedral back entrance are older than the square. They were built by Bishop John Bridgeman in 1626.

Old Cottages in Abbey Square Old Cottages in Abbey Square

The Little Abbey Gate Way

The Little Abbey Gate Way

A little further up Northgate Street opposite the Odeon cinema is the Little Abbey gateway.

Chester Cathedral

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The Web Master has Visited this establishment Date Visited Saturday 1st July 2022


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Chester's Midsummer Watch Parade Part I

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