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Hidden Chester Hidden Chester

Hidden Chester

Heritage Open Day

I took the opportunity to investigate some of the places not normally open to the public during last weekend's heritage open day organised by the Civic Trust and English Heritage. What follows are a few photos and a brief history of places visited during last weekend.

The Water Tower

The Water Tower is located on the end of a spur wall on the north west corner of the city walls.
The Water Tower or as it was called then 'new tower' was constructed in the time of Edward II (1322-25) at a cost of one hundred pounds. John de Helpston was the mason in charge.

The tower was constructed to control shipping and taxes into the port of Chester. And originally projected out into the waters of the River Dee. Boats could be moored around the base. But over time the Dee silted up and the tower has been left high and dry, now 100 yards from the waters edge.

Battlement on the spur wall converted into a Civil War gun port during the siege of Chester.

Garderobe or Loo in the entrance to the Water Tower from the spur wall.

Inside the ground floor of the tower.

The upper floor of the Water Tower is accessed by a spiral stair case. It once contained a Victorian Museum of Curiosities which was opened in 1838 by the Mechanics Institute. It once contains such items as a head of a Maori chief. A drinking vessel belonging to William the Conqueror. And a skull of a Civil War soldier. The museum closed in the 1850's. It was used as a props room in the 1960's. It now contains a small display on the history of the Water Tower.

The Chapel of St. Anselm

The Chapel of St. Anselmis a small Chapel located at the rear entrance to the Cathedral. Accessible through and gate and across the roof of the Cathedral shop.

Built in 1150 as the private chapel of the abbot whose lodging was adjacent to the north east of the chapel. When the Diocese of Chester was created in 1541 the abbots lodging because the Bishops Palace and the chapel his private chapel. The plaster ceiling, screen and altar rails and the stonework of the east window date from the time of Charles I. The chapel was restored in 1915-16 by Sir Giles Scott.

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The Roman fortress Dewa
The Blue Bell
Olde Leche House

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