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Local Products in Chester

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About Chester

As its name suggests, the city of Chester has Roman origins and its roman perimeter walls remain virtually intact. Located on the River Dee and close to the welsh border it was also surprisingly once a major port. However, the port soon disappeared when the river changed its course and became silted up and trade moved to Liverpool and Parkgate on the Wirral. Nevertheless, Chester remained an important location and expanded rapidly during the industrial revolution with the arrival of the canals, railways and new roads.

Chester’s architecture is characterised by the many attractive black and white timber framed buildings found in the city centre. These, however, are not all medieval buildings, as many of them date from the Victorian era and are modelled on the Jacobean half timbered style. Some also display the trademark twisted chimney stacks of the architect John Douglas. Another important landmark is Eastgate which forms part of the city walls and consists of three sandstone archways. The elaborate and much photographed clock, also designed by John Douglas was added in 1899.

An outstandingly unique feature of Chester is The Rows which dates from the medieval era. This is a continuous walkway with shops at street and first floor levels. The walkway, typically, has a balcony and is covered at first floor level. The other run of shops is set slightly lower than street level, so that customers step down into them and these are sometimes referred to as ‘the crypts’. With staircases between the two levels, this impressive feature remains an important part of the modern day shopping centre and is one of the main tourist attractions.

Chester is a city with a rich history, however, with ship building finally closing in the 1960’s the main industries now are primarily focused on retail and tourism. Nevertheless, the city remains popular and provides an attractive place to live and a peaceful retreat for commuters to nearby Liverpool and Manchester.