Around the Walls of Chester

The Roman Walls of Chester and Shropshire Union Canal from Northgate

On the second day of my holiday I went to the city of Chester. It has an almost complete circuit of Roman Wall around the main centre. Not only that, most of it is raised, and has a path on top. I found my way into a car park without hassle, for a change, and it turned out to be literally a stones throw from the wall. So, I climbed up the nearest steps and started my walk around the ramparts!

Water Tower Street

Above the view from up on the walls, looking down into Water Tower Street from somewhere near Morgan’s Mount. The timber frames attracted me as a black and white image. A little further on I crossed the modern (1960’s) concrete Martins Gate, built to bridge the gap in the walls created by the inner ring road! This lead to Pemberton’s Parlour below.

Pemberton’s Parlour
View down onto the railway

The next section lead on to the water tower, the wall here has another hole cut in it, originally to allow the Chester and Holyhead Railway tracks to pass through. It’s possible to look down onto the tracks. The water tower is in the North-West corner, on it’s own little bit of spur wall, below.

The Water Tower

The water tower above as viewed from Bonewaldesthorne’s Tower below.

Bonewaldesthorne’s Tower

It was here that I noted the markers in the floor – obviously a planned walk, I had no map so carried on regardless just staying up on the wall. At this point the wall top seems to come down to street level and here I photographed the somewhat imposing Queens School.

A route to follow!
The Queens School
Chester Racecourse Rooftops

Passing over Watergate, I came across the Chester Race course. I liked the view across the rooftops, and it’s angles!

Chester Race Course

I crossed the road and continued along the wall, passing Chester Castle, the old walls remain but inside is a much more recent building complex that houses amongst other things Chester Crown Court. Around the corner is part of Chester University, and finally the Old Dee Bridge, spanning the River Dee, leading to Bridgegate.

Chester Castle Walls
University of Chester
Part of the Old Dee Bridge, and as the tide was out, the mudflat!

It was here that I left the wall and made my way into the city centre. Had I have carried on a little further I would have reached the Newgate, the Roman Gardens and the Amphitheatre, all of which I managed to miss entirely! Poor research on my part! The good side of that is that it’s a great reason to make a return visit. Although the weather and the light weren’t brilliant, neither was it bad, and I really enjoyed the walk on the walls. I used my Nikon F3 with the 35mm f2 mounted, and used most of a roll of Ilford Delta 100. Processed three weeks later at home in DDX developer, 1+4, 20° for 10:30 mins. If you ever find yourself in or near Chester I really recommend walking the walls!

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