Based on Grosvenor Street and overlooking the Dee, the ruins of Chester Castle are an important landmark of the city. It stands at the city walls’ southwest end and the castle, the inner bailey and Agricola Tower open only a few times each week in season. If you are taking in Chester Castle on a city trip, below are some facts you can dazzle your fellow travellers with.
Age of the castle
Chester Castle is just over 950 years old. Norman King William the Conqueror constructed the original motte and bailey in 1070 and the perimeter walls were built in the late 12th Century. A century later, an inner bailey, drum towers and gates were also added, along with an outer gatehouse and the Great Hall.
Chester Castle was originally the site of a permanent Roman legionary fortress, one of three referred to collectively as “Deva Victrix”. Outside, England’s largest Roman amphitheatre stood, which could seat up to 10,000 people.
Royal and noble guests of Chester Castle
The castle enjoyed many esteemed guests over the years. In 1399, king-to-be Henry Bolingbroke (Henry IV) stayed twice, and King James II came to the castle in 1687 and joined in the mass. Not all castle guests stayed by choice, however. In 1442, the Duchess of Gloucester, Eleanor Cobham, was held in Chester Castle charged with conspiring against King Henry VI.
Treasure in Chester
In November 1950, a treasure hoard was discovered by workmen close to Chester Castle dating back to AD 965-970. It included 27 ingots, 547 coins and 120 items of hacksilver jewellery.
Regale your friends and family on your trip with these facts about Chester Castle on your next visit.