Chester is home to so many historical buildings, amazing architecture and a rich heritage. This is what draws tourists to visit. However, there are some interesting facts that even the locals don’t really know about. Here are 15 interesting facts about Chester that you probably didn’t know.
1. The Roman amphitheatre is the largest in the country. With seating for 7000 spectators the theatre was used for entertainment and military training. This is located on Little St John Street.
2. Chester is home to the oldest sporting venue in Britain. The Roodee, Chester’s racecourse, has hosted horse racing since 1539. This has made the venue the oldest sporting venue in continued use.
3. Down Chester Rows are historical and unique buildings. Now double-levelled shopping rows, the building’s have been an architectural marvel since the 13th century. Chester is best known for these buildings.
4. In 1403, the Prince of Wales passed a law that stopped any Welsh folk from visiting Chester and banished them from the city. However, King Henry V ordered that no Welshmen should enter the city before sunrise or after sunset.
5. In 616, Chester got its name. Æthelfrith of Northumbria defeated a Welsh army during the Battle of Chester. This was later established the Anglo-Saxon position in the area from then on.
6. In 2022, Chester was voted the most beautiful city in the world, thanks to a mathematical formula. The Golden Ratio measures things that are “inherently pleasing to the eye”. The Three Old Arches holds the second highest scoring building, at 99%.
7. In 2020, Chester was named the safest city-based university institution in the North West. It ranked 24th in the whole country out of all universities.
8. There are many celebrities from Chester including James Bond’s Daniel Craig, comedian and game show host Bob Mills, Crystal Palace player Andy Dorman and Steps member Lee Latchford-Evans.
9. Beneath the city streets, there is evidence of an ancient brown town and fortress. It’s believes that this dates back nearly 2,000 years.
10. Located in Edgar’s Field is an old building that looks like a weathered rock. Minerva Shrine is where people came to honour Minerva, who was the Roman equivalent of Athena, goddess of war, art, wisdom and craftsman. It’s possible that the building was carved as a shire to her, out of natural rock, around 2,000 years ago.
11. Chester has the most complete city walls. These walls were first built in the 10th Century during the Saxton period. However, the walls were not completed until about 100 years later. The circuit of the walls is nearly two miles long.
12. A person from Chester is called a Cestrain.
13. A substantial amount of land in Chester is owned by the 7th Duke of Westminster who owns the Eaton Hall estate.
14. The Castle became the base for expeditions against North Wales in the 12th and 13th centuries. Following the Norman Conquest, Earl Hugh Lupus built the motte and bailey castle from timber.
15. In the Mediaeval period, Chester became the largest port in the North West.
And there you have it: 15 interesting facts about Chester that you probably didn’t know. For more information, tips and tricks, check out our blog page or follow us on Instagram and Facebook.