21 June 2013

Day 2 - Chester

Today was a gorgeous day out, and perfect for touring around the city. I decided to go for a walk on the city walls; they are the original walls from the medieval city and portions are from the Roman city, 
Peering into someone's backyard:
Part of a medieval round tower - most of the towers were destroyed during the English Civil War:
The Chester Cathedral as seen from the wall:
The walls are only two miles in total, so with stopping to read plaques and look at things, it only took a little over a hour to walk. Then I had a little bit of time before the guided tour, so of course I stopped in at the library:
The tour was given by a Blue Badge guide and was really good for an introduction to the city and it's history. And on the tour I learned that the pictures I posted yesterday of the city centre were mostly Tudor-inspired buildings, constructed during the Victorian period. So here are some actual "black and white" buildings from the 16th & 17th centuries:
After the tour, I decided to go visit the Cathedral, which was free to enter! Unfortunately the nave, which is the main part of the church, was closed off as they are hosting the Chester Mystery places inside the Cathedral and they were setting up the stage. 
The cloister walkway:
Inside the Chapter Vestibule:
The quire, where I sat during the Evensong service:
The Cathedral was first constructed in the 11th century, with renovations and reconstructions done many times over the years. In this picture on the left you can see a part of the original Norman architecture, with the rounded arches , and on the right an archway from later:
After touring the Cathedral, I went to the Grosvenor Museum which showcased the history of Chester with lots of items found from all periods of history, all found in the city during excavations. Then I decided to go to the Evensong service at the Cathedral, which was wonderful. It was an all girls choir singing, and it was even a special service dedicated to St Werburgh, whose relics were once in the cathedral but then disappeared during the Reformation. She is the patron saint of Chester, and her tomb was a place of pilgrimage. 

Chester is really a fun city, especially if you like shopping! The people I've met have all been really friendly, so I definitely recommend a trip here. Tomorrow is a bus tour to the Lake District - the forecast is calling for temps in the 50s,  cloudy, and rain - I'm hoping it's wrong!

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