Castles and Fortifications of England and Wales


Photo Charles Taylor

Chester was chosen to be one of the three main Roman army bases in England and the first defences were built near the river which was wide enough to allow it to be used as a major port. The first Roman defences were a 15 foot high turf wall with timber buildings inside which were started c.AD78. In AD102 the wall was rebuilt in stone with 4 gates and 26 towers.

The present city walls to the east and north sides are mainly Roman in construction but were refurbished at the beginning of the 13th century. The west and south walls were demolished and replaced by a new wall with gateways and towers to enclose a larger area including the castle. The wall is two miles long and is the only complete one in the country.

The Norman castle was constructed of timber in 1069 but was later rebuilt in stone in the early 13th century. Only one tower from this time remains, the Agricola Tower, as the remainder was demolished at the end of the 18th century for new Court buildings. By this time the river had silted up preventing access by shipping and the city had become less important.

Photo Charles Taylor Photo Charles Taylor Castle from the river - photo Matthew Emmott Pembertons Tower - photo Matthew Emmott
Round Tower - photo Matthew Emmott Watch Tower - photo Andrew Tivenan Agricola Tower - photo Matthew Emmott West walls - photo Matthew Emmott
City wall & Roman tower - photo Charles Taylor North walls and canal - photo Charles Taylor Water Tower - photo Charles Taylor King Charles Tower - photo Charles Taylor


The castle is in the south west corner of the town wall
Chester CH1 2AN



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