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Pictures of Chester Castle

a Castle in the town of Chester, in the county of Cheshire

About Chester Castle

The extensive ruins of Chester Castle can be found on a hillside overlooking the River Dee in close proximity to where the county borders with Wales. At its interception the castle, built on the orders of William the Conqueror around 1069, the castle was a timber construction. It was Henry III who later added the stone ramparts and towers. The medieval appearance of the castle remained until the latter part of the 18th-century when Henry's battlements and defensive walls were mostly torn down to make way for new buildings to a design by Thomas Harrison who became County Surveyor for Cheshire. Severe in appearance, the buildings completed in 1813 comprised of a new barrack block and the Assize County Court.

Visitors to the castle are often surprised at how much there is to see. Despite the passing centuries and damage inflicted, such as at the time of the English Civil War, there is still much of the original building left. This includes the impressive gatehouse, and although much faded now there are original wall paintings and some beautiful stone vaulting to be seen.

The Agricola Tower houses the Chapel of St. Mary de Castro. This remains consecrated and is used as the regimental chapel of the Cheshire Regiment.

With over one thousand years of history the castle makes an interesting visit. A castle building was used as Chester Mint for the Great Recoinage of 1696 and trials were held in the Great Hall of the Outer Bailey when the castle was used as a prison. Just the Gaoler's quarters and one row of cells remain as a reminder of the days when up to 100 men and women were kept at Chester Castle in conditions often described by reformists of the 18th-century as being little better than "The Black Hole of Calcutta". For those not wishing to make the trek round there are good displays in the guardroom of the Inner Bailey, these tell you of the history of the castle and how it looked over the changing centuries.

Visitors to the gun towers can enjoy superb views over the south and west of the city.

The castle buildings may be visited almost all the year round.

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