Tired of London, Tired of Life - One thing a day to do in London

A website about things to do in London

12 December 2012

Rather English - Wander the Rows of Chester

A distinctive aspect of the city centre in Chester is the Chester Rows, with half-timbered galleries, accessed via steps, forming a second row of shops above those at street level. A feature of the streets radiating from Chester Cross, they are found in Watergate, Eastgate and Northgate Streets and in Upper Bridge Street.

Though their origins of the Rows are subject to debate, it is thought that they date from at least the 13th century. A number of suggestions about how they came to be exist, with some believing that as Chester's Roman buildings slowly crumbled, medieval traders built their shops along the top of this debris accessed by a path or steps from the roadside, with subsequent alterations seeing stalls spring up along the road to display goods. Another suggestion is that the constructions were designed to help prevent a repeat of a fire that all but destroyed the city in 1278. Whatever their origins they are an interesting feature of Chester.

For more, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chester_Rows
^Picture © orangeacid used under a Creative Commons license^


From November 2012 until January 2013, Tired of London, Tired of Life will briefly be posting as RatherEnglish.com and featuring interesting things to do in England

1 comment:

  1. Chester is a place that I would have spent a day or two in, then moved on. But the architecture is so special, I did an organised tour of the Rows and loved every moment of it. Is there any other city with a similar architectural arrangement, even vaguely similar?

    Just one comment about the materials used. If fire was a constant nightmare to medieval cities, why reuse timber post-fire?

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