Thursday, April 7, 2022

Chester, Part 1

This is the city of Chester, which was originally the Roman City of Deva (as Northsider rightly pointed out.) I believe this is Newgate, which is relatively new, but built adjacent to the existing wall built in 1100. See the pile of stone in the right of this picture? This is part of the original Roman walls, built in 79 AD or thereabouts. 

On the other side of the street is a Roman Ampitheater. There were school children having a tour while Cara and I were there. They each had a shield and sword. 

That building up high in the background. That is St John the Baptist Church built in 689, by orders of Aethelred (and his queen Aethelflaed too, from some readings). You can understand my excitement to hear those names again at home. Tim was quite caught up in Netflix 'The Last Kingdom'

The old part of the church is in ruins. See that dark shape to the right of the entrance? 

Here's a closer look. It is a coffin found in the ground as the original building was being constructed. It was built right into the wall. Dust to Dust, indeed. 

You can see how the Norse Ruins are attached to the present church. 

This is a shot of the interior of the church. The wall painting of St John the Baptist would be to the left hand side. It was dark and my picture was not great. After 1300 years, it is badly faded. I bought a book that has a better picture of it than I could have ever taken. 

This is a picture of the wall that surrounds most of the city. The Roman foundation is still visible here, It has been built, and rebuilt through the years, but traces of the city's Roman roots still can be found. 

You can still walk in the footsteps of the old guards who were posted here to protect this old city. This is the view from the top of Eastgate which was the original entrance to Deva. 

The clock visible at the top of the steps? 

That is the second most photographed clock in the UK. The Eastgate clock was built in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. 

A Roman Temple to Minerva. You can still clearly make out the owl to the right of the side of the stone work. 

The River Dee. 

We need more of these signs. 

That's it for today. We are still hard at work. For your pleasure, I leave you with a conversation from a renovation: 

Husband muttering to himself. 

Wife: 'What is the problem?'

Husband snaps: 'Let me figure it out!' (Muttering gets more frustrated.)

Wife listening: 'I guess I don't see what the problem is, because we just do (x) and (y), don't you think?'

Husband does not reply. 

5 minutes later, he grins and says, "You know what we're going to do?" and repeats what wife suggested five minutes ago. 

Tim is very smart, but he has always said that he likes that I can come up with workable solutions in very short order. I think that it is because he thinks like a builder. I am a rank amateur, and so I think outside the box and manage to come up with solutions that do not occur to his builder mind. I remind him of this. "So why do you have to bite my head off when I'm trying to figure out what the problem is? Why can't we just discuss it without snapping?" 

Husband smiles as he listens and gets back to work. 

I guess love means you never have to say you're sorry. 

He can be a bit of an asshole sometimes. 

Disclaimer: So can I. 


  1. I love all of the photos and hearing about your trip. I might have to get out and explore the world someday. I have only been to Japan, Canada and Mexico. Good luck with the renovation and it is good that you folks understand your unspoken language. Take care.

  2. That last bit made me smile.

    Love all the old photos. It's amazing how long people have been building things and that some of these things still stand.

  3. Another wonderful post with fun photos. I hope there'll be more! (on that last bit... I think most all of us can be)

  4. Chester is a fascinating place to visit. So much history still all around us.
    The conversation in your final paragraph sounds so very familiar to me!

  5. Isn't it wonderful to see something built 2,000 years ago.
    I've seen photos of the clock before but I didn't know where it was. It shows quarter an hour to noon, soon time to eat.

  6. I can see you taking in all the history there is to see in the UK.

  7. Those buildings are OLD! Laughed at your couples conversation. At least he didn't chop your head off like in the olden days.
    My parents used to cook together in the kitchen, always seeming to snap at each other at how to better prepare something. My young son asked me why they always argued in the kitchen. I told him it wasn't arguing, it was discussing how to do stuff, and if he was hungry, he needed to let them continue until the meal was served. I think he and his wife do the same now. Linda in Kansas

  8. Interesting photos from your trip. Nothing quite like some good snapping between couples to spark the atmosphere.

  9. Great Post Debby. It brings back memories when I lived near there for three years.

  10. I have Chester envy as I've never been there and would like to go

  11. I never tire of seeing old castle walls older than the country I am from by a factor of 10.

    I started watching the Last Kingdom again. We'll see how far it goes.

  12. What a super interesting tour and a nice little anecdote too. Commit No Nuisance is quite wonderful.

  13. There was so much there, Sue. Highly recommend going. We did a tour there. The guide was elderly, and so very sweet. A very nice person, very knowledgeable. She kept wanting to show us post cards. We were standing in the middle of the most amazing history I have personally ever seen, and she wanted to show us pictures!

    But it was an amazing place. Cara and Colin had been there before and considered it a 'must see'. They were absolutely right. It really is of great benefit to have tour guides who live in the country you are exploring.

  14. PS: I have never seen the beginning of The Last Kingdom. Tim was well into it when I got home, so I've missed about a quarter of it. I do have to say season five is getting a bit wearing. How many times can Uhtred save Saxon butt? And get treated badly for doing it?

  15. Those photos are terrific to see, Debby! Thanks so much for sharing them and giving such good explanations of what they are. I will never get there and so I am happy to share your trip with you!
    You and Tim know how to work together - for better or worse, through thick and thin! :)

  16. I was brought up a stone's throw from Chester and, over my lifetime, have spent many many hours there. I've not been there for a couple of years because my brother (who lives a couple of miles away from Chester) comes up to stay with me these days and I rarely go down there. So thanks for the memories.

    As for the exchange with hubby I'm perplexed. That would drive me bonkers.


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