Chester is full of archaeological and architectural treasures dating back to it's foundation in AD70 by the Romans. The Romans named the city Deva Victrix: Deva from the name of the river (now the Dee) and Victrix from the name of the 20th (XX) Legion the "Valeria Victrix" which was garrisoned in the fortress city. The fort was bigger than any other of the time and there is a possibility the Roman intended this to be their capital. The amphitheatre is the largest in Britain and could seat between 8,000 to 10,000 people.
The 20th Legion was charged with suppressed the uprising of the army led by the warrior queen, Boadicea.
The Romans constructed high city walls and a massive harbour and the city became an important strategic outpost of the Roman Empire. The Roman walls remain intact and visitors can wall walk around the entire perimeter of the city.
By the Middle Ages, Chester had become an affluent and prosperous port. It was during this time that the most distinctive medieval feature of the city was built… The Rows. These are double-level walkways with a continuous line of balconies and with shops at street and first-floor levels. The Rows are unique and were certainly in existence in the 14th century
By the 15th century, the Dee began to silt up and gradually, the seaborne trade died. Impoverished by this natural action the 1640s brought devastation during the English Civil War, with the city under siege for two years until starvation forced surrender.
Today, Chester is a thriving city and with the Rows, boasts a unique shopping centre in a genuine 'olde worlde' atmosphere of cobbled streets, taverns and inns.