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An overview of the historic City of Chester

Chester is a city in the North West of England and is also the county town of Cheshire.

Chester Walls file

Chester is a city in the North West of England and is also the county town of Cheshire.

Situated on the River Dee, on the border with Wales, Chester is one of the best-preserved medieval walled cities in the United Kingdom. It is the largest and most populous settlement within the wider Chester District and has a population of more than 80,000.

Chester is perhaps most notable for its successive historic uses and occupations, and the subsequent variety of architectural monuments found within the settlement. The most striking example of the variety of architectural monuments found are the Grade I listed medieval city walls, the most complete of any in the UK.

The city Chester was founded as a Roman fort at the head of the River Dee estuary in AD 79, in the territory of the Cornovii tribe.

It was named Deva either after the goddess of the Dee, or directly from the British name for the river. Deverdoeu was still one of two Welsh names for Chester in the late 12th century; its other and more enduring Welsh name was Caerlleon, literally "the fortress-city of the legions", a name identical with that of the Roman fortress at the other end of the Marches at Caerleon.

The colloquial modern Welsh name is the shortened form, Caer. The early English-speaking settlers used a name which had the same meaning, Legacæstir, which was current until the 11th century, when – in a further parallel with Welsh usage – the first element fell out of use and the simplex name Chester emerged.

From the 14th century to the 18th the city's prominent position in north-western England meant that it was commonly also known as Westchester.

 

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