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Chester Castle visited by staggering 11,000 people on opening weekend

More events planned this weekend in project that runs throughout summer

 

Chester MP Chris Matheson and Cheshire West and Chester Council deputy leader Cllr Louise Gittins open the Chester Castle Revealed project. Picture: David Sejrup

The opening weekend of Chester Castle was enjoyed by more than 11,000 visitors as part of a heritage event which saw other activities at the amphitheatre, on the Rows, Grosvenor Museum and in Town Hall Square.

This was the first time the castle had been fully open to the public in many years – and visitors can continue to enter free of charge until September 3 while taking part in a summer programme of happenings.

This coming weekend (July 29-30) the castle will play host to a celebration marking the Festival of British Archaeology.

Dean Paton, far right, managing director of Big Heritage, whose organisation helped organise many of the heritage events and Pokemon world exclusive last weekend, with people playing Pokemon Go at Chester Castle.

Archaeologists from Cheshire West and Chester Council will discuss and show archaeological finds uncovered in the recent Grosvenor Park dig. Visitors can also talk to an archer, a Roman and a gladiator to learn about their lives.

And there will be castle tours at 11.30am and 2.30pm on Saturday and one at 2.30pm on Sunday.

Organisers say: “Delve further into the story of the castle and the people who lived, worked and were imprisoned there on this short tour led by a member of the Guild of Chester Tour Guides. Meet in the castle.”

Centre of photo at Chester Castle are Katherine West, CWaC's museums and arts manager, resident and castle enthusiast Niall Macfadyen plus Chester MP Chris Matheson.

There will be a musical theme on Sunday with a chance to hear the nationally and internationally renowned City of Chester Male Voice Choir between 1.30 -2.30pm. Then the GMO (Govani Musicisti Ossolani) youth orchestra from Italy will perform between 3–4.30pm.

The orchestra GMO was constituted 2001 by the director Alberto Lanza. A total of 65 members of the orchestra, aged between 10 and 26 years, will perform from their rich repertoire predominantly films scores including Forrest Gump, Lord of the Rings, James Bond and Pirates of the Caribbean.

The castle has a rich history dating back to William the Conqueror but in recent times it has only been accessible to tour groups. Entry is from the castle car park and also via the Sally Port directly from the City Walls.

Chester MP Chris Matheson and Cheshire West and Chester Council deputy leader Cllr Louise Gittins and other dignitaries including council leader Sam Dixon reveal the new entrance to Chester Castle directly from the City Walls. Picture: David Sejrup

Agricola Tower, which is open to the public, and castle walls are now in the care of English Heritage, who are supporting the Chester Castle Revealed project.

It was city MP Chris Matheson who was the driving force behind the initiative after being approached by resident and castle enthusiast Niall Macfadyen, one of the many volunteers on hand during the opening weekend. Mr Matheson has praised CWaC staff for working hard in putting together the summer programme of activities.

Further details are available by clicking here.

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