A popular Chester short-cut with historic connections to the English Civil War is to reopen at last after being closed for more than four-and-a-half years.
Rock Lane or Rocky Lane will reopen on Monday, September 4, after many delays.
Rock Lane has been identified as part of Prince Rupert’s ‘great trench’ and was used by Royalist forces during the siege of Chester to move artillery around the city’s perimeter.
Prince Rupert, the King’s nephew, visited the city soon after the outbreak of the Civil War; voiced concerns about artillery mobility and ordered his ‘great trench’ to be built to facilitate movement.
Rebecca Rideal, a historian with expertise in the seventeenth century, who is also a former TV producer and author of a book about Prince Rupert, will say a few words before cutting the ribbon.
The lane, which links Liverpool Road and Parkgate Road, has been closed since November 2012 after a wall collapsed following heavy rain.
Cheshire West and Chester Council stepped in to reinstate the fallen section of wall but hopes the alleyway would reopen by Christmas 2014 and then summer 2015 were dashed.
The closure has proved an inconvenience for locals and students at the University of Chester but tracing the landowners responsible proved difficult.
That’s why the local authority agreed to repair the northern wall even though it was technically only responsible for the surfacing of the public right of way.
Although that work was completed in April 2015, Rock Lane remained closed because it was later established repairs were also required to the southern wall.
The property owner at number 45 Liverpool Road completed works required within his property boundary.
And in October 2015 the council handed the site over to the University of Chester as a freehold owner of land behind the southern wall since acquiring 37 Liverpool Road.
The university’s contractors recently completed what were described as ‘extensive and complex’ repairs followed by repointing work to the higher sections of the wall.