A team of historians has revealed that Chester is the original city of love, and a new campaign has been launched to reclaim the city’s crown.

History boffins at Big Heritage and the Grosvenor Museum have uncovered a collection of romantic artefacts dating back hundreds of years and lovebirds across the region can see the tender trinkets and treasures on display for the very first time over Valentine’s weekend.

The collection, which captures Chester romance throughout the centuries, includes a collection of wedding rings: a Roman gold finger-ring with clasped hand design from Pierpoint Lane; a 15th Century silver ring decorated with flowers and hearts originally part of the Huntington Hoard; and a 16th Century silver ring love token.

Other romantic relics going on show between Thursday, February 11 and Monday, February 15 include wedding dresses dating back as far as 1851, Victorian and Edwardian Valentine’s cards and a courting envelope for sending love letters in, decorated with pictures of courting couples.

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Managing director of Big Heritage Dean Paton said: “Our findings from the vaults of the Grosvenor Museum show that, without doubt, Chester, and not Paris or Venice, is the original city of love. The deeper we delved the more historical evidence we have found, and it’s not just in the museum – the city’s unique historic buildings are bursting with stories of love, romance and passion that date back centuries.”

Collections manager at the Grosvenor Museum Liz Royles added: “Everyone knows Chester is one of the UK’s most historic cities, but these historic artefacts act as touchstones to the stories of love and romance that have played out over centuries. We even have an 1800 year old depiction of a Roman husband and wife, one of the oldest known married couples in Britain.”

The romantic artefacts will be on display at the Grosvenor Museum between February 11-15 from 10:30am-5pm Monday-Saturday, and 1-4pm on Sundays.