It’s one of the most natural and popular meeting points in Chester City Centre.
The unique red sandstone monument we know as The Cross has stood at its familiar location at the junction of Eastgate Street, Bridge Street and Watergate Street for decades, and one would naturally assume with its rich history that it has been there ever since the Romans arrived in AD79.
Yet several of us in The Chronicle office were bewildered when we recently found an old picture of Eastgate Street from the 1960s that showed The Cross was conspicuously absent.
Many of you who remember will know about this of course, but there will be lots that won't.
Someone who can shed some light on this is the city’s current Town Crier David Mitchell, whose proclaimations usually take place at The Cross.
He told The Chronicle: “The High Cross is a cross in a second sense of the word in that a sandstone structure had stood at this point since the fifteenth century. The structure was originally gilded and surmounted by an orb and cross.
“Following the Great Siege of Chester during the Civil War, the Parliamentarians eventually captured the city in 1646 and of their first actions was to smash the sandstone cross at the High Cross, because it contained images of saints in niches near the pinnacle and was therefore regarded by the Puritan-Parliamentarians as idolatrous.
“The broken sections of the cross were wonderfully preserved and for many years they were stored in the adjacent Church of St Peter.
“But in 1975, the sandstone cross, comprising both original and new sections, was reassembled close to the original position at the High Cross. However, the cross surmounting the orb, and figures of saints, have not been restored,” he explained.
So now we know!