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Chester Castle

Chester, Cheshire

The castle is on the southwest side of the city bounded by the city walls. It stands on a mound overlooking the River Dee. Only remains of walls and the original gateway of the medieval castle can be seen today, this 12th-century tower houses a chapel with exceptionally fine wall-paintings of c. 1220.

The castle was built in 1070 by Hugh Lupus, the first Earl of Chester. The original would have been a motte-and-bailey castle with a wooden tower. The wooden tower being replaced with a square stone one in the 12th century, at the same time the stone gateway to the inner bailey was built. This is known as the Agricola Tower and on its first floor is the chapel of St Mary de Castro. During the 13th century the walls of an outer bailey was built and the tower was blocked up to allow for residential accommodation including a great hall. Various additions and modifications have taken place over time. During the English Civil War when Chester was held by the Royalists it was assaulted by the parliamentary forces and following this period it was used as a prison, a court and a tax office. The nearby neoclassical building within the castle grounds is the Crown Court today. By the 18th century much of it had deteriorated and a new prison was built and at this Shire Hall was also built in a neoclassical style. Two new wings were also built to act as barracks and an armoury as well as a new entrance to the castle site called the Propylaeum. In 1925 after being used for 200 years, it's later years as a warehouse and ammunition store the chapel in the tower was reconsecrated for the use of the Cheshire Regiment.

Today the castle grounds are still entered through the Propylaeum off Grosvenor Road, Shire Hall now houses the Crown Courts, the barracks block is now the Cheshire Military Museum. There are also remains of the:
  • retaining walls and two areas of the medieval curtain walls

  • Original stone gateway to the castles inner bailey

  • Agricola Tower

  • Flag Tower (square building in the middle)

  • Halfmoon Tower (to the right of Flag Tower)

  • the building which used to house Chester Mint

  • gun emplacement built during the 1745 Jacobite rebellion. The platform on top gives good views of the south and west of the city.

  • The guardroom inside the Inner Bailey displays the history of the castle and how it looked at various dates.

  • The original prison has long gone but you can see today the Gaolers' House and one row of cells.

An access stair to the castle's wall-walk is nearby.

Entrance to Castle Grounds from Grosvenor Road

Click on image to see larger version


Further information Grid



Chester Castle, Grosvenor Street, Chester

Ceremonial County: Cheshire

Grid Reference:


Map Link:


Aerial photo:

Multimap Aerial Photo

Google Aerial Photo



Best Times to Visit:






Other useful websites:


English Heritage

History of the Castle  Part 1 and Part 2

Nearby Locations:

Chester Amphitheatre     Chester City Walls

Roman Gardens

Other Relevant pages: Cheshire Attractions



Date Updated: 08/2008


Planning Grid


Chester Castle, Grosvenor Street, Chester

Grid Reference:


Getting there:

Head out from Chester City Centre on the A483 castle is on left just before you go over Grosvenor Bridge over the River Dee.


via Assizes Court car park on Grosvenor St


Large pay & display car park off Castle Drive



Things To Do, See and Photograph:

Castle Walls, Agricola Tower, views across the city from the ramparts.

What to take:


Nature highlights:








Opening times:

Walls Any Reasonable Time

Cell block: Daily - closed 24-26th Dec

21 Mar-30 Sep 10am-5pm; 1 Oct-31 Mar 10am-4pm



Photo Restrictions:


Other Restrictions:  
Special Needs Access:  
Special Needs Facilities:  
Children Facilities:  
Dogs Allowed: On leads

CIN Page Ref:


Date Updated: 08/2008

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