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Chester City Walls

Chester, Cheshire

The city walls are a system of largely intact defensive walls surrounding the city, and Chester is known as 'The Walled City'.. The city has been defended with walls since the foundation of the Deva Victrix fort on the site in AD 79. The current walls are mainly medieval and Victorian, although the earliest surviving sections date back to at least AD 120, and the most recent section was constructed as recently as 1966. The walls are a Grade I listed building, and are the most complete city walls in the United Kingdom.

From beside the River Dee

Close to the Roman Garden

Click on images to see larger versions

The first walls were made of wood and earth and were built to defend the Roman Fort. They were replaced between the 1st and 3rd centuries with stone walls. The original walls enclosed a smaller area than they do today. When the Romans left Britain the walls fell into disrepair until 1070, following the construction of Chester Castle, when they were extended towards the river. During the English Civil War, Chester was a Royalist stronghold and the siege engines and cannons used by the Parliamentarians caused much damage with many sections being breached, and they stayed in much the same state until the Georgian period when they were repaired and renovated to create a promenade. During this time many of the towers and gatehouses were removed to give free movement along the entire circuit. The Eastgate Clock was added in 1899 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The last change made was in 1966 when St Martines Gate was built to allow the A5268 to pass through the city and create the Chester ring road.

Today, as the City has grown it no longer surrounds the whole of the city, but the walls do form an almost complete circuit of two miles around the historic part, the only breaks being at the entrance to the car park of Cheshire County Hall building and at Grosvenor Road. There are various entry points including at Newgate Street, in The Groves, by Chester Castle and others. From the section running over Newgate Street you can get a view of the Roman Amphitheatre. A walk around takes about an hour or longer if you stop off to take in some of the other highlights of the city such as the Rows, Cathedral, Roman Gardens, Roman Amphitheatre, Groves, River Dee, Castle, Old Port and Canal. Various vantage points give good views across the city and on good visibility days from the Western walls you can get panoramic views of the Clwydian Hills of North Wales. Along the walls at various points there are metal panels that tell stories about different parts of the route, but also help you identify which part of the city you are at.

A number of remnants of the Roman Wall can be seen at various points, but the best preserved at on the Eastern side of the Northgate, the best view of them is to descend the wall and stand on the viaduct across the canal and look eastwards along the wall. The City Walls Trail website, listed below, gives more historical details on the wall, but also has a number of pages which has broken the wall down into sections and explains what you might see on that section of the wall. They also have a Heritage Trail PDF file which highlights 43 points around the wall and gives an idea of walk time for the sections.

On the Wall by the Castle

Note: In 2008 a part of the walls collapsed so a short section has been closed for repairs, however a diversion route has been set up until the repairs are complete. Chester City Council manage and look after the walls today.

Various Views from different points on the River Dee side of the wall

Newgate Entrance - amphitheatre behind Newgate from the other side - amphitheatre ahead
Corner Wall at the Castle end - by the Car Park By the entrance of the Roman Garden

Click on the smaller images to see larger versions

Further information Grid



Chester City Walls, Chester

Ceremonial County: Cheshire

Grid Reference:

SJ402661 (for the access point near the Castle)

Map Link:


Aerial photo: Multimap Aerial Photo



Best Times to Visit:

Anytime - but good weather would be preferential to get good views.




City Walls Trail          Walls Heritage Trail (PDF)

Other useful websites:

Wiki       EH

Nearby Locations:

Chester Amphitheatre         Chester Castle

Roman Gardens

Other Relevant pages: Cheshire Attractions


Walled Town

Date Updated: 08/2008


Planning Grid


Chester City Walls, Chester

Grid Reference:

SJ402661 (for the access point near the Castle)

Getting there:

From the M56 take the M53 towards Chester and follow the signs to the City Centre. Following the tourist signs to the Castle will get you to a large Pay and Display Car Park off Castle Drive from where you can get access to the Walls.


Via a number of entry points around the city walls, a good start point is via the Car Park off Castle Drive on Grosvenor Street.


Various locations around the city, including a large Car Park off Castle Drive


No facilities on the wall itself

Things To Do, See and Photograph:


What to take:


Nature highlights:



Chester City Centre




01244 324 324 (Chester City Council)

Opening times:

Any reasonable time



Photo Restrictions:


Other Restrictions:  
Special Needs Access: Wheelchair Access Map Gives idea where you can get onto the walls, many of the access points are steps.
Special Needs Facilities: None
Children Facilities: None
Dogs Allowed: Yes

CIN Page Ref:


Date Updated: 08/2008

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote the CIN Page Ref at the bottom of the Planning Grid above. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

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