is frequently referred to as an "historic city" - and
for very good reasons. The Travel
Rough Guide says of the city:
||"The fabric of
the town is run through with two thousand years of history.
In 79 AD the Romans built Deva Castra here, their largest
known fortress in Britain. Later, Ethelfleda, the daughter
of King Alfred the Great, extended and refortified the
place, only to have it brutally sacked by William the Conqueror's
armies. Trade routes to Ireland made Chester the most prosperous
port in the northwest, a status it recovered after the
English Civil War, which saw a two-year-long siege of the
town at the hands of the Parliamentarians. By the middle
of the eighteenth century, however, silting of the port
had forced the Irish trade to be rerouted first through
Parkgate on the Dee estuary, and then to Liverpool. Things
improved a little with the Industrial Revolution, as the
canal and railway networks made Chester an important regional
trading centre, a function it still retains."
And the history is not
restricted to the city centre. Districts such as Upton where
the church is situated
have their own long story to tell.
Upton is located about 2 miles from the city
centre. A mine of information about the area is Bernard
Wall's book "Upton-by-Chester" (ISBN
0 85161 001 3). It is well worth a read if you are interested in the
local history. You could also visit the website of the Upton-by-Chester Local History Group which is busily collecting resources and compiling a book about the area.
Upton has a long history - in 1093 the monks
of Chester, whose abbey was later to become our cathedral, set
up a watermill for
grinding corn at the Bache. Several small hamlets grew up over
the centuries but these merged during a period of considerable
expansion and development between 1930 and 1970. Upton lost its "rural" status
in 1974 when the local government reorganisation brought it into
Chester District. Nowadays the area is primarily a residential
area for people working in Chester, the Wirral and Liverpool. The
current population is more than 12000.
Zoo, one of England's biggest tourist attractions, is on
the northern edge of Upton. A recent stocktake revealed a population of 11,000 animals resident in 110 acres of Zoo gardens!
The area's main hospital complex, The Countess of Chester Hospital, is on the western side.
Occupying a large tract of land between the hospital and the zoo is the golf course. Upton Golf Club was founded in 1934. Upton is served
by four primary schools and a large secondary school, Upton
There is a huge amount of information about the city on the website of Cheshire
West and Chester Council. There are lots of good reasons to visit Chester, and
to live here! Just to whet your appetite what follows is a snippet (text
and pictures) from the Council's site.
Chester has a host of great treasures from its 2000 years of history,