Chester is frequently referred to as an "historic city" - and for very good reasons. The Travel Rough Guide says of the city:

  Location of Chester"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.

Chester 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 High School.

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, including:

The City Walls, the most complete in Britain, offering a fascinating 3 kilometre circular walk around Chester - the best way to see its attractions.
Town crierThe unique world-famous Rows - two-tier medieval galleries with superb shops of international renown.
The Eastgate Clock- the most photographed time-piece in the world after Big Ben.
The Roman Amphitheatre - the largest arena ever uncovered in Britain.
Chester's Flamboyant Town Crier declares mid day proclamation every Tuesday to Saturday at the Cross from Easter to September. Chester is the only City in Britain to boast such a regular spectacle. Visit the Chester Town Crier's site
The annual regatta on the River Dee - the oldest rowing races in the world.
Chester Races - the oldest in Britain, staged on the Roodee, once the site of the massive Roman harbour - meetings throughout the year.
Chester CrossChester Zoo - the largest and best in Britain with an international reputation for animal conservation.
Chester Mystery Plays -the oldest and most complete cycle of medieval religious dramas in Britain. For more details visit the Mystery Plays website.
Chester Cathedral - the fourth most visited Cathedral in Britain. Visit the official Cathedral website.
Chester's Minerva Shrine is the only known Roman rock shrine in Britain.
Chester's weir on the River Dee was built by the Normans and is the oldest surviving mill dam in Britain.
The Three Old Arches is the oldest Shop Front in Britain.

Eastgate clock

Chester Cathedral

A jaguar at the zoo

River Dee

Chester races