History

Relaxing and Socialising

The Walls were originally built to defend Chester against enemies, but since the 1760s they’ve become a place for relaxing and socialising instead. They make a great family day out, because there’s something for everybody.

Promenading was all about seeing and being seen, and this couple have clearly dressed up for their stroll

Social Networking

In the 1760s the old battlements were adapted to create an elegant walkway, and promenading around the Walls quickly became one of the most fashionable things to do in Chester. It was a way to see and be seen, make new friends, show off a new outfit, chat and flirt. Come and promenade like the dandies and the famous society beauties of the 18th century, and find out how you can make your dreams come true at the Wishing Steps!

 

 

This solitary young lady seems lost in thought, perhaps reading a letter from a loved one

Finding Inspiration

Strolling around the Walls also gives you a chance to be alone with your thoughts and watch the world go by. You can enjoy the beautiful views of landscapes and historic monuments which have inspired artists for hundreds of years, and if you visit the Grosvenor Museum you’ll see their paintings. It’s fascinating to see what has changed over the centuries, and what has remained the same. Just think of all the different people who have walked around the Walls over the centuries, with their thoughts and dreams…

The stand in the background is absolutely full, and in the foreground people are leaning against the rail for the best views of the race

A Piece of the Action

Sport is a big part of Chester’s heritage, and the Walls have always provided ringside seats for keen spectators. In Roman times the south-east angle tower overlooked the amphitheatre, and the sentries probably enjoyed good views of the gladiatorial games going on inside. Notoriously violent games of football were played at the Roodee in the Middle Ages, and it’s not hard to imagine cheering supporters crowding onto the Walls to watch! The Roodee has been a racecourse since 1539, and if you visit the Walls on a race day you’ll get superb views of the action.