Chester Castle


Location: Chester, Cheshire   Map

Constructed: 1070


Description of Chester Castle

Chester Castle is a medieval stronghold near a town of Chester, Cheshire in United Kingdom. It was erected in 1070 by Hugh Lupus, the first Earl of Chester. It is possible that it was built on the site of a previous Saxon fortification, but this has not been confirmed. The original structure would have been a motorcycle castle with a wooden tower. In the 12th century the wooden tower was replaced by a square stone tower, the Flag Tower. During the same century, the stone gate of the inner courtyard was built. This today is known as the Agricultural Tower and on its first floor is the chapel of Saint Mary of the Castle. It was besieged during the British Civil War. From the 1790's, the architect Thomas Harrison began to turn it into a prison, which took 37 years.


It is a court that has a portico in the shape of a pronaos exastyle. The pronaos is often used in the Greek architecture to connote a public building. The entrance is through a door that recalls the propylaea of the Acropolis of Athens consisting of a central portico with two other elements on the sides with columns of the Doric order. This entrance is called Propil├Žum.


Chester Castle is the very few castles in England still used by the British Army. The area around the castle is a secular parish called Chester Castle; It is the only worldly parish in Chester.



On the site of the medieval castle was already in the 10th century, a Saxon fortification . Hugh d'Avranches , first Earl of Chester , had 1069/70 replace this with a moth in the Norman style. As the southern corner of the Chester city fort, the castle secured the nearby bridge over the Dee and served as a base for further Norman conquest of England . The wooden tower on an artificially raised hill was already replaced in the 12th century by a stone, square tower, the Flag Tower .

After 1237 the last Earl of Chester had died without male heirs, the county fell to the English crown. King Henry III. and his son Edward I had the castle built in the following years by a residential building in the south of the inner courtyard and continue to fortify the entire system. From 1247 to 1251, the wooden palisade was replaced by a stone ring wall.

Already in the 12th century, the complex was extended by a large, outer courtyard with surrounding ring wall, which was upstream of the core castle north. His gatehouse was strengthened around 1290, so that after completion of the work, it consisted of a mighty stone gate with two flanking, semicircular towers. He was reached via a drawbridge that spanned an eight-meter-wide moat .

In the late 1570s, several, partly representative buildings were built on the east side of the outer courtyard, which housed the administration and the county court and a prison.

During the English Civil War , Chester Castle suffered severe damage and was subsequently repaired inadequately. Therefore, around 1780, much of the run-down medieval buildings were laid down to make room for modern new buildings. Between 1785 and 1822, the current buildings were then built under the direction of Thomas Harrison. Upon completion, they occupied a much larger area than the castle had previously done.

Even today Chester Castle serves as a courthouse. It is also home to the Cheshire Military Museum .