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