Chester : Free stuff and a glimpse behind closed doors

Chester Walls, the Water Tower and King Charles’ Tower and Bishop Lloyd’s Palace

As part of the National Heritage Open Days last weekend we made a trip out into Chester to see the Water Tower and the Camera Obscura.

The usually closed doors of the Chester Walls’ towers fill me with a sense of story untold.  I do like a good mystery but with the doors open other stories lurk in the revealed detail.  The well maintained Water Tower was bright, staffed by very enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides but brought to mind a very different Chester.  A medieval Chester of shipping, with the soul of a seaport and guarding the revenues that a variety of merchants brought over the sea and into the City.

The Water Tower
The Water Tower ceiling

Up the narrow steps of Bonewaldesthorne’s Tower we looked out over an unfamiliar panorama of Chester courtesy of the Camera Obscura.  Even the simple technology behind this Victorian novelty transforms your perception of how one place connects with another.  The Water Tower and King Charles’ Tower are open for the remaining weekends in September.

Bishop Lloyd’s Palace in Watergate Street waylaid us on our journey across town too.  Also open as part of the National Heritage Open Days the Palace opens Bishop Lloyd’s Palace is routinely open to visitors free of charge from noon to 2pm (Monday to Thursday) and from 1 pm to 3 pm on the first Saturday of every month. Bishop Lloyd’s Palace is an early 17th Century timber framed building.  Again the architectural detail within the buildings is spellbinding and well worth a look, including a large ornate fireplace which has been fitted into a less lofty space.

The Water Tower and also King Charles Tower will be open to the public at weekends from 10am to 4pm until the end of September. http://www.wirralglobe.co.uk/news/10622487.Roman_soldier_to_promote_reopening_of_historic_Chester_landmarks/

Bishop Lloyd’s Palace is open from noon to 2pm (Monday to Thursday) and from 1 pm to 3 pm on the first Saturday of every month. More details can be found on the Chester Civic Trust website http://www.chestercivictrust.org.uk/

Heritage Open Days takes place all over the country – read more about their work http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/about

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