Skip to main content
Select Source:

Chester

Chester (Roman), known to the Romans as Deva, was founded in the 70s as a legionary fortress, originally for legio II Adiutrix. From the 80s it became the long-term base of legio XX Valeria Victrix. Originally constructed in timber, it was rebuilt in stone c.100 and was larger than normal at 60 acres. Parts of the northern and eastern defences continued in use down to the English Civil War. Excavation within the fortress is restricted by later buildings, but it seems to have contained the usual complement of buildings, and an unexplained and elaborate complex known as the ‘Elliptical Building’. Outside the south-eastern angle of the defences lay an amphitheatre, and traces of riverside works have been found to the west in the area of the Roodee. In the later Roman period the intensity of occupation declined, though was probably still military.

Alan Simon Esmonde Cleary

post-Roman

After the Norman invasion of 1066, William quickly marched north to subdue the rebellious native population, particularly the Welsh; the castle was commenced and an hereditary earldom created, but this title reverted to the crown in 1237. Although Chester prospered as an administrative centre, the port was no longer viable by 1600 because of silting.

Granted a royal charter in 1506, Chester was severely affected by the Civil War since city and county supported opposing factions. Besieged 1644–6, the city was Charles's last important outlet to the sea and the nearest port for Ireland; he is said to have watched his army's defeat at Rowton Heath in September 1645 from the medieval walls before escaping into Wales, leaving the city to starve. By mid-18th cent., it had recovered into quiet country-town prosperity, remaining untroubled by later industrial unrest. The continuous, rambling first-floor arcades of the medieval rows are unique, but many of the black-and-white half-timbered restorations are Victorian.

A. S. Hargreaves

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Chester." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Chester." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/chester

"Chester." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved October 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/chester

Chester (city, England)

Chester, city (1991 pop. 80,154), Cheshire West and Chester, W central England, on a sandstone height above the Dee River. It is a railroad junction. Manufactures include electrical equipment, paint, and window panes. Tourism is also important. Chester has a long military history, and it was a significant port for centuries. Under the name Castra Devana or Deva, it was the headquarters of the Roman 20th legion. The area was ravaged by Æthelfrith of Northumbria in the 7th cent. and the Danes in the 9th cent. Æthelflæd of Mercia fortified Chester again in the 10th cent. William I took it in 1070 and the following year granted it to his nephew, Hugh Lupus, as a palatine earldom. Chester served the English crown as a defensive bastion and was used as a base for operations against Wales from 1275 to 1284. During the English civil war, parliamentarians took Chester by siege in 1646. Its role as a port peaked from c.1350 to 1450; silting and the rise of Liverpool contributed to the decline of port trade by the late 18th cent. Chester remains medieval in appearance and is the only city in England that possesses its entire original wall. Notable features are this red sandstone wall, with a walk along the top; Agricola's Tower; 15th- and 16th-century timbered houses; the cathedral, with architecture of styles from Norman to Late Perpendicular; the Roodee, on which races have been held since 1540; St. John's Church; Grosvenor Museum; and "The King's School," a public school founded by Henry VIII in 1541. Characteristic of Chester are the Rows, a double tier of shops formed by projecting the second stories of the buildings along the main streets. The Chester Plays (see miracle play) originated in the town.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Chester (city, England)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Chester (city, England)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/chester-city-england

"Chester (city, England)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/chester-city-england

Chester (city, United States)

Chester, city (1990 pop. 41,856), Delaware co., SE Pa., on the Delaware River south of Philadelphia; settled c.1644 by Swedes, inc. as a city 1866. A port, it was also long a shipbuilding center. There are ship transfer facilities and factories making metal, food, and paper products; marine anchors; machinery; communications equipment; and consumer goods. A gambling casino and racetrack also contribute to the city's economy, The Commodore Barry Bridge, with one of the world's longest cantilever main spans, crosses the Delaware to Bridgeport, N.J.

The oldest city in the state, Chester (established as Upland) was the site of William Penn's first landing (1682) in America. Penn renamed the settlement and convened (1682) the first assembly of the colony there. Foundations of the original settlement remain, in Governor Printz Park. Chester is home to Widener Univ. (1821).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Chester (city, United States)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Chester (city, United States)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/chester-city-united-states

"Chester (city, United States)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/chester-city-united-states

Chester

Chester City and county district on the River Dee, nw England, Cheshire. A Roman garrison town, it has been of strategic importance throughout British history. It was a major port until the Dee became silted and Liverpool's port facilities were expanded. Notable buildings include the city wall, a Roman amphitheatre and a medieval cathedral. Industries: tourism, engineering. Area: 448sq km (173sq mi). Pop. (1994) 120,622.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Chester." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Chester." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/chester

"Chester." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved October 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/chester

Chester

Chesterabetter, begetter, better, bettor, biretta, bruschetta, carburettor (US carburetor), debtor, feta, fetter, forgetter, getter, go-getter, Greta, Henrietta, letter, Loretta, mantelletta, operetta, petter, Quetta, setter, sinfonietta, sweater, upsetter, Valletta, vendetta, whetter •bisector, collector, connector, convector, corrector, defector, deflector, detector, director, ejector, elector, erector, hector, injector, inspector, nectar, objector, perfecter, projector, prospector, protector, rector, reflector, rejector, respecter, sector, selector, Spector, spectre (US specter), vector •belter, delta, helter-skelter, melter, pelta, Shelta, shelter, swelter, welter •pre-emptor, tempter •assenter, cementer, centre (US center), concentre (US concenter), dissenter, enter, eventer, fermenter (US fermentor), fomenter, frequenter, inventor, lamenter, magenta, placenta, polenta, precentor, presenter, preventer, renter, repenter, tenter, tormentor •inceptor, preceptor, receptor, sceptre (US scepter) •arrester, Avesta, Chester, contester, ester, Esther, fester, fiesta, Hester, investor, jester, Leicester, Lester, molester, Nestor, pester, polyester, protester, quester, semester, sequester, siesta, sou'wester, suggester, tester, trimester, vesta, zester •Webster • dexter • Leinster •Dorchester • Poindexter • newsletter •genuflector • implementer •experimenter • trendsetter •epicentre (US epicenter) •typesetter • jobcentre • photosetter •Cirencester • interceptor • Sylvester

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Chester." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Chester." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/chester

"Chester." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved October 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/chester