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Some of the Free Entry places in England that you can visit without paying for a ticket – all you need is the knowledge
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English Family Entry Attractions, Heritage Sites, Events,
Museums, Galleries. Listed by county. Free things to do with Kids
England, Cheshire, Chester Walks - The Chester Millennium Festival Trail
A walk around Chester including 40 of the city's most important buildings.
The Chester Millennium Festival Trail a Chester Walk was laid down in the
year 2000 and each building has a waymarker. The route followed is around 3 miles
/ 5.2Km and can take from 3 hours plus depending upon the fitness of the walkers.
We suggest that you might like to split the trail into two easily manageable
bites #1 to #27 (The Cathedral) and #27 to #40
#1 Chester Town Hall
A beautiful Gothic style building completed in 1869, crowned by a pink and
grey sandstone clock tower that rises just under 49m over the surrounding buildings.
With your back to the Town Hall, walk from the Town Hall steps diagonally to
the left across Town Hall Square and stop outside the vaulted red sandstone arch.
#2 Abbey Gateway
A mid-14th Century that was the main entrance to the Abbey that proceeded
the present Cathedral. Walk through the archway to enter Abbey Square.
#3 Abbey Square
The original site of the Abbey bake house and kitchens. Walk cross the Abbey
Square and follow the path towards the Chester City Wall, Kale yard Gate. Climb
the stairs onto the wall and turn right towards East Gate un till you reach The
#4 The Addleshaw Tower
The 1975 Bell Tower of Welsh slate and sandstone houses the original Cathedral
bells. Continue southwards along the wall to Eastgate.
#5 Eastgate Clock
The second most photographed clock in the UK, after the 'Big Ben' clock tower
in London, and Chester's most famous landmark, erected in 1899, commemorating
Queen Victoria's 1887 Diamond Jubilee.
Follow the wall over Newgate and descend
the stairs on the right to street level, turn left and you arrive at #6
#6 The Nine Houses
Only six of the small sandstone and timbered houses remain. Built as almshouses
around 1650. At the last of the houses turn left and cross the road, looking
for a small gateway through the wall which will take you into the Roman Gardens.
Turn left and ascend to the main road, Little St John Street, where on the right
you will see #7
#7 The Roman Amphitheatre
Spend some time reading the information plaques and imagining the site as
a whole. Head for the railings outside St John's Church.
#8 St John's Church
St John's was Chester's first cathedral - the ruins to the east are open
for exploration. After leaving the ruins, head down the slope and steps towards
the River Dee. Turn right at the bottom of the hill through The Groves. On the
right you will see #9
#9 Anchorite's Cell
This hermit's building was built in the mid 14th century. Continue through
The Groves until you're adjacent to #10
#10 Norman Weir
Built in the 11th century to harness the river's power to drive the old corn
mills. Turn right through Bridgegate and head up Lower Bridge Street a few yards
where you will see #11 on the left.
#11 "Bear and Billet" Inn
17th century frontage to an older historic house once owned by the Earls of
Shrewsbury. Turn left after the inn up St Mary's Hill to #12
#12 St Mary's Church
One of Chester's many medieval churches. An example of the Perpendicular style.
Follow the path down the right hand side of the church between two heavy cast
iron bollards, through an archway and on to a car park. Here you will find a
statue of Queen Victoria outside #13.
#13 Chester Castle
Home of the Cheshire Military Museum. Probably the best example of Greek revival
architecture outside of London. Continue across the car park and go through the
archway in the corner and enter a courtyard, then turn left.
#14 Agricola Tower
A 12th century gatehouse to the original bailey and the earliest surviving
part of Chester Castle. Ext the castle environs through the main gateway adjacent
to the large traffic island. Move round the island in a clockwise direction passing
#15 Magistrates' Court
The Magistrates' Court is a late 20th century building that blends in nicely
with the older architecture of old Chester. Cross over Grosvenor Street, opposite
the court is the Free Entry Grosvenor Museum (27 Grosvenor Street, CH1 2DD),
pass the museum and turn right down Bunce Street and then left on to Castle Street
#16 is on the right at the next junction fronting on to Lower Bridge Street.
#16 Gamul House
You'll note that the elevated main entrance to this brick clad earlier Great
Hall was once surrounded by 'Rows' similar to Chester town centre. Cross Lower
Bridge Street and head up the hill. On your right you will pass #17 & #18
just three doors apart.
#17 Park House
Once one of Chester's leading hotels, Park House was built in the early 1700
and in 1820 the Duke of Wellington stayed there.
#18 Tudor House
Built in the early 17th century for a wealthy Chester merchant, somehow attributed
to an earlier period (See the plaque: 1503). Continue up Lower Bridge Street
and you will see #19 opposite
#19 The Falcon Public House
Once the 17th century town house of the Grosvenor family. Moving into Bridge
Street, still on the left you will see #20.
#20 The Old Arches
This building gives a good clue as to what the original buildings in old Chester
may have looked like. Continue up to the Market Cross (where you may see and
hear the Town Crier during the summer months at noon " Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!
- Come and enjoy the Chester Town Crier's proclamations at the High Cross, Chester."
#21 No.1 Bridge Street
On the corner of Bridge Street are the most photographed 'black and white'
revival buildings of Victorian Chester. Turn right on to Eastgate Street, you
can see the Eastgate Clock (#5) in the distance but on the right #22
#22 Browns of Chester
Browns of Chester's building is obviously built in two different styles: High
Victorian Gothic and the more modern Classical. On the opposite side of the road
and at the junction of St Werburgh Street is #23.
#23 No.33 Eastgate Street (NatWest Bank)
Originally Dixon and Wardell's Chester Bank. Take St Werburgh Street up to
the left and across the road you will see #24.
#24 St Werburgh Street East
Built in the late 1800s the buildings on the eastern side of the street are
ranked among some of the best of Chester's black and white. Follow the road up
and as the road curves back to the right you will see #25 and #26.
#25 St Nicholas's Chapel
Opposite Chester Cathedral is St Nicholas's Chapel. Now a shop but having
been used as the city's Common Hall and Wool Hall, even as a Georgian Theatre
and Victorian Music Hall ~ Later as a cinema!
#26 St Werburgh Row
A rare example of 1930's architecture, these arcaded shops were built by the
designer of the original Wembly Stadium!
#27 Chester Cathedral
Chester Cathedral now charges an entrance fee! Move on to Northgate Street
passing #1 on your right walk down Northgate Street on the right you will see
#28 Commercial Newsroom and Inn
A fine Classical building of the early 1800s, originally housing a newsroom,
library and coffee house. Move round the right hand side of the building, up
the steps into St Peter's Churchyard, behind #28 you will see The Inn, known
as The Commercial Hotel. Pass between the two buildings and leave the churchyard
via an archway in the far left hand corner. This will take you to #29.
#29 No.38 to No.42 Watergate Street
The Rows you have just entered date from the early 14th century. At the end
of the Rows go down to street level, opposite you will see #30.
#30 Bishop Lloyd's Palace
This is Chester's most ornately carved timber framed building. Bishop Lloyd's
Palace is an early 17th Century timber framed building in the historic heart
of Chester It is listed Grade 1 and has fine carvings on the gable elevations
and at Row level. The interior includes a magnificent period piece fireplace
and high decorated plaster ceilings. Open to the public 12.00 to 14.00 Mon
to Thur and 10.30am to 12.30pm on the first Sat of every month. This
is subject to the meetings rooms not being occupied by hirers. Continue down
Watergate Street and cross the Ring Road to the opposite street corner of Watergate
Street. Here you will find #31 (Next to the original Market Cross)
#31 Stanley Palace
The original owners were the Stanley family, custodians of Watergate, when
the city of Chester was a thriving port! Stanley Palace is a listed grade II
building, formerly known as Derby House, standing on or near the site previously
occupied by the Dominican Friars (the 'Black Friars') in medieval times. The
original location of the 'Chester High Cross' It was built for Sir Peter Warburton
(Yes - a relation to the bread bakers), a Chester lawyer and MP for the City,
the passed as his daughter's dowry to the Stanleys of Alderley. Open to the public
~ To arrange a visit please contact the administrator during office hours 10.00 - 16.00 Tue to Fri - except bank holidays: Tel: 01244 325 586.
down towards Watergate to the corner of City Walls Road where you will find #32.
#32 Watergate House
The private residence of the Cheshire County Clerk of the Peace (1820). Cross
Watergate Street and follow City Walls Road past #33.
#33 Queen's School
Built on the site of the City Gaol and founded in 1878 as the Chester School
for Girls; renamed in 1882. Ascend the city walls at the next opportunity and
follow to #34.
#34 Water Tower
The Water Tower was at one time on the banks of the River Dee, protecting
the harbour! Completed in 1326. Descend the steps on your left, turn right and
walk beside the Shropshire Union Canal, originally The Chester Canal, under the
Railway until you reach the Top Lock.
#35 Northgate Locks
Cut out of the solid sandstone bedrock, this staircase of three locks date
from the 18th century, when the canal brought and took goods and materials inland.
After the locks look for a small gateway through the City Walls, down the path
to Pemberton Road and turn left, back to Northgate Street. Turn left towards
Northgate. On the left you will find #36.
#36 The Blue Bell Inn
Originally two 15th century houses, now all that remains is this 'cabin'.
Continue through Northgate to #37.
#37 Bluecoat School
Built on the site of a medieval hospital. Poor boys were taught here the 'three
R's': reading, roting (copying writing), and reckoning (accounts). Cross Northgate
Street and Ascend the steps on your left back on to the City Wall. Move away
from Northgate and after a few metres follow the steps down on the right to Rufus
#38 Rufus Court
A 1980s development. Go down the spiral staircase, through the court archway
and out again on to Northgate Street. Turn left, cross over and admire #39.
#39 Odeon Cinema
The Odeon is a typical Art Deco style building of the 1930s. Continue down
Northgate Street to #40.
#40 Westminster Coach and Motor Car Works
A superb brick and terracotta faced building. Originally a motor works, now
housing the City Library.
Below this line, in the grey area, we are adding alternative days out to the Free listings that DoFreeStuff is renowned for. This is to help you plan your family days out. The attractions listed below make a charge for admission!
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