A Virtual Stroll Around the Walls of Chester
Amphitheatre & Dee House
From the newsletter of the Chester Archaeological Society: Spring 1993
he long period of uncertainty regarding the future
of Dee House and, by implication, that of the buried portion of the
Roman amphitheatre which it partially overlies now seems close to resolution
with the final demise of the Deva Roman Centre scheme and the submission
of a new planning application for the site by the owners, British Telecom.
Right: Miss Clarkin's Reception Class at the Ursuline Convent, 1956
The purpose of the new proposal is to create suites of office accomodation; the earlier idea of exposing the southern half of the amphitheatre and the erection of an associated visitor centre having been dropped completely.
ln the new scheme, Dee House is retained totally intact with no modifications
to the external elevations and all surving internal features of architectural
/ historical merit, including the main staircase, being retained. The
outlying buildings bordering Souters Lane are to be demolished and their
site landscaped. The modern extension appended to the rear of Dee House
in the 1930's will also be demolished to be replaced by a new structure
occupying exactly the same site which, as far as possible, will re-use
the foundations of its predecessor therefor minimising disturbance of
In conjunction with the scheme for Dee House and its
grounds a series of measures is suggested for the exposed portion of
the amphitheatre intended to improve its presentation to the public.
These include removing the upper portion of the massive modern wall
running across the centre of the arena, thus not only alleviating the
oppressive atmosphere in this part of the monument but also opening
up the view of Dee House from the north, raising the level of the seating
bank area by one metre with imported topsoil, and placing hedging around
the perimeter to screen out some of the traffic noise.
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