The Black and White Picture Place
Old Maps and Aerial Photographs of Chester
'Hemingway's' Map of Chester 1645
Note also how the artist has included the great sandbank in the River Dee on the far left. Once a great commercial seaport, the silting of the river effectively destroyed the trade and opened the way for the once-insignificant fishing village of Liverpool to begin its meteoric rise to become the great seaport it remains today. Calls for the dredging of the Dee were repeatedly ignored, on the understandable grounds of technical difficulty and expense. But, desperate to save the port, the river was, around 1730, eventually turned out of its ancient course into a new canalised stretch- the change can be seen on our next map- and a new harbour complex, the so-called Old Port, was created, standing well away from the City Walls on what was once the old river bed. This was successful for a while but the silting continued and all commercial shipping ceased in the early twentieth century.