Chester: a Virtual Stroll Around the Walls

Old Maps and Aerial Photographs of Chester

Chester from the Air: Cathedral and City, looking north-east c.1967

In the centre of this fine aerial photograph of Chester city centre stands the medieval Cathedral, behind which runs the eastern section of the City Walls. Behind this again, Cow Lane Bridge crosses the Shropshire Union Canal. There still appears to be many gravestones standing in the upper left-hand side of the Cathedral churchyard.

In the foreground, facing Market Square, the much-missed Victorian Market Hall still sits alongside the Town Hall. Above this, the elegant 18th century houses in Abbey Square may be seen, beyond which is the Deanery Field and beyond, the Newtown area of the city.

At the bottom, the area behind the Market Hall has been cleared of the warren of poor back-to-back houses and courts that long existed here. The market itself would follow soon afterwards, to be replaced by a new market hall and the ghastly and inappropriate Forum council office complex. This, in turn, is eventually due to be swept away as part of the Northgate Development Scheme...

In the bottom right-hand corner St. Peter's Church stands at the Cross, at the junction of Northgate Street and Eastgate Street- the heart of Chester.

At the top of the picture, the Cattle Market still stands, but, to its left, a large triangular area, bounded by St. Anne Street, Tower Street and George Street, has been cleared in preparation for the construction of the Inner Ring Road and new housing we saw in this photograph. In the pre-ring road city, Brook Street (centre top) still follows the course of an ancient Roman road and runs uninterrupted from Hoole to Cow Lane Bridge.

Compare this photograph with this detail from John McGahey's amazing 1855 View of Chester from a Balloon...

On to another aerial photograph of Chester...

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