The walled city of Chester in the United Kingdom has a long and fascinating history. There are many interesting facts that you should consider before you take a trip to this charming city. These facts will help you understand why Chester is a major tourist destination.

Britain’s Oldest Sporting Venue

The Chester Racecourse is the oldest sporting venue in Britain that is in continual use. The racetrack first held a sporting event in 1539 when the hordes race replaced the famous bloody Shrove Tuesday football game. If you want to catch a race at this old track, it is best to visit the city in May. The racetrack is often called ‘The Roodee’ because of the raised rood or mounts.

The Chester Rows

The Chester Rows are a unique walkway as they are unique not only to Britain, but to the entire world. The covered walkways offer a 2-tier access to the 4 main streets of Chester. The Chester Rows have been dated back to the 13th century and offer 2 levels of shopping in the city.

Best Preserved Walled City In England

If you are looking for something more historically interesting, it is important to note that Chester is the most well preserved walled city in England. The walls around the city were constructed in medieval times and still stand today. These walls make an almost complete circuit around the city which is something that cannot be found anywhere else in England.

A National Border In The Football Ground

Chester is located on the border of Wales and this can be seen in the football ground. The Chester FC Lookers Vauxhall Stadium actually has the border running through it. The car park and club offices for the grounds are on the English side of the border, but the pitch is actually in Wales. The football pitch is not the only interesting fact linking Chester to Wales.

In 1403, Henry the Prince of Wales expelled all of the Welsh from the city. He decreed that no Welsh people were able to enter the city before sun up or stay after sunset or face decapitation. The most interesting part about this decree is that legally there does not appear to be a record of it being replaced, but it is not enforced.

A Long Roman History

Chester was originally founded as a Roman fort in the year 79 and at the time was called Deva. The city was one of 3 major Roman army forts in the UK at the time. It is still possible to see the impact of Roman life on the city through the Roman amphitheatre which was able to seat 7000 people. It is also possible to visit the remains of the Roman hypocaust which was used to heat the city.

There are many interesting facts about Chester that you should know before you visit the city. These facts will help you understand the city and choose where to visit.