Chester came into being as a Roman fortress called Diva Victrix built upon the banks of the river Dee (hence, Diva) almost 2000 years ago.
Thanks to its harbour, it became one of the most important Roman settlements in England.
Since those first days, Chester’s history has been a story influenced by Viking raiders, Norman castle building, and a ruinous two year siege during the English Civil War.
The Cathedral has a long history dating back to at least 906 CE when a Saxon minster stood on the site that the Cathedral now occupies.
Nothing remains of the original building as it was destroyed in 1090. In 1093 CE a Benedictine Abbey was established, largely through the efforts of monks from Normandy.
In 1538 the monastary was disbanded (as many were during the dissolution of the monstaries) and shortly afterwards, in 1541 the abbey became a catherdral of the Church of England by order of King Henry VIII.
Over the centuries, the Catherdral has had various modifications before falling into disrepair. The exterior was restored by Victorian artisans to create the more cohesive presentation visible today.
A city of all ages
Chester has much to offer the visitor, with its unique blend of Romain, medieval, Victorian, and modern blend of architectures.
Chester has the most complete Roman / Medieval defensive walls in Britain, forming an almost complete 2-mile perimeter around the original settlement.