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I can’t believe I stumbled across this while wondering around Chester! Sometimes I love nothing more than getting of the beaten track. I’m so grateful and thankful to have a wondering curious mind and a real zest for life otherwise, I would never stumble across amazing things like this.
At first I thought it was a hobbit house, but it turned out to be the site of Minerva’s shrine, a roman goddess. It is said, that quarrymen carved this shrine to Minerva more than 2000 years ago. The quarrymen would come here to worship and pay respect to the goddess as well as praying for success and safety.
shrines were very common in the ancient world, but many of them have been claimed and this is the only one in its original site in Western Europe, as recorded by Historic England.
The shrine is a little worse for wear, but you can still see the outline figure of her holding a spear.
If you want to visit, it’s located in Edgar’s field. Go across the old Dee Bridge across the river, Edgar’s field is on the right next to a pub called the Ship Inn.
Whilst here enjoy the beautiful surroundings nearby
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I didn’t know it was an amphitheatre
I was surprised to learn that Chester had an amphitheatre whilst researching places to go before my trip. The funny thing is, I actually realised I’d seen it before on a previous trip a few years earlier but, I didn’t know it was an amphitheatre. It didn’t look like the amphitheatres I’m used to seeing. Having said this, I think that’s what makes it quite unique.
A bit about the history
It’s dated right back to the 1st century AD and is the largest amphitheatre to be discovered in Britain. It was used for gladiatorial combat, cockfighting and bull baiting in front of a large crowd of up to 8,000 people. It was first discovered underground in the 1970s.
you’ll have noticed it doesn’t look that big in the picture. That’s because only two fifths of it are visible, the rest is under a brick wall. Archaeologists were unable to excavate the rest of it due to other buildings that have been built over it. Some of these buildings are important in their own right such as Dee House, an 18th century house which sits over most of the covered site. Authorities won’t give permission for it’s removal and have actually protected Dee House. It’s such a shame, especially since Dee House has been empty since 1993. Either way I’d say it’s still impressive and worth a visit and you’ll be able to say you have visited Britain’s largest discovered amphitheatre to date👍🏾.
It’s free to visit and you can find it at Little St John Street, CH1 1RE
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I vsited this fascinating city back in April of this year. The visit came after discovering the city may have been, or at least planned by the Romans to become their capital city. There has been a growing speculation of this over the years after the discovery of a Roman maps for the city.
I wouldn’t mind, but I’ve been here before and didn’t realise just how historical this place is.
A bit about Chester
Chester is situated in the northwest of England. It was founded as a Roman fortress in the 1st century A.D.
It’s captivating beauty and distinctive character makes it one of the UK’s well liked destinations.
The place where the Romans trooped to war, the Vikings caused destruction and the Normans defeated the Anglo Saxons. And with that being said, you’ll probably know there is plenty of rich history in this little city.
Over the next few posts I will be sharing the places I come across whilst here.