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Chester Castle f.54

Chester Castle f.54

Artist: Buckler, John Chessell

Medium: Pencil on paper

Date: 1823

Shelfmark: Additional MS 36360

Item number: f.54

Length: 26.4

Width: 35.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Drawing

A Roman military settlement was founded in Chester in 68 AD. Situated on an estuary of the River Dee, the town gradually grew in size and prosperity and finally became the major commercial centre of the north-west. This made it prone to attacks by invaders and raiders. During Norman times, in response to such threats, the civic authorities set about building defence structures at crucial points around the town and finally encircling it all with strong city walls.

Chester Castle was originally a stone motte and bailey fortress from this period, built by Hugh d'Avranches, Earl of Chester. By the time Buckler visited here in 1823, all that remained were fragments of the inner wall and a couple of towers. The rest was cleared away to make room for a set of new civic buildings, designed by Thomas Harrison and completed in 1810. The picture seen here shows the entrance to Harrison's new Law Courts.

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