Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Chester

Chester.-- parl. and mun. bor., city, and co. in itself, locally in W. Cheshire, about 20 miles by the river from the Irish Sea, 16 miles S. of Liverpool. and 33 SW. of Manchester by rail -- parl. bor. (extending into Flintshire), 3289 ac., pop. 40,972; mun. bor., 2857 ac., pop. 36,794; 4 Banks, 6 newspapers. Market-day, Saturday; stands on a rocky height on right bank of river Dee, which is here crossed by a splendid stone bridge with a single span of 200 ft., the largest save one, it is believed, in Europe. C. is a great railway centre, and has one of the finest stations in the kingdom. It is connected with the Mersey by the Ellesmere Canal. As a port it has been injuriously affected by the silting up of the Dee, and its shipping trade is now inconsiderable. (For shipping statistics, see Appendix.) C. is a very ancient city; it was the Devana Castra of the Romans, and the Caerleon Vawr, or "City of the Great Legion," of the Cymri. It is the only city in England that still possesses its walls entire. C. was made the see of a bishop in 1541. The cathedral, a massive Gothic structure, is of great antiquity, as are also many of the churches. The city possesses several fine examples of the old timber houses of the 17th century. The castle was taken down towards the end of last century, and replaced by a barracks, a county jail, and assize courts. C. has mfrs. of boots and shoes for exportation and the wholesale home trade; furniture and upholstery; paint, shot, and lead pipes; it has also iron foundries and a shipbuilding yard. The principal exports are cheese, lead, copper-plates, cast-iron, and coal. The bor. returns 1 member to Parliament.

(John Bartholomew, Gazetteer of the British Isles (1887))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "parliamentary and municipal borough, city, and county in itself"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Cheshire AncC
Place: Chester

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