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 Chester (6) Roman Chester


Chester (Dewa/Deva Victrix) was founded by the Romans ~the year 75 AD, in the land of the Celtic tribe of the Cornovii people (according to Ptolemy.

 It was used as a fortress during the Roman expansion north, naming it Deva either after the goddess of the Dee or directly from the British name for the river. The 'Victrix' part of the name was taken from the title of the Legio XX Valeria Victrix who were based at Deva. Typically of a Roman occupation site, a civilian settlement would grow around the settlement enhanced by groups of traders dealing with the soldiers of the fortress.

The civilian amphitheatre which was built in 1st century could hold around 7000 people, making it the largest known military amphitheatre in Britain. The fortress was garrisoned by the Legio XX Valeria legion until at least the late 4th century, but the fort abandoned AD410 when the Romans retreated from 'Britannia' back to the Continent and ultimately to Rome or residual provinces still under Roman control.  It is probable that civilians settlement continued using the fortress for their defence against raiders sailing up the River Dee from the Irish Sea.

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Roman Chester: In the corner of the PrÍt-a-Manger Cafe in Northgate Street, is the base of great Roman column of the Roman Principia of the Roman City of Chester. It is protected by a transparent plastic screen so you can view it while having coffee! The PrÍt-a-Manger Cafe is another lovely black and white building in Tudor style of architecture.


Roman Chester: Left: Some school children enjoying the educational 'Dewa Roman Experience' of soldiers. Right: The column standing near the Town Hall in front of the Library, looks a bit 'Roman', but isn't! Its almost certainly from the old Town Hall, of which on a fragment remains


Roman Chester: One of the surviving Roman gateways near ?


Roman Chester: On the left the Roman gateway, and on the right the modern archway in Newgate Street, this gateway was built in the 1930s to ease traffic congestion!


Roman Chester: The Roman Angle Tower - the remains of an angle tower of the south-east corner of the Roman fortress of Deva (Dewa)


Roman Chester: The Roman amphitheatre, the biggest known in Britain, holding 7000 spectators..


Roman Chester: The Roman amphitheatre.


Roman Chester: The modern mosaic by the entrance to the 'Roman Gardens'. This replica mosaic commemorates Roman gardens and includes scenes from around the Roman Empire.


Roman Chester: The four full length figures on the mosaic represent the four seasons


Roman Chester:


Roman Chester: Some bases and stumps of Roman columns in the Roman Gardens.


Roman Chester: Some reconstructed remains of the Roman bathhouse, showing the stone base supports of the hypocaust - the under floor heating system (see diagram and notes on the bathing halls below).


Roman Chester: The children enjoying the 'Dewa Roman Soldier Experience' surrounded by Roman remains in the Roman Gardens!



Chester (1) Walk from Blacon into Chester & Canals

Chester (2) Chester Street Scenes and building architecture

Chester (3) Chester Cathedral

Chester (4) Fragments of Medieval Chester and later 'bits'

Chester (5) St John's Church, Chester

Chester (6) Roman Chester, Roman Gardens




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