Chester: a heritage port
The application document provides historic background and the appended gazetteer illustrates very well the major features of Chester Heritage Port, showing it has a wealth of historic features in both its inland waterway and tidal areas, and also how these are intermixed with many modern developments to produce a rich, diverse and unusual multi-level waterway environment. Use this document to explore this area of Chester from your armchair or to guide you to features previously unnoticed as you walk along the canal and old port area.
The virtual canal walk, Discovering Chester's Industrial Past, takes you eastwards along the Shropshire Union Canal, formerly the Chester Canal. Walk along the canal in the opposite direction, past the Northgate Locks, and you arrive at the canal basin, Tower Wharf and Taylor's Boatyard. From there the short Dee Branch Canal links the canal system to the tidal River Dee and the old Port of Chester. It is this part of Chester's waterways that formed the core of an application in April 2021 to have the city's waterways designated a 'heritage port' as shown on this map.
The proposal, which can be read here, has been accepted as the first Canal and River System Heritage Port and is recognised by the Maritime Heritage Trust, National Historic Ships and European Maritime Heritage. The ultimate designation by Historic England is now awaited.