About the Chester Heritage Festival

‚ÄčTelling the story of our city and its people

WELCOME to Chester Heritage Festival; let me tell you all about it.

Several English cities have Roman origins, some with  archaeological remains and parts of a fortress wall or 
a 2000-year-old street pattern, but very few have all of these and an amphitheatre. Most cities have a variety of historic buildings, some have city walls but none as complete as those in Chester. Many cities have a cathedral but none except Chester also has two-tiered shopping streets called the Rows.  Finally, many towns and cities have a racecourse, riverside promenade or canal corridor, but nowhere else has all three so close together in such a beautiful setting.

So, we are incredibly lucky in Chester to have all these things - but we don’t want them to be taken for granted. Our Heritage Festival aims to bring them all to life and to tell the stories that have accumulated over two millennia.

The event has its origins in 2015 when a ‘Heritage Week’ was organised by Chester Civic Trust, the Cheshire Society of Architects and Cheshire West & Chester Council. The festival has grown bigger year-on-year, and is now a partnership led by CW&C Council, Chester Civic Trust, Marketing Cheshire, Chester Cathedral and others. Two years ago we organised well over 100 events and the festival was truly established as an annual feature of the city‘s cultural calendar.

This year, Chester Heritage Festival takes on a new format determined by the coronavirus pandemic. Some live events will take place, Government ‘road-map’ permitting, but there is a tremendous amount to explore from your own home via this new website. Everything you need to know about events, live or on-line, is here.

So, whether you are interested in our Roman amphitheatre, shipbuilding on the River Dee, Chester’s workhouse or Thomas Brassey, the great Victorian railway builder, it’s all here for you to see. Delve into Chester’s heritage, learn something new about our past and enjoy the experience!

Stephen Langtree MBE

Festival Patron