The Cathedral is reached from either Northgate Street or the winding St Werburgh Street. Records show that, around 958, the site was occupied by a church and shrine dedicated to St Werburgh (died ca. 700), abbess daughter of King Wulfhere of Mercia. A little over a century later, having regard no doubt to the salvation of his not altogether guiltless soul, Hugh Lupus, first Norman Earl of Chester, replaced it with a Benedictine abbey.
Chester Cathedral Map
Official site: www.chestercathedral.com
Address: 12 Abbey Square, Chester CH1 2HU, England
Opening hours: Jan 1 to Dec 31: 9am-5pm; Sun: 12:30pm-4pm
Entrance fee in GBP: Family £10.00, Adult £4.00, Senior £3.00, Group discounts £3.00, Child 16 & under £1.50
Guides: Audio-visual presentations available.
Facilities: Gift shop, Restaurant or food service
Chester Cathedral Highlights
Leaving the west end of Chester cathedral, continue along the south aisle, past the massive south transept (14th century) which, with its three aisles, was used as a parish church (St Oswald's), to reach the Early Decorated choir, undoubtedly the finest part of the Cathedral. The late 14th century choir stalls are superbly carved, with 48 droll misericords and an old abbot's seat inscribed with the Tree of Jesse. Part of a 14th century shrine to St Werburgh can be seen in the Lady Chapel.
Somewhat unusually, the cloister (rebuilt in the 19th century) and the several surviving Chester abbey buildings grouped around it, are found on the cathedral's north side. The Chapter House and its vestibule are both Early English. In the refectory the hammerbeam roof is modern, having been completed in 1939; the stone lector's pulpit on the other hand, approached by a flight of steps set in the wall, is again Early English. The plain undercroft is Norman.
Map of Chester Attractions