Beeston Castle is a former Royal castle in Beeston, Cheshire, England, perched on a rocky sandstone crag 350 feet (110 m) above the Cheshire Plain. It was built in the 1220s by Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester, (1170–1232), on his return from the Crusades. In 1237, Henry III took over the ownership of Beeston, and it was kept in good repair until the 16th century, when it was considered to be of no further military use, although it was pressed into service again in 1643, during the English Civil War. The castle was partly demolished in 1646, to prevent its further use as a stronghold. During the 18th century the site was used as a quarry.
A short drive outside of Chester and near the Mersey ferry is housed the now broken remains of a salvaged German World War II submarine. Unterseeboot 534 (U534) was a Type IXC/40 U-boat of the Kriegsmarine built in 1942. The U-boat is one of only four large German WWII submarines in preserved condition remaining in the world, the only other IXC boat being U-505 in Chicago.
U534 was used mainly for training duties, and during her life sank no ships. The boat was part of a museum until 2006. When the museum closed it was deemed too expensive to move it whole and was shamefully cut into four sections to be displayed at the Woodside Ferry Terminal opposite Liverpool.
After Hadrian's Wall I headed back South, stopping off in Chester to continue being a tourist this time in my home city. When you start to scratch at the surface there is still plenty left to discover and it's surprising to find yourself still being surprised by what you can learn, or rediscover what you've forgotten.
Chester is compact and much is squeezed in with most places of interest inside the walls. The Roman street pattern is also relatively intact. A number of shops even have Roman or Medieval remains within.
Following on from my last Chester blog, I've focused more on and around the former Roman amphitheatre and the South East corner of the walled part of the city, a part of the city that I've never really known a lot about and was amazed to learn of a 13th century coffin embedded in the ruins of a church and on display.
Deva Victrix, or simply Deva, and now the modern city of Chester. Being a Cestrian, I know that Chester is steeped in history but as is often the case, you sometimes fail to appreciate what you are surrounded by. In the knowledge that Chester is a city that can rival many a destination I have been to, I took to the streets with my camera and guide book to be a tourist in my home city.
I now know a lot more about the city I lived in for most of my formative years and it is good to see that excavations are still taking place, particularly around the Roman Amphitheatre. As Chester continues its regeneration, I am sure that a lot more will be uncovered as the old is pulled down to make way for the new.
After you've experienced my delights or horrors of United Kingdom, see what the destinations below may have in store for you.