Chester: Medieval Art, Architecture and Archaeology

British Archaeological Association, Volume 22
ISBN: 978 1 902653 09 9 (PB); 978 1 902653 08 2 (HB)
March 2000
Available in paperback and hardback
208 pages
Colour plates: 4; B&W plates: 36; Illustrations: 138

Edited by:

Alan Thacker

A long tradition of archaeological and historical enquiry has provided a framework for understanding Chester’s development from the Roman period. Furthermore, recent, extensive archaeological investigations have resulted in a more secure basis for appreciating the city’s growth in the middle ages. The association’s annual conference in 1992 provided the opportunity to review recent work and to consider several neglected aspects of the architectural history of the cathedral. The history of the city and its buildings from post-Roman times to the early 13th century, and the Romanesque churches of St. Werburgh’s Abbey and St. John’s church, together with new discoveries, are reviewed. Essays consider the architectural development of the choir at St. Werburgh’s, the misericords, the abbey’s intellectual activity and Gilbert Scott’s restoration. For the city itself, the impact of the three friaries is examined and a new study of the Rows presented. Other chapters investigate medieval graffiti at Vale Royal and the re-use of monasteries after the Dissolution. Finally, the exceptional wall paintings in the Castle’s Agricola Tower are published for the first time and are shown to be Henry III’s major surviving paintings and the most significant find of English Gothic wall painting in the last twenty years. This volume is a major landmark in the study of medieval Chester.