Costa & Stephie

Costa & Stephie

Posted on 06/08/2013

Photo taken on August 29, 2010

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Cheshire Cheshire


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Water Tower - Chester walls

Water Tower - Chester walls
Costa: "That's a lot of history for a small tower!"

The Water Tower (originally known as the New Tower) is a 14th-century tower in Chester, Cheshire, England, which is attached by a spur wall to Bonewaldesthorne's Tower on the city walls. The tower, together with its spur wall, is designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building. The original name of the tower was New Tower but in the 17th century it became known as the Water Tower, although the City Assembly tried to insist on the usage of its correct name.

The tower was built between 1322 and 1325, at which time it stood in the River Dee. It is attached to Bonewaldesthorne's Tower by a spur wall. The architect was John (de) Helpston who had also designed castles for King Edward II in North Wales. Its prime purpose was to defend the port of Chester, and it was also used to monitor the movements of shipping and to ensure that the custom dues were paid. The cost of the tower and the spur wall was £100 (£30,000 as of 2013).

By the end of the 16th century the river had silted up and the tower was landlocked. In 1639 the tower was renovated at the city's expense and during the following decade embrasures in the spur wall were made into gun ports. During the Civil War the tower was attacked and damaged. From 1671 it was leased as a storehouse but in 1728 it was described as "useless and neglected".

The Chester Mechanics' Institution was founded in 1835. The Institution wished to open a museum to show its artifacts and the city council leased the Water Tower and Bonewaldesthorne's Tower at a nominal rent for this purpose. The museum opened in 1838. The Institution closed in 1876 and the exhibits came into the possession of the city council. Although it was recognised that the tower was not suitable as a museum, there was at the time nowhere else to show all the exhibits. The tower closed as a museum in 1901–02 while the city walls were rebuilt, and re-opened in 1903, attracting 12,000 visitors that season. The towers were closed to the public in 1916 and in the 1920s they were let for non-museum use. In 1954 they were bought by the Grosvenor Museum which reopened them to the public in 1962. The tower is now some 200 yards (183 m) inland from the river, and is probably the least-altered of Chester's medieval towers.,_Chester

Tom Swailes
Tom Swailes
An idea for a slogan comes to mind: 'the bears who've been there'
5 years ago.