Chester–Deva

Location


View Larger Map

References

Site

Anon 1981: ‘Chester’, Current Archaeology 8, 6–12

Baum, J. and Robinson, D.J. 2002: ‘Deva Victrix restored: the application of computer 3-D modelling techniques in the reconstruction of Roman Chester’, in Carrington 2002a, 113–17

Carrington, P. 1977: ‘The planning and date of the Roman legionary fortress at Chester’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 60, 35–42

Carrington, P. 1985: ‘The plan of the legionary fortress at Chester: a reconsideration’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 68, 23–51

Carrington, P. 1986: ‘The plan of the legionary fortress at Chester: further comparisons’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 69, 7–17

Carrington, P. (ed.) 2002a: Deva Victrix: Roman Chester Re-assessed: Papers from a Weekend Conference Held at Chester College 3–5 September 1999, Chester

Carrington, P. 2002b: ‘Exploration of Roman Chester 1962–1999’ in Carrington 2002a, 7–23

Dunn, G. 2006: ‘Roman baths beyond the walls’, Past Uncovered, 1–2

Grimes, W.F. 1930: Holt, Denbighshire, the Works-Depôt of the Twentieth Legion at Castle Lyons, Y Cymmrodor 41, London

Le Quesne, C. 1999: Excavations at Chester. The Roman and Later Defences, Part 1: Investigations 1978–1990, Archaeological Service Excavation and Survey Report 11, Chester

McPeake, J.C., Bulmer, M., and Rutter, J.A. 1998: ‘Excavations in the garden of No 1 Abbey Green, Chester, 1975–77: interim report’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 73, 15–37

Mason, D.J.P. 1982: ‘A group of Roman hypocaust pilae at the Keeper’s Cottage, Oakmere’, Cheshire Archaeological Bulletin 8, 6–9

Mason, D.J.P. 1987: ‘Chester: the canabae legionis’, Britannia 18, 143–68

Mason, D.J.P. 1988: ‘“Prata Legionis” in Britain’, Britannia 19, 163–90

Mason, D.J.P. 1996: ‘An elliptical peristyle building in the fortress of Deva’ in Johnson and Haynes 1996, 77–92

Mason, D.J.P. 2000: Excavations at Chester. The Elliptical building: an Image of the Roman world? Excavations 1939 and 1963–4, Archaeological Service Excavation and Survey Report 12, Chester

Mason, D.J.P. 2001: Roman Chester, City of the Eagles, Stroud

Mason, D.J.P. 2002a: ‘The construction and operation of a legionary fortress: logistical and engineering aspects’, in Carrington 2002a, 89–112

Mason, D.J.P. 2002b: ‘The foundation of the legionary fortress: Deva, the Flavians and imperial symbolism, in Carrington 2002a, 33–51

Mason, D.J.P. 2005: Excavations at Chester: the Roman Fortress Baths, Excavation and Recording 1732–1998, Archaeological Service Excavation and Survey Report 13, Chester

Mason, D.J.P. and Wilmott, A. 2010: ‘Chester’, in Burnham, B.C. and Davies, J.L. (eds), Roman Frontiers and Wales and the Marches, Aberystwyth, 172–83

Matthews, K.J. 1995: Excavations at Chester. The Evolution of the Heart of the City: Investigations at 3–15 Eastgate Street 1990/1, Archaeological Service Excavation and Survey Report 7, Chester

Newstead, R. 1899: ‘Discovery of Roman Remains in Bridge Street 1899’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 6, 395–9

Newstead, R. and Droop, J.P. 1932a: ‘The Roman Amphitheatre at Chester’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 29, 1–40

Newstead, R. and Droop, J.P. 1932b: ‘The south-east corner of the Roman fortress, Chester’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 29, 41–4

Newstead, R. and Droop, J.P. 1935: ‘The Roman fortress at Chester: a newly-discovered turret and rampart building’, Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology 22, 19–30

Newstead, R. and Droop, J.P. 1940: ‘Excavations at Chester 1939: the Princess Street clearance area’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 34, 5–47

Petch, D.F. 1968: ‘The praetorium at Deva’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 55, 1–5

Petch, D.F. 1970–71: ‘Excavations on the site of the Old Market Hall, Chester: second summary report 1968–1970’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 57, 3–26

Stephens, G.R. 1986: ‘The Roman aqueduct at Chester’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 68, 59–69

Strickland, T.J. 1980: ‘First century Deva: some evidence reconsidered in the light of recent archaeological discoveries’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 63, 5–13

Strickland, T.J. 1982a: ‘Chester: excavations in the Princess Street/Hunter Street area 1978–1982. A first report on discoveries of the Roman period’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 65, 5–24

Strickland, T.J. 1982b: ‘The defences of Roman Chester: a note on discoveries made on the north wall, 1982’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 65, 25–36

Strickland, T.J. 1983: ‘The defences of Roman Chester: discoveries made on the east wall, 1983’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 66, 5–11

Strickland, T.J. 1984: ‘The Roman heritage of Chester: the survival of the buildings of Deva after the Roman period’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 67, 17–36

Strickland, T. 1993: ‘Gifford and Partners Archaeological Service, 1991–2’, Cheshire Past 2, 22

Strickland, T.J. 1996: ‘Recent research at the Chester legionary fortress: the curtain wall and the barrack veranda colonnades’, in Johnson and Haynes 1996, 104–19

Thompson, F.H. 1959: ‘Excavations in Weaver Street, 1956’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 46, 69–72

Thompson, F.H. 1962: ‘Excavations in Nicholas Street 1957’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 49, 5–8

Thompson, F.H. 1967a: ‘Excavations in Bolland’s Court, Chester, 1954 and 1959’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 54, 1–3

Thompson, F.H. 1967b: ‘Excavations on the Site of Woolworth’s Chester 1959’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 54, 9–19

Thompson, F.H. 1967c: ‘Notes on Two Building Sites in Chester’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 54, 21–2

Thompson, F.H. 1969: ‘Excavations at Linenhall Street, Chester, 1961–2’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 56, 1–21

Thompson, F.H., Sunter, N.J., and Weaver, O.J. 1976: ‘The excavation of the Roman amphitheatre at Chester’, Archaeologia 105, 127–239

Ward, S.W. 1988: Excavations at Chester: 12 Watergate Street 1985: Roman Headquarters Building to Medieval Row, Chester

Ward, T. 1975: ‘Excavations in Goss Street, Chester, 1971’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 58, 47–51

Ward, S.W. and Strickland, T.J. 1978: Excavations on the Site of the Northgate Brewery, Chester, 1974–5: a Roman Centurion’s Quarters and Barrack, Chester

Webster, G. 1952: ‘Excavations on the legionary defences at Chester, 1948–52 (Part I)’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 39, 21–8

Webster, G. 1953: ‘Excavations on the legionary defences at Chester, 1948–52 (Part II)’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 40, 1–23

Webster, G. 1955: ‘A section through the legionary defences on the west side of the fortress’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 42, 45–7

Webster, G. 1956: ‘Excavation of the Roman Remains East of Trinity Street 1950–1953’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 43, 27–33

Wilmott, T., Garner, D., and Ainsworth, S. 2006: ‘The Roman amphitheatre at Chester: an interim account’, English Heritage Historical Review 1, 6–23

Finds

Jones, A. 2003–4: ‘Some unusual Roman antefixes from Chester’, Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society 78, 23–47

Lloyd-Morgan, G. 1987: ‘Professor Robert Newstead and finds of Roman military metalwork from Chester’, in Dawson, M. (ed.), Roman Military Equipment: the Accoutrements of War. Proceedings of the Third Roman Military Equipment Research Seminar, BAR International Series 336, Oxford, 85–97

Ward, M. 1998: ‘A collection of samian from the legionary works-depot at Holt’, in Bird, J. (ed.), Form and Fabric: Studies in Rome’s Material Past in Honour of B. R. Hartley, Oxford, 133–43

Visiting and browsing

SE corner towerThere is much to see of Roman Chester, beginning with the famous city walls which, in part, follow those of the legionary fortress. A good starting point is the south-east corner tower on Pepper Street. This can be viewed from within the fenced enclosure next to the road but also from above, by taking advantage of the city walls to get an aerial perspective. To the east are the remains of the extramural legionary amphitheatre which can be inspected in detail, whilst immediately next to the city walls, on the south side of the road, are the Roman Remains Park, which contains fragments of stone from the fortress and civil settlement, including columns from the headquarters building and baths. Head north up the city walls until you reach the steps near Kaleyards. Descending the steps, there are stretches of original fortress wall Eastern curtain wallto the north and south of the city wall. Go back up the steps and follow the walls round until close to the North Gate. This section is Roman almost to walkway height (the canal cutting is more recent and has removed the fortress ditch). Descend the steps at the North Gate and onto the bridge on Northgate Street to get a view of the fortress north wall. Pieces of the crenelated battlements have been recovered from this section and the curtain wall, now bowing outwards gracefully, is Roman up to wall-walk height, marked by a string course.

The northern curtain wallFrom the North Gate head back south down Northgate Street until, near the cathedral on the left and just before the town hall on your right, you can see some more column fragments. At the point where the street narrows and a half-timbered building sticks out, turn right and take the narrow lane through to Hamilton Place and, on the way, look into the display window to the right where you can see part of the shrine of the standards of the HQ building. Now make your way down to Grosvenor Street to visit the Grosvenor Museum, which contains much of interest and relevance to the fortress and its surrounding settlement. Also worthy of mention is the strangely named Dewa Roman Experience in Pierpoint Lane, off Bridge Street (although the Romans had no 'W', the name comes, I suspect, from the generally accepted Latin pronunciation of 'Deva').

Browsing for Roman Chester produces some wonderful material. Let's start with the Victoria County History account. Several pages by Julian Baum offer inspring reconstructions of the fortress. These include The Chester Project, the Elliptical Building, and the fortress defences. Naturally, the Grosvenor Museum has a web presence, as does The Dewa Roman Experience.


Additional information for inclusion may be sent to info@legionaryfortresses.info
(please put fortress site name in the subject line; all other emails may be treated as spam and deleted).

Page last updated 8th December 2013

HOME —— INTRODUCTION —— MAP —— SITES —— PLANS —— BOOK