Lockdown loafing: a racy glimpse of the love lives of Georgian Chester

Walking the walls is one of Chester’s favourite strolls.

The 2m circuit is also one of my preferred lockdown walks, although there are currently two places with diversions — one by Morgan’s Mount and the other by Newgate Bridge.

But in the Georgian era, a promenade around the walls was considered the height of fashion with Chester offering one of the first genteel walking circuits in the country.

Indeed, a Georgian suitor would have felt quite a frisson of excitement if they took their sweetheart for an evening stroll without a chaperone.

Even more so, if she should dare to reveal a hint of ankle.

Pemberton’s Parlour [pictured above] became a centrepoint for these romantic ramblings.

The seated alcove, built in the early 18th century on the ruins of the medieval Goblin Tower, is named after the former Mayor, John Pemberton.

Pemberton was the ‘murenger’ who the collected the ‘murage’, taxes to fund the upkeep of the walls.

He even added a stone plaque [pictured below] on top of the alcove to record his importance as the man who collected the monies.

Today the walls remain a major selling point for the city with Chester rated along side Unesco-listed Conwy and Carcassone as some of the best surviving medieval city walls.

You can walk a complete circuit of the walls via this handy video from CheshireLive.

But I’m with the Georgians.

I love the way a simple stroll became an elaborate metaphor for our need to be close to the ones we love.

It’s a sentiment with strong parallels to the situation we find ourselves in today.

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