Unlocking Chester: A heritage trail through the ‘curated city’


A new Chester heritage project is taking never-before-seen artefacts from the archives of the city’s Grosvenor Museum and installing them in situ in locations round the city.

The Chester Unlocked project goes live this weekend and aims to highlight the rich heritage of the Roman city.

Dean Paton, Managing Director of social enterprise Big Heritage, which has collaborated with CH1ChesterBID to establish the trail, said:

“This is guerrilla archaeology. Chester is part of an ongoing narrative and I love the idea of curating the city to tell this story.”

Visitors collect a map of the self-guided ‘Hoot’s Route’ tour around the city to follow the trail to some 30 locations around the city.

Amongst the artefacts are Victorian scent bottles in Penhaligon’s and an 1883 glazed teapot, originally manufactured in North Wales, now installed at Cinderbox Coffee independent coffee shop.

“Historically coffee shops were places to meet and discuss ideas,” says Cinderbox owner Jez Scott [pictured above]. “In some ways, we have now come full circle to the present day.”

The city-wide installation will run until November with an option to refresh and extend the displays. It will be accompanied by fringe events over the summer, such Roman menus at local restaurants and ancient wine tastings.

The city of Chester was founded by Romans as the military fortress of Deva in the first century AD.

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