After we left the Cathedral we tried to find the main shopping area of the town. It wasn’t as easy as we thought, not that I was complaining as walking thought the different streets of the old town was amazing.
We finally spotted the clock on the Chester Wall. Adrian remembered The Chester Grosvenor being close by and it was.
We were thinking about having an early lunch so made our way inside. Adrian looked around the bottom area and then spoke to one of the staff members. Almost everything had changes after all it was a good 30 years since he had work in the hotel. We made our way into the dining room. It looked very posh with the staff in suits. Adrian told me he had to wear several different suits, depending when his shift was. I asked Adrian how many different types of suits there were. With a smile he said ‘morning suit, for the morning shift. Dinner suit, for when you are serving dinner’. Ok I get the message; there were several different suits. With the hotel being so fancy we decided to go for morning tea instead of lunch (it would be cheaper that way.) We ordered a Trio of afternoon teacakes with coffee for Adrian and tea for me. So nice.
As the place was so upmarket, I did try to remember all my Ps and Qs just like my mother taught me. I almost cracked up laughing when I noticed a lady sitting at a table close to us, she was eating her sandwiches with a knife and fork. That bit my mother didn’t teach me.
After morning tea we went to find an entry for the Chester Wall. As we were looking we found a small park. I am sure it would have look lovely in summer with all the flowers in full bloom but instead of looking at the flowers we settled on watching the antics of some squirrels. They were racing around the garden. Jumping in and out of bushes or just siting back watching us watching them. I loved it. In the end Adrian had to pull me away with ‘come on there is still a lot to see,’ and he was right. I guess after taking 500 photos of the squirrels I had enough. (Ok I only took about 20 but the way Adrian tells the story it was closer to the 500 mark.)
From the park we walked into the remains of the ‘Norman choir and medieval chapel,’ it was thought to be built around 1349 although people had been worshiping on the spot since 689ad. The crumbling building is part of the Saint John’s Church. High up on one of the walls it a medieval oak coffin with the words “Dust to Dust.” The information board didn’t really tell us why it was on the wall, it only said, “so that it could be seen above the tall wall which once surround it.” It didn’t say if the coffin was ever used but it all seemed a bit spooky to me.
The ruins seem to have a complex history with several different churches being built over the top of one an another. In the 18th century a house was built for Mrs de Quincey. She was the mother of Thomas de Quincey. Thomas found fame by writing a book called “The Confessions of an English Opium-Eater,”(1821) among other works. Don’t know about you, but I don’t like the idea living in a house built on the foundation of a church.
We decided to go into the church to have a look round. I was not expecting to be greeted at the front entrance by a 10 feet statue. I think it was suppose to be St John.
On pillars as you entered the church were some lovely murals weathered by time. They really gave a feeling of time lost.
Once inside, tucked into the first corner, were several Saxon/Viking gravestones on display. The stones were carved round the 900ad to 1100ad when the Saxons and the Viking were living side by side in peace. They were amazing. When I think about how old they are and for most of their life they have been outside in the elements, it is truly mind blowing to think they have survived.
The Church was small and sweet. It didn’t take us long to look round.