Following last summer’s successful opening the Castle will be open again from 20 July to 16 September. The Castle will open Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s from 10.30am to 4pm with free entry to the grounds.
This year, visitors can also pay £2 to the top of the Agricola Tower for a unique panorama view from the roof. Access will also be available to the first floor chapel of St. Mary de Castro, now the Regimental Chapel thanks to the permission of the Mercian Regiment.
The Castle is being reopened in partnership with English Heritage. Their members will be able to visit the roof top free of charge..
Chester Castle was founded by William the Conqueror in 1070 and became the administrative centre of the Earldom of Chester. The Agricola Tower and Castle Walls are now in the care of English Heritage, who are supporting the Chester Castle Revealed project. The tower will house a pop up exhibition telling the fascinating story of the Castle.
Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing said: “Following the success of last year’s opening, visitors have another chance to look around Chester Castle. This year’s opening days reflect the most popular days for visits last year.
“We have an interesting events programme to help animate the Castle and I’m sure many people will take the chance to view Chester from the rooftop.”
Kate Potter, from English Heritage added: “Due to the success of last year’s opening, we are thrilled to be able to support Cheshire West and Chester Council in welcoming visitors to the Castle’s Agricola Tower. This gives everyone the opportunity to experience the rich and varied history of this wonderful site. The castle will be open between July and September and we look forward to welcoming visitors in.”
Entry will be from the Castle Car Park and also from the City Walls using the Sally Port originally used as a secure entryway to the Castle.
This years programme of events includes :
‘Ecce Iterum’ (Latin for see again) is an exhibition at the castle featuring the work of three Chester based artists. Kate Gater, Alexandru Modoi and Estelle Woolley have created new art works that reflect and respond to the Castle and its history. The artworks include sound, photography and sculpture, to draw attention to some of the castle’s hidden features. The artworks will be on display throughout the opening of the Castle.
The Cheshire Archives team will be bringing ‘Crafts from the Past’ to the Castle on 10 and 17 August, visitors will be able to have a go at writing like a Tudor, make a coat of arms and create illuminated letters.
The Castle will be teaming up with Pride again this year to play host to their ‘Chill Out Zone’ on 11 August.
To mark 100 years of women having the right to vote, The Grosvenor Museum’s youth panel will be creating a ‘militant’ atmosphere on the streets of Chester. They’ll be marching with their sashes and banners, demanding that women are given the right to vote, chaining themselves to railings, getting heckled by a Lord and arrested by an Edwardian policeman. All in a day’s work for a Suffragette. 25 August 2.30pm to 3pm.
On 1 and 2 September, Chester Castle hosts a multi-period Re-enactment from Chester Living History in partnership with other re-enactment societies. They will bring the past to life, giving a taste of what life was like between the years 1070 and 1945 A.D.
The City of Chester Male Voice Choir return to the Castle on 9 September.