Flower, bees and butterflies have become a star attraction after Deva Roman Discovery Centre in Chester opened its doors to the public after a year-long restoration project by new owners, Big Heritage. Whilst a series of new innovative digital exhibits have been popular with visitors in the opening week, its been the secret Roman Medicine Garden outside of the attraction’s front doors which has proven most popular.
The new garden had until recently been a small patch of land outside at the end of Pierpoint Lane, but has undergone a transformation to create a stunning pocket park in the heart of the city. The park is now very popular with visitors and locals alike, with interpretation boards allowing people to learn about the Roman use of medicinal herbs and plants.
Georgia Hayes, Head of Visitor Experience at Big Heritage said: “We’ve invested a considerable amount of time and money into re-imagining Deva, and we felt that this should extend outside the doors of the building and into our immediate neighbourhood. It’s amazing to see how quickly nature has taken over the baton from us. There are all manner of native flowers blooming and hundreds of bees, butterflies and other pollinators enjoying their new home in the heart of the city.”
The garden was part-funded by the Government’s ‘Welcome Back Fund” to encourage visitors to come to Chester post Covid-19, and contains a range of plants and herbs with medicinal properties known to Roman doctors across the empire. Two beautiful olive trees provide shade for visitors to sit under and a series of Roman inspired murals are to be installed in mid August
Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “Chester has so many hidden treasures for residents and visitors alike to discover and the list has just increased with the Roman Medicine Garden. I’m sure this addition will be welcomed by not just all of us, but the pollinators as well who are finding the new park. Congratulations to Big Heritage.”
Deva has reopened after a refurbishment by new owners Big Heritage, the team behind the wildly successful Sick to Death museum which opened last year to critical acclaim. Visitors to Chester can now buy a value multi-ticket to visit both sites and take a Roman Soldier patrol tour around the city.