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CHESTER CASTLE

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A Medieval castle with later alterations. The Agricola Tower is the only feature of Chester Castle which survived the destruction of the medieval castle by fire in the late 18th century (see record 1100771). The castle was originally an earthwork fortress of motte and bailey type built in 1070 by William the Conqueror. The perimeter was walled in stone in the late 12th century. The lower bailey was added in the 13th century. New gates with drum towers were added to the inner bailey in the 13th century when the gate through the Agricola tower was walled up. The outer bailey was walled with stone 1247-51, a new castle chamber added in 1246-7, and the Great Hall built 1250-3. The outer gatehouse was built 1292-3. This completed the major Mediaeval works. In 1265 the Castle was involved in the Barons' War when it was held for ten weeks by the rebel forces of Simon de Monfort. The Castle served as the administrative centre of the Earldom throughout the Medieval period and later periods. It was also used as the headquarters for Henry III's and Edward I's campaigns of conquest in Wales. During the English Civil War it was the headquarters of a Royalist governor,. In the 17th century it served as an armoury and also asa mint. The castle was replaced after the 18th century fire by the buildings of the Shire Hall circa 1811, which still serve as the county hall. Fragments of wall painting can be seen in the vault and the chapel. The site is in the care of English Heritage.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the English Heritage website.