New walkaway on Chester's historic City Walls opens in time for Christmas holidays

10 December 2020

A new walkway, which will allow residents and visitors to move around the section of Chester’s historic City Walls that collapsed in January 2020, will be open before Christmas.

Work on the site has been progressing well and the new structure will be in place until the collapsed section is repaired.

The walkway will be lined to protect visitors from the works site and information boards from previous City Walls projects will form a gallery showcasing the work that has taken place to preserve Chester’s most famous asset for future generations.  Perspex viewing windows will be cut into the lining so that visitors can see as the work progresses and the walkway will be lit for the dark, early winter evenings.

The scaffolding under the walkway has been designed to avoid placing pressure on three crypts which were found during a radar survey of the area.

Councillor Karen Shore, the Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, said: “It’s great news that this section of the City Walls will be open in time for Christmas.  We’re very grateful to Wesley Church Centre for allowing our engineers to use their land to create this structure as it wouldn’t have been possible without this access.

“Northgate Steps will also open before Christmas - date is to be confirmed - so more of our wonderful City Walls will be accessible during the Christmas break.”

Revd Dr Christine Dutton of the Wesley Church Centre said: 'We're so glad we've been able to assist the Council with this important project for the City. We're also very grateful to all parties involved for the consideration they've shown to Wesley throughout the planning and construction phases.”

Fay Newham of engineering consultants Ramboll said: “These temporary works are multipurpose: they prop the City Walls, provide a safe fire escape route for the Wesley Centre, a working scaffold for repairs, and will support a temporary roof over the works, as well as providing a walkway for the public, all in a very restricted space.”

The new walkway can be accessed from the Grosvenor Shopping centre car park from the City Walls (this access has been closed since the collapse) and St John Street steps behind the Church which have also reopened.

A section of City Walls at Bridgegate Bridge remains closed for repairs to take place.  Propping at that site will begin in January 2021.

For more information on the City Walls please see the Council’s website.

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