Friday, 19 November 2010

Bill Quay Community Farm

Bill Quay Community Farm occupies a narrow pice of green land between Gateshead and South Tyneside. It overlooks industrial Tyneside. There's no charge to visit the farm. Plenty of pigs, goats, sheep and bee hives. There is also a visitor centre/cafe.

I visited the farm in August 2010 when I shot this video.

Bill Quay Farm
Hainingwood Terrace
Bill Quay
NE10 0UE

Tel: 0191 433 5780

Saturday, 13 November 2010

A short tour of Chester

This is the video I shot on my recent visit to Chester. A former Roman garrison town, then medieval town, now modern city centre. Great if you are into retail therapy. If you have better things to do with your time than wander around shops, have a look at the cathedral, the medieval city walls, the Roman Ampitheatre (the biggest in Britain) and the Roman Gardens, all of which are featured in this video.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Grosvenor Museum, Chester

This museum is at 27 Grosvenor Street, Chester. I was pleased I visited it when I was in Chester last week. A modest size museum and free to enter, it has a thorough history of Roman Chester. There is also a room dedicated to the Viking period. Look out as well for the recreation of a town house covering domestic life from the 17th to early twentieth centuries.

We spent an hour and a half in the museum. I loved the place though, admittedly, I am an historian. I was accompanied by a non-historian - and he liked the place as well.

Chester City Walls

Chester is one of the few cities in Britain where the old medieval walls still survive largely intact (though I recommend Conwy in North Wales as another town where they still stand and arguably are more spectacular). Anyway, I was in Chester last week and got the chance to walk along a part of the wall, from Newgate (see picture below) to the River Dee. I shot this video at the same time.

Access to the wall is free.

A few photos to illustrate the stretch I was on:

Chester city walls Oct 10 7

Chester city walls Oct 10 6

Chester city walls Oct 10 3

Roman Chester

Chester was one of the main towns of Roman Britain and medieval England. For the Romans it was also a garrison town. Some of the Roman remains are clearly visible though there is still plenty under the streets waiting to be excavated.

I visited Chester last weekend. The first video below is of Chester's Roman ampitheatre. I understand it was the biggest ampitheatre in Britain. It's free to get into and can also be viewed from the medieval wall.

There is some talk of the ampitheatre being the inspiration for the Round Table of the mythical King Arthur.

The second video is of Roman Gardens, a park next to the ampitheatre and medieval wall. The entrance is next to the Newgate on the wall (the gate overlooks the ampitheatre as well).

The park is quite recent, opened in 2000, according to the bit of background research I did on it. It was previosuly the site of an 18th century clay pipe factory.

The park is used to exhibit various pieces of Roman stonework and contains a reconstructed hypocaust.

Back to the ampitheatre - a couple of photos:

Chester Ampitheatre Oct 10 3

Chester Ampitheatre Oct 10 4

This 2nd photo was taken from the top of Northgate. Note how only half the ampitheatre has been excavated.