The Rows, Chester
The Rows, Chester

The Rows are probably the most often photographed sight in Chester, a series of half-timbered buildings joined with long galleries, looking for all the world like a Tudor shopping mall. There is not one single "Rows" but several complexes of houses in the same style, with the best examples on Watergate, Eastgate and Bridge Street.

The layout of the Rows goes back to the 13th century. There were shops or warehouses at street level, with a long gallery above, reached by steps from the street level.

Living quarters are on the gallery level. In the Middle Ages, this would have been a hall, open to the roof and heated by a central hearth. The private rooms, or solar, were above the gallery.

In the Tudor and Jacobean period the upper floors were built out over the gallery, supported on long poles down to the street level. Shops at ground level used the space between the posts to display their goods to passers-by.

The story of Chester's Rows is told in detail in a special exhibit entitled "Our House – The Story of the Rows of Chester". The exhibit is housed at the Chester Visitor Centre on Vicar’s Lane.


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About The Rows
Address: Chester, Cheshire, England, CH1
Attraction Type: Historic Building
Location: The Rows stretch along the city centre's main shopping streets. Open business hours.
Website: The Rows
Location map
OS: SJ405662
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express


HeritageWe've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.

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