Chester's 'acropolis' re-opens after major work

8 November 2016

Repairs and improvements to the Chester Castle Square entrance have now been completed following extensive conservation work to restore the historic Propylaeum.

The two hundred year old sandstone structure is a magnificent gateway originally modelled on the Acropolis in Greece and designed by Chester based architect Thomas Harrison. Work began on the structure in 1811 and was finished in 1815.

Vehicle access through the Propylaeum was closed during the much needed refurbishment work. Following the success of the temporary entrance and exit on Castle Street to the court buildings and the University of Chester it has been decided to continue using this on a permanent basis. 

The entrance through the propylaeum will be maintained for pedestrians and emergency access which will protect the refurbished structure providing a better opportunity to showcase one of Chester’s most significant Grade 1 listed heritage assets in its own right, rather than return it to its former role as a car park entrance.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing said: “This building was formerly on the Historic England ‘At Risk’ register, so to have been able to restore it to its original glory is fantastic for the City of Chester. I would like to thank Historic England and WREN for their grants in making it possible.

Grosvenor Construction Ltd., specialist building conservation contractors worked with structural engineers, Ramboll, specialists in the repair of historic structures. The work was overseen by Historic England, to ensure a sympathetic restoration was carried out.

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