Grade I-listed, wrought-iron gates, on Castle Drive have been carefully refurbished by Chester Renaissance in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council with aspirations for public access via the gates.
Dating back to 1885, the gates stand under the arch which leads to the entrance of Castle Square, now home to the University of Chester and Chester Crown Court and where the County Gaol once stood.
The gates have benefitted from intensive works to bring them back to their former glory and visitors to the city can now walk through the renovated gateway and walk alongside the castle.
Executive Member for Culture and Recreation, Councillor Stuart Parker, said: “The recently launched One City Plan highlights a clear vision for rejuvenating the castle area of Chester and maximising its historical relevance to our rich past.
“The castle complex is of great importance to the city and the refurbishment works not only bring protected gates back into use but will allow local people and visitors to get a close up view of this once-mighty fortress.
“The opening of the gates will also greatly improve pedestrian access between the Grosvenor Bridge and Little Roodee car park and the city centre, helping to make more of the city easier for pedestrians.”
Fencing to the side of the City Walls path which leads visitors past the castle has also been refurbished, with overgrown vegetation cut back, allowing visitors walking along the roman walls a clear view of the castle.
Local Councillor and Chester Renaissance Board Member, Samantha Dixon, said: “The ambition set out for the Castle Gateway site in the One City Plan is to strengthen this distinctive part of the city by making far more use and promotion of the Castle complex and its surroundings.
“The refurbishment and opening of the Castle Drive gates and maintenance works to improve the view unlocks the site’s potential, and I am pleased the gates’ restoration marks the start of the process.”
Local resident David Leedham, who attended the official opening of the gates after working with Chester Renaissance on the project, said: “Concerns about the area surrounding the castle, which are shared by Chester Renaissance and the Council, have resulted in this magnificent improvement which I hope will result in a much more dramatic entrance to the city for tourists and visitors alike.
“This historical area of the city is full of amazing possibilities and it is so encouraging to see these now being realised. No one opposed Chester Renaissance at the start more than I did. Now I am genuinely appreciative and full of praise. Come and have a look!”
Left to right: Chester Renaissance board member Eric Langton, Councillor Samantha Dixon, resident David Leedham and Project Manager Magnus Theobald.