Chester, the palatine of Cheshire, is a small, but beautiful city with a rich wealth of history stretching back to the Romans and beyond.
It”s well worth strolling through it’s streets on warm sunny days, just absorbing the history and romance of yesteryears.
One particular particular and unique medieval feature are the Rows, a level of shops, along a covered walkway, above street level.
These galleried walk ways extend along four of the main streets, affording shoppers, of the past, present and future, the ability to go about their day in relative comfort, sheltered from the elements.
Down Watergate Street, we find Leche House (pictured above) a grand old house, built on a 14thC undercroft – the majority of the upper building dates from the 16thC onwards.
It is one of the best preserved houses in the city, and as many find when they visit – it’s a place where the veil can be lifted… no doubt it has it’s ghosts, some, with many a good tale to tell I should imagine!
The first thing that hit’s you as you walk into what is now The Sofa shop is the amazing space before you – rich with symbolism the fireplace stretches up into the ceiling in a most unexpected way.
Note how the crests have been removed.
Under the mantelpiece are three man made holes, but what were they for…? Perhaps the timber was reclaimed and these are peg holes? Or little niches in which to hide something or other?
The coat of arms is interesting too…
It’s clear, through out the building that other coats of arms have been removed though, suggesting that the family fell from grace at sometime.
The coat of arms here though, is most intriguing – at sometime during the buildings history, it was a drinking house called The Snake in Hand… but the history of the family reveal that this is not a snake, no, it’s a leech!
The Leche family originated in Derbyshire and had their seat in Carding, just outside of Chester. I assume Leche House was their town dwelling.
The interior, both upstairs and downstairs has been nicely preserved, with many original features for the curious to stand and stare at, wondering what secrets are hidden here in plain sight?
Little rooms beckon, some have a definite atmosphere too!
Old windows with modern views; I wonder who looked out of here in years gone by when the house was in it’s hay-day?
The stairs my be modern, but the rail has had many a hand run over it.
The sofa’s for sale sit well with the history of the house; now visitors can once again sit and chat, all be it fleetingly, the welcome is warm.
This door way must lead down, and even with the modern trappings of fire safety, the temptation was to open it and look down… to who knows what, or who!
Wattle and daube; the original sustainable building materials!
That corner was very ‘busy’ and I present it here for the ‘viewer’ who may be sensitive to what was there.
The back courtyard, the gate would lead down the street towards the river, and the busy port.
The fire place in the back room, with crests removed.
“Come sit a while by the fire, warm yourself and rest”
So many portals to another world!
I hope you enjoyed the tour?