On this, my second Heritage Day Tour for 2017, I found out more about the area of Chester known as the Gloverstone and grew to understand it more.
First: its location. I had thought that it was approximately just beneath the site of the Military Museum.
|Military Museum (and therefore site of Gloverstone) to the right.|
And so it is, but our guide was able to be more precise. It was the triangle of land between the castle ditch
|The southeast portion of the castle ditch leading parallel to St Mary's Hill down to the river.|
|Castle Street - Military Museum (Gloverstone to the right).|
However, the courts of Gloverstone were sought-after places to live because they were independent and outside the jurisdiction of the city. They did not have to abide by city regulations or pay their taxes, and so were particularly attractive to craftsmen and traders who were 'foreigners' and had very little chance of becoming members of the city guilds. The Gloverstone had its own markets and fairs in which they did not have to pay taxes or tariffs, and so were, no doubt, greatly unpopular with the city corporation.
The boundary of this Gloverstone area was also marked by a stone. At this stone, criminals from the county were handed over to the mayor and corporation to be hanged outside the city at gibbet hill in Boughton. It may also have been used to stretch out skins for glovers to make gloves. The location of this Gloverstone is now uncertain. It might be under the step of the military museum's yard to Castle Street. Or it might be in the garden of the Water Tower at the north west corner of the city wall - put there as 'a curiosity' when the city baths were built in the nineteenth century.
When Thomas Harrison came to build the new court and county gaol in the nineteenth century, the Gloverstone area was cleared of houses.
A fragment of the Gloverstone land to the south was donated to Mary's churchyard
|Piece of Gloverstone (green grass are in distance) donated to St Mary's Churchyard.|
|East side of St Mary's Churchyard - ditch to the right of railings.|
|Looking at polygonal warder's lookout of Chester County Gaol (centre of picture).|
We discussed lots more: the chemical factories, the tanning, the skinning, and all the other changes that have affected this small part of Chester. Altogether, a very interesting tour.