Chester was founded as a "castrum" or Roman fort with the name Deva Victrix in the year 79AD by the Roman Legio II Adiutrix during the reign of the Emperor Vespasian. Chester's four main roads, Eastgate, Northgate, Watergate and Bridge, follow routes laid out at this time – almost 2,000 years ago. One of the three main Roman army bases, Deva later became a major settlement in the Roman province of Britannia. After the Romans left in the 5th century, the Saxons fortified the town against the Danes and gave Chester its name. The patron saint of Chester, Werburgh, is buried in Chester Cathedral.
Chester was one of the last towns in England to fall to the Normans in the Norman conquest of England. William the Conqueror ordered the construction of a castle, to dominate the town and the nearby Welsh border. In 1071 he created Hugh d'Avranches, the 1st Earl of Chester.
Chester: the university
It is one of the oldest English higher education establishments of any kind, pre-dating all but Oxford, Cambridge, London and Durham, and its original buildings in the ancient city of Chester were the first in the country to be purpose-built for the professional training of teachers. Education degrees are now just a small part of the 130 course combinations on offer.
Alan Bleasdale, screenwriter, international rugby union players, John Carleton and Jon Sleightholme, Jon Clarke, international rugby league player, George Courtney, MBE, international football referee, Duffy, singer, Jo Fletcher, international footballers Matt Greenhalgh and Dick Howard, film director and screenwriter, Roderick Hunt MBE, children's author, Helen Jones MP, politician, J. Thomas Looney, devised the Oxfordian theory, James Moore, rugby union player, Tracey Neville, international netball player, Sir Walter Winterbottom, footballer and first manager of the England football team, Rob Wotton, television and radio presenter.