Chester Abbey/ Cathedral is the mother church of the Diocese in the district of Chester, and is formerly known as St Werburgh's abbey (church of a Benedictine monastery). Both the Abbey/ Cathedral and its monastery buildings to the north are Grade 1 listed buildings, meaning they are protected from being demolished or altered. It is unsure when the original building was constructed, as it has been restored many times, though it is believed to date from around 1093. The site and ground itself has been used as a place of Christian worship since Roman times.
The reason Chester Abbey/ Cathedral has needed to be restored so many times is because it is built of New Red Sandstone from the Cheshire Basin. This stone, while being very aesthetically pleasing and easily carved (the building boasts some of the most beautiful stone carving around), is also quite crumbly, and easily eroded and damaged by wind, rain and pollution. The most extensive restoration to both the Abbey/ Cathedral and the monastic buildings took place in the 19th century.
The true gems of Chester Abbey/ Cathedral are the antique and well preserved choir stalls, and the very well kept 17th century bishops consistory court - a must see for any visitor..
The Abbey/ Cathedral has been visited by people for nearly one thousand years, and these days is used not only as a place of Christian worship, but also as a venue for concerts and exhibitions. Even better - entry is free!