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In a new video and blog, Dr Katherine Wilson, Senior Lecturer in Medieval History in the Department of History and Archaeology, takes viewers and readers around the city to see buildings and objects still remaining which evidence its status as an interconnected and international place through the period.

These include the often overlooked, stunning Water Tower on Chester’s City Walls built in the 14th Century when Chester was a major port. During the Middle Ages, the Tower stood in the River Dee and numerous ships from France, Spain, Ireland and Germany would come to unload cargoes of wine, furs and skins before they were traded at markets and fairs within Chester.

Dr Wilson also highlights the reminders of the wealthy merchants who lived and traded in the city - and ends her historical tour at the Grosvenor Museum to discuss an intriguing object found in archaeological excavations which further illustrates Chester’s commercial importance.

She said: “As I explore in the short film and blog, the Water Tower, merchants’ houses and objects in the city remind us to look closely at Chester in the Middle Ages. If we do so, we can see a thriving international, connected city with global trade links.

“Students of History at Chester can study this medieval past and also become a part of on-going research by myself and the Grosvenor Museum in Chester to examine the city as a significant node in a word-wide network of trade and commerce.”

The video and blog ‘An International City: Chester in the Middle Ages’ are the third in the popular 'Global History in One City' series, which examines the long, rich and diverse history of Chester.

To watch the film, please visit: or for all the videos in the series, take a look at:

To read the blog, please go to:

Dr Wilson’s research focuses on the circulation and uses of material culture, urban and courtly spaces in the Later Middle Ages (1300-1500). Her published work includes The Power of Textiles, Tapestries of the Burgundian Dominions (1363-1477). She leads the Arts and Humanities Research Council project ‘Mobility of Objects Across Boundaries 1000-1700’. More information on the project, its films and educational resources can be found at:


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