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We have been asking staff, students and alumni to share with us objects and places that make the University of Chester special to them. This week, second year student Estelle Whittaker chose the Rows in the city centre. Here’s why…

“Something which I feel has played a significant part during my time at the University of Chester is none other than one of Chester’s most defining features: the Rows.

“When I first came to the city of Chester towards the end of my time in sixth form, to have a look round what might be my home for the next three years, I was struck by the city’s quaintness. In particular the ‘black and white revival’ Victorian architecture adorning much of the Rows. This set it apart from York, a city close to where I live at home in Hull, and as a self-proclaimed shopping lover, the extra level of shops only intrigued me further.


“You can tell Chester is a city rich in character and history when shops and bars have names such as ‘Off the Wall’ and ‘The Vault.’ The Vault is situated on the Rows, which seems illogical given its name alluding to some underground pit, but still! As well as the unusually high shop levels, another quirky feature of the city is that many of the shops in Chester are situated below street level, such as the restaurant and bar Havana. One could be forgiven for thinking they have just stumbled upon an elitist underground club for hobbits, not to mention getting a signal on your phone in there is a miracle!

“The city’s Beauty and the Beast, little village-esque vibe was also in keeping with the Disney store near to the Eastgate Clock, too (the Disney films I grew up watching didn’t really tend to feature large, industrial cities as their premise), though the store is sadly no longer there. Even without the Disney store though, Chester certainly seems to have a magic of its own with the pretty Rows and the occasional busker playing a tune.”

 If you would like to nominate an object or place for #UoC100Objects, we would love to hear from you! Email us at or drop us a message on social media.








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