Chester Roman Amphitheatre, England
Chester is a city in N.W. England which is located about twenty miles south of the port of Liverpool.
Chester can trace its origins back to the Roman legionary fortress named Deva Victrix built by the Romans in the mid 70s AD.
Just outside the south-east corner of the fortress was built an amphitheatre which was probably used both for entertainments and for practising troop manoeuvres and weapon training.
- Today, only about two-fifths of the structure is visible which includes two entrances.
- The stone structure seen today had an outer wall 9 feet (2.7 metres) thick, marked out by concrete slabs set in the grass. Inside it ran a corridor linking the entrances that led to stairways taking the spectators up into the seating area.
- Inside the arena was a room with an altar dedicated to the goddess Nemesis, who was believed to control the fate of the performers.
- The two entrances visible today were used by the performers.
- The amphitheatre had a chequered history. After the 20th Legion was posted north in the 120s AD to work on construction of Hadrian’s Wall the site had become derelict. Brought back into use around AD 275 and remained functioning until final abandonment around AD 350.
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