The free entry Grosvenor Museum is the perfect place to begin your tour of Chester. Housed within a magnificent purpose built Victorian museum, the Grosvenor’s collections explore the story of this ancient city, particularly the Roman period, and the Grosvenor is a centre for Cheshire art and Chester silver. The museum takes its name from the 1st Duke of Westminster – Hugh Lupus Grosvenor who donated part of the funds and site for the building. It was designed by Thomas Meakin Lockwood, one the Victorian architects credited with creating the distinctive Chester look.
Galleries & Collections
Paintings on display include many scenes of Cheshire and North Wales landscapes along with portraits of local notables. Sculpture and furniture are also displayed. The Silver Gallery at the Grosvenor is renowned as one of Britain’s finest collections displaying Chester hallmarked silver dating back 400 years, with silver items including racing trophies and Cheshire church plate and silver from the collection of the Marquess of Ormonde.
The two Roman galleries here are home to a nationally important collection of Roman tombstones discovered in the 19th century. The stones had been reused in the city’s walls! Other galleries house changing exhibitions, often themed to centenaries or particular timely city themes. Your perfect introduction to the history of Chester can be found in the Timeline Gallery taking the visitors on a brief journey through the city’s past from the Roman period to the 20th century. A Natural History Gallery also features on the first floor housing the quirky collection of Chester’s Victorian naturalists.
The Grosvenor’s Period House – 20 Castle Street – is the museum’s unique feature with rooms across three floors each a replica of different time periods. Rooms include a Stuart dining room, a Georgian drawing room, a Victorian entrance hall, kitchen, parlour, bedroom and school room, an Edwardian bathroom and a 1920s nursery! A costume gallery with changing period dress is also within.
Shop & Getting Here
Find the Grosvenor Museum on Grosvenor Street just a 10 minute stroll from the bus station adjacent to the town hall and a 15 to 20 minute walk from the station. Your nearest car park is the large Little Roodee coach and car park on Castle Drive only a 5 minute walk away. The museum shop stocks an excellent range of books on the history of Cheshire and Chester along with heritage themed gifts and greetings cards.