The Grosvenor Museum is a flamboyant brick built building which was built in 1885 to house the collections of the Chester Archaeological Society and the Chester Society of Natural Science, Literature and Art. It is almost too large to photograph.
It is named after Hugh Lupus Grosvenor, Ist Duke of Westminster who owned most of the land in Chester and donated the land and paid part of the building costs.
At the rear of the building is 20 Castle Street, built around 1680 which has the shop, cafe and the period rooms.
The inside is as impressive as the exterior, with a grand entrance hall with a magnificent cantilever staircase and decorative tiled floor.
As well as an impressive collection of Roman artefacts, (reviewed separately), there is also a wonderful collection of Chester silverware.
The Natural History Gallery has a collection of stuffed birds and animals so beloved by Victorian collectors as well as rock samples. It now has a more modern approach with information about local ecology and conservation as well as children’s activities.
The Art Gallery has a collection of oil and water colour paintings by local artists.
The Period Rooms in 20 Castle Street cover different periods from the Tudors to the early C20th.
The Honourable Incorporation of the King’s Arms Kitchen was a gentlemen’s club that was founded in 17790. It is thought it was set up in opposition to the Chester Incorporation as a result of a quarrel whether the major should be elected by the Aldermen or the Freemen of the City. It had its own Aldermen, Mayor, Sheriff, Recorded and Town Clerk. The Honourable Incorporation lapsed at the end of the C19th due to lack of interest. Their meeting room has been reconstructed in the Museum.
Allow plenty of time for a visit as there is a lot to see. Admission is free, although donations are appreciated.
I have been wanting to visit for many years. The Roman Collections were the definite highlight of the visit, although I enjoyed the silver collection too. It is definitely worth adding to the list if visiting Chester.
Remember, the Museum is shut on Mondays!