The city of Chester has a rich medieval heritage. The legacies of this are present today in the city’s surviving townscape, in its museum collections, and in the remarkable body of medieval multi-lingual literature which reflects the experiences of diverse cultural and ethnic communities within this dynamic borderland city. Yet in comparison with the city’s Roman history, Chester’s medieval past is currently an under-used cultural and economic asset, and is given relatively little visibility in local museums, in resources for visitors, in tourism marketing, and in the urban environment itself.
‘Discover Medieval Chester’ is an AHRC-funded Knowledge Transfer project which aims to promote the vibrant cultural heritage of medieval Chester as a multi-cultural, multi-lingual city, drawing together material, textual and visual culture and forging connections between the medieval past and the modern urban environment today. Digital technologies are at the heart of the project’s strategies for public engagement.
This is a collaborative project, founded on a partnership between the Knowledge Transfer Fellow (Professor Catherine Clarke, Southampton University), the wider academic team at Queen’s University Belfast and King’s College London, and the Grosvenor Museum, Chester. ‘Discover Medieval Chester’ will deliver a range of outputs, including:
- A new website aimed at visitors to Chester and local communities, centred on a new interactive map of medieval Chester, with embedded multi-media resources, GPS data and the facility to generate user-customised tours. (This will also be available in a version for mobile devices.)
- A major exhibition at the Grosvenor Museum, Chester (which will also transfer to Wrexham).
- A new, permanent public artwork at St John’s Chester (‘Hryre’, created by artist Nayan Kulkarni, in collaboration with Catherine Clarke), launched March 2012 (with additional funding from Cheshire West and Chester Council.
- A conference at Southampton University on Knowledge Transfer and the Arts and Humanities (summer 2013)
- Catherine Clarke