St John the Baptist's Church

St John the Baptist's Church, Chester

St John the Baptist's Church

St John the Baptist's Church
4.5
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4.5
327 reviews
Excellent
201
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ShaunH290
London, UK1,651 contributions
Jul 2021
Beyond the amphitheatre remains, lies this Victorian-style sandstone church. In fact, this is the ancient Church of St John the Baptist, a surviving portion of what was once a much grander building. For a time, it served as Chester’s first cathedral when the present cathedral was still a Benedictine abbey.

Look inside and check out the 14th century wall painting on one of the huge pillars.

Outside, there are old ruins giving an indication of its former glory.

Worth visiting if you are nearby.
Written December 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Geoff H
Sissinghurst, UK5,608 contributions
Oct 2021
If there is one place in Chester that you should visit, then St John the Baptist Church is that place. Looking from the outside like a rather dull Victorian church, it is so much more different on the inside as there is a lot more to the church than this first impression. The present-day church stands inside the remains of a much larger medieval building (there are ruins outside) and, once you are inside, enthusiastic volunteers will tell you all about the history of the site. It is thought that the church was founded in 689 AD by a King of Mercia and then later enlarged by the husband of Aethelfleaed, King Alfred the Great's daughter. From 1075 to 1082 it was Chester's cathedral and during the Civil War it was taken over by the Roundheads. As the church is outside Chester's city walls, the Roundheads used it as a platform for a gun which was fired at Chester and its walls. Being the oldest building in Chester still used for its original purpose, St John the Baptist Church is well worth seeking out. Entry is free although donations to church funds are welcomed.
Written December 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

FalmouthLucy
Devon, UK234 contributions
Nov 2021 • Couples
We accidentally came upon the church and noted it was open everyday until 2 pm.We popped in and was given a great individual talk about the archaeological finds,the hidden tunnel and the secret in painting .Loved the enthusiasm of the volunteers.If you want to go to the Chester cathedral go to this first as we did as it really helps to understand the rich history ofChester
Written November 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Michael N
Cheadle Hulme, UK3,787 contributions
Sep 2021
Knew this was the original cathedral so having been to the newer one decided to walk here along the city walls.
Made most welcome and provided with some historical facts, then had a look around but did not need the café or shop
Written October 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

London transplant
London, UK43 contributions
Jul 2021
The original cathedral for Chester. Norman. Talk to the warden – we learned so much! Very welcoming (there is a shop and cafe too).
Written August 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

hilary d
London, UK488 contributions
Jul 2021
We were visiting Chester for the day and made a brief stop to this beautiful church,there were some lovely stained glass windows.
Written July 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

923Dan
Swindon, UK2,693 contributions
May 2021
Walking along the main road, came across St John the Baptists Church by accident with its interesting ruins. This was the original Cathedral of Chester.
Well worth a quick visit if you are passing - expecially the ruins outside.
Written June 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Shadow344
Bishopstortford46 contributions
Jun 2021
We stumbled across some ruins beside the church and a gardener spoke to us about some of the interesting history. Onces inside the Church the Rector appeared and also had a long chat with us. It was great to hear some of the long history of the Church from these two men, definately worth the visit.
Written June 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Wotchit
Chiang Mai, Thailand212 contributions
Oct 2020 • Couples
I was just going to walk past this church, which is located by the remains of Roman amphitheatre. But the enthusiastic volunteers really sold the place as we walked past so thought we would give it a quick look. So glad we did!

Place is basically a building site when we visited, which is off putting until you talk to the staff.

I can't emphasis this enough - TALK TO THE STAFF.

The warden is a great guide, extremely knowledgeable about the church and its place in Chester's history. I understand the other guides are equally so.

And they have great plans for the place. In 3 years time they hope to have exhibits up on some of the ancient pieces they have at the church and full explanations.

I'll have to revisit then, because I think it will be brilliant.
Written October 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

TeamWard
Nottingham, UK4,806 contributions
Sep 2020
St John the Baptists Church the original Cathedral of Chester houses a coffin in one of the ancient walls with the words dust to dust, well worth spotting.
Written September 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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