Take the kids to … Chester: A Life Story, Cheshire

A new heritage attraction in Chester aims to tell the story of the city through its people

In a nutshell

This new museum is in a Grade II-listed former church on the city’s Medieval Rows and traces 2,000 years of Cheshire history with an emphasis on objects and human stories. It spans 10 chapters (or sections) including crime, food and health, presenting lots of snappy, easy-to-digest (though somewhat lightweight) facts, and does a good job of drawing parallels between history and the modern day – such as contrasting medieval architecture with the city’s modernist bus station. The final section, about death – featuring a video of talking heads – is more for parents. The museum is run by Big Heritage, the company behind Liverpool’s secret wartime bunker, Western Approaches.

Fun fact

Visitors can enter a “time-travelling toilet” and watch a film about loos through the ages from Roman times to what they might look like in the future.

Best thing about it

It’s very hands on. You are encouraged to take objects out of cupboards and drawers, play with the digital cases and handle the exhibits – the antithesis of a traditional local history museum. My eight-year-old loved Prance Prance Revolution, an arcade game-style simulator to practise various dance routines from a medieval circle dance to 90s rave.

What about lunch?


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