Life in a late medieval city, Chester 1275 – 1520

By Jane Laughton. Windgather Press 2008.
In the late medieval period, Chester was the most important place in north-western England, serving as administrative centre of the county palatine and as the regional capital. The city was not large but was further enhanced by its role as ecclesiastical capital and garrison town. Chester’s location ensured close links with Wales and Ireland. This study of Chester is based on a wide range of sources, written and archaeological, and contains much that is new. It reveals a city with its own distinctive character but one which shared the experiences of towns throughout medieval England. Particular use is made of the court rolls, records that have the potential to illuminate social relationships at the neighbourhood level. The book therefore makes an importnat contribution to the study of medieval urban history. The picture that emerges is of a lively community that responded to social and economic change with enthusiasm and enterprise.