New route to reveal more hidden secrets from Chester’s walls

CH1ChesterBID launches new ‘The Secret Lives of Shops’ route as part of Talking Walls project with just weeks to go until the initiative concludes

 The team behind a citywide heritage project that has given voices to Chester’s walls has released a new retail route to mark the final few weeks of the pioneering scheme.

Launched in June 2017, the Talking Walls project was commissioned by CH1ChesterBID – Chester’s Business Improvement District (BID) – and has seen 26 of Chester’s iconic buildings sharing stories from the city’s past.

BBC Breakfast news presenter Louise Minchin, former MP and TV presenter Gyles Brandreth and ITV Granada star Lucy Meacock are amongst the celebrities to have lent their voices to the project, which brings the city’s buildings to life when smartphone users scan a code from a green plaque and receive a phone call from the wall.

The new ‘The Secret Lives of Shops’ route includes independent stores such as Weasel and the Bug, The Hat Place and Lee Louise, as well as Barbour, M&S and the Grosvenor Shopping Centre. Each store has its own story to tell, including one which claims to be Chester’s oldest timber building, and another that can trace its history all the way back to the 14th Century.

Judy Tagell, Marketing Manager at CH1ChesterBID said: “For the past year, the Talking Walls project has brought to life some of the most famous walls, stores and places of interest within Chester. It’s been a project which has captured the imagination of both young and old and has used heritage, humour and online technology to effectively tell the fascinating history of our city.

“The launch of ‘The Secret Lives of Shops’ route is all about giving those people who have yet to hear the stories of Chester’s walls another reason to come and take part in the project.

“Talking Walls was always created as 12-month initiative and it’s been a big success – we’re fast approaching 20,000 plays for all the different stories across the city. The walls will continue talking until June 21, 2018, so there’s still plenty of chance to step back in time and revel in the stories of Chester’s past in the city centre.”

City centre visitors can go to the Visitor Information Centre at Chester Town Hall to pick up the new ‘The Secret Lives of Shops’ route, or a free map of the full route of 26 walls. There are also other shorter routes, including a haunted places route.

The free maps can also be downloaded from the Talking Walls of Chester website. Visit to find them or read more information about the project.