Part of Chester’s historic city walls have collapsed after digging work by developers.
Cheshire West and Chester Council said a section of the wall fell on Thursday evening, causing development to be suspended.
“Early indications appear to show that earth was removed from the bottom of the city walls,” a spokesman said.
The collapse took place behind Newgate Street near to the walkway leading from the Grosvenor Shopping Centre.
A council spokesman said: “A section of Chester’s city walls collapsed last night after excavations being carried out by a private developer, working alongside the historic structure, compromised the integrity of the ancient monument.
“The removal of too much earth exposed a section of bare foundations.”
Councillor Karen Shore, deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, highways and strategic transport, said the council was taking the collapse “very seriously” and would ensure a thorough investigation was carried out.
“I am thankful that no-one has been hurt as a result of this collapse and our priority will continue to be public safety,” she said.
- Chester’s first fortifications date back to Roman times – about 74 to 75 AD
- Nothing is known about the walls’ condition between the end of the Roman occupation in the late Fourth Century and the refounding of Chester as an Anglo-Saxon burgh in 907
- The walls were extended when a castle was built following the Norman Conquest in the 11th Century
- Their last military use was during the English Civil war when the city was under siege by Oliver Cromwell’s forces
Source: Chester: A History – Simon Ward