The Tudor & Stuart Tour of Chester

The year is 1603. The wisest fool in Christendom, King James VI of Scotland, has just ascended the English throne. There are already murmurs of Catholic plots across the country and, in Chester, bubonic plague has struck.

Yet there is good news for the Cappers, Pinners, Wyredrawers, Lynnen Drapers and Bricklayers Company. The king has just confirmed the guild with its own coat of arms.

Meet Miles Mason, son of a Welsh brickman and grandson of a Dutch carver. He will be your guide.

Miles Mason - aka Tom Hudson

The Tour

A stroll into the past

Explore early modern Chester through the eyes of those who built some its most beautiful historic buildings and hear tales of dissolution, pestilence and civil war.

Connect replica items and imagery with the real, everyday stories of Chester's citizens from all walks of life.

Learn fascinating local facts, from a professional, costumed guide, whilst walking the historic streets of Chester...a city boasting over six hundred listed buildings.

Your Guide

Tom Hudson is an Oxford graduate, with over a decade's worth of experience working within heritage. He has guided in Surrey, Kent, Lancashire and Cheshire since 2013.


"Really enjoyable and interesting tour, the guide clearly knew his stuff and shared lots of stories about Chester and the Stuart/Tudor period (and a few ghost stories thrown in...). Fantastic to see inside Stanley Palace, and lots of tips on other buildings to visit."


"The tour lasted 90 minutes and Miles was able to tell us many interesting facts about the Tudor/Stuart history in Chester. He was excellent with my daughter who is a budding historian, taking time to answer questions and gave her encouragement to learn more." 

Lynn H

"The guide Miles Mason took us on a walking tour of some of Chester's tudor buildings, including the beautiful Stanley Palace, which the group was show around by the guide. Thoroughly recommend." 

Sophie C

"Thanks to Miles for the excellent walking tour today ending at Stanley Palace. Good to learn more about Chester."

Debbie M

"Thank you Miles Mason, for a very informative tour of life in Tudor times. Really enjoyed it thanks." 

Shane & Angela

"Excellent tour , interesting and informative. Lovely architecture in Chester. Fascinating stories of the people who lived and worked in Chester during this period. The tour was done at a relaxed pace so everyone was able to keep up and enjoy the guide’s humour and knowledge of the subject." 

Christine G

"Very entertaining and quite funny, lived around chester and found out so many things I’d never known" 


"Absolutely fantastic tour! There was so much interesting information and our tour guide was so entertaining and had an unbelievable amount of knowledge. I try to do a history tour in any new city we go to and this has by far been the best. This is an absolute must do tour for a fascinating insight into the history of Chester." 


"Had the pleasure of taking this tour last weekend. Completely worth the very reasonable price. Thoroughly enjoyed it, Myles was very knowledgeable and good company." 

Jacqui S

A brief history of Carlisle, Chester and Lancaster

Scroll through the timeline to discover some fascinating local facts...


Wars of the Roses end  

Henry VII grants Chester its great charter  

Henry VIII dissolves Chester‘s friaries, turning St Werburgh’s Abbey into new cathedral

Lancaster Priory dissolved, reopening as parish church

Carlisle Priory dissolved, with secular chapter added

War of the Rough Wooing between England and Scotland

George Marsh under house arrest for heresy in Chester

Birth of William Shakespeare 

 Mary Queen of Scots under house arrest in Carlisle Castle

Death of Elizabeth I, the last Tudor monarch 

Pendle witches tried at Lancaster Castle (

James I
visits Carlisle, Lancaster and Chester on his jubilee progress

Royalists capture Lancaster but not its castle

Carlisle Castle made a royalist garrison

Parliamentary siege of Chester (

Parliamentary siege of Carlisle

Start of Second Civil War as Scots and royalists seize Carlisle

Quaker George Fox preaches in Lancaster (   

Charles II visits Lancaster Castle, freeing its prisoners (  

Great Plague

James II talks religious
toleration when visiting Chester (  

William III brings troops to Chester for Irish campaign

Tullie House built in Carlise

 Death of Anne I, the last Stuart monarch

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