Chester History and Heritage

Chester History & Heritage Centre - St Michael's Church

Chester History & Heritage is a local & family history resource centre sited in the heart of Chester. We offer free internet access via the popular People's Network and operate a family history advice service provided by research group experts - again - free to all customers. Our main collection comprises photographs of Chester district - those on our imagebank can be accessioned online but we also have thousands of images of Chester from the past 50 years which can be used by local residents and visitors.

We have a rolling programme of exhibitions and events, produce a thrice yearly newsletter, hold microfiche and microfilm sources for Chester including newspapers, electoral rolls and parish registers, and offer various film showings of Chester's past.

Venue Type:

Archive, Heritage site, Sacred space

Opening hours

Monday-Friday 10 - 12 & 1-4.00pm
Closed 24 Dec - 3rd Jan inclusive

Admission charges


Additional info

Access: Due to the historic nature of St Michael's church there is, unfortunately, no access for wheelchair users. However, if notified in advance it will be possible to make other arrangements to see material that we hold. If you cannot visit us in person, we will be pleased to carry out research on your behalf through the Postal Enquiry Service.

We have a variety of family and local history sources to help you in your search:

* General Register Office Index for England and Wales, 1837-1949 (The Civil Registration Index of Births, Deaths and * Marriages on microfiche) - £1 per hour charge
* Census for Chester District, 1841 1901 (on microfiche and microfilm)
* 1881 census for UK (on CD Rom)
* Also on CD Rom: Ormerod, 1851 census for Cheshire, Holy Trinity Church Chester Parish Registers, Betram Merrall Marriage Index and the National Burial Index
* Electoral Registers for Chester (on microfiche)
* International Genealogical Index for Cheshire and surrounding counties (on microfiche)
* Parish Registers for Chester City parishes (on microfilm)
* Local newspapers (cuttings, full papers on microfilm)
* Map collection
* Local Studies Library
* Chester Archaeological Society Library
* Chester Image Bank
* Chester Photographic Survey here - street by street documentation of Chester District from 1960s onwards

Let us help you find out more about Chester, or about your family's past click on one of the menu options, or email us with your own particular query.

Collection details

Archives, Social History, Photography

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Garden Quarter

Spotlight on the Garden Quarter

  • 11 July — 16 December 2016 *on now

In another one of our 'Spotlight' series we look at the area of Chester known as te Garden Quarter. This vibrant community includes the area surrounding St Thomas' Church in Parkgate Road, Cheyney Road, Stadium Way. Sealand Road to the Old Port Square

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


free exhibition

corner shop

Sugar, Spam and a Sherbet Dip

  • 11 July — 16 December 2016 *on now

This evocative display looks back at the small shops that were the mainstay of our lives before the giant supermarkets and online deliveries took over

Suitable for

  • Any age


free exhibition


A Collection of Curiosities: The Riverside Museum

  • 2 November 2016 2:30-3:30pm
  • 7 December 2016 2:30-3:30pm

The University of Chester's Faculty of Health and Social Care invites you on a tour of this fascinating Museum, housing everyday and unusual objects from the world of medicine, nursing and social care. Join us to explore this hidden gem!

Suitable for

  • Not suitable for children


The Riverside Museum
University of Chester,
Riverside Building,
Castle Drive.


No Charge but booking essential at Chester History & Heritage on 01244 972210.

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
brass rubbing

Family Events for Children

  • 1 January — 31 December 2016 *on now

Chester History & Heritage provides activities for children during the school holidays. We have four brass rubbings (cost 10p per A3 sheet of paper). For older children we have a family fun trail round the city centre. We have colouring activities based on our current exhibitions

Suitable for

  • Any age


brass rubbing costs 10p per A3 sheet of paper


Christmas at St. Michael's

  • 3 December 2016 11am-3pm

Come and join us at Chester History & Heritage's Drop in Christmas event at St. Michael's Church, Bridge Street, Chester. Browse through our photographs, discover your family history, and view our seasonal exhibition. We are open from 11am-3pm.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Yesterday's Chester; How we lived, played and worked

  • 18 January 2017 2-3:30pm

Take a look at Chester through the 20th Century. Chester Memories shows trams, buses and steam trains alongside people and familiar streets as well as a nostalgic look round the city in 1976. We are also showing the innovative 1975 Donald Insall production of the Conservation Game, which shows the many changes that were taking place in the city at that time.

Suitable for

  • 18+


Free of charge but booking essential as places limited. Please telephone 01244 972210.

Chester History and Heritage
St Michael's Church
Bridge Street Row





Main number for Chester History & Heritage

01244 972210

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.