Chester is a walled cathedral city in Cheshire, England. It is located on the River Dee, close to the English-Welsh border. With a population of 79,645 in 2011, it is the most populous settlement of Cheshire West and Chester (a unitary authority which had a population of 329,608 in 2011) and serves as its administrative headquarters. It is also the historic county town of Cheshire and the second-largest settlement in Cheshire after Warrington.
Chester was founded in 79 AD as a "castrum" or Roman fort with the name Deva Victrix during the reign of Emperor Vespasian. One of the main army camps in Roman Britain, Deva later became a major civilian settlement. In 689, King Æthelred of Mercia founded the Minster Church of West Mercia, which later became Chester's first cathedral, and the Angles extended and strengthened the walls to protect the city against the Danes. Chester was one of the last cities in England to fall to the Normans, and William the Conqueror ordered the construction of a castle to dominate the town and the nearby Welsh border. Chester was granted city status in 1541.
The city walls of Chester are some of the best-preserved in the country and have Grade I listed status. It has a number of medieval buildings, but many of the black-and-white buildings within the city centre are Victorian restorations, originating from the Black-and-white Revival movement. Apart from a 100-metre (330 ft) section, the walls are almost complete. The Industrial Revolution brought railways, canals, and new roads to the city, which saw substantial expansion and development; Chester Town Hall and the Grosvenor Museum are examples of Victorian architecture from this period. Tourism, the retail industry, public administration, and financial services are important to the modern economy.