Time capsules buried at Chester Northgate

School children burying time capsules

Students from Chester Blue Coat CE Primary School, Queen’s Park High School and The Queen’s School with Graham Pink, Director of Commercial Management & Delivery, Cheshire West and Chester Council; Jonathan Roberts, Senior Project Manager VINCI Building and Councillor Richard Beacham Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Economy and Regeneration, Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Students from Chester Blue Coat CE Primary School, Queen’s Park High School and The Queen’s School have each buried a time capsule in the new Exchange Square in the heart of the Northgate development.

The capsules contain a wide selection of artefacts that the students selected to provide future generations with an insight into life in Chester in 2022.

These include information on each school, timetables and their uniforms; their favourite things such as hobbies, sweets, fashion, sports, music and TV; coins and Jubilee commemorative items; technology such as mobile phones and contact lenses; alongside a Covid 19 facemask and information about the pandemic and how it impacted their lives.

Students from each school visited the site, some virtually, in 2021 and learnt about the scope and scale of the Northgate development, the Roman history of the site plus archaeology and construction techniques and careers.

The time capsules were sponsored by VINCI Building as part of their Northgate community engagement activities and the chamber will be marked with a commemorative stone plaque.

Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Economy and Regeneration, said: “When the time comes to rebuild a future Northgate, I hope these time capsules will provide a wonderful snapshot of life in Chester for future archaeologists to discover and study, and be as fascinated as we have been by the archaeology we have found whilst constructing Northgate.

“This programme for local young people is part of the Council’s ongoing commitment to squeezing more value from the money we spend on projects like Northgate; over the duration of the build this has included a creating new jobs, offering apprenticeships, and building partnerships with local education providers to inspire the next generation of construction workers, designers, architects, archaeologists and engineers.”

Jonathan Roberts, Senior Project Manager from VINCI Building said: “We are delighted to help facilitate these time capsules and encourage students to learn more about the wide range of career opportunities within the construction industry and how we are building Northgate”.

A great deal of care and thought has gone into protecting the archaeology on the Northgate site, which was once one of the largest Roman fortresses in Britain.

Despite finding over 10,000 Roman artefacts, the works have disturbed less than three percent of the archaeology and the foundations have been carefully designed to let the building ‘float’ above the ground.