Back at the turn of the twentieth century, a boy named George Mottershead was taken to a zoo in Manchester. What George saw that day inspired him to do something different.

Determinedly he told his father: ‘When I have a zoo, it won’t have any bars.’

George never forgot that day, or the vow he made. In 1930, now grown up and with a family, he bought Oakfield House and seven acres of land for £3,500. And with him, he brought a group of animals from a zoo at Shavington, near Crewe… the first animals of Chester Zoo.


Chester is a city in northwest England, founded as a Roman fortress in the 1st century A.D.

It’s known for its extensive Roman walls made of local red sandstone. In the old city, the Rows is a shopping district distinguished by 2-level covered arcades and Tudor-style half-timber buildings.

A Roman amphitheatre, with ongoing excavations, lies just outside the old city’s walls.

Blakemere Hall and its stable block were built in1878. King Edward VII, then the Prince of Wales, often visited and apparently enjoyed notoriously wild parties here, according to local joiners who repaired the furniture!

The premises were commandeered during WWII and became home to Polish refugees and British troops and in the 1950’s the Hall was demolished so that only the stables and the Blakemere name remains.

The Gerrard family farmed at Blakemere until 1994, when they converted the buildings into the retail and leisure outlets you visit today. Blakemere is extremely proud of its boutique shops and the variety of unique ‘on trend’ and stylish products available, all set in and around our beautiful Edwardian stable block. The Gerrard family still own and run the business to this day.


Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre