The Antiques Shop

Vicky Andrews
The Antiques Shop, Chester
Courtesy of The Antiques Shop

From the outside, The Antiques Shop looks as if it could be as old as Chester itself, with an eclectic window display that beckons you inside this Aladdin’s cave of collectibles.

38-42 Watergate Street is one of the most interesting buildings in Chester and if you want to explore The Rows then there’s no better place to start. Set beneath Katie’s Tea Rooms (pop in after for one of her speciality teas and a fruity scone) The Antiques Shop was established in 1989 and is run by Peter Thornber.

What Peter doesn’t know about antiques probably isn’t worth knowing, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever get to find that out. He’s been running this emporium for 30 years and in that time has managed to build up a collection which would give the British Museum a run for their money.

Outside, you’ll usually find a good selection of antique furniture, vintage suitcases and other larger quirky items, but inside is where the real magic starts, with a vast array of brass, iron, pewter, ceramics, glass and military collectibles. There are gramophones, Singer sewing machines and old telephones that all look as if they belong on a film set.

You can find quirky items here for every room in the house and not always the purpose they were intended for. Old wooden fruit crates make great log boxes. How about a coal scuttle or a baby bath for the garden? It’s all about sustainability and upcycling these days.

There’s a great assortment of intriguing little treasures to browse over and if you’re looking for something a bit special or unusual, Peter is only too happy to point out a few of his favourites and tell you their story. He’s full of facts and passion for his subject and it’s entirely possible you’ll leave with a prize that you never knew you needed. In fact, if you leave here empty handed, then you haven’t ‘done’ Chester properly at all.

Don’t be put off if you don’t know anything about antiques either; Peter is knowledgeable and honest, so you can always be confident that you’ve paid a fair price. The Antiques Shop has a brilliant collection of collectibles, bric-a-brac and decorative pieces and is always worth a visit. A great place to have a snoop around and find a souvenir of your time in the city.

40 Watergate StreetChesterCH1 2LA View map
Telephone: 01244316286 Visit Now

Opening Hours

  • Monday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Tuesday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Wednesday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Thursday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Friday10:00am - 5:00pm
  • Saturday10:00am - 5:30pm
  • Sunday10:00am - 5:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near The Antiques Shop

Old Dock Tours, Liverpool

The Old Dock tour is a treat for younger and older visitors alike, fans of Liverpool’s maritime past, and anybody curious about local history.

£8.50 with concessions

Where to go near The Antiques Shop

Gallery stock image
Watergate Street Gallery

This contemporary Art Gallery In Chester displays and sells original and affordable works, with regular new exhibitions listed on their website.

Weasel and the Bug, Chester
Weasel and the Bug

Weasel and The Bug believe that you should buy well and pass on, and that toys should be powered by children, not batteries. Taking care of the planet is a priority for many parents and pleasingly, Weasel and The Bug only stock products which are sustainably sourced.

Shopping Centre
Chester Rows

Renowned for some of the most elegant shopping streets in the world, Chester Rows has historic appeal and is one of the best of its kind.

Dewa Roman Experience
Dewa Roman Experience

Dewa Roman Experience occupies a unique site at the heart of the original legionary fortress. In 1991 archaeologists discovered remains of the fortress on this site and the excavations have been left open for public viewing.

Chester Indoor Market
Shopping Centre
Chester Indoor Market

Recipient of the Best Small Indoor Market at The Great British Market Awards 2020, Chester Market offers foods from around the world.

Tourist Attraction
Chester Visitor Information Centre

This is the meeting point for Tours Around Chester who offer a variety of tours ranging from food walking, running and themed running (including beer or gin).

Whitmore & White
Whitmore & White

Whitmore & White is an award-winning deli and independent wine merchant in the heart of romantic Chester serving a plethora of charcuterie, cheeses and confectionery.

Chester Cathedral
Place of worship
Chester Cathedral

Chester Cathedral is a living community of prayer and worship, and a centre of excellence in Church Music with a rich and fascinating heritage.

Bar stock image
Metronome Jazz Bar

This small and atmospheric bar is a cosy venue with a resident Jazz pianist, fantastic staff and a record player filled with, naturally, iconic jazz.

Culture Guides