The Antiques Shop, 40 Watergate Street, Chester, CH1 2LA – Visit Now
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.