Several interesting medieval and early modern chests lie in the collections of the Grosvenor Museum in Chester. These chests are connected with urban trade guilds in Chester, relating to the painters and goldsmiths guilds. The goldsmiths’ chest came from the goldsmiths hall in Chester and would have probably held important documents relating to the trade guild, its members and possibly some of its monies. The chest is decorated, which means it was likely that it was an object to be seen. It is made of iron and has had extra iron strips riveted onto it, to make it look even more strong and secure. Although it is very heavy it is also still portable. There is a locking mechanism in the top and front and you needed two keys to open the chest, so two people would have had to be present at one time for it to be opened. But this chest has never been fully opened, so we still have not unlocked all of its secrets! So chests have much to tell us about people in the past and their everyday lives. Chests facilitated the movement of peoples and goods across spaces but also give us a sense of their emotions and feelings about the objects they owned.


c.Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries


Chester, Meols