Duchy of Wildflower Meadows
|Country||Principality of Wildflower Meadows|
|Founded||12 May 2016|
|• Duchess||HI&SH Princess Hannah|
|• Total||0.52 km2 (0.2007 sq mi)|
|The 2011 UK Census counted 90,524 people living within the Chester urban area, which includes residences outside the city walls. The number of people living within Deva Victrix itself would therefore be fewer.|
|Time zone||UTC+0 (GMT)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (BST)|
The Duchy of Deva Victrix is the largest realm of the Principality of Wildflower Meadows, and consists of the part of the historic city of Chester which is enclosed within the city walls.
Deva Victrix is a duchy of Wildflower Meadows. The title Duchess of Deva Victrix is currently held by Princess Hannah, who rules the entire principality as its absolute monarch, and will be granted to the principality's heir upon such a person being named by the Princess.
The day-to-day administration of the territory is undertaken by the government of the United Kingdom, which does so by the permission of the Princess despite not recognising her claim to the land.
Deva Victrix was founded by the Roman Empire in AD 79 as a legionary fortress during the expansion north. Garrisoned by Legio XXX Valeria Victrix (from which, along with Deva, the British name for the nearby river, the fortress got its name), Deva Victrix was larger than any other Roman fortress built in Britain at this time, leading some historians to suggest that it was intended to eventually replace Londinium (London) as capital of a British Isles united under Roman rule.
A civilian settlement grew up around the fortress, likely originating with traders and their families profiting from trade with the soldiers.
The last evidence of the Roman army being stationed at Deva Victrix is in 383; if the legion remained any longer than that, it would have left at the latest in 407, when the western emperor Constantine III withdrew all troops from Britain to help him defend Gaul against a Germanic invasion. Direct Roman administration of Britain - including Deva Victrix - ended in 410, when local elites expelled Constantine’s officials in response to his failure to protect the province from Saxon invaders. The civilian settlement continued, using the defences of the fortress as protection from raiders.
A "sub-Roman" culture speaking a vernacular dialect of Latin survived in the area until the seventh century. Politically, the area fell under the rule of the Welsh kingdom of Powys before being conquered by the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria in 616. Other than relatively brief occupations by the Danes, the settlement remained under Anglo-Saxon rule until the Norman Conquest of 1066; it was about this time that it became known as "Chester", ultimately derived from the Latin castrum or "fortress".
Under the Kingdom of England, Chester was used to defend against Welsh raiders and to launch attacks on Ireland, and was initially governed somewhat autonomously as a county palatine. During the English Civil War, Chester was a royalist city before falling to the Parliamentarians.
The Industrial Revolution gave the relatively non-industrial Chester a reputation of affluence and elegance, with the city becoming a popular place of residence for members of the upper classes. That said, the city did see a boost in industry, for example with the building of the Shropshire Union Canal and a leadworks shot tower. After the Second World War, large areas of farmland surrounding the city were developed as residential areas.
In September 2015, the now Princess Hannah took up term-time residency in a suburb of Chester upon beginning a four-year course at the University of Chester. She began a romantic relationship with Emperor Jonathan I of Austenasia in November later that year, from which point he has frequently visited her at the city. On 12 May 2016, during one of these visits, the Emperor granted his partner sovereignty over the part of Chester within the city walls (as well as Chester Meadows to the east), founding the Principality of Wildflower Meadows with the Edict of Chester 2016. Hannah was crowned Princess of Wildflower Meadows as the principality's absolute monarch.
Geography and climate
Deva Victrix is situated on the River Dee, which runs along the southern border of the city. The city shares a border with Maybridge to the south-east for roughly 1,400 feet, from Bridgegate running counter-clockwise up to just past Peppergate; the rest of the border Deva Victrix is with the United Kingdom.
In common with most of the rest of the island of Great Britain, the city has an oceanic climate. Despite its proximity to the Irish Sea, the temperature range is similar to areas further inland, owing to the shelter provided by the Pennines to the northeast and the Welsh Mountains to the southwest.
- A - Northgate: the northern entrance to the city, built in 1810; formerly adjacent to the city gaol.
- B - The Blue Bell: also known as El Gato Negro ("the Black Cat"); a tapas bar and restaurant frequented by the Princess and Emperor, situated in an 11th-13th century building that has been licensed to serve alcohol since 1494. It was here that the Princess and Emperor went for dinner on the evening of Princess Hannah's coronation and Deva Victrix's annexation.
- C - King Charles Tower: named after a legend that King Charles I used the tower to view the 1645 Battle of Rowton Heath, the tower - also known as Phoenix Tower - was built in the 13th century and repaired in 1613 and in the late 1700s.
- D - Chester Cathedral: Anglican cathedral dedicated to Christ and the Virgin Mary, built between 1093 and the early 1500s (and extensively restored during 1868-76) on the site of an abbey dedicated to St Werburgh, itself built on the former site of a late Roman basilica dedicated to Ss. Peter and Paul.
- E - Chester Town Hall: Gothic Revival building opened in 1879 for the city council to use as offices; now used primarily for functions such as weddings and conferences.
- F - St Peter’s Church: Anglican church built in 907 by Æthelflæd of Mercia on the site of the Roman praetorium.
- G - Chester High Cross: 1949 reconstruction of a 1476 monument destroyed by the Parliamentarians during the English Civil War; the head of the structure is original, whereas the pillar is modern.
- H - Eastgate and Eastgate Clock: a 1768 gateway at the original entrance to the city, over which is a large ornate clock built in 1899 in celebration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
- I - St Michael’s Church: a former Anglican church, redundant since 1972, now operating as a heritage centre, built in 1850 on a site occupied by a church since the twelfth century.
- J - Bridgegate: the southern entrance to the city, built in 1721.
- K - Chester Castle: built in 1070, adjoining modern buildings now function as courtrooms and as a museum.
- L - ABode Chester: a modern hotel with architecture reminiscent of a Roman amphitheatre.
- M - Grosvenor Shopping Centre: a shopping precinct also known as The Mall, containing roughly seventy shops.
- N - Newgate and Peppergate: the newest of the gateways in the city walls, Newgate was built in 1938 to allow access to traffic, next to the older and smaller Peppergate which dates from the early 1200s.
- O - Pemberton’s Parlour: a decorative alcove built in 1708 on the site of an earlier tower named the Goblin Tower.
- P - Morgan’s Mount: a tower with a clear view of Wales, used to direct artillery fire during the Civil War.
- Q - Water Tower: built in 1325, originally standing in the River Dee, to monitor the movements of shipping in the river; currently functions as a museum.