Sick to Death

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Sick to Death is a brand-new attraction located on Chester’s city walls. It explores the fascinating, and sometimes gory, history of medicine, and how the people of Chester dealt with illness and disease.

The attraction is set within the two medieval towers that form the Watertower complex. Bonewaldesthorne’s Tower sits on the wall itself, and along a spur wall from the first tower is the Watertower. Big Heritage has fitted out both towers to give residents of, and visitors to, Chester a unique insight into a different side of Chester’s history.

Sick to Death is situated in the Watertower, across two floors. It’s a tactile and interactive experience, with plenty to read, touch, smell, try on and more. It is packed with fact, that not only explores the general history of medicine, but also some of the more esoteric aspects of medieval medicine, such as the four humours, and uroscopy.

Within Bonewaldsthorne’s tower is the Camera Obscura, one of less than a dozen left in the country. It’s a notable example of the Victorian fondness for technological marvels, and the original was installed in the 1840s. Having been restored, it now offers a scenic view from the top of the tower.


Sick to Death has been managed every step of the way by Big Heritage, from concept, to install and opening. Big Heritage continues to manage Sick to Death, and it has enjoyed great success and strong visitor numbers during its first year of operation.

For more information on what’s on at Sick to Death, the opening times, and prices, visit the website:, or follow it on twitter @SicktoDeathUK.
Sick to Death was funded by The Wellcome Trust, and has been supported by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

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