Maybridge

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Maybridge
—  County of Wildflower Meadows  —
St. John's and the Amphitheatre.
Country Flag of Wildflower Meadows.jpg Principality of Wildflower Meadows
Founded 14 January 2017
Government
 - Countess Lady Imani, Countess of Maybridge
Area
 - Total Formatting error: invalid input when rounding km2 (Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "{". acres)
Population
 - Total Unknown
Time zone UTC
 - Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)


The County of Maybridge is a realm of the Principality of Wildflower Meadows, claimed on 14 January 2017. It connects the other Cheshire-based Wildflower realms, and includes various landmarks of Chester not included within Deva Victrix.

Etymology

The name Maybridge is derived from two elements. The first, "May", refers to the month of May, more specifically May 2016. This was the month in which the Principality of Wildflower Meadows was founded, and was also the month in which Emperor Jonathan I and Princess Hannah first spent a substantial amount of time in the area which would soon be claimed as Maybridge, with the 30th of that month especially remembered by the couple as an enjoyable day out in the area.

The second element of the name, "bridge", most literally refers to Queen's Park Bridge (a suspension bridge over the River Dee that connects the main northern section of Maybridge with the smaller southern section on the other side of the river), but also to the realm's function as providing a physical link between the otherwise non-contiguous Wildflowerian realms of Chester Meadows, Deva Victrix, and Grosvenor Park.

Government

Maybridge is a county of Wildflower Meadows. As such, it falls under the immediate and absolute authority of the Princess of Wildflower Meadows, but does have a noble - in this case, a Countess - who serves as a local deputy of the Crown. The title Countess of Maybridge was originally held by the Princess herself, and since November 2022 has been held by Lady Imani, a friend of Princess Hannah.

A list of Countesses is as follows:

  • 14 January 2017 - 11 April 2017: HI&SH Princess Hannah
  • 11 April 2017 - 5 November 2022: Lady Laura, Countess of Maybridge
  • 5 November 2022 - present: Lady Imani, Countess of Maybridge

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.

History and geography

The borders of Maybridge are relatively arbitrary, drawn up in January 2017 by Emperor Jonathan I and Princess Hannah in order to connect the already claimed but non-contiguous realms of Chester Meadows, Deva Victrix, and Grosvenor Park while also incorporating various landmarks considered important by the monarchical couple.

Maybridge map.png

Maybridge was delineated and claimed by Princess Hannah by a decree on 14 January 2017, "with the consent and by the authority of" Jonathan I. The two monarchs then immediately toured the new realm, asserting the Principality's claim in person.

As Maybridge did not exist prior to 2017, its history is inseparable from that of the city of Chester, with its sites having been built alongside the growth of the city. The history of the realm can therefore be more easily understood from the perspective of the history of its notable sites and landmarks.

Although only one of these titles of nobility has yet been granted, Princess Hannah has decreed that the County of Maybridge contains two viscountcies and three baronies. The viscountcies are the Groves and Queen's Park, and the baronies are the Amphitheatre, St. John's, and the Roman Gardens:

  • Although most of Maybridge is north of the River Dee, a small part is south, connecting the rest of the realm to Chester Meadows. This part of the realm, the Viscountcy of Queen's Park, is named after the larger Cestrian suburb of which it claims a small northerly part, developed in the 1850s-60s as a middle class residential area.
  • The other viscountcy of the realm, the Groves, is the name given to the northern riverbank of the Dee running from Bridgegate to Queen's Park Bridge. Home to ice cream kiosks and a bandstand, the Groves is a tree-lined walkway with benches along the river which is very popular with locals and tourists, especially in the summer. Boat tours up and down the Dee are also launched from the Groves. Princess Hannah's friend the now Lady Emily was appointed Viscountess of the Groves on 5 November 2022.
  • The Amphitheatre, a barony of the realm, was built in the late 1st century and used until the mid-4th century for gladitorial combat, sports and spectacles. The Amphitheatre was rediscovered in 1929 and the northern half has been uncovered and to some extent restored (the southern half is covered by Dee House: see below). It is believed to have been one of the largest amphitheatres in Roman Britain.
  • St. John's, more specifically the Church of St. John the Baptist, is another barony of Maybridge. The church was founded in 689 by Æthelred of Mercia, possibly on the site of an earlier shrine dedicated to martyrs killed at the Amphitheatre. It served as Chester's cathedral from 1075 to 1541, during which time it was home to a piece of the True Cross. In 1541 the eastern part of the church was pulled down during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, as St. John's was stripped of many of its valuables and downgraded to a parish church. The ruins of the demolished section stand to this day as the adjacent East Ruins. Several restorations and refurbishments were made to the church in the late 1800s, and today it functions as an active Anglo-Catholic parish. The Princess, accompanied by the Emperor, attended an Epiphany service there in 2017 just under a week before Maybridge was annexed.
  • The Roman Gardens, the final barony, were created in 1949 to display various fragments of Roman-era buildings discovered around the city of Chester, mostly unearthed in the late 1800s. These include pieces from military buildings and the main baths, as well as more general artifacts found throughout the city. A mosaic and a reconstructed hypocaust can also be seen in the gardens.

Other notable sites in Maybridge include:

  • The Anchorite's Cell, a 14th century sandstone hermitage which belonged to St. John's Church prior to the Reformation, and today functions as a private residence. A local legend claims that Harold II survived the Battle of Hastings and lived there as a one-eyed hermit until his death.
  • Dee House, a manor built in 1730 by a former Mayor of Chester. It functioned as a convent from the 1850s until the 1970s, then as offices until the 1990s, and has been empty ever since. The insides were gutted by a fire in 2000, and the building is now boarded up. Despite being widely regarded as an eyesore, and its prevention of further archaeological excavation of the Amphitheatre, Dee House has not yet been demolished due to being a listed building.
  • Off The Wall, a pub directly adjoining the city walls which was visited by the Emperor and Princess on 30 May and 18 June 2016. The building originally had an industrial use, and was built in 1904.

Gallery