Chichester is a cathedral city
City status in the United Kingdom
City status in the United Kingdom is granted by the British monarch to a select group of communities. The holding of city status gives a settlement no special rights other than that of calling itself a "city". Nonetheless, this appellation carries its own prestige and, consequently, competitions...

  in West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

, within the historic County of Sussex, South-East England. It has a long history as a settlement; its Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 past and its subsequent importance in Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon may refer to:* Anglo-Saxons, a group that invaded Britain** Old English, their language** Anglo-Saxon England, their history, one of various ships* White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, an ethnicity* Anglo-Saxon economy, modern macroeconomic term...

 times are only its beginnings. It is the seat of a bishopric
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

, with a 12th century cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

, and is home to some of the oldest churches and buildings in Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...


Chichester today is a local government stronghold, with three levels of government being administered there. It is also a transport hub, and the centre for culture in the region, with a Festival theatre and two art galleries. Nearby Chichester Harbour, together with the South Downs and the city walls, provide opportunities for outdoor pursuits.

Roman Period

The area around Chichester is believed to have played significant part during the Roman Invasion of A.D 43, this is confirmed by evidence of military storage structures in the area of the nearby Fishbourne Roman Palace
Fishbourne Roman Palace
Fishbourne Roman Palace is in the village of Fishbourne in West Sussex. The large palace was built in the 1st century AD, around thirty years after the Roman conquest of Britain on the site of a Roman army supply base established at the Claudian invasion in 43 AD. The rectangular palace surrounded...

. The city centre stands on the foundations of the Romano-British city of Noviomagus Reginorum
Noviomagus Reginorum
Noviomagus Reginorum was the Roman town which is today called Chichester, situated in the modern English county of West Sussex. Alternative versions of the name include Noviomagus Regnorum, Regnentium and Regentium..-Development:...

, capital of the Civitas Reginorum. The Roman road
Roman road
The Roman roads were a vital part of the development of the Roman state, from about 500 BC through the expansion during the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. Roman roads enabled the Romans to move armies and trade goods and to communicate. The Roman road system spanned more than 400,000 km...

 of Stane Street, connecting the city with London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, started at the east gate, while the Chichester to Silchester road
Chichester to Silchester Way
The Chichester to Silchester Way is a Roman Road between Chichester in South-East England, which as Noviomagus was capital of the Regnenses, and Silchester or Calleva Atrebatum, capital of the Atrebates. The road had been entirely lost and forgotten, leaving no Saxon place names as clues to its...

 started from the north gate. The city streets have a cross-shaped layout, inherited from the Romans: radiating outwards from the medieval market cross
Chichester Cross
Chichester Cross stands in the centre of the city of Chichester, England at the intersection of the four principal streets. According to the inscription upon it, this cross was built by Edward Story, the bishop of Chichester from 1477 to 1503; but little is known for certain and the style and...

 lead the North, South, East and West shopping streets.

The original Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 city wall was over two metres thick with a steep ditch (which was later used to divert the River Lavant
River Lavant, West Sussex
The River Lavant is a winterbourne that rises at East Dean and flows west to Singleton, then south past West Dean and Lavant to Chichester. From east of Chichester its natural course was south to the sea at Pagham, but the Romans diverted it to flow around the southern walls of Chichester and then...

). It survived for over one and a half thousand years but was then replaced by a thinner Georgian
Georgian era
The Georgian era is a period of British history which takes its name from, and is normally defined as spanning the reigns of, the first four Hanoverian kings of Great Britain : George I, George II, George III and George IV...


An amphitheatre was built close to what would have been the city walls, outside the East Gate in around 80 AD. The remains are now buried under land currently used as a park, but the bank of the amphitheatre is clearly discernible and a notice board in the park gives more information.

Anglo-Saxon Period

According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a collection of annals in Old English chronicling the history of the Anglo-Saxons. The original manuscript of the Chronicle was created late in the 9th century, probably in Wessex, during the reign of Alfred the Great...

 it was captured towards the close of the fifth century, by Ælle
Aelle of Sussex
Ælle is recorded in early sources as the first king of the South Saxons, reigning in what is now called Sussex, England, from 477 to perhaps as late as 514....

, and renamed after his son, Cissa
Cissa of Sussex
Cissa is the name of a mythical King of Sussex, and Chichester whose placename is first mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 895AD, is supposedly named after him.-Historical attestation:...

. It was the chief city of the Kingdom of Sussex
Kingdom of Sussex
The Kingdom of Sussex or Kingdom of the South Saxons was a Saxon colony and later independent kingdom of the Saxons, on the south coast of England. Its boundaries coincided in general with those of the earlier kingdom of the Regnenses and the later county of Sussex. A large part of its territory...


The cathedral for the South Saxons was founded in 681 at Selsey
Selsey Abbey
Selsey Abbey was almost certainly built at Church Norton, Selsey, Sussex, England. It was founded in 683AD, and became the seat of the Sussex bishopric, until it was moved in 1075AD to Chichester.-Historical Context :...

; the seat of the bishopric
Bishop of Chichester
The Bishop of Chichester is the Ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Chichester in the Province of Canterbury. The diocese covers the Counties of East and West Sussex. The see is in the City of Chichester where the seat is located at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity...

 was moved to Chichester
Chichester Cathedral
The Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity, otherwise called Chichester Cathedral, is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Chichester. It is located in Chichester, in Sussex, England...

 in 1075.

Chichester was one of the burh
A Burh is an Old English name for a fortified town or other defended site, sometimes centred upon a hill fort though always intended as a place of permanent settlement, its origin was in military defence; "it represented only a stage, though a vitally important one, in the evolution of the...

s (fortified towns) established by Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to 899.Alfred is noted for his defence of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of southern England against the Vikings, becoming the only English monarch still to be accorded the epithet "the Great". Alfred was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself...

, probably in 878-9, making use of the remaining Roman walls. According to the Burghal Hidage
Burghal Hidage
The Burghal Hidage is an Anglo-Saxon document providing a list of the fortified burhs in Wessex and elsewhere in southern England. It offers an unusually detailed picture of the network of burhs that Alfred the Great designed to defend his kingdom from the predations of Viking invaders.-Burhs and...

, a list written in the early 10th century, it was one of the biggest of Alfred's burhs, supported by 1500 hides
Hide (unit)
The hide was originally an amount of land sufficient to support a household, but later in Anglo-Saxon England became a unit used in assessing land for liability to "geld", or land tax. The geld would be collected at a stated rate per hide...

, units of land required to supply one soldier each for the garrison in time of emergency. The system was supported by a communication network based on hilltop beacons to provide early warning. It has been suggested that one such link ran from Chichester to London.

Norman Period

When the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
Domesday Book , now held at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond upon Thames in South West London, is the record of the great survey of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086...

 was compiled, Chichester consisted of 300 dwellings which held a population of 1,500 people. There was also a mill named Kings Mill that would have been rented to local slaves and villeins. After the Battle of Hastings
Battle of Hastings
The Battle of Hastings occurred on 14 October 1066 during the Norman conquest of England, between the Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy and the English army under King Harold II...

 the township of Chichester was handed to Roger de Mongomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury
Earl of Shrewsbury
Earl of Shrewsbury is a hereditary title of nobility created twice in the peerage of England.-First creation, 1074:The first creation occurred in 1074 for Roger de Montgomerie, one of William the Conqueror's principal counselors...

, for courageous efforts in the battle, but it was forfeited in 1104 by the 3rd Earl. Shortly after 1066 Chichester Castle
Chichester Castle
Chichester Castle stood in the city of the same name in West Sussex . Shortly after the Norman Conquest of England, Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, ordered the construction of a castle at Chichester. The castle at Chichester was one of 11 fortified sites to be established in Sussex...

 was built by Roger de Mongomerie to consolidate Norman power. In around 1143 the title Earl of Arundel
Earl of Arundel
The title Earl of Arundel is the oldest extant Earldom and perhaps the oldest extant title in the Peerage of England. It is currently held by the Duke of Norfolk, and is used by his heir apparent as a courtesy title. It was created in 1138 for the Norman baron Sir William d'Aubigny...

 (also known as the Earl of Sussex until that title fell out of use) was created and became the dominant local landowner. Between 1250 and 1262, the Rape of Chichester was created from the western half of Arundel rape, with the castle as its administrative centre.


Chichester, although in terms of local government in England  is a civil parish, has the status of a city, and is one of six so designated, the others being Ely
Ely, Cambridgeshire
Ely is a cathedral city in Cambridgeshire, England, 14 miles north-northeast of Cambridge and about by road from London. It is built on a Lower Greensand island, which at a maximum elevation of is the highest land in the Fens...

, Hereford
Hereford is a cathedral city, civil parish and county town of Herefordshire, England. It lies on the River Wye, approximately east of the border with Wales, southwest of Worcester, and northwest of Gloucester...

, Ripon
Ripon is a cathedral city, market town and successor parish in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England, located at the confluence of two streams of the River Ure in the form of the Laver and Skell. The city is noted for its main feature the Ripon Cathedral which is architecturally...

, Truro
Truro is a city and civil parish in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The city is the centre for administration, leisure and retail in Cornwall, with a population recorded in the 2001 census of 17,431. Truro urban statistical area, which includes parts of surrounding parishes, has a 2001 census...

 and Wells
Wells is a cathedral city and civil parish in the Mendip district of Somerset, England, on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills. Although the population recorded in the 2001 census is 10,406, it has had city status since 1205...

. The City Council consists of twenty elected members serving four wards of the city - North, South, East, and West.

In addition to its own council offices, those of the Chichester District
Chichester (district)
Chichester is a largely rural local government district in West Sussex, England. Its council is based in the city of Chichester.-History:The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, as a merger of the municipal borough of Chichester and the Rural Districts of...

 and the West Sussex
West Sussex
West Sussex is a county in the south of England, bordering onto East Sussex , Hampshire and Surrey. The county of Sussex has been divided into East and West since the 12th century, and obtained separate county councils in 1888, but it remained a single ceremonial county until 1974 and the coming...

 County Council are also located here. The current MP for the Chichester Constituency is Andrew Tyrie
Andrew Tyrie
Andrew Guy Tyrie is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He is the Member of Parliament for Chichester, and was first elected in the 1997 general election...


Chichester has an unusual franchise in its history. Chichester's residents had enjoyed political enfranchisement for 300 years before the 19th century Reform Bills expanded the right to vote for members of Parliament
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

 to include most ordinary citizens. However, when the mayor restricted the vote to only Freemen
Freeman (Colonial)
Freeman is a term which originated in 12th century Europe and is common as an English or American Colonial expression in Puritan times. In the Bay Colony, a man had to be a member of the Church to be a freeman. In Colonial Plymouth, a man did not need to be a member of the Church, but he had to be...

 in the election of 1660 for the Convention Parliament that organised the restoration of the monarchy
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

, the House of Commons
British House of Commons
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also comprises the Sovereign and the House of Lords . Both Commons and Lords meet in the Palace of Westminster. The Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 650 members , who are known as Members...

 noted that "for One-and-twenty Parliaments, the Commonalty, as well as the Citizens, had had Voice in the electing of Members to serve in Parliament; and that thereupon the Committee were of Opinion, that the Commonalty of the said Borough, together with the free Citizens, have Right of Election" and overturned the election, seating instead the candidate elected by the more-inclusive Commonality of Chichester, and jailing the mayor for two weeks for contempt because of his wilful denial of the ancient rights.


The City of Chichester is located on the River Lavant
River Lavant, West Sussex
The River Lavant is a winterbourne that rises at East Dean and flows west to Singleton, then south past West Dean and Lavant to Chichester. From east of Chichester its natural course was south to the sea at Pagham, but the Romans diverted it to flow around the southern walls of Chichester and then...

 south of its gap through the South Downs
South Downs
The South Downs is a range of chalk hills that extends for about across the south-eastern coastal counties of England from the Itchen Valley of Hampshire in the west to Beachy Head, near Eastbourne, East Sussex, in the east. It is bounded on its northern side by a steep escarpment, from whose...

. This winterbourne
Winterbourne (stream)
A winterbourne is a stream or river that is dry through the summer months. A winterbourne is sometimes simply called a bourne, from the Anglo-Saxon for a stream flowing from a spring, although this term can also be used for all-year water courses....

 often dries up during the summer months, and for part of its course runs through the city in underground culverts. The City's site made it an ideal place for settlement, with many ancient routeways converging here. The oldest section lies within the Medieval walls of the city, which are built on Roman foundations.

The Chichester Conservation Area
Conservation area
A conservation areas is a tract of land that has been awarded protected status in order to ensure that natural features, cultural heritage or biota are safeguarded...

, designated for its architectural and historic interest, encompasses the whole of the Roman town, and includes many Grade I and II listed buildings. Further to the north lies the separate conservation area around Graylingwell Hospital, and to the south, the Chichester Conservation Area has been extended recently to include the newly restored canal basin and part of the canal
Chichester Canal
The Chichester Canal is a navigable canal in England. It runs from the sea at Birdham Chichester Harbour to Chichester through two locks. The canal was opened in 1822 having taken three years to build. When completed the canal could take ships of up to 100 tons...

 itself. The Conservation Area has been split into eight 'character' areas, based on historic development, building type, uses and activities.



The city today has made use of its past and has built a large tourist industry. Several marinas are situated in the area together with related industries. The Northshore shipyard is located in Chichester. This shipyard is known for building the Southerly and Fisher
Fisher (yachts)
The Fisher line of motorsailing yachts is a line of fiberglass yachts in sizes from 25 ft to 46 ft. Currently completely build from scratch to finished product by Northshore Shipyard in Itchenor near Chichester, England- Short history :...

 (motor) sailing yachts. Bagged salad and prepared fruit producers, is also a major employer in the area, with over 400 employees. The company was granted planning permission in January 2011 to build a new pack house in Runcton
Runcton is a hamlet in the Chichester district of West Sussex, England. It lies on the B2166 road 1.9 miles southeast of Chichester. Runcton is mentioned in Lemon Jelly's "Ramblin' Man"...

, approximately 1.9 miles (3.1 km) south west of Chichester, which is estimated to create 380 new jobs.

Main sights

Chichester Cathedral
Chichester Cathedral
The Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity, otherwise called Chichester Cathedral, is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Chichester. It is located in Chichester, in Sussex, England...

, founded in the 11th century, is dedicated to the Holy Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

, and contains a shrine to Saint Richard of Chichester
Richard of Chichester
Richard of Chichester is a saint who was Bishop of Chichester...

. Its spire, built of the weak local stone, collapsed suddenly and was rebuilt during the 19th century. In the south aisle of the cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

 a window in the floor affords a view of the remains of a Roman
Roman architecture
Ancient Roman architecture adopted certain aspects of Ancient Greek architecture, creating a new architectural style. The Romans were indebted to their Etruscan neighbors and forefathers who supplied them with a wealth of knowledge essential for future architectural solutions, such as hydraulics...

Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It may be a technique of decorative art, an aspect of interior decoration, or of cultural and spiritual significance as in a cathedral...

Pavement (architecture)
A pavement in architecture is a stone or tile structure, the pavement, which can serve as a floor or an external feature. Pavements can be made of flagstones which are used for things like paving gardens, tiles also there were mosaics which were commonly used by the Romans.When along the side of...

. The cathedral is unusual in Britain in having a separate bell tower a few metres away from the main building, rather than integrated into it. Within the cathedral there is a medieval tomb of a knight and his wife, the inspiration of the poem "An Arundel Tomb
An Arundel Tomb
"An Arundel Tomb" is a poem by Philip Larkin, published in 1964 in his collection The Whitsun Weddings. It comprises 7 verses of 6 lines each, each rhyming abbcac....

", by Philip Larkin
Philip Larkin
Philip Arthur Larkin, CH, CBE, FRSL is widely regarded as one of the great English poets of the latter half of the twentieth century...

. A fine memorial statue also exists of William Huskisson
William Huskisson
William Huskisson PC was a British statesman, financier, and Member of Parliament for several constituencies, including Liverpool...

, once member of parliament for the city, but best remembered as the first man to be run over by a railway engine. Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American conductor, composer, author, music lecturer and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim...

's Chichester Psalms
Chichester Psalms
Chichester Psalms is a choral work by Leonard Bernstein for boy treble or countertenor, solo quartet, choir and orchestra...

were commissioned for the cathedral.

In addition to the cathedral there are five Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 churches, St Richard’s Roman Catholic church and nine religious buildings of other denominations. Redundant church
Redundant church
A redundant church is a church building that is no longer required for regular public worship. The phrase is particularly used to refer to former Anglican buildings in the United Kingdom, but may refer to any disused church building around the world...

es include the Grade I-listed St John the Evangelist's Church
St John the Evangelist's Church, Chichester
St John the Evangelist's Church is a former Anglican church in the cathedral city of Chichester in West Sussex, England. Built in 1812 to the design of James Elmes as a proprietary chapel, the octagonal white-brick "evangelical preaching house" reflects the early 19th-century ideals of the Church...

, an octagonal white-brick proprietary chapel
Proprietary Chapel
A proprietary chapel is a chapel that originally belonged to a private person. In the 19th century Britain they were common, often being built to cope with urbanisation. Frequently they were set up by evangelical philanthropists with a vision of spreading Christianity in cities whose needs could no...

 with an impressive three-decker pulpit
Pulpit is a speakers' stand in a church. In many Christian churches, there are two speakers' stands at the front of the church. Typically, the one on the left is called the pulpit...


The remains of the Roman amphitheatre are now buried under land south of The Hornet, currently used as a park, but the bank of the amphitheatre is clearly discernible and a notice board in the park gives more information.

The Butter Market in North Street was designed by John Nash
John Nash (architect)
John Nash was a British architect responsible for much of the layout of Regency London.-Biography:Born in Lambeth, London, the son of a Welsh millwright, Nash trained with the architect Sir Robert Taylor. He established his own practice in 1777, but his career was initially unsuccessful and...

, and was opened in 1808 as a food and produce market. In 1900, a second storey was added to the building, originally housing an arts institute. It is currently still in use by various small business, however Chichester City Council are soon to carry out a full scale renovation of the building, leaving the future of some of the current retailers in some doubt.

The Corn Exchange in East Street was built in 1833, one of the first in the country. It is an imposing building, designed to show off its importance to trade. In 1883 it was also used for drama and entertainment. From then it became a cinema (1923–1984), a restaurant, and then a McDonalds fast food restaurant. It is currently occupied by Next
Next (retailer)
Next plc is a British retailer marketing clothing, footwear, accessories and home products with its headquarters in Enderby, Leicestershire, England. The company has over 550 stores throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and 50 franchise branches in Europe, Asia and the Middle East...

 clothing retailers.

The Chichester Cross
Chichester Cross
Chichester Cross stands in the centre of the city of Chichester, England at the intersection of the four principal streets. According to the inscription upon it, this cross was built by Edward Story, the bishop of Chichester from 1477 to 1503; but little is known for certain and the style and...

, which was built in 1501 as a covered market-place, stands at the intersection of the four main roads in the centre of the city.

Chichester is home to the South Downs Planetarium & Science Centre
South Downs Planetarium & Science Centre
South Downs Planetarium & Science CentreThe South Downs Planetarium is a 100 seat planetarium located in Chichester, West Sussex and is entirely volunteer run. The planetarium project was started in 1992 by members of the South Downs Astronomical Society, who aimed to set up a Centre to promote...

, which opened in 2001 and features a program of public star shows in its 100 seat theatre.


Chichester is the hub of several main roads. The most important of these is the A27
A27 road
The A27 is a major road in England. It runs from its junction with the A36 at Whiteparish in the county of Wiltshire. It closely parallels the south coast, where it passes through West Sussex and terminates at Pevensey in East Sussex.Between Portsmouth and Lewes, it is one of the busiest trunk...

 coastal trunk road connecting Eastbourne
Eastbourne is a large town and borough in East Sussex, on the south coast of England between Brighton and Hastings. The town is situated at the eastern end of the chalk South Downs alongside the high cliff at Beachy Head...

 with Southampton
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest...

. The A27 also connects Chichester to the M27
M27 motorway
The M27 is a motorway in Hampshire, England. It is long and runs west-east from Cadnam to Portsmouth. It was opened in stages between 1975 and 1983. It is however unfinished as an extension to the east was planned...

. The secondary coastal road, the A259
A259 road
The A259 is a busy road on the south coast of England passing through Hampshire, West Sussex, East Sussex and part of Kent. Part of the road was named "the most dangerous road in South East England" in 2008.-Description:...

, which began its journey at Folkestone
Folkestone is the principal town in the Shepway District of Kent, England. Its original site was in a valley in the sea cliffs and it developed through fishing and its closeness to the Continent as a landing place and trading port. The coming of the railways, the building of a ferry port, and its...

 in Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, joins with a junction with the A27 here and ends in Havant to the west. Both those roads make east-west connections. Three roads give Chichester access to the north: the A29
A29 road
The A29 is a major road in England. It runs for approximately 34 miles from Capel, south of Dorking, leaving the A24, running through Billingshurst and Pulborough, crossing the South Downs at Bury Hill and passing Fontwell Park Racecourse before terminating on the B2166 on Bognor Regis sea...

 from London, which has also joined the A27 to the east of the city; and the A285, which gives access to Petworth
Petworth is a small town and civil parish in the Chichester District of West Sussex, England. It is located at the junction of the A272 east-west road from Heathfield to Winchester and the A283 Milford to Shoreham-by-Sea road. Some twelve miles to the south west of Petworth along the A285 road...

 and another cross-country road (the A272)
A272 road
The A272 is a road in South-East England. It follows an approximate East-West route from near Heathfield, East Sussex to the city of Winchester, Hampshire. It has achieved somewhat unlikely fame in recent years by being the subject of a book by the Dutch author, Pieter Boogaart...

; and finally the A286, heading towards Guildford
Guildford is the county town of Surrey. England, as well as the seat for the borough of Guildford and the administrative headquarters of the South East England region...


Stagecoach South
Stagecoach South
Stagecoach South is an operating division of the Stagecoach UK Bus. The headquarters of the division are situated in Chichester, England.It is branded as three sub-divisions; namely, Stagecoach in Hampshire, Stagecoach Hants & Surrey, and Stagecoach in the South Downs. The legal titles are;...

 bus company has its headquarters here.

Chichester railway station
Chichester railway station
Chichester railway station is a railway station in the city of Chichester in West Sussex, England. The station is a short walk from the city centre, and about a 10 minute walk from the university....

, on the West Coastway Line
West Coastway Line
The West Coastway Line is a railway line in England, along the south coast of West Sussex and Hampshire, between Brighton and Southampton, plus the short branches to Littlehampton and Bognor Regis....

, has regular services to Brighton
Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, England on the south coast of Great Britain...

, London Victoria via Gatwick Airport, Portsmouth
Portsmouth is the second largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire on the south coast of England. Portsmouth is notable for being the United Kingdom's only island city; it is located mainly on Portsea Island...

 and Southampton
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated south-west of London and north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest...

. In the past there was a branch line to Midhurst
Midhurst Railways
The Midhurst Railways were three Branch lines which were built to serve the market town of Midhurst in the English county of West Sussex. The three lines radiated from the town; south to Chichester, west to Petersfield, and east to Pulborough....

 in the north; and a light railway
Light railway
Light railway refers to a railway built at lower costs and to lower standards than typical "heavy rail". This usually means the railway uses lighter weight track, and is more steeply graded and tightly curved to avoid civil engineering costs...

 built by Colonel HF Stephens known as the West Sussex Railway
West Sussex Railway
The West Sussex Railway opened in 1897 as the Hundred of Manhood and Selsey Tramway, so named to save having to build the railway to regulations that normally covered railways, later changing its name to the WSR. It closed on 19th January 1935 in the face of intensive road bus competition...

 which ran south to Selsey
Selsey is a seaside town and civil parish, about seven miles south of Chichester, in the Chichester District of West Sussex, England. Selsey lies at the southernmost point of the Manhood Peninsula, almost cut off from mainland Sussex by the sea...

, and which closed in 1935.

Chichester Airport
Chichester/Goodwood Airport
Chichester/Goodwood Airport , normally referred to as Goodwood Airfield or Goodwood Aerodrome is located north northeast of Chichester, West Sussex, England....

 is located north of the city.

There are several long distance routes for walkers, cyclists and riders in the area, some of which, like the Centurion Way to West Dean
West Dean, West Sussex
West Dean is a village and civil parish in the District of Chichester in West Sussex, England located north of Chichester on the A286 road just west of Singleton. The parish includes the hamlets of Binderton and Chilgrove....

 start here. Centurion Way was opened in the Mid 1990s and runs along the former railway line. The name was chosen by Ben Adams, a local schoolboy who won a competition to the name the path.

There are also many bus routes, with Chichester acting as a local hub. See List of bus routes in West Sussex.


There are three secondary schools in Chichester: the Chichester High School for Boys
Chichester High School For Boys
Chichester High School for Boys, often referred to as CHSB, is a community school, with specialist status of Business and Enterprise College, for boys aged 11 to 18 located in the city of Chichester, West Sussex, England...

 and the Chichester High School For Girls
Chichester High School For Girls
Chichester High School For Girls, often referred to as CHSG, is a girls' community school in Chichester, West Sussex which has been comprehensive since 1971. It takes girls from the age of 11-18. The school is a dual specialist Science College and Arts College...

, located on the Kingsham Campus; and the Bishop Luffa School
Bishop Luffa School
Bishop Luffa, named after a former Bishop of Chichester, Ralph de Luffa, is a coeducational Church of England secondary school in the City of Chichester, West Sussex, England. The number of enrolled students was around 1,400 in 2010, in eight 'Year' house-forms and the sixth form...

. In the primary sector there are two infant-only schools: Lancastrian and Rumboldswyke; the Central C of E Junior School; five all-level schools; and two special-needs schools at Fordwater and St Anthony’s. There is also a Roman Catholic school, St Richard’s primary, and a Sure Start Children's Centre, Chichester Nursery School, Children and Family Centre.

In the independent sector there are three day preparatory schools in Chichester (Oakwood Preparatory School, Prebendal School
Prebendal School
The Prebendal School is a private preparatory school in Chichester, situated opposite Chichester Cathedral. It is a boarding and day school with roughly 150 pupils including the choristers of the cathedral choir. Most students go on to English public schools such as Winchester, Westminster, Eton,...

 and Westbourne House), alongside the state primary schools.

The higher and further educational institutions include the Chichester High Schools Sixth Form, which is the largest Sixth Form in West Sussex. It offers a range of A-Level and vocational courses with full use of a wide-range of facilities at both Boys & Girls High Schools. Chichester College
Chichester College
Chichester College is a college of further education in Chichester, West Sussex. It has a second, campus at Brinsbury, near Pulborough and small centres in Bognor Regis, Littlehampton and Worthing...

, formerly Chichester College of Arts, Science and Technology; offers both foundation-level and degree-equivalent courses, mainly focused towards vocational qualifications for industry. The College has recently made significant investment in upgrading facilities, and is now offering a wider range of subject areas in its prospectus.

Finally, the University of Chichester
University of Chichester
The University of Chichester is a university based in West Sussex, England. Campuses are based in the city of Chichester and the nearby coastal resort of Bognor Regis...

 which was granted degree-awarding body status by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority
Qualifications and Curriculum Authority
The Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency is an exempt charity, and an executive non-departmental public body of the Department for Children, Schools and Families...

 in 2005. Whereas Chichester College has always been focused towards vocational qualifications, the University of Chichester has a more academic focus (mainly in the Arts
The arts
The arts are a vast subdivision of culture, composed of many creative endeavors and disciplines. It is a broader term than "art", which as a description of a field usually means only the visual arts. The arts encompass visual arts, literary arts and the performing arts – music, theatre, dance and...



The city holds an annual three-week arts and music festival (“Chichester Festivities“) held in July.

Its most prestigious cultural location is the Chichester Festival Theatre
Chichester Festival Theatre
Chichester Festival Theatre, located in Chichester, England, was designed by Philip Powell and Hidalgo Moya, and opened by its founder Leslie Evershed-Martin in 1962. Subsequently the smaller and more intimate Minerva Theatre was built nearby in 1989....

, one of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

’s flagship theatres, whose annual summer season attracts actors, writers and directors from the West End theatre
West End theatre
West End theatre is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of London's 'Theatreland', the West End. Along with New York's Broadway theatre, West End theatre is usually considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English speaking...


Pallant House Gallery
Pallant House Gallery
Pallant House Gallery is an art gallery in Chichester, West Sussex, England. It houses one of the best collections of 20th century British art in the world....

, winner of the 2007 gallery of the year Gulbenkian Prize
Gulbenkian Prize
The Art Fund Prize, formerly known as the Gulbenkian Prize, is an annual prize awarded to a museum or gallery in the United Kingdom for a "track record of imagination, innovation and excellence"...

 has a major collection of chiefly modern British art and in 2006 opened its new extension that houses the collection of Professor Sir Colin St John Wilson
Colin St John Wilson
Sir Colin Alexander St John Wilson, FRIBA, RA, was a British architect, lecturer and author. He spent over 30 years progressing the project to build a new British Library in London, originally planned to be built in Bloomsbury and now completed near Kings Cross.-Early and private life:Wilson was...

. It also has a changing programme of exhibitions.

Since 2007, the week long annual I AM JOY Arts and Music Festival in August has exhibited artworks, showcased bands, contemporary dance, theatre and run workshops across different venues in the city. The festival has since 2008, grown into a high street gallery, magazine, monthly comedy night, film nights and live music nights; from Cabaret to Post-Rock.

Chichester Cinema at New Park is the city's first and only arthouse cinema. It shows a selection of mainstream, small-budget and older films, with showings 7 days a week. Vice presidents are Dame Maggie Smith and Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Charles Branagh is an actor and film director from Northern Ireland. He is best known for directing and starring in several film adaptations of William Shakespeare's plays including Henry V , Much Ado About Nothing , Hamlet Kenneth Charles Branagh is an actor and film director from...

. There is also a larger, multiplex cinema located at Chichester Gate.

In the 1990s Chichester started to develop an alternative
Alternative culture
Alternative culture is a type of culture that exists outside or on the fringes of mainstream or popular culture, usually under the domain of one or more subcultures...

In sociology, anthropology and cultural studies, a subculture is a group of people with a culture which differentiates them from the larger culture to which they belong.- Definition :...

. There is still a shop in Crane Street which retails clothing aimed at the alternative music culture.

Chichester is mentioned in a 1992 episode of A Bit of Fry and Laurie
A Bit of Fry and Laurie
A Bit of Fry & Laurie is a British sketch comedy television series starring former Cambridge Footlights members Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, broadcast on both BBC1 and BBC2 between 1989 and 1995. It ran for four series and totalled 26 episodes, including a 35 minute pilot episode in 1987.As in The...

 and also in the 2009 film Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes (2009 film)
Sherlock Holmes is a 2009 action-mystery film based on the character of the same name created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The film was directed by Guy Ritchie and produced by Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram, Susan Downey and Dan Lin. The screenplay by Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham and Simon...



The following section considers the city’s music scene: in recent years it has experienced growth in various genres.

Chichester Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1881, the Chichester Symphony Orchestra plays an important part in maintaining the classical music tradition of the area. A friendly group, the orchestra consists of both amateur and professional players who rehearse on a weekly basis, first and foremost, for the enjoyment of playing together. Three concerts are given each year with the summer concert being part of the Chichester Festivities while the autumn concert is included in the Chichester Cathedral Lunchtime Series.

Popular music

A cornerstone of the Chichester music scene is Chichester RAJF (From "Real Ale and Jazz Festival"), a four day festival of music and real ale held each July in tents beside the 13th century Guildhall in Priory Park. Founded in 1980 by members of Chichester Hockey Club as a fund-raising event, the festival has grown in size and ambition. In the early years the focus was on traditional jazz and featured performers such as Kenny Ball
Kenny Ball
Kenny Ball is an English jazz musician, best known as the lead trumpet player in Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen.-Career:...

, Humphrey Lyttelton
Humphrey Lyttelton
Humphrey Richard Adeane Lyttelton , also known as Humph, was an English jazz musician and broadcaster, and chairman of the BBC radio comedy programme I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue...

 and Kenny Baker
Kenny Baker (trumpeter)
Kenny Baker was born on 1 March 1921 in Withernsea, East Riding of Yorkshire and died 7 December 1999. He was an accomplished player of jazz trumpet, cornet and flugelhorn, and a composer.-Biography:...

. In the 1990s blues and R&B were introduced and more recently the festival has increased its capacity to 2500 persons and has offered a wide range of popular music including James Brown
James Brown
James Joseph Brown was an American singer, songwriter, musician, and recording artist. He is the originator of Funk and is recognized as a major figure in the 20th century popular music for both his vocals and dancing. He has been referred to as "The Godfather of Soul," "Mr...

, Status Quo, Blondie
Blondie (band)
Blondie is an American rock band, founded by singer Deborah Harry and guitarist Chris Stein. The band was a pioneer in the early American New Wave and punk scenes of the mid-1970s...

, Boney M
Boney M
Boney M. is a Eurodisco group created by German record producer Frank Farian. Originally based in Germany, the four original members of the group's official line-up were Jamaicans Liz Mitchell and Marcia Barrett, Maizie Williams from Montserrat and Bobby Farrell from Aruba...

, Robert Cray
Robert Cray
Robert Cray is an American blues guitarist and singer. A five-time Grammy Award winner, he has led his own band, as well as an acclaimed solo career.-Career:...

, Hot Chocolate, Howard Jones
Howard Jones (musician)
Howard Jones is a musician, singer and songwriter. According to the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums, "Jones is an accomplished singer-songwriter who was a regular chart visitor in the mid 1980s with his brand of synthpop. Jones, who was equally popular in the U.S., appeared at Live...

, Go West
Go West (band)
Go West is an English pop duo, formed in 1982 by lead vocalist and drummer Peter Cox ; and guitarist and vocalist Richard Drummie...

, The Pretenders
The Pretenders
The Pretenders are an English rock band formed in Hereford, England in March 1978. The original band consisted of initiator and main songwriter Chrissie Hynde , James Honeyman-Scott , Pete Farndon , and Martin Chambers...

, The Drifters
The Drifters
The Drifters are a long-lived American doo-wop and R&B/soul vocal group with a peak in popularity from 1953 to 1963, though several splinter Drifters continue to perform today. They were originally formed to serve as Clyde McPhatter's backing group in 1953...

 and Simple Minds
Simple Minds
Simple Minds are a Scottish rock band who achieved worldwide popularity from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s. The band produced a handful of critically acclaimed albums in the early 1980s and best known for their #1 US, Canada and Netherlands hit single "Don't You ", from the soundtrack of the...

. In 2009, the RAJF changed from 4 consecutive nights to 2 consecutive weekends. 2010 will be the RAJF's 30th Birthday and a special celebration is being planned.

Blues on the Farm is a festival held every June at Pump Bottom Farm two miles (3.2 km) south of the city. Founded in 1991, it has become the UK's biggest outdoor blues festival hosting many of the top national and international names in a picturesque and friendly environment. Roots Around the World is another such festival, bringing what is described as the best in global music to the city and surrounding village halls.


Chichester has a cricket and hockey club, (Chichester Priory Park, CPPC&HC), a rugby
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

 club, Chichester R.F.C., and a football club Chichester City  who play in the Sussex County League. The city is also home to the Chichester Sharks Flag American Football Club, members of the English Senior Flag League (ESFL). In October 2007, the Sharks won the National Championship, beating Andover Voodoo 31-29 in the final. The Chichester Sharks also won the title in 2003.

Other sports include cycling.

The city also offers a well equipped leisure centre with swimming pool, flume, sports hall and fitness room; it also plays host to Chichester Cormorant
The bird family Phalacrocoracidae is represented by some 40 species of cormorants and shags. Several different classifications of the family have been proposed recently, and the number of genera is disputed.- Names :...

s swimming
Swimming (sport)
Swimming is a sport governed by the Fédération Internationale de Natation .-History: Competitive swimming in Europe began around 1800 BCE, mostly in the form of the freestyle. In 1873 Steve Bowyer introduced the trudgen to Western swimming competitions, after copying the front crawl used by Native...


Town twinning

The City of Chichester is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Chartres
Chartres is a commune and capital of the Eure-et-Loir department in northern France. It is located southwest of Paris.-Geography:Chartres is built on the left bank of the Eure River, on a hill crowned by its famous cathedral, the spires of which are a landmark in the surrounding country...

, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, since 1959 Ravenna
Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and the second largest comune in Italy by land area, although, at , it is little more than half the size of the largest comune, Rome...

, Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.