All posts by Website Editor

The South-West Prospect of the City of Chichester in the 1730s


This view, from what is now the Waitrose car park, is the ‘South-West Prospect of the City of Chichester’ by printmaker Nathanial Buck published in 1738 and comes from the British Library website.

Once part of George III’s Topographical Collection which his son, George IV, gave to the nation in 1829, this print can be consulted today in the British Library (Cartographic Items Maps K Top. 42.19.c).

Working from the west side of the image eastwards, the viewer (you are probably on top of the multi-story car park by the railway station) can make out Ede’s House, the roofs of property in West Street , the Bishop’s Palace and its adjoining gardens with the Bell Tower behind, the cathedral building, parts of which are decidedly dilapidated, properties on the site of 4, Canon Lane, and The Deanery. The spire of All Saints in the East Pallant (which does not exist today) and the top of the Market Cross can also be made out.
The city walls flank the Bishop’s gardens and a series of water courses fill the foreground, now the Prebendal.

Numbered references in the picture:

3              The Bishops Palace
4              The Cathedral
5              The Market Cross
6              The Deanery

Not shown are:

1              London Road on Rook’s hill
2              The Brill or broil
7              All Saints Church in the Pallant

The text at the bottom of the print reads:

This City was built by and derives its name from Cissa a Saxon King about the year 520, but the several Pavements, Medals, and other Roman Antiquities of late discovered in it plainly prove that it was once a Roman Station.

Till the Norman Conquest it was of no great note; but in the reign of William I it began to flourish, the Episcopal See being then brought hither from Selsey. Not long after, Bishop Ralph built a Cathedral Church here which was casually burnt down before it was fully finished, but by his Endeavours and the liberality of Henry I it was soon rebuilt, as it was afterwards by Bishop Seffrid the 2nd upon a like conflagration.

The Church is not remarkably large, but neat, especially the Quire; the Spire is very high and reckoned as elegant as any in England. It has belonging to it besides the Bishop a Dean, Chaunter, Chancellor, Treasurer, 2 Archdeacons, 4 Canon Residentiaries, about 26 Prebendaries, 4 Vicars General, several Lay Vicars, Choristers and many others.

The City is situated too much upon a flatt for a very advantageous Prospect to be taken of it; it is walled about in a Circular form and washed on every Side, except the North, with the little river Lavant. The 4 Gates of the City open to the four quarters of the World, from whence the 4 principal streets (spacious and regular) take their names and meet almost at a common Centre where there is a stone Piazza (or Cross) built by Bishop Story, very commodious and much admired for the beauty of its Architecture. In the North Street is a very handsome and convenient Council House, with a Market House under it, lately built by Subscription, under the more immediate Direction and Encouragement of his Grace the Duke of Richmond.

The chief Traffick of the City is in Corn and Cattle; for both which the Markets here are as considerable as most in the Kingdom. It is well supplied with provisions of all sorts, particularly Shell fish, lobsters, Prawns, and Crabbs; being in the utmost perfection here in the proper Season.

The City within and without the Walls contains 7 Parishes; is governed by a Mayor, Recorder, Aldermen and a Common Council and sends 2 Members to Parliament. The present are The Honourable James Brudenell Esq and Thomas Yates Esquire.

Samuel and Nathaniel Buck delin et sculp According to Act of Parliament 1738



Chichester BID reports on work to deliver the Chichester Vision

Work to deliver the priorities set out in the Chichester Vision will shift up a gear thanks to a detailed action plan which sets out timescales and responsibilities.

The Chichester Vision looks ahead over the next 20 years and brings together a wealth of ideas that have been put forward by individuals, groups and organisations across the city.

The aim is to help Chichester attract inward investment and stimulate economic growth by making the most of its heritage and culture, while also adapting to better meet the needs of residents, workers, visitors, and students.

Priorities are to reduce traffic, support independent businesses and create a more diverse evening culture

The Vision was formally adopted this year by Chichester District Council, West Sussex County Council, Chichester City Council and the board of Chichester BID (Business Improvement District). A Steering Group will oversee the delivery plan which states what the short and medium term goals are.

Four of the main Vision projects have been identified as part of the newly announced Growth Deal for Chichester. These are schemes which will require close partnership working between Chichester District Council and West Sussex County Council.

These include the Southern Gateway, Northern Gateway, West Sussex Gigabit Project, and a City Centre Transport Feasibility Study. This study, which is being led by WSCC, is a crucial piece of work as a number of other Vision projects are connected to it.

“This is a very exciting time and there is a strong sense of people working together to help achieve this Vision,” says Councillor Tony Dignum, Leader of Chichester District Council. “It is extremely positive that the lead projects have been identified in the Growth Deal. By prioritising them and providing resources it shows everyone is committed and serious about making them happen.

“Meanwhile, the Vision Steering Group’s focus will be on much smaller projects but which share the objective of making the city more attractive to users of all ages: residents, visitors, workers and students.

“Typical examples of such projects are: improved wayfinding, more cycle racks and benches, Priory Park building refurbishment, and an improved tourism offer. We are delighted that a funding bid to the West Sussex pooled business rates has been successful. This funding will be used to help improve shop fronts in the city and we will have more detail about this at the beginning of next year.

“Of course, it’s important to remember that the Chichester Vision is a long term look at the city, so it will take time to achieve everything that has been set out. We have made an excellent start and I want to reassure people that they will be updated regularly on progress as we move these projects forward.”

Released by BID 5 December 2017

The Society’s response to the SDNPA Local Plan Consultion

The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) produced a pre-Submission version of their Local Plan  for public consultation from 26 September to 21 November 2017.

The Society’s response has been filed and is reproduced below. (A copy of the full submission document can be found here)

(Images from the SDNPA – click on images for full view)

‘The Chichester Society supports this first landscape-led Local Plan for the South Downs National Park. We support the Plan’s Core, Strategic, and Development Management policies.

We particularly commend policies SD4-SD8. (SD4-Landscape Character, SD5-Design, SD6-Views, SD7- Relative Tranquillity and SD8-Dark Night Skies).

We recognise that little development is proposed within the National Park in the vicinity of Chichester, but we support the small housing allocations in the adopted Lavant Neighbourhood Plan and the small housing site at West Ashling (Policy SD95). We are however concerned that major developments on the coastal plain outside the National Park boundary, particularly around Chichester, are likely to result in adverse impacts on the National Park. We hope that the duty to co-operate between the South Downs NPA and Chichester DC will be maintained, and that policies SD4-8 will be at the forefront of all negotiations between the two authorities so that the adverse impacts can be mitigated as far as possible.

Concerning the supply of housing (SD 26 – Supply of Homes), we recognise that National Park Authorities are not required to meet the ‘objectively assessed need’ (OAN) for housing. However, the strict policies limiting development within the South Downs National Park are already causing intense development pressures on areas outside the Park, especially on the West Sussex Coastal Plain which affect Arun and Chichester District Councils. The Society notes several adopted Neighbourhood Plans within the National Park have increased their provision for housing, greater than that allocated by the Park Authority. Local communities across the Park have decided they can accommodate increased numbers, especially if 50 percent of new housing is affordable. The Society would advance this argument by supporting as much housing in Downland communities as can be accommodated without damaging the wider landscape environment.

We are pleased that the Plan recognises that Chichester is the major gateway to the National Park from the coastal plain. We support Strategic Policy SD19c Improvements to walking, cycling and bus connectivity. The extension of Centurion Way to Midhurst, together with proposed linked footpaths/cycleways east of the City to East Lavant and The Trundle, will provide high quality sustainable access to the National Park.

We have one criticism of the Local Plan Policies Map- Western Area: South. The extensive brown stippling across much of this map to indicate ‘Mineral Safeguarding area’ detracts from the clarity and makes it challenging to read. Minerals are already covered by the joint West Sussex/South Downs Minerals Local Plan.’

Chichester during Civil War 1642-1646 – Flow chart and references

The Society has published Heritage Trail No.6 Chichester during the English Civil War available for download here. It describes the beginnings of the  Civil War and in particular the impact it had on Chichester and the roles played by these individuals.  Four of the main buildings and locations involved in this event are cited and form a trail that can be followed from the North to the East and finally to the South finishing at the Cathedral.

 Physical copies of the leaflet and all previous trails are available from Chichester Library, The Tourist Information Centre at the Novium, West Sussex Record Office and The Council House (City Council offices) in North Street. For details of all  Heritage Trail leaflets see here or go the dedicated Trails website

The information provided here supplements that in the Trail leaflet.
It comprises:
  • a flow chart of the main events in the form of a timeline (see below) which can be printed off (click the image) or downloaded as a pdf for offline reference when walking the Trail
  • additional information (below the flow chart) about the personalities and events  including links to other posts and sources – these will be added to where relevant.

Further information about Heritage Trail leaflets can be found here and on a separate website where there is detailed information whole project.

If you have any comments concerning this post please use the contact form
































Henry Chitty
Little seems to be known about Henry Chitty despite the important local role he played in the Civil War. Some information about his personal background was found in a genealogical study on the Chitty name here.

Henry Chitty – Roundhead in the Civil War in Chichester

Henry Chitty (sometimes spelt Chittey) was the captain of the local militia, known as the trained band at the time of the Civil War. He was central in the defense of the City in 1642 as described in our Heritage Trail Leaflet No.6.

A Puritan Roundhead

Little other information is known about him except for some personal details from a genealogical study of the Chitty Name from which the following is culled with thanks.

Henry’s father was Richard Chitty, the second son Henry Chitty a mercer Richard migrated to Chichester where he set up as a weaver. He was aged ‘four score and three years’ when he made his will in 1635, and it was proved 1637. Besides his own house he left one in Godalming, but his will names only his wife and daughters and their children. (He seems to have had two married daughters named Martha, among others). The baptism of only one of his children has been discovered (dated 1577) and if he had a surviving son it is odd that no such man appears as beneficiary, witness, executor or overseer; yet it is tempting to suppose that Richard was the father of the Roundhead Henry Chitty.

This Henry Chitty of Chichester married at New Shoreham in 1605. In 1614 he was named as ‘late servant’ (probably meaning apprentice) in the will of Alderman William Holland of Chichester. By 1623, Henry was himself an Alderman and was engaged in a lawsuit regarding property which he had bought in Canterbury.

In 1628 he and one of his daughters were named in the will of Alderman Augustine Hitchcocke of Chichester, and in 1632 Henry was sessor in goods and Mayor of Chichester, and took a lease of the Dolphin Inn, which he sold in 1637 (perhaps he was too busy and too prosperous for Richard to trouble him with duties or leave him a share in his own, smaller, estate). He appears as a J.P. in the West Sussex Protestation Returns in 1641/2, and was Captain of Train Bands in Chichester in 1642. Next year he was captain of a Company of Foot in the Parliamentary interest in Portsmouth Garrison. In 1614 he was described as a merchant, but his precise trade is not known. His will (1644/5) names only daughters and his property included his dwelling in West Street near the High Cross, and leases at Bosham and North Vallence* .

*could this be North Pallant?

Recent planning applications – comments from the CCAAC – November 2017

from the  Chichester Conservation Area Advisory Committee

12 Whyke Lane PO19 7UR
Partial demolition, and subsequent reinstatement to match existing, of flint faced
garden wall to property’s south-eastern boundary. Strong Objection. We note with
regret that the existing wall has already been demolished before planning
permission has been granted and object to the loss of historic fabric. We also
query whether an archaeological investigation has been carried out on this site
which is adjacent to the Roman amphitheatre. There is insufficient detail in the
application and it is unclear what materials will be used to rebuild the wall. It
should be a condition that a sample panel of the new flintwork to be used should
be submitted to the Planning Officer before a decision is reached.

City Business Centre PO19 8DU
Replacement 2 no. non-illuminated fascia signs and 1 no. non-illuminated directory board
sign. Objection. While we are pleased that the proposed fascia signs are non-illuminated
and use the Gill-Sans typeface, the raised lettering is non-compliant. We have no
objection to the direction sign.

9 New Park Road PO19 7XH
Alterations to existing single storey rear extension. Objection. While we have no
objection in principle to the extension, the horizontal cedar cladding which wraps around
the existing structure looks incongruous and is inappropriate in New Park Road.
Clarification of the design of the roof lights and associated blinds is also needed as there
could be issues of light pollution affecting adjacent properties.











35 Whyke Lane PO19 7US
Proposed single storey rear extension. Strong Objection. This house gained a hideous
double roof extension under permitted development rights when it was just outside the
Conservation Area. 35 Whyke Lane is now in the Conservation Area so those rights,
applied for here, cannot be invoked so this should be treated as a full planning
application. The proposed rear extension constitutes an over-development of the site and
is both detrimental to the Conservation Area and un-neighbourly

14 Cavendish Street PO19 3BS
Demolition of single storey mono pitch roof kitchen extension & erection of duo pitched
roof kitchen extension and internal alterations. Objection. We consider this to be over-development and are concerned regarding the possible loss of historic fabric. The six
roof lights could result in light pollution or overlooking to adjacent properties. A flat roof
with parapet would be preferable.

9-11 East Street PO19 1HJ
Replacement ATM and removal of step beneath. Objection. We query the need to remove
the step as this will compromise the pleasing symmetry of the building and will require
substantial making good to the adjacent stone cladding.

Ground Floor Unicorn House 8 Eastgate Square PO19 1JN
1 no. illuminated Fascia sign and 2 no. internally illuminated Menu Boxes. Objection.
The sign is out-of-scale with the height and width of the cornice and needs scaling down.
We consider that illumination is not required. We suggest the treatment used at other
branches of the chain, such as Brentwood, Brighton and Farnham, where simple lettering
has been used rather than the squid logo proposed here, would be more appropriate and
sympathetic to the character of the building.












7 Little London PO19 1PH
Alterations of rear window to form french doors and internal alterations.
Objection. We are concerned regarding the loss of the early 19C ground-level
sash window. We recommend that either (a) the sash be converted to hinge on
the Scottish system, or (b) the central cupboard on the ground floor be converted
to a shower room/wc and the existing bathroom become an entrance lobby, allowing
the sash window in question to remain intact.






30 Southgate PO19 1DP
Retrospective change of use of single storey extension from stores to restaurant kitchen,
re-roofing of extension. Objection. Previous planning permission was granted on the
basis that no kitchen would be allowed in perpetuity. The false wall sound insulation will
not cure the problem because noise will still be transmitted through the rafters.

Out soon – Trail 6: Chichester during the Civil War 1642-1646

Many wealthy royalists lived in Chichester, or at least had homes in the city, including Sir John Morley, Sir Thomas Boyer and Christopher Lewknor. Opposing them were Henry Chitty, the captain of the local militia, known as the trained band, and the MP for Midhurst, William Cawley.

This leaflet describes the beginnings of the English Civil War and in particular the impact it had on Chichester and the roles played by these individuals.  Four of the main buildings and locations involved in this event are cited and form a trail that can be followed from the North to the East and finally to the South finishing at the Cathedral.

Availability will be advertised here and on Twitter in due course.

For further information about the Trails project visit the dedicated Trail website here

Work of the Alliance of Historic Cathedral Cities and Towns


The setting up of Alliance of Historic Cathedral Cities and Towns (ACT) reflected the fact that civic societies in a number of cathedral cities and historic towns had becoming increasingly concerned about the tension between the conservation of the historic city/town and varying degrees of population, housing and economic growth. At the same time a number of other groups were highlighting the need to protect and enhance historic cities and towns, which have enormous economic, as well as cultural and social value to the country. These bodies included the Kenwood House Group (which published “Cathedral Cities & Historic Towns“), the Historic Towns Forum and Historic England, which in 2014 commissioned Green Balance to produce a report entitled “The Sustainable Growth of Cathedral Cities and Historic Towns” (plus Appendix relating to Canterbury) which highlighted some of the problems.

The Alliance of Historic Cathedral Cities and Towns was established in 2015 by a group of civic societies in cathedral cities, under the umbrella of Civic Voice, the national body for civic societies across England. The Alliance was launched at the Civic Voice Annual Conference in Bristol in October 2015. Since then there has been a presentation of its work at the Civic Voice Conference in Chester in 2016 and a further presentation is scheduled for the Civic Voice Conference in Wakefield in 2017.


When  ACT was set up it was known that many civic societies were concerned about the pressure on historic cities and towns. However, the nature and extent of their concerns were not known. This led to the carrying out of a survey which involved a questionnaire to be completed by the representatives of civic societies across England – thanks are due to all those who responded to the ACT survey and the staff at Civic Voice who collated the answers.


Over the past few months the results of the survey have been analysed and written up and a detailed report on the research will be presented at a special workshop at the Wakefield Conference on Saturday 21ST November. Copies of the report will be available for those attending the workshop. There will also be discussion about the plans for the work of ACT over the coming months, and we hope that delegates to the Conference will come along to give us their views and suggestions.


The research carried out by ACT has already been presented in draft to Historic England and this has led on to two suggestions for further work, both focused on the concerns of civic societies.

First, it was suggested that the results of the research had implications for the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). It was suggested that ACT could draw on the research, and on the experience of civic societies, to propose amendments to the NPPF. The DCLG are in the process of reviewing the NPPF. As a result the ACT Steering Group have recently written to the Planning Minister with a number of proposed amendments to the NPPF which, if adopted, would provide more positive planning guidance for historic cathedral cities and towns facing pressures for growth. These recommendations will be presented at the ACT workshop on 21st October.

Secondly, there is the possibility of further research. This would focus on the types of growth and change which can either sustain the character of historic cities and towns – or can damage these places. Historic England have indicated that there is a need for further research into these issues and the ACT Steering Group is currently working on a research proposal which we hope to submit to Historic England for consideration in the near future. This proposal, too, will be presented at the workshop in Wakefield, and comments on it will be welcome.

The ACT workshop takes place at the Civic Voice Conference on 21st October. If  interested in getting more involved with ACT and/or taking part in its work contact John Pahl (Chair Canterbury Society) at

Acknowledgements: To John Pahl (Chair Canterbury Society) from the ACT Steering Group who provided this background information on the ACT


Cathedral Cities in Peril‘ This report published in March 2015 was the result of reflections and debates held by Foster + Partners, English Heritage and Terence O’Rourke MBE, which took place in the context set by the Kenwood House Group. It was prepared to help inform the debate about the expansion of our cathedral cities and historic towns, mainly prompted by the need to significantly increase housing stock.

Chichester BID Open Meeting and the aim to increase visitors to Chi

The Chichester Business Improvement District ran an open meeting on 12 October where the future direction of BID was outlined as were the plans for the 2017 Christmas Campaign for Chichester.











Colin Hicks, the Chair of Chichester BID (shown speaking  above) explained the changes in the BID’s organisation and the new focus for the BID Team on driving footfall and leading efforts to improve the dwell-times of visitors to the City. The BID area is funded by the businesses themselves and several BID members have responded to calls to propose ideas to promote the City, three of which will be trialled in the Xmas period. Plans include several nights of mulled wine, mince pies and chestnuts at The Cross and various choristers and performances. The Christmas Lights Switch On (sponsored by Bray Associates) and Firework display (sponsored by Woodland Crafts Events Management) is on November 23  from 5pm.

The BID Team now also enjoy an improving relationship with both public and private partners and is consulted about wider issues of importance to members, such as the Chichester Vision, and tourism and transport policies that are relevant to the City Centre.

Analysis of footfall is undertaken using mobile data. Chichester BID has dedicated footfall cameras along with fourteen sensors that count mobile phones passing in the area within the City centre. These allow us to monitor what brings people into Chichester and where these people go. The sensors have been designed from the ground-up specifically to prevent personal data from being collected. The data is collected by Springboard UK & Noggin.

Cllr Roger Barrow, cabinet member for Chichester District Council, presented a trial ‘Against Litter’ Campaign that he is leading, which will begin in a month’s time. The leaflet to be used can be viewed here.

Janet Tuckett was introduced, who had previously worked for Chichester BID and returns as the members’ part-time Ambassador. This is a new role which involves working with BID area businesses to keep them informed about what is happening in the City and help promote their special events or promotional offers. Janet will also be very much the BID area’s eyes and ears, on hand to assist with any issues businesses may have, as they arise and ensuring these are taken up quickly and dealt with. This will include leading the BID Team in the pursuit of these concerns with the local Councils or other relevant agencies.

Further information about Chichester BID can be found at their website.

Damage continues due to large lorries in Conservation Area

This is the result of damage caused by a brewery lorry backing down from North Pallant at the end of September.

Severe damage to brickwork










When queried via our Twitter account about the lack of a protective bollard West Sussex Highways replied ‘The bollards that are currently in place are historical and unlikely to be replaced if damaged. Bollard replacements are subject to prioritisation (Based on safety needs) and budgetary constraints. West Pallant junction does not provide enough footway space to install a bollard and allow pedestrian access ie: pushchair, wheelchair users‘.

Some existing bollards are shown below:

Two protective bollards in North Pallant  where one might do?
Bollard at top of Theatre Lane at exit end of one way street






















The bollard at the top of Theatre Lane is at the exit end of a one way street, so lorries can’t back down and it is very unlikely that an exiting vehicle could damage the adjoining building.