All posts by Website Editor

Draft Local Plan Review and Transport Study

The Council  has produced two important documents relating to the local plan and transport – accessible below by clicking on the images.
We hope you will read through these documents … they will shortly be placed on the CDC website as part of a public consultation process…. By becoming more familiar with them before the consultation begins gives members time to consider the responses they may wish to make when the time comes….
  • Consider especially the number of additional houses that have been imposed upon our District by Central Government….and where CDC think they should be located….
  • Look too at all the junction alterations that are being proposed for our already busy road network….and consider that the new house number will be built before any improvement to the A27.
The first document relates to the the next stage in the preparation of the Chichester Local Plan Review, for the Chichester plan area (outside the South Downs National Park) – click to view

The second document provides conclusions of a Transport Study of Strategic Development Options and Sustainable Transport Measures – click to view

 

Honouring Admiral George Murray is important for Chichester

Alan Green on George Murray’s life, and plans for a commissioned sculpture in the city

There can be few living in Chichester who have not now heard of Admiral Sir George Murray following the “Murrayfest” held in 2015 and the recent newspaper publicity about the proposed statue of Murray and Nelson by Chichester sculptor Vincent Gray. Admiral Murray’s importance to the country as a whole as the naval officer of whom Nelson famously said “Murray or none”, is well known, but why is he so important to Chichester as to justify his own statue?

Admiral Sir George Murray around 1815 – by Charles Woolcott
Image: with thanks to Ian Murray
To sea aged eleven

George was the middle one of three surviving sons of George and Ann Murray all of whom went on to become prominent citizens, much involved with the life of their native city following the example of their father who was an alderman1. George was born in January 1759 and baptised at St Peter the Great on 16 April that year2.

A rare photograph of Admiral Murray’s former house taken in the early 1930s . Author’s collection

In 1770, at the tender age of eleven, George Murray joined the Royal Navy, rising swiftly through the ranks. He served under Admiral Horatio Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801 when the two men became very close friends. He was then sent to the Mediterranean serving as Captain of the Fleet under Nelson, and on 23 April 1804 he was promoted to rear admiral.

Naturally Murray spent most of his active service at sea, but missed the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 as he had to remain ashore to sort out the estate of his late father in law; had Murray been at Trafalgar perhaps he, rather than Hardy could have been alongside Nelson when he died.

Life as a civilian

Admiral Murray made a significant impact on Chichester with the building of his grand new house on the corner of North Street and Guildhall Street (now The Ship Hotel) between 1804 and 1806.3 John Marsh, that great Georgian diarist, obviously thought it rather pretentious when he recorded his first visit to the house on 7 February 1807:

On the next day we fix’d our first visit to Mrs G Murray at ye Admiral’s new House in North Street, term’d whilst it was building the Admiralty. There we met a large company in two rooms of six card tables, one of them a Commerce party of 13. 4

The entry on the mayoral boards in the Council Chamber recording George Murray’s year of office. Photo: Alan Green courtesy Chichester City Council

After 1808 Admiral Murray did not go back to sea but instead became fully involved in the social life of his native city. John Marsh records several events at the house including the entertaining of royalty; the Prince and Princess of Hesse Hombourg no less (she the third daughter of George III) visited Chichester on 18 June 1818 and Marsh records that “[after] 2 & 3 o’clock… they went to breakfast at Sir G Murray’s”5 He was also a member of the Book Society whose meetings were held at The Admiralty

George also followed his father in serving on the Corporation, but prior to this he was awarded the Freedom of the Merchants’ Guild by the Mayor in September 1800. In October 1802, he was nominated for the office of Portreeve and in September 1815 he was elected Mayor6.

Admiral Murray was clearly a man of great wealth whose income enabled him to live a lifestyle commensurate with the scale of his new house: he amassed a considerable wine cellar which was put up for auction on 27 July 1819 after his death and realised £672 15s 6d – equivalent to £47094 at today’s prices.7  Not only that, he sent his son George to be educated at Winchester College which cost him some £45 per term in fees.8

George Murray died at his North Street home in Chichester on 28 February 1819 aged 60. John Marsh lamented the loss of his friend, recording with genuine feeling in his journal:

Besides the loss to the Corporation and our Book Society, a valuable member of each, the society in general of Chichester and its vicinity had a great loss, there being no-one who was more universally liked or esteemed.9

The monument to Admiral Murray and his wife Ann in the Sailors’ Chapel in Chichester Cathedral Photo: Bob Wiggins

 

 

Whilst the funeral services of his two brothers were held in the church of St Peter the Great, which at that time was still in the north transept of the Cathedral, that of George, on 8 March 1819, took place in the Cathedral proper, after which he was buried in the Close in the area bound by the cloisters known as Paradise.10

A fine monument to George, and his wife Ann who died in 1859, can be seen in the Sailors’ Chapel in the Cathedral. In 2013 a blue plaque to him was installed on the front of The Ship bearing those immortal words None but Murray will do.

 

The unveiling of the blue plaque to Admiral Sir George Murray on the Ship Hotel by The Mayor of Chichester, Cllr Alan Chaplin, on 24 June 2013

 

 

A statue of Nelson and Murray by sculptor Vincent Gray will stand opposite The Admiralty in the front garden of 40 North Street (now Jack Wills); appropriately, this was the house of George Murray’s elder brother Richard.

How the twin sculptures of Nelson and Murray will appear when placed on a plinth at 40 North Street, Chichester. Image: courtesy of Peter Robson Architect
  1. WSRO St Peter the Great, Chichester, Parish Records
  2. WSRO St Peter the Great, Chichester, Parish Records
  3. For a detailed history of the house see The Ship Hotel, Chichester built as the house of Admiral Sir George Murray by Alan H J Green. New Chichester Paper No 6, Chichester Local History Society & The University of Chichester 2014
  4. John Marsh History of my Private Life. John Marsh was a wealthy barrister who moved to Chichester in 1787. Every day he wrote about three pages in his journal giving us an authentic – if at times somewhat acerbic – picture of life in a Georgian cathedral city
  5. John Marsh– op cit
  6. WSRO C/3 Chichester Common Council minute book 17831826
  7. Ian Murray collection. A copy of the sale catalogue marked-up with the prices
  8. Ian Murray collection – a statement of Admiral Murray’s account with the college. £45 is equivalent to £3,150 today
  9. John March op cit
  10. WSRO Cathedral Close burial register

(This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of the Society’s Newsletter and has been reproduced by permission of the author)

Goodwood’s Motor Circuit: A Glorious mix of Tradition and Technology

Jon Barnett, the Goodwood Motor Circuit’s General Manager, describes the history of  this famous circuit.

Goodwood Motor Circuit and Aerodrome began life as RAF Westhampnett (1), satellite airfield to RAF Tangmere during the Second World War. However this story begins before the outbreak of the war when the 9th Duke of Richmond and Gordon gifted this land to the war effort on 7 December 1938. It was designated as an Emergency Landing Ground. But with the fall of France in July 1940, Westhampnett received its first residents: the Hurricanes of 145 Squadron. Being one of the most southerly fighter stations, it was kept very busy, playing an important role in the Battle of Britain. Several well-known fighter aces flew from RAF Westhampnett including Douglas Bader, Johnny Johnson and ‘Cocky’ Dundas, as well as many Commonwealth pilots. By July 1942 the Americans had arrived: on the 26 July the 31 Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Force flew from RAF Westhampnett to join their British comrades in combat; they were the first US Fighter Group in the European theatre. But once the Allies moved across Europe, RAF Westhampnett’s importance declined. It was officially closed in 1946.

Racing in the early days of the Goodwood Motor Circuit before closing in 1966
From airfeld to race track

Goodwood’s race track had its beginnings with the original perimeter re-fuelling road for the Hurricanes and Spitfires in the years Westhampnett was a fighter station. How did this come about? The 9th Duke of Richmond – Freddie March – was a renowned amateur racer who had won the Brooklands Double 12 in 1930, later going on – as an engineer – to design both March sports car bodies and aircraft. He was approached by his friend, Squadron Leader Tony Gaze, who had flown from Westhampnett during the war years. Tony had raced his old MG round the service road in his down time, using fuel from the planes! This is why Tony was so sure the road would make a great race track and why he suggested converting the perimeter road into a motor racing circuit. Freddie March seized upon the idea. It wasn’t long before the Duke and Duchess officially opened the track by driving around the Circuit in a Bristol 400, then Britain’s state-of-the-art sporting saloon. The date was 18 September 1948, a Saturday. (The NHS was two months old). The response was rapturous, for the British public had been deprived of motor racing during the Second World War when Brooklands had been forced to close its doors in 1939. Huge demand for wheel-to-wheel competition saw 85 drivers and over 15,000 spectators turning up to Goodwood to support the UK’s first professionally-organised post-war motor racing event. Imagine the picturesque scene at the foot of the Downs steeped in heritage. This same venue has since witnessed some of motor racings greatest heroes in action, including Juan Manuel Fangio, John Surtees, Sir Jackie Stewart and Sir Stirling Moss.

The Motor Circuit closes

By 1966, the Duke could foresee that the rapidly changing nature of front-line motor racing would require Goodwood to make sizeable investment in physical changes to the venue in order to continue. By now in his mid-Sixties, and by nature disinclined to follow the expensive dictates of the ‘authorities’, the Duke opted instead to stop all motor racing. Both he and later his son did have the foresight, however, to ensure the circuit continued to be used, and therefore maintained, for testing, Sprints and other uses for the next 30 years.

A new chapter

On 18 September 1998, exactly 50 years to the day since the Goodwood Circuit first opened, the 9th Duke’s grandson, the present Duke of Richmond, re-opened the Circuit in spectacular fashion – using a Bristol 400 identical to the model his grandfather had used half a century earlier. This was the very first Goodwood Revival meeting for which preparation had been meticulous, the Circuit restored to look exactly as it did in its heyday, down to the very last detail. Since then the Goodwood Revival has been held every year: thrilling wheel-to-wheel racing with some of the most valuable grid selections in the world, dancing to the sounds of rock ‘n’ roll, the joy of the fun fair and the smell of engines mingled with perfume. Experience the Goodwood Revival and you experience the romance and glamour of motor racing as it used to be: a step back in time to the years between 1948 and 1966, when the joys of motor racing allowed the post-war world to kick off its heels and have a jolly good time.

The Goodwood Revival is all about style! Photo: Dominic James
The Circuit today

In addition to Goodwood’s Revival, the circuit today is a hub of activity year-round, now also hosting the two-day Goodwood Members’ Meeting in March. This weekend recaptures the atmosphere and camaraderie of the original British Automobile Racing Club meetings held from 1949 to 1966. But there is more, such as Motor Sports Association Sprints, Car Club Track Days and Manufacturer Press Days. Members of the public and corporate groups can get behind the wheel of their own car or choose to drive one from the Goodwood fleet, like the entire BMW M Performance range; or there is an eclectic mix of 1960’s classics including an Alfa, Porsche, Ford Falcon and MG amongst others.

Moving on – new experiences

Goodwood’s Motor Circuit continues to evolve and a new addition this year has been the introduction of a fleet of six classic Series 2 Land Rovers. To understand the world’s love affair with the Land Rover, you need to drive one and preferably drive a classic. So we offer the chance to drive off-road across the Downs on farm and forest tracks. We make no bones about it, these vehicles have seen life and they have character and patina, which makes them totally unique. As quintessentially British as a plate of fish and chips, the boxy, utilitarian Land Rover has become an iconic part of what it is to be British.

A new experience offered by Goodwood is the chance to drive one of their classic
Land Rovers – ‘As quintessentially British as a plate of fish and chips’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of the Society’s Newsletter and has been reproduced by permission of the author)

(1) For further information on the role played by airfields in the 2nd world war see here

Underpass to avoid rail crossing

There is a feasible option for alleviating the Chichester level crossing
misery. The Basin Road Low Headroom Underpass.

The Council’s Southern Gateway Regeneration Masterplan dismissed
the provision of a bridge over the railway as too costly and disruptive.
The Basin Road Low Headroom Underpass could accommodate
over 90% of road traffic with a 2.7 metre headroom including for15
seat minibuses and many vans. With a 1.3 metre construction for the
railway support, the resulting 4 metre underpass depth can be
achieved with relatively short 60 metre ramps at a reasonable 1 in 15
gradient. These ramps can be accommodated, north of the Kingsham
Road junction and south of the extended Avenue de Chartres junction.

In the context of the Southern Gateway Masterplan the Stockbridge
Road level crossing could serve buses, cyclists, mobility scooter users
and pedestrians preferring an “at grade” crossing. Lorry access to the
City Centre is restricted by the Council’s Traffic Plan and a height
warning would be implemented. Low headroom underpasses are an
accepted mode here and in Europe.

This solution would also fit with the exciting Gateway + Plan featured
in the July 25 presentation at Pallant House Gallery and has been accepted into their vision. Of all proposals to unlock the level crossing conundrum, this option
could work. Chichester District Council, are urged to give this idea due
consideration, this is a once in a lifetime chance for a solution to the
level crossing embarrassment.

A-Z of Chichester – an alphabetical guide to Chichester

Fancy a journey to Chichester’s ‘Little Ice Age’, a plunge in ‘Roman Baths’ or an introduction to needle making in the City? Then this book might be right for you. Local historian Philip MacDougall is the author of Amberley Publishing’s latest book from their A-Z series, this one dealing with Chichester. Within its 96 pages Philip spans the history of the City from the iron age to the present day providing over 70 snippets about places, people, events and curios.

The format (as for all A-Z titles) is an alphabetical list of topics with cross-referencing taking the place of the traditional book index – saving time in preparation perhaps but losing the facility to find that elusive information. Thus, if seeking information about Shippams you would not know that one entry can be found under ’Quintessentially English’.

As to examples of other entries the ‘ Es’ cover the history of ‘Eastgate Gail’, venues of ‘Entertainment’ throughout the years and the housing of ‘Evacuees’ during the second world war with highlighted cross references to the ‘Little Ice Age’, the ‘Corn Exchange’, ‘Sloe Fair’ and the ‘Council House’ for example.

The Market Cross in 18th century

The `Cs’ include the history of the ‘Caledonian Ironworks’, the ‘Canal Basin’ and the ‘Corn Exchange’ and introduce two local personalities, member of Parliament and benefactor Sir William ‘Cawley’ and local poet Charles ‘Crocker’ and include cross references to ‘Union Workhouse’ and ‘Smith Brothers’.

Locations in the City for such as these are often provided but it would have helped the visitor if a street map or some illustrative schematic of the City had been included to aid orientation (this lack also seems to be a feature of all A-Z titles). Having relied on an alphabetical listing the issue arises as to how to deal with the less common letters ‘X’ and ‘Z’ for example. For the former the entry is ‘Xmas Delight’ describing Ernest Shippam’s gifts and support to those of his staff who enlisted in the First World War. This war theme continues under the entries ‘Zeppelin’ and ‘Zealous and Passionate for War’.

The Selsey Tram (we need one now!)

The author acknowledges in his introduction that the book provides a light touch to Chichester’s history so those wanting further information or more of an academic study are pointed to other book titles of local interest. Those seeking an easy read and a ‘wetting of the appetite’ to delve further may find £14.99 well spent on this publication and a useful addition to other A-Z titles that they might have already acquired.

The title can be purchased direct from Amberley Publshing at www.amberley-books.com or,  if in Chichester, from Waterstones in West Street or Kim’s bookshop in South Street, the latter being an antiquarian and specialist bookseller where you will certainly find a treasure trove of local interest publications.

‘Priory Park – Its story in 100 objects’ by Alan Green

On September 30, 1918, the 7th Duke of Richmond and Gordon gifted Priory Park to the people of Chichester for their leisure and as a perpetual memorial to the fallen in the First World War.

‘Friary’ Park 1812 (object 21) (1)

The centenary falls this year with a week of celebratory events from 21st to 30th September. To accompany this and provide a more permanent record, local historian Alan Green has selected in his new book 100 ‘objects’ (artefacts, people, events etc) that in some way are connected to the park. Drawing on a variety of sources and aided by a grant from the Chichester City Council the result is a cornucopia of colourful images spanning the period from Roman Times to the present day – passing on the way the Civil War in the 17th century, the Priory Park Society years in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the interwar and war years.

All the ‘objects’ provide much to talk about, some being less familiar to the populace – so for some examples. The park has long been a location for public protest and pleasure. Thus, the Guildhall was the location for the trials of William Blake in 1804 (object 19) and of the Hawkhurst gang of smugglers in 1748 (object 16) while the Park was used for the protest rally against hospital closure plans in 2007 (object 90).

Hawkhurst Gang (object 16) (1)

In contrast the Park’s grassy expanse has seen cricket since the 16th century (object 30), a bowling green from mid 17th century (object 39), tennis tournaments (object 47), and during the first world war entertainment for wounded soldiers (object 46).

Progamme of entertainment (object 46) (3)

Celebrations have over the years been conducted for royalty such as Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 (object 37) and George V’s silver jubilee in 1935  (objects 60 and 61).

The span of true objects includes archaeological finds such as a fragment of an encaustic tile (object 9) from the long-lost Friary, the Coade Stone Druid statue (object 33) made of a patented ceramic, and locally-made cast-iron casement windows (object 29) in the refreshment room, these serving later as a clubhouse for cricketers and hockey players. The general public are now well served by Fenwick’s Café (object 94) started in 2013 as a temporary measure but now on a more permanent footing.

Fenwicks Cafe (object 94) (4)

Personalities are not neglected, principally Charles, Earl of March and Kinrara (object 48) whose gift was the Park itself and who is the great-great-grandfather of the current Duke of Richmond and Gordon, the author of the book’s foreword. Various bodies were also granted the Corporate Freedom of the City of Chichester with the honour being conferred in the park, one being RAF Tangmere (object 82) in 1960, another the Royal Sussex Regiment (Object 74).

Freedom of the City (object 74) (5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

A support group was established in 2004 by the Chichester District Council and is now called the ‘Friends of Priory Park and Jubilee Gardens’ as its remit now includes the Jubilee Gardens.

Splendidly illustrated and furnished with an extensive index and references for those wishing to delve further, Alan’s book also provides a window on the life and times of the broader Chichester community.

It is published by Phillimore Book Publishing at £15 and copies are available from Kim’s bookshop, Waterstones, West Sussex Record Office and the Novium.

Acknowledgements
(1) The cartographic town plan was that of George Loader surveyed in 1812
(2) The illustration comes from ‘A Gentleman at Chichester’ A full and Genuine History of the Inhuman and Unparalleled Murders of Mr William Galley etc etc London, 1749
(3) Image from West Sussex Record Office
(4) Image from Alan Green
(5) Image from Chichester City Council

Chichester Picture Quiz Trail

Enjoy a tour of Chichester and find where the photographs were taken.

The page below shows just 16 of 47 images for you to locate within the City. Download the complete guide by clicking here or  on the image and receive a map with indicative locations.

The text below provides some information on the various items and can also be downloaded here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following provides brief information about the photographs included in the Chichester I-Spy quiz, with some links to other sites.

1. Site of former Shippams Paste factory. Probably Chichester’s best known local firm, dating back to the 18th century and closed in 2002. Now housing retail outlets with apartments above. The former clock and wishbone were reinstated. For more information: http://www.thenovium.org/article/28861/The-History-of-Shippams

2. Noli me Tangere – a 1960 painting by Graham Sutherland, which is displayed on the altar of the Mary Magdalene chapel at the south-eastern corner of the Cathedral. For more information: www.chichestercathedral.org.uk/about-us/delve-deeper-1/graham-sutherland-painting/

3. 18th century Sadlers Warehouse, converted to apartments, providing evidence of Chichester’s former commercial base.

4. Wall surrounding part of the Bishop’s Palace Garden.

5. The front entrance of Pallant House, a Grade One listed Queen Anne town house, now housing part of the Pallant House Gallery. Known locally as “Dodo House” because the owner, Henry Peckham, wanted ostriches carved on columns (ostriches appear on his family coat of arms). However the person who carved them had probably never seen an ostrich and they are said to look more like dodos.

6. The Oxmarket Gallery is located within a deconsecrated medieval church (St Andrews), which is a Grade Two * listed building. It is an art centre run by volunteers since the early 1970s.  For more information: https://oxmarket.com/ .

7. St John’s the Evangelist’s Church is a Grade One listed building, built in 1812. For more information http://www.stjohnschapelchichester.co.uk/

8. Art or graffiti? ‘The Big Deal’ which shows children swapping bank notes at North Pallant. Created by street artist JPS who also created the cat on the corner of West Pallant and South Street. For more information : https://www.chichester.co.uk/news/new-banksy-inspired-graffitispotted-in-chichester-1-7303219

9. The Grade One listed Cathedral Bell Tower (viewed from the Bishops Palace Garden). An early 15th century structure unique among England’s medieval cathedrals in that it is free-standing.

10. Now a hotel, this plaque marks the former home of Admiral Sir George Murray (1759 – 1819). For more information: https://admiralsirgeorgemurray.club/

11. The Deanery, a Grade Two* listed building, erected in 1725 by Dean Thomas Sherlock. It is understood that the former deanery was destroyed in a siege in 1643.

12. City Gunpowder Store – Self-explanatory.

13. The entrance to gardens marking the site of St Martin’s Church. The medieval flint walls of the former church now enclosing part of a garden

14. Thomas Iveson and Richard Hook black plaquelLocated on the wall of the Providence Chapel, which is still in use for worship today.

15. One of two crane sculptures reflecting the name of the street within which it is located.

16. The Novium Museum, home to the Tourist Information Centre, with changing exhibitions and permanent displays, including Roman remains. For more information: http://www.thenovium.org/

17. Quaker Meeting House plaque – Self-explanatory. For more information on the history of Quakers in Chichester: https://michaelwoolley.weebly.com

18. Chichester Cathedral, viewed from the Bishops Palace Garden. Over 900 years old, this Grade One listed building is currently undergoing extensive restoration work costing some £5.8 million. Its spire is visible from the sea and used as an aid to navigation. In 1861 the spire collapsed due to building works below to provide for a new organ, which destabilised the tower. It was rebuilt in just five years, with the original weathercock re-fixed at the top. For more information: https://www.chichestercathedral.org.uk/

19. One of several access points to the City walls. To ease the flow of traffic into Chichester West, North and South gates were demolished in 1773. Eastgate was demolished in 1783.

20. County Hall, home to West Sussex County Council.

21. West Sussex Library Headquarters, a Grade Two listed building built in 1965-6 to the designs of the county architect. The building was formally opened on 24 January 1967 by Asa Briggs, Vice-chancellor elect of the University of Sussex.

22. Lion atop The Council House (giving nearby Lion Street its name). This comprises a group of connected buildings built at different times between 1731 and 1881. The buildings remain in regular use by various organisations including Chichester City Council.

23. A former Grade Two Listed Council building now housing a retail outlet and offices.

24. North House, built in 1936 and currently in retail and residential use. Ordnance Survey maps of the 1930’s indicate there was possibly a hotel in this location. .

25. A plaque possibly relating to the former restaurant at the top of North Street known as Number One.

26. The Grade One listed Guildhall set amid Priory Park, which is bordered by the Roman City Walls to the north and east and contains the remains of Chichester Castle (a Norman motte and bailey castle). It was constructed as a chancel by the Grey Friars of Chichester, being a good example of late 13th-century architecture. It is one of the few Franciscan churches in England that is still roofed.

27. Tapestry by John Piper at the high altar in Chichester Cathedral.

28. Gold dolphin and anchor reflecting the name of a former hotel in this location. These began as two separate establishments, The Dolphin and The Anchor, but merged in 1910. It remained a hotel until 1996 when it was sold.

29. Eric Gill plaque – Self-explanatory. For more information https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Gill

30. The site of the former Oliver Whitby School, currently in retail use. Founded in 1702, for 12 scholars, the school closed at the end of 1949, merging with Christ’s Hospital School near Horsham. The school motto Vis et Sapientia (strength and wisdom) is still visible on the upper level.

31. Crooked S Lane was once called The Shambles and was full of slaughterhouses, where butchers threw offal into the street.

32. Decorative stonework outside Edes House, constructed in 1696 for John and Hannah Edes. It has been known by various names during its history, including Wren’s House (in the mistaken belief that it was the work of the famous architect). It is now owned by the County Council and used for weddings and other functions.

33. Small door within Canon Gate, or the gatehouse to Canon Lane, probably constructed around the 16th century. The area fell into disrepair and the space
between the smaller arches was used as a stable. In 1894 it was restored and the upper story reconstructed.

34. An ancient tree within the Bishops Palace Gardens.

35. A bronze statue of St Richard of Chichester by Philip Jackson.

36. A recently installed statue of Keats. He looks down East Street towards Chichester Cathedral and other landmarks mentioned in his famous poem, “The Eve of St Agnes”. Behind him is the building in which he started writing the poem.

37. Location of Halsteds Foundry – Self-explanatory. For more information on the history of Halsteds http://chichestersociety.org.uk/halsteds-the-ironmongers-chis-long-forgottenindustrial-history/

38. A sign advertising the wares of a related shop, especially helpful for those who could not read.

39. Interesting architectural detail in one of the few remaining jettied timber framed buildings in Chichester.

40. Railings that escaped removal during the war effort. It is understood that some were relocated from the nearby cattle market.

41. The site of the Swan Inn, a key building in the centre of Chichester throughout the 18th and 19th century, destroyed by fire in 1819 and rebuilt. Visitors included Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1842. It was again destroyed by fire in 1897 and forced to close. The London and County Bank rebuilt on the site in a gothic style and that building is now Grade Two listed. The bank sign can still be seen carved into the building above the main entrance.

42. The Clock House is a converted coach house, now used for tourist accommodation.

43. Art or graffiti? Created by artist Stik, whose Stick-like figures are highly sought after with celebrity followers including Sir Elton John and Bono. For more information on street art in Chichester https://pallantbookshop.com/the-chichester-street-art-festival/

44. The Grade One listed Market Cross, erected in 1501 by Bishop Storey. One had to pay a toll to sell goods at the market but some poor peasants only had a few eggs or a few vegetables to sell. The bishop said anyone could sell things at the market and not pay a toll provided they could stand under the cross. In 1726 four clocks were added to the cross.

45. Detail of a window in a medical practice next door to Edes House (see no. 32), which was removed from that larger neighbouring property.

46. 18th-century sundial on the south face of the angle buttress of the Chichester Cathedral.

47. St Olave Church in North Street For more information: http://sussexchurchez.blogspot.com/2007/11/st-olave-north-streetchichester.html

If you’ve enjoyed this experience why not join the Chichester Society here and receive our quarterly Newsletter packed with local current and historical interest (you can view back copies here).

From Roman Walls to modern Chichester

Map of Chichester dated 1724
Map of Chichester dated 1724
Map of Chichester dated 1812
Map of Chichester dated 1812

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roman Chichester grew up behind its defensive city walls. In Anglo-Saxon times both the walls and the city fell into ruin until it was again refortified in the days of Alfred the Great as part of a defensive strategy to resist Viking incursions into southern England.

Over the next nine hundred years the city remained confined within its trusty walls. Small suburbs developed outside the walls by the seventeenth century at Westgate and outside the East Gate at St. Pancras. But it was only in the later eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that Chichester truly expanded beyond its ancient alignment.

As recently as 1970 it was possible to approach the city walls from the south-west across fields and meadows.

Chichester; the good, the bad and the ugly

– two contrasting views on the city c.1900

These two line drawings by Arthur Evershed show scenes from Chichester now outside of living memory – but only just. What was Chichester like at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries?

Cathedral from South Street 1895

Two highly respected writers of their day, W.H.Hudson and E.V.Lucas visited Chichester a few years after Evershed made his sketches and they have left two very different impressions of the city, which only goes to show that beauty, both of man and building, rests in the eye of the beholder!

Chichester is a perfect example of an English rural capital, thronged on market days with tilt carts bringing a farmer or farmer’s wife, and rich in those well-thronged ironmongers’ shops that one never sees elsewhere. But it is more than this: it is also a cathedral town, with the ever present sense of dominion by the cloth even when the cloth [the clergy] is not visible. …..Whatever noise may be in the air you know in your heart that quietude is its true characteristic. One might say that above the loudest street cries you are continually conscious of the silence of the [Cathedral] close.
E.V.Lucas, Highways and Byways of Sussex, 1903

There are 12,000 souls in the town; that is to say, an adult population of 3000. This number includes a rather large body of clergymen and ministers, and perhaps a couple of hundred highly respectable persons who do not go to bars. To provide this village population with drink there are seventy public-houses, besides several wine and spirit merchants, and grocers with licences. To keep all these houses open, all these taps perpetually running, there must be an immense quantity of liquor consumed. At eight o’clock in the morning you will find men at all the bars, often in groups of three or four or half a dozen, standing, pipe in mouth and tankard in hand; and at eleven at night, when closing-time comes, out of every door a goodly crowd of citizens are seen stumbling forth, surprised and sorry, no doubt, that the day has ended so soon. In the streets, near the railway station, at the Market Cross, and at various corners, you will see groups of the most utterly drink-degraded wretches it is possible to find anywhere in the kingdom…..
W.H.Hudson, Nature in Downland, 1900

The Market Cross

City cross 1835Chichester’s Market Cross is rightly judged one of the most impressive in England (it’s rivals at Salisbury or Wyndmondham cannot really compete, as the first is clearly smaller and the second is of timber, not stone). It was commissioned and paid for in 1501 by Bishop Edward Storey, whose incumbency spanned the last years of the medieval and the first years of the Tudor periods. Perhaps there is symbolism to be found here? For not many years after Storey’s death in 1503, Thomas Cromwell’s agents, acting under the orders of Cromwell and Henry VIII, tore down the shrine of St. Richard in the cathedral and transported it away in several carts for their own enrichment. Times had changed dramatically in thirty years, and many people may have yearned for the ‘good old days’ of the medieval past (not, of course that they would have conceived it in those terms!)

The ButtermarketBishop Storey wished there to be a sheltered place in Chichester where honest tradesmen could be protected from the elements and so carry out their transactions without being drenched in rain or frozen by snow . The Cross was the focus on all such exchanges until the opening of the ‘Butter Market’ in North Street in 1807. But the opening of the new and more spacious building did not cause the old cross to become wholly redundant: it remained a focal point for informal business transactions and the focus for the social life of the city. Indeed rivalry and revelry could manifest itself around the cross. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, brawling and disputations were not uncommon, including those connected with the Whig/ Tory rivalry in the town. The following report from the West Sussex Gazette describes a rather less violent if discordant rivalry at the cross on New Year’s Eve in 1871:-

Our citizens have usually a demonstration round the ancient Cross on New Year’s Eve, and on Saturday last the muster numbered upwards of 400 men, women, and children, all chatting and laughing, and anxiously looking at the lighted face of the clock, as the minute hand gradually drew near its fellow, resting on the XII. The Christmas Band – a body of musicians partly recruited from the ranks of the Rifle Band, with several amateurs – had been engaged for the past week in playing at various houses in the City and neighbourhood, and on Saturday evening they perambulated the principal streets, playing merry tunes and followed by a great crowd. Having done the accustomed tour, they drew near the Cross, waiting for the hour to strike………But on Saturday night there were two [bands] in the field, for the Theatre Band has also hastened to the meeting place, and Mr Cooke’s musicians were determined to show their loyalty to the Queen and hearty greeting to the New Year. So when the hour began to strike the two bands struck up, the people shouted aloud, and cornet, double bass, and drum went heartily to work. Greatly in favour of noise, but wonderfully antagonistic to harmony, the two bands played different airs – one blew out with might and main the National Anthem, whilst the other as persistently struck up the much-loved hymn to friendship [Auld Lang Syne]. The din did not last long, however, and at the close, and when the hour was fairly rung out, and the year of grace 1871 ushered in, the mass of people, with one common impulse, began to move round the Cross, singing in unison “Should auld acquaintance be forgot,” and having completed circling the old edifice the third time, a hearty cheer arose, and then all rushed off to bed.”

While writing out this quotation, Thomas Hardy’s ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’ came to my mind and the Mellstock Village Band that toured the village during the festive season, to a mixed reception. Interestingly Hardy’s novel was published in 1872, the year after the musical cacophony described at Chichester – I wonder if a copy of the West Sussex Gazette could have passed across Hardy’s desk that year?