Chichester’s earliest inns can be traced back to mediaeval times when they catered for pilgrims visiting the shrine of St Richard in the cathedral. Over time they came to serve all types of travellers, who needed rest and food after travelling along the notoriously bad Sussex roads. By the middle of the seventeenth century there were seven inns in Chichester, as well as 50 alehouses, taverns, and other premises that sold drink. Given the population was only 2,000 people at the time, of whom over half were women and children, it can be seen that Chichester was a boozy city and remained so until the beginning of the twentieth century.
As is clear there are several terms that can be and have been applied over time to establishments that serve drink and/or accommodation. For this trail the aim has been to apply the terms used in the past when delving into the older records. However now-a-days the terms have become largely interchangeable and synonymous and often used for branding purposes such as the ‘Holiday Inn’ group. The following broad-brush meanings are used to refer to current establishments. Inn – a place that offers accommodation besides food and drink; a Pub or Public House – a place in which to drink and eat (akin to a Tavern); a Hotel – a larger establishment usually in the centre of a town with the emphasis on accommodation; a Restaurant – one with a focus on dining; an ale house – one that only serves drink.
Note: the digital trail is updated as necessary so the contents will differ from the original paper-based trail, a pdf version of which is available here
To view the map you are recommended to enlarge it by clicking on the four-cornered symbol in the top right hand corner
You can make your own way to view individual pubs or follow the trail by clicking on the pedestrian sign marker at the end of West Street and follow the orange line and marker number sequence in a general lockwise direction, clicking on each marker for more information about the building or object. The tour ends where you began, at the bottom of South Street.