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Chichester Town Information

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Chichester Cathedral - Photo © Colin Smith
Chichester Cathedral -
Photo: Colin Smith CCL

This beautiful cathedral city and harbour town lies in West Sussex.

Parts of an encircling wall built by the Romans after they settled here in ‘Noviomagus Regensium’ still survive.

The Romans also created a street plan, which is largely extant.

As the invaders were leaving, the area became capital to the opportunistic South Saxons.

The city’s old centre is divided into quarters with a 16th century Market Cross standing where the roads meet.

The Romans built Stane Street in 70 AD to link the city with London and part of it, located on the Downs, near Earlham, can still be walked.

The city has a series of attractions including its Festival Theatre, which opened in 1962 under the direction of Laurence Olivier, and its magnificent Gothic 12th century cathedral with a towering 15th century spire.

It has been described as the most ‘typically English cathedral’ and is the only medieval cathedral in England to have a separate bell tower, and the only one visible from the sea.

A Roman mosaic pavement lies beneath the floor and can be viewed.

There are numerous works of art to see here as well as the tomb of the composer Gustav Holst.

Chichester’s fine harbour was once an important centre of the corn trade but is today mostly used for leisure.

East of the harbour lies the peninsula of Selsey Bill – where William the Conqueror landed before the Battle of Hastings – and to the west is Hayling Island.

Chichester Marina - Photo © Janine Forbes
Chichester Marina -
Photo: Janine Forbes CCL

Goodwood House - Photo © Colin Smith
Goodwood House -
Photo: Colin Smith CCL

A must-see is Goodwood House, a magnificent 17th century mansion set in an 11,000-acre wooded estate on the South Downs.

It was built of flint and contains many important works of art. It is the seat of the Dukes of Richmond.

The 3rd Duke introduced horse racing on the Downs, a sport continued today at Goodwood racecourse.

It was the 9th Duke who founded the famous Goodwood motor circuit, which reopened in 1998 as a venue for historic motor racing.