Chichester is a small city in the south of England, in the county of West Sussex, with a population of about 25,000.
It is the administrative centre of the Chichester district, a largely rural area with a population of over 100,000. It is also the county town of West Sussex, home of West Sussex County Council.
The patron saint of The City of Chichester is Saint Richard of Chichester, bishop of the See of Chichester in the thirteenth century.
The City of Chichester is twinned with:
It has been argued that the area was a bridgehead for the Roman invasion of Britain. The city centre stands on the foundations of the Romano-British city of Noviomagus Reginorum, capital of the Civitas Reginorum, and near to the Roman Palace of Fishbourne. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle it was captured towards the close of the fifth century, by Ælle, and renamed after his son, Cissa. It was the chief city of the Kingdom of Sussex. The city streets have a cross-shaped layout, inherited from the Romans: radiating outwards from the medieval market cross lead the North, South, East and West shopping streets. Quite a lot of the city walls are in place, and may be walked along for some of their length.
Chichester cathedral is dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and contains a shrine to Saint Richard of Chichester. Its spire, built of the weak local stone, collapsed suddenly and was rebuilt during the 19th century. Within the nave of the cathedral can be seen the remains of a Roman mosaic pavement. The Cathedral is unusual in the UK in having a separate bell tower a few metres away from the main building, rather than integrated into it.
Chichester Market Cross
The city is famous for the annual Chichester Festivities, a three-week arts and music festival held in July. The city is also home to the world-renowned Chichester Festival Theatre whose annual summer season attracts the highest calibre of actors, writers and directors and is widely considered one of the most important annual events in British theatre.
In more recent years the town has given birth to a growing music scene centred around several Pubs in the region. Local band Hope of the States released their debut album The Lost Riots in January 2005 to wide acclaim. Anthony Hegarty from Antony and the Johnsons fame was born in Chichester and attended the local school St Richards Roman Catholic Primary School before moving to New York.
The City has also a new lesiure complex 'Chichester Gate", bringing a state of the art cinema complex, bowling centre, health club and numerous restaurants and bars. The centre has good public transport links and is very popular with locals and visitors.
Chichester Cross, 1831 illustration
Chichester is home to:
On the main Southcoast line, used to be joined with Guildford. Now there are regular services to Brighton, London Victoria and Portsmouth.
Close to Chichester is the important Roman site of Fishbourne, and Chichester Harbour to which the city was connected by the Chichester Canal, currently under restoration.
The Chichester Conservation Area Character Appraisal was adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance on the 8th March 2005 by the District Councils' Executive Board.
The area encompasses the whole of the Roman town, with additions to every side: Northgate, Westgate, Southgate, and Eastgate. The Caledonian Road area to the south-east and Somerstown to the north are also included. 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 itself.
The conservation area has been split into eight ‘character’ areas, based on historic development, building type, uses and activities.
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