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Bradshaw’s Guide

Cathedral, Chichester, England. Taken between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900. Original: Library of Congress


Like Chester, Chichester is an old town on the square Roman plan, but the marks of antiquity are less decided. The Romans called it Regni, but Cista, the king of the south Saxons christened it Cisaceaster, from which the modern name is corrupted. It is a clean neatly built cathedral city and parliamentary borough (returns two members), in Sussex, on the South Coast Railway, 16 miles from Portsmouth. Four principal streets within the site of the ancient walls intersect at the middle, where stands Bishop Story’s decorated English Market Cross, which is considered one of the richest and most beautiful specimens of this kind of building in England. The same prelate also founded the Grammar School, 1497, in which Archbishop Juxom, the learned Selden, and Collins and Hardis, the poets, were educated. The Guildhall was once the chapel to a Mary. The last of the four gates was removed when the gaol was built, 1783. There are eight churches, some of which suffered in the civil war, two being actually dismantled by the royalists, 1642, to strengthen the walls, which now form a walk round the town, and are planted with fine elms. Chichester is a port, and as such has a custom house and staff of officials, but the trade is not considerable. Vessels of 180 tons burthen can come up to the harbour quay, about 1½ mile from the town.

The cathedral is a cross building of the 12th century, 314 feet long, or 377 feet with the Lady chapel, and 133 feet through the transept. Norman and early English work prevails in the nave and the north transept. The Lady chapel, over the Richmond vault, was built about 1300, and contains the library of old books. Several new stained windows have been added lately. In the aorta aisle is Flaxman’s monument to Collins (who was born here 1720) reading the best of books, as Johnson describes him in his last days. Another monument to Huskisson the statesman. Bernardi’s paintings in the style of Holbein, and a series of so-called portraits of Icings and bishops since the Conquest may be noticed in the cloisters called “Paradise,” 200 feet long, is the monument of Chillingworth the great “propugnator invictissimus” (i.e., invincible bruiser of the Protestants) who died here, 1643. He was a man of little stature, but a great controversialist, so that Anthony a Wood said, “If the great Turk or the devil could” be converted, he was able to do it.” At the north-west corner is the bell tower, 120 feet high, standing by itself. The fine eight-sided spire is 300 feet high. At the Bishop’s Palace is a chapel partly as old as Henry III, and an old timber-roofed hall and kitchen. It was first built by Bishop Sherborne about 1530. Selsey (8 miles) near Selsey Bill, in the English Channel, was the seat of the bishopric, till it was moved to Chichester by the Normans, 1075. There is an old church. The sea now covers the site of some monastic buildings.

Goodwood (three miles), seat of the Duke of Richmond, stands in a large park under the South Downs. Here the July races are held, and which are always attended by the haut ton and the leading members of the Turf. It is about six miles round, and well wooded, and contains two cork trees, and about 1,000 cedars, planted 1762. From the grotto on Cairney seat (built out of a ruined church), is a fine view of the coast, Isle of Wight, the Downs, &c. The house was built by Sir W. Chambers, and enlarged by Wyattville, with centre and wings. It is 378 feet long, the wings falling back at angles of 45 feet. Stone and flint are used. In the hall is a standard and other trophies from Waterloo (which the late Duke attended as an amateur). The drawing room is 58 feet long. One portrait is that of a beautiful Duchess of Richmond of Charles II.’s time — the original, it is said, of Britannia on the copper com age. Large stables and dog kennels (the latter cost 6,000l.) with a tennis-court, are behind.

Distances of Places from the Station
To: Miles.
Aldingbourne 5
Almondington Green 6
Birdham 4
Chidham 5
Dell Quay 2
East Ashling 3
Fishbourne 2
Frintington 5
Goodwood 3
Gosden Green 6
Halnaker Park
Holt’s Green 3
Hunston 2
Kingsham 1
Lepring 4
Harden North 8
Mid Lavant 3
Mitener 6
Northlands 3
Old Brook 2
Old Park
Racton 4
Rumbolds Wyke 2
Salt Hill 2
Shop wick 2
Sidelsham 5
Singleton 6
Stanstead House 9
Stoke House 3
Stoughton 5
Thorney Island 8
Walton 2
Westbourne 7
West Dean 5
West Hampnett 3
West Itchenor 6
West Lavant
Westerton 3
West Stoke 3
Woodlands (Captain James Lyon)

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Places nearby

  • Hampshire : Netley Abbey

    Remains of the church, chapter-house, refectory, &c., exist, all picturesquely wound with ivy or overshadowed with ash and other trees.

  • Hampshire : Portsmouth

    Portsmouth, the first naval port in the British Islands, 75 miles, from London by the South Western Line or 95 by way of the Brighton and South Coast Line.

  • Hampshire : Southampton

    The station, which is close to the quay, and has a commanding position on the banks of the Southampton Water, is admirably adapted for the convenience of passengers.