The Norman cathedral at Chichester was founded on its present site about 1080, and is still substantially the same building as that begun under Bishop Ralph de Luffa, who became Bishop of Chichester in 1091. A fire in 1187 led to considerable alterations and additions, later in the 15th century a central spire was added to the earlier tower and a separate bell-tower was added, this still stands to the west of the cathedral, but the central tower collapsed in 1861 and was replaced by the existing, graceful replica.
That the building was erected on the orders of William the Conqueror probably accounts for its striking resemblance to St.Stephen's at Caen, although the stone is from the Isle of Wight, not imported from Caen as was the practice at the time. There is also much use of Purbeck stone, particularly in the retrochoir at the eastern end, this is part of the late 12th and early 13th century building which is thought to have been modelled on the then new east end of Canterbury Cathedral which was rebuilt following a fire of 1184.
The interior of this wonderful old place is of exceptional beauty, it has a noble amount of historic treasures amongst which there is two stunning religious sculptures from the 12th century in the south choir aisle. Other features include, magnificent stained glass of the 14th century, the Chichester Relief's - two carved panels depicting parts of the storey of the raising of Lazarus which are regarded as outstanding examples of pre-Gothic sculpture, fine misericords, two Tudor paintings by Lambert Barnard, and portraits of past Bishop's, King's and Queen's of England. Visitors will also note a fine collection of church silver, a good library, and many monuments including seven by John Flaxman, of particular interest is the touching 14th century table tomb with the effigies of Richard Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel and his second wife Eleanor lying together with hands entwined.
From the 20th century the cathedral has modern works by Feibusch, Piper and Sutherland, these are in the form of tapestries, sculpture and stained glass. In the Sailors' Chapel is the pennant flown by Sir Francis Chichester on his epic solo voyage around the world in Gypsy Moth IV in 1966-7.
This is a beautiful cathedral, it preserves well its ancient past, has a cool serenity and is a constant source of fascination to all who visit.
There is a restaurant in the Cloisters and a gift shop in Bell Tower.
in the county of West Sussex(0.4 miles, 0.6 km)
Chichester is a wonderful coastal town with a history of strong sea-faring traditions...
Interesting little place with the picture post-card appeal of 'Sussex by the Sea' which for centuries has captivated artists from all over...
in the county of Hampshire(6.8 miles, 10.9 km, direction W)
Super little yachting village tucked away between the many tidal creeks of Chichester Harbour...
This is a picturesque resort town with a dramatic low-lying headland known as Selsey Bill, from here there are lovely views towards famous Chichester Harbour and the little harbour at Pagham where there is a nature reserve...All towns in West Sussex
Chichester's Market Cross is reputedly the finest in Britain. It was given to the city in 1501 by Edward Story, bishop of.....