Culture

Chichester Catherdral

With architecture spanning from the Norman era right up to the relatively modern Victorian spire. Chichester Cathedral is an incredibly important building and witness to many events such as the canonisation of St Richard, the Reformation and a huge restoration project after the spire collapsed in 1861. It also houses some incredible pieces of art such as a glorious stained window by Marc Chagall.

Although the first cathedral was built in Selsey, it was relocated to Chichester in 1076 and rebuilt over many years using stone from the Isle of Wight and completed in 1108. The bishop of Chichester, Richard of Wych, was canonised here in 1276 in the presence of Edward I and his burial site was a shrine which attracted pilgrims from all over England, until it was destroyed during the reformation in 1538. In 1930 an altar was restored on the site.

The artwork here is fascinating and a real find, not normally expected in a cathedral. A jewel-like glass window by Marc Chagall, a tapestry by John Piper and a painting by Graham Southerland lie side-by-side with medieval artwork such as the Lazurus Reliefs and artwork by Lambert Bernard – a successful and unique blend of the ancient and modern.

Open every day and all year round from 7.15am to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday (on Sundays it’s open 7.15am – 5pm), the cathedral is free to enter and if you’re lucky you can catch a free guided tour which takes place at 11.15am and 2.30pm Monday to Saturday. Otherwise you can drift around by yourself or pick up a self-guiding leaflet, soaking up the special atmosphere. There are special trails for children, and if you need a break the Cloisters Café and shop with terrace and walled garden are a must.

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West Street, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1PX | www.chichestercathedral.org.uk

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