Just a 21-minute drive south of us is Chichester Cathedral, the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Chichester. Although founded as a cathedral in 1075, the building’s architecture spans the centuries, with original Norman features as well as Gothic features and a magnificent Victorian spire. A free-standing medieval bell tower and double aisles are unique architectural features among England’s medieval cathedrals.
The cathedral is also famous for its art, especially two rare medieval sculptures. Other ancient treasures include the remains of a Roman mosaic pavement and a set of 38 medieval misericords, or small wooden seats, dating from 1330. There are also many modern art works including beautiful tapestries, stained glass and sculptures, many of which were commissioned by Dean Hussey, a Church of England priest who loved the arts.
A living, working building, the cathedral open its doors to worshippers, seekers and tourists every day of the year, with free entry and free guided tours. Visitors can also enjoy numerous events throughout the year including lunchtime and evening concerts and talks and lectures. Also worth checking out is the beautiful Bishop’s Palace Gardens as well as the Cloisters cafe and shop.
It’s also worth taking a stroll around the city of Chichester itself, which is said to be small enough for the city’s entire population to fit inside the cathedral at once. Chichester has a long history as a settlement from Roman times and is home to some of the oldest churches and buildings in the country.