Prior to Brighton being granted city status in 2000, the small market town of Chichester, the County Town of West Sussex, was the only city in Sussex.

Chichester has its origins in a the roman city of Regnum or Noviomagus, and the city streets still reflect the original roman settlement.

Chichester is one of the oldest walled cities in England, the Bishopric dates from 1075, when it was transferred from Selsey.

In the centre of town is the Gothic Market Cross, built in 1501 to provide shelter for market traders.

Beside the Market Cross, the main feature of Chichester, is Chichester Cathedral, whose construction started in the 1070s. Destroyed in a fire a century later, most of the cathedral dates from around 1300, apart from the spire. The 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. A unique feature of the cathedral is the bell tower which stands remote from the rest of the building.

The city was connected to Chichester Harbour by the Chichester Canal, currently being restored.

Chichester is best known for the Chichester Festival, held during two weeks in July. The Festival is fairly middle of the road, the summer season at the Chichester Festival Theatre tends to be a little more adventurous.

Chichester is on a direct line from London Victoria.

Two miles west of Chichester lies Fishbourne Roman Palace, partially excavated in the 1960s. What has so far been uncovered, is believed to be the 100-room palace of the Romanized Celtic aristocrat Cogidubnus. It has excellent Roman mosaics and a partially restored Roman under-floor heating system.

(c) Keith Parkins 2006 -- July 2006 rev 0