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Chichester – Description

From Kelly’s Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Middlesex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, 1867

CHICHESTER is an ancient Roman city, the seat of a diocese, and market and polling town, and place of election for the Western division of the county, having an exclusive jurisdiction and giving name to a rape, locally situated in the hundred of Box and Stockbridge, diocese, archdeaconry and deanery of Chichester, on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, 79¼ miles from London by railway and 61 by road, 30 from Southampton, 18 from Portsmouth, 10½ from Arundel, 18 from Worthing, 28½ from Brighton, 63 from Hastings and 36¾ from Lewes, and 7 from Bognor.
This city, which is of very, remote antiquity, was, about the close of the fifth century, taken from the Britons by Ella, whose son Cissa rebuilt it, and called it, after his own name Cissa’s Chester, from whence its present name is derived. It is pleasantly situated on a gentle eminence, a few miles south of the South Downs, which stretch along this part of the country, and is nearly surrounded, by the river Lavant, which flows at its base. The port of Chichester is at Dell Quay, about a mile and a half from the city, and a branch of the Arundel and Portsmouth Canal comes up to the southern suburb of the city; but both have been rendered of less importance by the opening of the South Coast Railway. The principal streets diverge east, west, north, and south from the ancient Gothic market cross, built by Bishop Storey in 1500. The city walls, more than a mile and a half in circumference, are lined within by ranges of lofty elm trees, which, from a very elevated situation, have a beautiful and uniform yet uncommon appearance, the cathedral and its spire being the only objects visible above them: the gates of the city have long been removed, the last having been taken down in 1773. The houses are in general well built; the streets are paved, cleaned, and lighted by gas. The local police consists of an inspector, a sergeant, and six men. Here is also the station for the Chichester division of the county police, which consists of a superintendent, sergeant, and twelve
men. The Chichester Incorporation comprises the following parishes:- All Saints, or the Pallant, Cathedral Close, St. Andrews, St. Bartholomew, St. James, St. Martin, St. Olave, St. Pancras, St. Peter-the-Great, and St. Peter-the-Less.
The government of the city is regulated by a charter granted by James II., and vested in a mayor and municipal corporation: petty sessions and a court of record are holden here; and a county court for the recovery of debts under £50. The trade consists chiefly in corn, coal, timber, flour, and malt: the malting trade is rather extensive: woolstapling, tanning, and brewing are likewise branches of some importance. The weekly markets are held on Wednesday and Saturday: every Wednesday fortnight a large market for corn, cattle, sheep, pigs, &c., is held; and fairs are held on St. George’s Day, Whit Monday, St. James’s Day, Michaelmas Day, and Sloe Fair ten days after.
John Hardham, a London tobacconist, left an estate of £673 per annum to the poor of the city: the other charitable institutions are numerous and well conducted.
A Grammar school was founded in 1497 by Bishop Storey. The Whitby, or Bluecoat school, in which forty-four boys are clothed, lodged, boarded, and educated, was established by Oliver Whitby in 1702. There is a Free school. St. Mary’s Hospital was originally a nunnery, at the east end of which is an ancient chapel. There are other schools upon the National Plan, supported by subscriptions and benefactions.
The Otter Memorial, situate at a short distance north of the city, is an elegant building of stone, in the Collegiate style of the fifteenth century., used as a training college for schoolmasters, an institution founded by the late Dr. W. Otter: it was erected during the years 1849 and 1850, from designs by Mr. J. Butler, and consists of a convenient residence for the principal, apartments for the vice-principal, and accommodation for twenty-four students: the situation is dry, healthy, and pleasant: a small chapel has been added, to complete the original plan: the site for the college was given by the Bishop of Chichester: the principal is the Rev. Matthew Parrington, M.A., of Christ’s College, Cambridge.
A spacious infirmary was built about 1830, in a delightful and airy situation, and another wing, called tbe “Dixon
wing” was erected by the late Charles Dixon, Esq., of Stansted House, in this county.
The Guildhall is an ancient structure, formerly the church or the monastery of the Grey Friars. A Council Chamber, or Town House, a large and commodious building, contains spacious and elegant assembly-room. The common gaol now used as a police station. There are a Literary Society and Mechanics’ Institute (now united), and a Museum on the same premises; Custom House, Market House, and a large handsome Corn Exchange, with extensive warehouse and granaries attached.
The cathedral forms the principal ornament of the city: it is a noble edifice, in the form of a cross, erected on the site
where the church of St. Peter-the-Great once stood, before the see was removed from Selsey, which took place in 1075, having been first founded at Selsey, in the seventh century, by St. Wilfred. The cathedral is a Norman structure, containing many heraldic and other memorials: in the south transept are some curious historical paintings of the time of Henry 111. There are monuments of Bishops Ralfe, Seffrid, Hilary, St. Richard (1253), Arundel (1478), Sherburne and Storey (1592), Hurdis, and others of later date. It has a full chapter establishment, fairly endowed. The nave was built in the time of Henry I., in the Norman style: the tower and spire, which was 271 feet high, and was completed in 1270, fell down in February, 1861: it has however been re-erected by Messrs. W. and E. J. Beanland, of Bradford, at a cost of £37,846: the foundations were made at the cost of £6,000. Most parts of the noble pile, which is extensive, were finished before 1200. Several handsome painted windows, by eminent artists, have been erected of late years. The poet Collins, who died in 1759, was a native of this city, and has a monument to his memory by Flaxman; Huskisson has a statue by Carew: Chilllngworth, the controversialist, is buried in the cloisters.
In 1830 the restoration of the cathedral commenced, and is still continued: there are some fine oak stalls, an Anglo-Saxon chest in the sacristy, and an exquisite Gothic chantry to St. Richard.
The Bishop’s Palace is supposed to have been erected on the site of a Roman villa: it is an ancient structure, with a chapel of the time of Henry VIII., an old hall, a great dining-room, and a large kitchen; the palace waa repaired in 1800, and contains some pictures and painted glass.
The places of worship are the cathedral unit ten parish churches, viz:-
All Saints, or the Pallant, situate in the West Pallant. The living is a rectory, yearly value £45, in the gift of the Archbishop of Canterbury and held by the Rev. Geldart John Evans Riadore, M.A., of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
St. Andrew, situate in East-street. The living is a rectory, yearly value £80, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Chichester, and held by the Rev. Gregory Walton Pennethorne, M.A., of Jesus College, Cambridge.
St. Bartholomew, situate in West-street. The living is a perpetual curacy, yearly value £65, in the gift of the Bishop of Chichester, and held by the Rev. T. M. Gilbert, M.A.
St. John’s New Town extra-parochial chapel, formerly called tbe Blackfriars, is situate in St. John’s–street; it is in the gift of certain trustees, and held by the Rev. Edward Whitehead, M.A., of St. John’s College, Oxford.
St. Martin, situate in St. Martin’s-street. The living is a rectory, yearly value £80, in the gift of the Bishop of Chichester, and held by the Rev. Geldart John Evans Riadore, M.A., of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
St. Olave, situate in North-street, is a rectory, yearly value £56, in the gift of the Dean and chapter of Chichester, and held by the Rev. Robert Augustine Luke Nunns B.A., of Christ’s College, Cambridge.
St. Pancras, situate in Eastgate, is a rectory, yearly value £95, with residence, in the gift of the trustees of the late Rev. Charles Simeon, and held by the Rev. Frederick Francis Tracy, M.A., of Christ’s College, Cambridge.
St. Peter-the-Less, situate in North-street, is a rectory, yearly value £45, in the gift of the Bishop of Chichester,
and held by the Rev. Thomas Brown, M.A., of Magdalen Hall Oxford.
St. Paul is situate in Northgate. The living is a perpetual curacy, value £200, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter, and held by the Rev. Thomas Brown, M.A., of Magdalen Hall, Oxford.
St. Peter-the-Great, or Subdeanery, a large and handsome stone church, was erected about 1853, in West-street, and is capable of accommodating 650 persons: it is built in the ecclesiastical style of the fourteenth century, from the designs of Mr. R. C. Carpenter, of London. This edifiee is intended to supply the place of the parish church of Sub-deanery, or St. Peter-the-Great, for which service has been performed in the north trancept of the cathedral. The living is a vicarage, yearly value £110, with residence, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter, and held by the Rev. George Braithwaite, M.A., of Queen’s College, Oxford.
St. James’s is an extra-parochial place. The Roman Catholic chapel is in South-street. Here are chapels for independents, Baptists, Wesleyans, Calvinist, Unitarians, and the Society of Friends.
The Priory Park is a large enclosed piece of ground, occupying a great portion of the north-east quarter of the city, and in early times was the residence of the potent Earls of Arundel, and afterwards the monastery of the Grey Friars, who possessed it until the dissolution of the order in the reign of Henry VIII. For several years past it was used as grazing ground by the Duke of Richmond, to whom it belongs; but his Grace has kindly let it to some of the citizens, by whom a subscription has been raised for the purpose of converting it into an archery and cricketing ground, and to render it otherwise useful as a place for recreation for the inhabitants.
The library of the Chichester Literary and Scientific Institute contains 2,500 volumes.
The elective franchise was conferred upon this city by Edward I., and the right of election vested in the corporation: the Mayor is the returning officer.
The population in 1861 was 8,045.
KINGSHAM is a detached part of the parish of St. Pancras.