With a fascinating history dating back to the time of the Romans, Chichester is a city steeped in culture that attracts residents and tourists alike 

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The Minerva Theatre sits right next to the Chichester Festival Theatre in Oaklands Park. The larger theatre, holding about 1200 people, was built in 1962, and the more intimate Minerva, holding about 300 people, was built in 1989. 


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Chichester Festival Theatre dates back to the early 1960s and is one of the leading regional theatres in the country. Its first Artistic Director was Sir Laurence Olivier. Over the subsequent years, it has hosted the world’s finest directors and thespians. Outside the theatre, on the edge of Oaklands Park, is this beautiful bronze sculpture by Tom Merrifield. It depicts Spartacus, leader of the slave revolt against the Romans in 71 BCE.  


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The Cathedral is clearly one of the biggest attractions in Chichester. Seen from miles around, this is the heart of the city. There are many reasons why you should visit including the memorial to Gustav Holst, the beautiful alter-screen tapestry by John Piper, the stunning Hans Feibusch painting of the baptism of Christ just inside the main door or simply the fact that it’s 900 years old. There is even the bell tower, one of relatively few in the country that is free standing and housed in a separate building altogether.  


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Known as The Arundel Tomb in the Cathedral, this is the tomb of the 10th Earl of Arundel, Richard Fitzalan and his wife Eleanor of Lancaster, who both died in the 14th century. It is the inspiration behind poet Philip Larkin’s An Arundel Tomb and it’s well known for the depiction of a couple lying dead still holding hands.  


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Housing one of the best collections of 20th-century British art in the world, Pallant House is a must-see for all visitors to Chichester. Housed partly in a gorgeous 300-year-old Queen Anne townhouse, it was originally built for a wine merchant by the name of Henry Peckham. To commission and maintain a property such as this, wine selling must have been a hugely profitable business back then.  


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Canon Gate Archway, or Canon Lane Gate as it is also known, was built in the time of King Richard III, who only ruled from 1483-1485. I’m sure he would be astonished to discover it has been converted into a two-room apartment available for holiday rentals.  


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Noviomagus Reginorum was the name given to the centre of Chichester during the time of the Roman occupation. This particular plaque is embedded into the ground in North Street.  


Great British Life: The old pit control tower at Goodwood in Chichester features in Scalextric setsThe old pit control tower at Goodwood in Chichester features in Scalextric sets (Image: Andrew Hasson)


The old pit control tower at Goodwood motor circuit is an iconic building if ever there was one.  A friend of mine used to have a miniature one of these in his Scalextric slot car set. The first time I actually visited the circuit, I was surprised to discover it was a real building. 



Great British Life:

Rosemary Webb: ‘What’s brilliant about Chichester is the friendliness, the warmth, and the history. It’s small, but there’s lots of things going on. I’ve only been here two years - we came from Berkshire to downsize and be nearer to family. This is the perfect place. I’ve never seen anything like the transport links here. I do have a car but I don’t really use it. The buses come to the end of my road and go to Brighton one way and Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth in the other direction. The trains are very good, when they’re not on strike. It’s good for cycling here too – there are lots of cycle paths.”  


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Simon Wickenden: ‘We have a great selection of shops and restaurants. The Ivy has just opened up here. The shop rents in Chichester are quite high and there needs to be more of a concerted effort to bring independent businesses back to the High Street. There are a lot of national chains and that’s good, but I feel that the independents will be the lifeblood of the High Street in the future. The pedestrianisation is great here. We have South Street which is  a night-time venue – there are lots of pubs and bars and restaurants there.’