Chichester’s City Walls

On my first morning in Chichester, I was up before breakfast. I wanted to walk the old city wall, running directly behind my hotel and encircling the heart of the city.

The Romans invaded Britain in 43AD. In around 44AD, they built a fort on the site of Chichester, as being a good source of water from River Lavant and close to a harbour for the bringing of supplies from France.

The original wall of earth ramparts and a wooden palisade, was built in the 2nd century and replaced by a stone one in the 3rd century. So you could say Chichester goes back a fair way.

I was wandering along in the light morning sunshine when I noticed something on the roof of someone’s house, seen in the right-hand corner of this picture. Can you pick what it is?

It’s a crocodile, installed to entertain us as we’re walking the wall. I just love English quirkiness.

In the 4th century the Romans added bastions, towers that housed ballistae, large crossbows capable of firing metal bolts up to 500 metres. And they say we’re cruel nowadays!


The wall from street level

I turned back half way along, afraid I would be too late for breakfast. Refuelled, I crossed Priory Lane and entered Priory Park, a gorgeous place of sunshine and shadows, bordered on the north and east sides by the wall.

Cricket has been played on these lawns since 1851 and, in fact, the touring Australian cricket team played here in both 1882 and 1886.

The bowling green

This little nondescript hill was once a motte, a much larger hill with  a castle perched on top. Chichester Castle was one of eleven fortified sites around Sussex before 1100. The castle was destroyed by Henry III in 1217 and the site given over to the Franciscans, the order of the Greyfriars as they were known, for them to use as the site of a friary.

Greyfriars Chapel is all that’s left of the monastery, since Henry VIII’s dissolution of  religious orders in the 1500s. It’s been a town hall and a court house, and is now an annexe to the Novium Museum.

Greyfriars Chapel

I captured this Grey Squirrel as it was going about its business. I’ve picked up along the way that English people are not totally enamoured with these creatures but I think they’re just about the cutest little characters you can see.

A quiet spot for contemplation







15 thoughts on “Chichester’s City Walls

  1. Love the croc! Grey squirrels are an imported species and are pushing out the native red squirrels which is why some people don’t like them. Personally, I think it’s a lost battle and we should live and let live. Our local park is full of grey squirrels and they are much photographed. I have to admit the red ones are even cuter though!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Squirrels are photogenic but they are always trying to steal bird food from our feeders even though we have supposedly squirrel proof containers! I prefer the red squirrels but they are only to be found in a few places in the UK but I see them frequently in Finland.

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  3. You were in my neck of the woods here! I remember noticing that croc on the roof the last time we did the walls walk. I can recommend the Sunday roast in the Cathedral restaurant if you ever make a return trip. Also, the loveliest place to go which you may not have discovered is the Bishop’s Palace Gardens, which are delightful.


  4. Thanks. I did actually have lunch at the restaurant on the Sunday. I was so thrilled to have found some real food after having great difficulty finding much in Cornwall. I missed the Bishop’s Palace Gardens. I want to come back. I fell in love with Chichester. Awfully long way from Australia, though.


  5. Pingback: Chichester Cathedral – Planning to the 'Nth

  6. Ian Waight

    I think I may have passed through there many years ago. Of course the wall wasn’t there at that stage as the Romans hadn’t arrived yet, but I still remember it as a nice town.

    Liked by 1 person

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