Newsletter Sign up
Sign up for news, events
and promotions at
the Cathedral:
Send page to a friend:

Chichester Cathedral - its history and its art.

A wonderful blend of ancient and modern, with a sense of continuity and connection between generations going back almost a thousand years. (TripAdvisor)

The history of Chichester Cathedral began in 681 after Saint Wilfrid brought Christianity to Sussex.

The Font with Feibusch's 'Baptism'
The Font with Feibusch's 'Baptism'

The first cathedral in Sussex was not at Chichester but ten miles away near Selsey. Church Norton is almost certainly the site of the monastery built by St Wilfrid in 681. Following the Norman Conquest in 1066, cathedrals located in out-of-the way places were transferred to greater centres of population, and so in 1075, the See of Chichester was established and the bishopric was moved. In 1076 Stigand, the first Norman bishop, began to build a new cathedral on the site of the Saxon church of St Peter, using stone from Quarr on the Isle of Wight. The Cathedral was completed by Bishop Ralph Luffa, who consecrated it in 1108.   

Richard of Wych, bishop of Chichester from 1245 - 1253, was canonized in 1262 when plans were made to move his body from its first burial place in the Nave to the Retroquire.  The ceremony of translation took place on 16 June 1276, in the presence of King Edward I.  From that day  until the shrine was destroyed in 1538, the Shrine of St Richard attracted pilgrims from all over England and beyond.  In 1930 an altar was restored to the site of the shrine. 
Please click here for more information on St Richard.

The Cathedral is unique in its collection of 20th-century paintings, sculpture and glass. These include a window by Marc Chagall, a tapestry by John Piper and a painting by Graham Sutherland.  However the art in the Cathedra lalso contains some wonderful early objects including the 12th century Lazarus Reliefs and the Lambert Barnard paintings.  One of the delights of the building is the successful fusion of the ancient and the modern.

©2018 Chichester Cathedral | Home | Legal statements | Site Map | Contact us | Cookies | Holograph Ltd
The Royal Chantry, Cathedral Cloisters, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1PX - ECRR Number X6489