Built in the 15th century, Chichester Cathedral’s cloisters have been a busy thoroughfare for over 600 years. As well as providing covered passage for clergy, lay staff and worshippers, the cloisters extend and enhance the visitor's experience, providing access to the Cathedral Café and Shop, Cathedral Close and Bishop’s Palace Gardens. They also house The Royal Chantry, where the Cathedral’s offices are to be found.
Often filled with the chatter of visiting school groups from across the Diocese and overseas, the stone benches provide somewhere to rest and observe the beauty of these ancient stone passageways, which are a unique aspect of Chichester’s heritage.
In 2017, the western arm of the cloisters were subject to a significant programme of repairs. Window traceries and cills underwent extensive masonry repair, all the glasswork, both lead and ferramenta, was cleaned and repaired, and the rainwater goods, such as guttering and downpipes, were replaced.
Unique in centring around a south transept, Chichester’s Cloisters enclose a green space, here called ‘Paradise’. The recent conservation work also saw the installation of a permanent gateway into this garden and a new stone ramp to replace the previous, unsightly, metal one.