A summer of discovery at Chichester Cathedral

10th May 2024
News category

We are delighted to unveil this year’s captivating summer programme, inviting visitors to discover this beautiful space and immerse themselves in nine centuries of rich history. 

From the tumultuous Tudor era to the reign of monumental monarchs like Charles I, every corner of the Cathedral holds a tale waiting to be discovered. The summer programme aims to highlight these stories through a diverse array of events and experiences suitable for all ages, including outdoor theatre productions, family-friendly creative workshops and fascinating specialist tours.

With our 950th anniversary nearly upon us, this summer we aim to celebrate the decades of stories and mysteries that are housed within our Cathedral and bring them to life through a series of tours and activities. Whether you're a history enthusiast or simply curious about the Cathedral's local heritage, there's something for everyone to enjoy.  

Events will explore fascinating and pivotal historical moments, such as the sacking of monasteries under Henry VIII, the repercussions of the Civil War on both the Cathedral and the city of Chichester as well as the mysteries of the Cathedral’s architecture over the eras.

Outdoor theatre in Paradise

This summer, we will be hosting a series of outdoor theatre performances in our tranquil Paradise Garden. From Shakespeare’s Hamlet and The Merry Wives of Windsor  to family favourite The Adventures of Doctor Dolittle, there's something for all ages. With tickets starting from £10.00, the picturesque backdrop of the Cathedral provides an idyllic setting for these open air shows. 

The Lord Chamberlain's Men perform  on stage with a large crowd

Image: The Lord Chamberlain's Men

Family activities: Uncovering history through art

The summer also sees the launch of a new self-guided tour for families. The free trail experience invites children to uncover hidden artefacts, relics and artworks concealed within the ancient walls, while learning more about the fascinating history and wonders of the Cathedral. 

We will be hosting two free family workshops designed to bring history to life through art and creativity. The first, Monumental Monarchs: Exploring the Tudor History Paintings (Saturday 27th July, 10.00am), will focus on the turbulent Tudor period and the creation of Lambert Barnard's panel paintings. Participants will have the opportunity to dress up and take part in fun arts and crafts inspired by this period.  

Then on Saturday 10th August from 10.00am, we invite families to become history detectives for the day for Missing Treasures and The Civil War in Chichester. Exploring the damage inflicted upon the building during the Siege of Chichester amidst the English Civil War, participants can take part in activities including taking brass rubbings and reimagining the lost treasures of the Cathedral.

A child draws a flower

Specialist Tours: Delving into the Cathedral's mysteries

On Tuesday 18th June and Friday 19th July, visitors can step into the stunning Lady Chapel and unlock its hidden tales on a specialist tour. Discover how the architecture of this space has evolved from pre-Reformation times through to Victorian renovations, and learn about the treasure trove of artefacts, each with its own story to tell. 

As the Cathedral commemorates the 30th anniversary of women in the church, we will be hosting a specialist tour acknowledging the unheralded women of the CathedralTaking place on Monday 8th and Wednesday 17th July, the tour will uncover the intricate narratives of women who left an indelible mark on the Cathedral.

A Cathedral Guide shows a couple the Lady Chapel

Daily Guided Tours: Enriching your visit with centuries of stories

Visitors can also join our passionate and knowledgeable guides at one of two daily Drop-in Tours. The expert tour guides will lead visitors on a journey through centuries of stories and secrets, revealing the enthralling histories concealed within the Cathedral's ancient walls. From the great and the good to hidden gems tucked away in quiet corners, no tour is ever the same as volunteers share their expertise and insights with visitors. 

Offered Monday - Saturday at 11.30am and 2.30pm, tours start from just £6.00 per person. Booking is recommended.

A volunteer guide points to the Quire with a large group
10th May 2024
News category