Shortly after their conquest in AD43 the Romans built a Fort here and named it 'Noviomagus Reginorum'. It was in the 5th century that Anglo Saxons then renamed it Chichester. An important Roman road called Stane Street ran all the way from Chichester to London Bridge, and much of the route still exists today. Needless to say there are still several Roman remains within the area including Fishbourne Palace, the largest Roman domestic building in Britain.
Our visit to the Cathedral took us passed The Deanery
and down St. Richard's Walk - a pathway leading directly into the Cathedral.
Today we have our sights set on seeing the Cathedral's treasures.
The knight's attitude is typical of the period but the lady's crossed legs where she appears to be turning towards her husband is rare.
The joined hands, his hand unusually not gloved, was thought to have been the result of 'restoration' but recent research has shown this feature to be original. The monument is one of the earliest known that appears to be showing a knights affection for his wife.
Philip Larkin was inspired to write his poem 'An Arundel Tomb' following his visit to the cathedral in 1956
Side by side, their faces blurred,
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habits vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd -
The little dogs under their feet.
Such plainness of the pre-baroque
Hardly involves the eye, until
It meets his left-hand gauntlet, still
Clasped empty in the other; and
One sees, with a sharp tender shock,
His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.
the rest of the poem can be read here
There are two rare, expressive, and important Romanesque sculptures in the Cathedral dating from the first quarter of the 12th century depicting the raising of Lazarus.
In the first panel Lazarus has been dead for four days, and his sisters, Mary and Martha, are shown at the town gate of Bethany greeting Jesus and praying that he can be saved.
In the second panel Jesus raises Lazarus from the grave still wrapped in his shroud strap bindings. I could not understand Mary and Martha's expressions, but having now read the relevant bible passage I understand that their expressions are suggestive of the anticipated odour from the grave. At the bottom of the panel are two little grave diggers struggling to maintain the elevation of the tomb stone.
These sculptures are thought to have originally been part of a chancel screen in the Cathedral, and were discovered hidden away behind some choir stalls in 1827. The panels would originally have been painted and had jewels or semi precious stones in their eyes.
The High Altar tapestry was designed by John Piper in 1966, and woven in Aubusson, France.
At the site of the shrine of St. Richard
(Bishop of Chichester 1245-53 canonised in 1262) is an Anglo-German tapestry, designed in 1985 by Ursula Benker-Schirmer which shows religious symbols, some of which have a particular association with St. Richard. The central panel was woven in Germany and the two side panels were woven at West Dean College which is in the countryside just outside Chichester.
A painting by Graham Sutherland entitled Noli me tangere (do not hold me) depicting Christ appearing to Mary Magdalene on the first Easter morning
A vibrant red window designed by Marc Chagall in 1978 based on the psalm 'O praise God in his holiness...let everything that hath breath praise the Lord'
In the Baptistry a painting of The Baptism of Christ by Hans Feibusch (1951)
and a Font made from polyphant green stone which came from Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. The Font was made and designed in 1983 by John Skelton, a nephew of Eric Gill.
You cannot come so near to the coast without paying the sea a visit, so we clambered up the sand dunes
and took a brisk walk along the beach