Chichester is a city with a very long history stretching back to Roman times. As such, for those with an interest in history and heritage, it’s an endlessly fascinating place. For an insight into the history of the city, we recommend the Novium museum, which holds many artefacts from the different ages of occupation.
Shortly after the Roman invasion in AD43, a winter fort called Noviomagus Reginorum was established; it eventually became a civilian settlement and became the capital of the area. Remnants of this important Roman settlement can still be seen in modern-day Chichester, including the Roman walls and a mosaic in the Cathedral.
According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the Roman settlement was captured towards the end of the 5th Century, by Ælle, the first king of the South Saxons, and named after his son Cissa – this is where the name Chichester stems from.
At the time of the Domesday Book, Chichester had 300 dwellings and a population of around 1,500 people. Chichester Castle was built shortly after 1066, but in 1216 it was captured by the French, along with many others in Southern England – it was recaptured the following year, and destroyed. The remains of the castle’s motte can today be seen in Priory Park.
Middle Ages & Beyond
In the 13th Century, Chichester was an important harbour for the export of wool – a very important trade of the time. The harbour was deeper then, allowing large ships to sail up to Dell Quay, and the city was home to many cloth-workers and craftsmen.
As the harbour gradually became silted up and less accessible to the ocean going ships, Chichester became less important as a trade hub, nevertheless it has retained a sense of history that you can still feel walking through its medieval streets. Today it is a centre of culture, and a popular destination for many tourists. Here at Crouchers Country Hotel, we are proud to offer one of the best value hotels in Chichester, with a warm welcome and a sense of character throughout. For availability or to make a booking, contact us online or call us on 01243 784995.