Please click on the thumbnail misericords for larger images.
History of Chichester Cathedral, Sussex.
Although there was a foundation as early as 681, in Selsey, Norman policy forced the cathedral to move in 1075 to Chichester. Construction took place from that time until Chichester Cathedral was consecrated in 1108 - yep, this year is it’s 900th anniversary! As you would expect it was built in the early Norman (Romanesque) style. A fire, only 8 years later, did much damage, and whilst in the process of restoration, the Cathedral was extended at the western end. Another fire in 1187 destroyed the wooden roof, and much of the arcading. The intervening century or so since the foundation of Chichester Cathedral and the fire of 1187 had been a landmark time for architects and masons, which meant that the wooden roof could be replaced by a stone vault, supported by flying buttresses and internal Purbeck marble columns. Fashions had also changed, so the Apse was replaced by a squared-off east end, the clerestory gained gothic arches, and the original Norman stone piers in the choir were replaced by Purbeck marble. The misericords date from about1330. During the 13th century, the cathedral was widened by the addition of several side chapels to the nave aisles, this has resulted in Chichester being one of the widest cathedral in Britain. The 14th century brought the spire, it is worth noting that the spire had to be repaired in the 17th century, by Sir Christopher Wren, but the use of poor quality materials meant that it suddenly collapsed on Feb 21st 1861, thankfully without loss of life, Sir George Gilbert Scott was immediately tasked to rebuild it, the spire which now rises to 82 metres. The 15th century brought modifications to the cloisters and the addition of an external bell tower, the only one remaining in the UK. The 16th century brought the addition of the Cathedral Close.