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Chichester History In Old Photos & Film

Chichester West Sussex England UK local history videos

The Cathedral city of Chichester in West Sussex boasts beautiful historic homes and ancient streets. The city centre in particular has been captured many times on film throughout the past century. 

In Ancient Sussex (1915)

YouTube channel James Aslett uploaded this silent, black and white travelogue film from 1915. 

ROYAL: Princess Mary visits hospital in Chichester (1929)

Posted to YouTube by British Pathé

In 1929, Princess Mary came to open the new nurses extension to the Royal West Sussex Hospital. It’s quite blurry footage, but it’s interesting to see the cars, outfits and uniforms of the day. At the end, a lot of smartly dressed women and children are seen watching from the other side of the road.

A public dispensary was established in cottages in 1784. Then in 1825, these were replaced with a two storey hospital building, known as the West Sussex, East Hampshire and Chichester General Infirmary and Dispensary. 

The 1st Matron, Mrs Rogers, received a wisteria tree from China, and planted it on the hospital facade sometime between 1825 and 1828. It still survives today and is claimed to be the oldest specimen of its kind in England.

A third storey was added to the Georgian building in the late 19th century. 

In 1913 a grant of King George V renamed the Infirmary to The Royal West Sussex Hospital. 

In 1972 the Royal West Sussex Hospital closed following development of St. Richard’s Hospital. The beautiful Georgian building was retained and transformed into domestic housing units.

Chichester (1942)

Posted to YouTube by British Pathé

The Norman cathedral church was built towards the close of the 11th century. Then its spire was added in about 1500. The House of the Dean is where we find a rather severe Arthur Duncan-Jones. 

Then we see the 12th century hospital of St Mary’s. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth I this was an Almshouse.

After a panoramic view of the city, focus turns to the belltower at the end of the main street.

Next, there’s an old boy’s cricket match taking place at Priory Park. A crowd sits next to Greyfriar’s Chapel to watch.

Finally, we see a beautiful thatched cottage on one of the rural lanes out of the city.

Next page: Scenes of Chichester Cathedral (1942)

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