Priory Park, Chichester 5287

Chichester, West Sussex, England, West Sussex, Chichester

Brief Description

The site is edged with mature trees and the central area is used for cricket and hockey, with a hedged bowling green. There are two pavilions or club houses for the cricket and hockey, both sympathetic to the setting.

History

In 1850 it was leased to the Priory Park Society who built a lodge, stables and a Refreshment Room from the old house. In 1918 the site was conveyed by the Duke to the City.

Visitor Facilities

This is a municipal park for general public use. Please see: http://www.chichester.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=5724

Detailed Description

This small public park in Chichester is bounded on two sides by the city walls. The entrance is to the east and leads to North Street. Apart from the old walls, there is a substantial and beautiful chapel forming the central feature of the park, a motte, tank, statue and a delightful single storey flint-faced lodge at the entrance. The gate piers at this point were previously surmounted by what might have been lanterns.

The site is edged with mature trees and the central area is used for cricket and hockey, with a hedged bowling green. There are two pavilions or club houses for the cricket and hockey, both sympathetic to the setting. In 1918 the site was conveyed by the Duke to the City and it is now a welcome open space in the city centre, still with its bowling green and cricket nets. The outline of the castle motte is still visible.

This is a delightful park, excellently maintained by Chichester District Council and apparently well-used and much appreciated.

Features
  • Wall
  • Description: This small public park in Chichester is bounded on two sides by the city walls.
  • Chapel
  • Description: There is a substantial and beautiful chapel forming the central feature of the park.
  • Gate Lodge
  • Description: There is a delightful single storey flint-faced lodge at the entrance.
  • Gate Piers
  • Description: The gate piers were previously surmounted by what might have been lanterns.
  • Bowling Green
  • Description: Hedged bowling green
  • Pavilion
  • Description: There are two pavilions or club houses for the cricket and hockey, both sympathetic to the setting.
Motte, Statue
Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

This is a municipal park for general public use. Please see: http://www.chichester.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=5724
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Chichester
History

Detailed History

The park probably dates from the Conquest when the north-east segment enclosed the Norman castle, begun by Earl Roger de Montgomery. When the French invaded in 1216 King John (the then-owner) ordered it to be burnt for fear of it falling to the French. It changed hands many times between the Church and the state but by 1245 the Franciscans had established their house and by 1282, the church on the site was in use. The Priory was dissolved by Henry VIII. In 1541 the site was given to the Mayor and citizens of Chichester, since when it became the Guildhall.

Early in the 18th century the remains of the Friary were converted into a house by Sir Hutchins Williams, who also laid out and enclosed the surrounding park.

In 1824 the Duke of Richmond purchased the freehold of Priory Park and demolished the deteriorating house. In 1850 it was leased to the Priory Park Society who built a lodge, stables and a Refreshment Room from the old house. Paths were laid out, together with a cricket pitch and bowling green.

Period

  • Victorian (1837-1901)
References

Contributors

  • Sussex Gardens Trust