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Chichester Cathedral - Medieval Bell Tower - West Sussex, UK.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member veritas vita
N 50° 50.196 W 000° 46.835
30U E 656274 N 5634001
Quick Description: Chichester Cathedral, formally known as the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity. The detached Bell Tower has stood for over 600 years in the heart of Chichester, Sussex, Great Britain.
Location: Southern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 3/14/2017 11:20:58 AM
Waymark Code: WMV8HD
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member rjmcdonough1
Views: 1

Long Description:
The Cathedral is a living, working building which has been at the center of life in Chichester for nearly 1000 years.

Chichester is the Last remaining City in the UK to have a Cathedral with a detached medieval Bell Tower The tower stands 120 feet high & 32 feet square at the base. The octagonal bell chamber is home to to a ring of 8 bells, dating from the 16th & 18th Centuries. An hour bell was added in 1877 named 'Great Walter'

The Bells chime the time every day & ring out every Wednesday & Sunday in call to prayer.

"The Bell Tower at Chichester Cathedral was built around 1400 and although several medieval cathedrals once had similarly detached towers, Chichester is the only one to possess a surviving original. Chichester Cathedral's Bell Tower has been added to the 2016 Heritage at Risk Register.

Ruth Poyner, Chichester Cathedral's Spokeswoman says: 'We are pleased to see the Bell Tower in the Heritage at Risk Register as we highlighted this matter to Historic England. The Bell Tower is a significant historic feature of the city and is of national importance as a rare example of a medieval freestanding Bell Tower. The building is structurally safe but the stonework is deteriorating over time, consequently netting was added in the 1990s to catch any loose falling stonework. The Tower remains in regular use by our bell ringers and also by the Bell Tower Drop in Project which offers activities for young people after school. We are committed to developing plans to conserve and develop the Bell Tower for future use and estimate at this stage that the repair of the stonework will cost in the region of £5 million.'" Text Source: (visit link)

"This magnificent Cathedral has stood at the centre of Chichester for over 900 years. With unique architecture from each century of its life, this Cathedral is both ancient and modern, where original medieval features sit alongside world famous contemporary artworks.

The Cathedral is open every day and all year with free entry. There are free drop-in guided tours, self-guiding leaflets for those who prefer to wander at their own pace, and special trails for children. There is also a superb Cloisters Café and Shop, complete with terrace and walled garden.

Visitors can also enjoy the historic Cathedral Close and the beautiful Bishop's Palace Gardens, both only a few steps away. All are welcome at this splendid Cathedral - a fascinating place to visit.

The Cathedral is open from 7.15am to 6.30pm (Monday to Saturday). On Sundays the Cathedral is open from 7.15am - 5.00pm. For further details of guided tours click here.

We do not charge for entry to the Cathedral, as we believe this beautiful building should be available to all. Donations, however, are much needed and greatly appreciated. If you are visiting us then please do contribute; not only does this support the ongoing maintenance of this historic building but it helps us to avoid admission charges too." Text Source: (visit link)

"Chichester Cathedral was built to replace the cathedral founded in 681 by St. Wilfrid for the South Saxons at Selsey. The seat of the bishop was transferred in 1075. It was consecrated in 1108 under Bishop Ralph de Luffa. An early addition was the Chapel of Saint Pantaleon off the south transept (now the Canons' Vestry), probably begun just before an 1187 fire which burnt out the cathedral and destroyed much of the town. That fire necessitated a substantial rebuilding, which included refacing the nave and replacing the destroyed wooden ceiling with the present stone vault, possibly by Walter of Coventry. The cathedral was reconsecrated in 1199.

Chichester Cathedral, circa 1650
In the 13th century, the central tower was completed, the Norman apsidal eastern end rebuilt with a Lady chapel and a row of chapels added on each side of the nave, forming double aisles such as are found on many French cathedrals. The spire was completed about 1402 and a free-standing bell tower constructed to the north of the west end.
In 1262, Richard de la Wyche, who was bishop from 1245 to 1253, was canonised as Saint Richard of Chichester. His shrine made the cathedral a place of pilgrimage. The shrine was ordered to be destroyed in 1538 during the first stages of the English Reformation. In 1642 the cathedral came under siege by Parliamentary troops.
The towers at Chichester have had a particularly unfortunate history because of subsidence, which explains the positioning of the 15th-century bell tower at some distance from the cathedral. The south-west tower of the façade collapsed in 1210 and was rebuilt. The north-west tower collapsed in 1635 and was not rebuilt until 1901. The masonry spire was built in the 14th century and was repaired in the 17th century by Sir Christopher Wren. It survived a lightning strike in 1721 and stood for 450 years before it telescoped in on itself on 21 February 1861, fortunately without loss of life. A fund was set up to raise the £48,000 needed for the rebuilding, and the contributors included Queen Victoria.[6] A replica of the old tower and spire, using the drawings of a previous resident architect Joseph Butler, was rebuilt. The construction was raised by about 6 feet (1.8 m), by Sir George Gilbert Scott and was completed in five years. It now rises to a height of 82 metres. The rubble from the original spire was used to construct West Ashling Chapel." Text Source: (visit link)

Date founded or constructed: 14th century
Address of Tower:
The Royal Chantry, Cathedral Cloisters, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1PX

Still Operational: yes

Number of bells in tower?: 8

Relevant website?: [Web Link]

Rate tower:

Tours or visits allowed in tower?: Yes

Visit Instructions:
Please post an original picture of the tower taken while you were there. Please also record how you came to be at this tower and any other interesting information you learned about it while there.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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reelcutter visited Chichester Cathedral - Medieval  Bell Tower - West Sussex, UK. 6/22/2017 reelcutter visited it
veritas vita visited Chichester Cathedral - Medieval  Bell Tower - West Sussex, UK. 4/1/2017 veritas vita visited it

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