Detail from the Chichester Reliefs, 12th century. Chichester Cathedral

study visits

Chichester Cathedral

  • Wednesday 6 July 2022
    (12.45pm for 1pm start)
  • Chichester Cathedral, Chichester PO19 1PX
  • Leader: John McNeill

Chichester Cathedral is among the least studied of all English medieval great churches. Memorably described by Ian Nairn as ‘a well-worn, well-loved comfortable fireside chair of a cathedral’, Chichester cathedral is essentially a series of rather quirky set pieces woven around an Anglo-Norman core. Chief among these is a superb retrochoir, but there is much else to be teased out – in the laying out of the delightful north transept chapels, the eccentric cloister, the celebrated Romanesque relief carvings, the striking collection of late medieval tombs, the freestanding bell tower and, perhaps most compellingly, the substantial evidence for the cathedral’s late medieval liturgical arrangements. The core remains very much Romanesque, however, and much survives of the building created after the old Sussex see was moved from Selsey to Chichester in 1075.


John McNeill lectures for the Department of Continuing Education at Oxford University and is a Vice-President of the London Art History Society for whom he has delivered numerous courses and led study tours and cathedral visits. He is the Secretary of the British Archaeological Association, for whom he has edited and contributed to volumes on English medieval cloisters, chantries and Romanesque material culture.

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