The Guildhall in Priory Park
The Guildhall was built in the 1270s by the Franciscans and is more interesting from the outside (and open more often) than the inside. Although the Guildhall houses some of the Chichester District Museum’s collection it is open very rarely.
For many years the Guildhall served a central role in the government of Chichester and has witnessed many dramatic moments. These include the trial of the great mystic poet and artist William Blake, who was accused of treason for no other reason than forcibly ejecting a drunken soldier from the garden of his house in Felpham – although his sympathies with revolutionaries in France and America might have had more than a little to do with the authorities’ over-reaction to this trifling matter.
On a happier note, on Saturdays throughout the summer Chichester Guildhall makes a backdrop for hundreds of happy wedding photographs for people who have just got married in the registry office round the corner in North Street.
Chichester Bowls Club play here, fifty or so yards to the north of the Guildhall, in one of the most beautiful settings for bowls in Sussex and there’s always a busy atmosphere around the Guildhall in summer.