Heritage Trails Project for Chichester
An exciting new heritage project is about to launch in Chichester. The Chichester Heritage Trails project is being run by the Chichester Society and has received a grant of £53,200 from HLF (Heritage Lottery Fund).
Over the next two years the project will recruit volunteers who will undertake research among the various historical archives kept in the city and conduct oral history interviews with Chichester’s older residents. This research will then form the basis of 12 Chichester Heritage Trail leaflets which will take people on short, self-guided walks around the city. They will be published from the autumn onwards and will also be available online.
Chris Hare and Ann Feloy from History People UK will be managing the project and working with many of the city’s voluntary and educational organisations. Project partners include West Sussex Record Office, West Sussex Library Service, University of Chichester, Bishop Luffa School, Chichester Local History Society, Chichester BID, Chichester City Council and the Chichester Walls Trust.
The Chichester Society and Chichester City Council have both contributed £1,000 each to the running of the project.
Chris Hare, Project Manager, is already looking for people who might be interested in becoming project volunteers. As Chris explains, the project allows people to take on the roles that suit them best.
Chris said, “We are looking for people who would be interested in delving through old archives and books relating to the city’s history and also for people whose interest lies in more recent times and would enjoy conducting oral history interviews. Training will be given for both types of research and we do not expect people to have a history or a research background but just to have an enthusiasm for Chichester and its history.”
Training sessions for volunteers will be held in March and April, with details being available nearer the time. However, people can register their interest now by emailing Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling him on 07794 600639.
Despite its remarkable history, dating back 2,000 years to Roman times, Chichester currently has no series of heritage trail leaflets nor does it have a designated heritage trail website. Chris believes that the Chichester Heritage Trails is therefore very timely and necessary for a city as steeped in history as Chichester.
Chris commented, “Chichester has 518 listed buildings, 18 of which are Grade 1. To put this in perspective, Worthing, the largest town in West Sussex and well over twice the size of Chichester, has 212 listed buildings of which three are listed as Grade 1. Chichester is the jewel in the heritage crown of West Sussex and this project aims to celebrate that heritage in all its diverse glory.”
A meeting for people who are interested in volunteering in the project will be held in the Old Court Room at the Council House in North Street, Chichester on Saturday 5th March at 2.30pm. Everyone is welcome to attend to find out more.