2015 - Chichester Cathedral & Fishbourne Roman Palace

Photo:Nick Withers

May 2015: Chichester & Fishbourne.

A total of thirty four members of the Oxted & District History Society much enjoyed their summer outing to Chichester Cathedral and Fishbourne Roman Palace, which was organised by Peter Shipley..

Travelling by coach from Oxted, they first toured Chichester Cathedral, built between 1076 and 1108 with later enlargements. The Cathedral is steeped in history, having been vandalised by the Roundheads during the Civil War and it also suffered from a steeple collapse in 1861 (subsequently rebuilt). It is notable for a number of modern works, including a strikingly colourful 1960s altar backdrop as well as a modern font and pulpit. it also contains a window by Chagall, a tapestry by John Piper and a painting by Graham Sutherland, as well as a memorial to the composer, Gustav Holst

After a break for lunch, the History Society group visited the nearby Fishbourne Roman Palace and gardens, which were only discovered in 1960. This was a very large early Roman villa, dating from 75AD. The party viewed the remaining mosaic floors, including the depiction of a winged Cupid riding a dolphin. Only part of the original palace has so far been excavated, with much of it lying under houses in Fishbourne. It is not yet clear why t