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The cathedral city of Chichester is located in West Sussex, which is in the south-east of England. Numerous main road routes run through Chichester. It is the seat of the Church of England Diocese of Chichester, and its 12th century cathedral is still standing.

When the Romans invaded England in 43 AD, they built a fort on the site which is now Chichester. The place was strategically brilliant, because it was on the River Lavant and close to a harbor, allowing the Romans to bring in supplies from France during the Roman Conquest of England.

The Saxons invaded and captured in the latter half of the 5th century. Chichester was one of the fortified towns, called burhs, established by Alfred the Great in the second half of the 9th century. There is no record of what happened in Chichester between the 5th and late 9th centuries. Then in 871, Alfred the Great became the king of the southern kingdom of Wessex. King Alfred was known for his battles against the Vikings, and in 894, when the Vikings landed in the area, men from Chichester, under the command of Alfred, vanquished the Vikings. The town flourished, with a robust weekly market and even a mint in the 10th century.

In 1075, the bishopric in Selsey was moved to Chichester. The Chichester Cathedral was erected sometime after 1090, and it was consecrated in 1108. After a fire destroyed it, the cathedral was rebuilt. The new cathedral was again ruined by fire and had to be rebuilt yet again.

Chichester became an important centre of the wool industry in England by 1314. Wool was the number one export of England, and Chichester contributed greatly to those exports due, in part, to its busy port, Dell Quay. Although it has silted up, it was still accessible to ships as recently as 1800. Dyers and weavers abounded, and needle makers followed, as well as craftsmen such as bakers, butchers, and brewers. Blacksmiths, coopers, wheelwrights, leather workers, cobblers, and carpenters.

Friars began arriving in the 13th century, and they ministered to the poor and preached the Word of God. There were numerous friaries by 1538, when Henry VIII closed them all and sold their properties. The wool trade declined just after that, and the major exports of Chichester became malt and wheat. Parliament mandated the paving of the town’s streets.

By the 18th century, Chichester was a quiet market town whose major industry was brick-making. The Napoleonic Wars, which lasted from 1803 to 1815, brought military barracks to Chichester. England had quadrupled in size, and consequently the population of Chichester had swollen. This helped to make the market in Chichester congested, and it was decided that a separate building from which sellers of agricultural products like cheese, butter, fruit, and vegetables. That building, called the Buttermarket, was opened in 1808.In 1871, a new cattle market opened just outside the Eastgate.



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