All that remains of Chichester Castle in Priory Park is the motte, which is now protected as a Scheduled Monument. The remains are in the north east corner of the city by the city wall and are often overlooked by visitors to Chichester. Nevertheless it is still a site of great historical importance and well worth a visit if you're staying in a hotel in West Sussex. Chichester Castle was built in the 11th Century by the Earl d'Alencon at the behest of the 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, Roger de Montgomery. Originally the castle was located in the Roman controlled corner of England known as Regnum when the Romans defeated the South Saxons. Today the remains stand in one of the most tranquil parts of the county, close to many hotels and B&Bs.
History of Chichester Castle
Chichester Castle was built at the height of the Norman Conquest and was one of 11 fortified sites to be built before 1100 in the area now known as Sussex. It also overlooked the Rape of Chichester, an administrative unit and subdivision of Sussex. Chichester Castle was of the motte and bailey type, made from timber and protected by the city walls. After it was built, the Earls of the neighbouring rape of Arundel took possession of it before it was then occupied by the forces of Prince Louis in the 1215-1217 First Barons War. Prince Louis had been encouraged to take the English Crown by those who vehemently opposed King John and his violent rule. However, Prince Louis was defeated at the Battle of Lincoln in 1217 and he went back to France. King John then ordered Chichester Castle to be destroyed but instead it was used as a prison before being given to the Greyfriars order in 1269. The Greyfriars established a friary there, which still remains, and stayed there until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538.
Visiting Chichester Castle
Today the site of Chichester Castle and its surroundings makes an interesting and pleasant day out. If you're visiting or staying in one of the many luxury hotels or B&Bs in the gorgeous cathedral city of Chichester, why not head out to Priory Park and reflect on the turbulent past of the area?