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On Tuesday, 12th July 2016, we visited Chichester (Noviomagus Reginorum) and Fishbourne Roman Palace in a mixture of sunshine and showers with two hours to explore the city and have lunch. The coach stopped beside the Cathedral, so that was most people’s first port of call. Founded in the 11th century, it is dedicated to the Holy Trinity and contains a shrine to St Richard of Chichester. In the south aisle it is possible to see the remains of a Roman mosaic pavement through a glass floor panel. The spire, originally made of weak local stone collapsed and was rebuilt in the 19th century. The Bishop’s Garden nearby was delightful. Other places of interest included the Market Cross built in 1501 as a covered market-place, (a type of Buttercross familiar to old market towns) , Pallant House Gallery, which has a major collection of chiefly modern British art and the Novium museum. At various places round the city it is possible to walk along the city walls. In Priory Park is the 13th century Guildhall, still in use for various functions.
After lunch we boarded the coach for the short trip to the magnificent Fishbourne Roman Palace. There we watched an explanatory video about the site, about its first discovery in 1960, its then being covered over and protected, and excavation over a 10-year period by the archaeologist Barry Cunliffe. Read More
32 members and friends set off in sunshine to Westminster but, unfortunately, this soon changed to showers. As we were able to take cover on the boat this was no problem.
The commentary on the boat was good and our attention was drawn to places of interest along the River bank such as The Royal Chelsea Hospital, the Redevelopment of the old Battersea Power Station, Battersea Park, the “affordable” homes at Chelsea Reach, Kew Botanical Gardens, Syon Park and the Boat Race Course.
We passed through two locks at Richmond and Teddington, under 15 road bridges and 7 rail bridges. Fortunately, for our arrival at Hampton Court the sun came out so we walked around the Rose and Vegetable Gardens then on to the Restaurant for tea and cakes.
A short walk over Hampton Court Bridge brought us to the coach, a tour of Chessington, Ewell and Banstead, and got us home around 6 o’clock. Except for the roundabout journey home, all appeared to have had a successful day.