The monstrous serpent of St Leonard’s Forest

By Alice Millard, Research Assistant Written accounts of serpent-like creatures, often referred to as dragons, appear throughout British history. They’re comparable to today’s sensationalist news stories about spooky big cat sightings. Both are creatures who normally cannot be accurately described - yet people have attempted to convince others of the existence of monsters for millennia.…

Historic records and architectural histories: drawings and models

By Tim Hudson (guest blogger) What types of historic documents do architectural historians use? Continuing with our guest written series, the once Editor of the Sussex Victoria County History and co author of the updated Pevsner guide to West Sussex, Tim Hudson, will be exploring the types of records used when researching built heritage. Each…

Drawing of the Thakeham Blue Idol Meeting House

William Penn in West Sussex

By Martin Hayes, County Local Studies Librarian William Penn is best known as the founder of Pennsylvania, among the most successful of all American colonies, and as a leader of the fledgling Society of Friends, better known as Quakers. He was the only man in the 17th century to achieve as much in ‘Olde England’…

Homestead House is a red brick thatch cottage with white framed windows and front door. The front garden is exceptionally well maintained.

Historic records and architectural histories: Selsey Maps

By Tim Hudson (guest blogger) What types of historic documents do architectural historians use? Continuing with our guest written series, the once Editor of the Sussex Victoria County History and co author of the updated Pevsner guide to West Sussex, Tim Hudson, will be exploring the types of records used when researching built heritage. Each blog, Tim will look at a significant West Sussex building through a variety of historic documents available at the Record Office. Today we look at the maps of Selsey.

Chichester Cathedral Archives Reach New Audiences in Sweden

In 2017 the Sussex Record Society published a fascinating volume of church court proceedings taken from the Diocesan Archives held at the Record Office. Depositions, which can be found in the Ep/I/11 series, are the accounts of cases held at the Bishop of Chichester’s Consistory Court. These courts covered a plethora of local issues and disputes including quarrels over wills, tithe disputes, matrimonial disagreements, and the ever amusing defamation cases.  However they can be difficult to read and interpret for the modern reader, which is where the Sussex Record Society and Peter Wilkinson got involved.

2018/2019 Accessions

By Abigail Hartley, Searchroom Archivist One of the most crucial aspects that our volunteers tirelessly work towards is the accessioning of our smaller collections.  AM (Additional Manuscripts) contain some of our most visually interesting and varied documents.  Within the last 12 months, here is a quick overview of just some of the items we have…

A Day in the Life of…A Searchroom Archivist

By Alice Millard and Abigail Hartley We are beginning a brand new blog project, which will continue over the next year or so on this page.  We hope to have each member of staff talk about their role in the Record Office to reveal what it is we do, and why we do what we do.  First…

L’Alouette, Bognor, and the run up to D-Day

It's a year of important anniversaries for World War Two, as later in September it will be 80 years since the start of the war, and, of course, the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings is also upon us.  It is only fitting, therefore, that the Record Office will be highlighting our fantastic Second World War records throughout the year.  To help commemorate, let's look at one of our most impressive photographic collections - L'Alouette.  

Sense or Insensibility : Chichester in the 1960’s

Alan Green ‘If you can remember the 1960s you weren’t there” runs a well-known maxim. Whether you were there or not, it was a decade irredeemably associated with permissive attitudes and the ripping out of the hearts of so many towns and cities in the name of modernisation, often as a result of dodgy dealings…