On a fresh sunny day at the end of July, about 20 of us spent an enjoyable day in Chichester. Our guide for the day, Hilly Sloan was excellent, being very well informed and clear in her delivery.
We learnt that John Edes, whose family were involved in clothing production and malting, was responsible for Edes House. Notable for its baroque style, it passed through many private owners including, briefly, Charles Kemp and his partner Edward Tower before becoming the property of West Sussex County Council in 1916. Externally, it has changed little over the years and the inside has recently been restored to the original, as far as possible.
On our walk after lunch, we were told about the history of the bell tower, the cloisters and the Close. We learnt about the Song School, the Vicar’s choral, the prebends and the chantries. We heard about Waller’s Parliamentarians arriving through the postern gate to enter the city in December 1642 and we heard of Keats’ visit, which inspired St Agnes’ Eve in January 1819.