Oxted & District History Society - Talk
Oxted & District History Society

Summer visit 2015. Summer Outing to Chichester & Fishbourne.

Thirty four members of the Oxted & District History Society much enjoyed their summer outing to Chichester Cathedral and Fishbourne Roman Palace.

Traveling by coach from Oxted, they first toured Chichester Cathedral, built between 1076 and 1108 with later enlargements.  The Cathedral is steeped in history, having been vandalised by the Roundheads during the Civil War and it also suffered from a steeple collapse in 1861 (subsequently rebuilt).  It is notable for a number of modern contents, including a strikingly colourful 1960s altar backdrop as well as a modern font and pulpit.

After a break for lunch, the History Society group visited the nearby Fishbourne Roman Palace and gardens, only discovered in 1960.  This was a very large early Roman villa, dating from 75AD.  The party viewed the remaining mosaic floors, including the depiction of a winged Cupid riding a dolphin.  Only part of the original palace has so far been excavated, with much of it lying under houses in Fishbourne.  It is not yet clear why the villa was so large and who lived there.