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The English Civil War


In 1642 Chichester's walls were called upon to defend the City for the last time.

Across the country, towns and cities declared their allegiance to King or Parliament. Chichester was a divided City with the Cathedral and people of status supporting the King. The common people supported Parliament.

the English civil war

Initially the Parliamentarians had held the upper hand but the Royalists seized control following a successful coup.

In response General William Waller marched a Parliamentarian force to Chichester and camped on the Broyle north of the City, which he subjected to an artillery bombardment.

Leather guns were even hauled to the top of St Pancras Church to fire at the area around the East Gate. The Royalists surrendered after a week.

Waller and his troops were particularly hard on the Cathedral precinct, causing extensive damage especially to the Deanery and Bishop's Palace. It was said of Waller's men that, "...they left not so much as a Cushion for the Pulpit, nor a Chalice for the Blessed Sacrament".

The Civil War marked the last occasion on which the walls played a defensive role for the City. From here their future was again uncertain.

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