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History project calls for memories of Chichester’s Priory Park

Priory Park Memory project by Dr Ross Wilson

A PUBLIC history project is calling on Chichester residents and visitors to share their experiences and memories of one of the city’s parks ahead of its centenary.

Priory Park Memories is being led by Dr Ross J Wilson, a Senior Lecturer of the University’s Department of History and Politics, and the Friends of Priory Park.

The project intends to record and examine how residents and visitors have used the area since it became a central part of Chichester life after the First World War.

It is part of the Priory Park 100 centenary celebrations being held in 2018 to mark the gift of the Park to the city by the seventh Duke of Richmond and Gordon in September 1918.

Dr Wilson said: “As the city’s first war memorial, it has reflected that same sense of duty throughout the twentieth century as it has been used as a place of remembrance, leisure, relaxation, exercise and entertainment.

“Through recording public recollections of the park, we will be able to build a lasting testimony to how this place has been used in the past and the present.

"We will also work to develop a booklet and online resource to ensure that this history can be maintained for the future.”

Residents and visitors are being asked to submit their memories and photos of the Park to a new website created for the project.

Priory Park 100 is collaboration between the Friends of Priory Park and the Priory Park Festival to highlight the Park's contribution to the quality of life in Chichester, honour its history, and reaffirm its role as a memorial to the fallen in the First World War.

A full programme of 2018 festival events will be announced later.

Dr Wilson added: “The project team will also hold interviews through the summer and those interested in attending or being notified of the dates can register for updates on the website.”

To find out more about the Priory Park Memories project and to submit recollections and photos for the 100-year anniversary celebrations visit

Alternatively contact Dr Ross Wilson of the University of Chichester at