Roman week has returned to Chichester this Spring Bank Holiday with a wealth of things to see and do, to remind us all of our ancient heritage. Chichester is one of the few original Roman towns in the country that can boast such wonderfully intact walls. We really don’t sing the praises of our city, do we – more than eighty percent of the city walls can still be walked along! Yes, you may well be thinking that they really can’t be called Roman any more because what we are seeing today is a mishmash of different eras, predominantly 19th century….. But in essence they are still Roman – the line of the wall has not been moved since they were first built. It is still possible to see the opus quadrat stones dotted amongst the flint and brick work and of course the foundations are just as they were since the wall was first started in the third century.
The four ‘Roman’ streets in the centre of Chichester are adorned with flags of Roman Legions and as you wander around or hurry to do your shopping you will be encouraged to think of what the original town maybe looked, felt and smelled like all those centuries ago! But we are not the only era to look back on our heritage …. next time you are in North Street and pass by the 18th century Council House take a quick look up towards the lion statue on the top of the building. There you will see the letters: SPQC. This stands for Senatus Populus Quai Chichester – in other words: The Senate and People of Chichester! Such pretension eh for the the early 18th century upwardly-mobile to liken their society to that of early Rome which adorned its buildings with Senatus Populus Quai Roma!