Chichester Cathedral dominates the town and landscape of the Downs.
The main body of the Cathedral was constructed while Ralph Luffa was Bishop (1091-1123) and it was added to under Bishop Seffrid II, who dedicated the Cathedral in 1199 in honour of the Holy Trinity.
St Richard, the most famous of all bishops of Chichester, was buried behind the High Altar in 1276, and to this day the Cathedral continues to attract thousands of pilgrims and visitors.
In 1861, however, disaster struck.
Work was carried out on the building in 1859 and 1860. When workmen were removing the stone staircase that led to the organ, a crack five foot deep was discovered.
After further work on the building more fissures appeared. The walls began to bulge and cracks formed. A gradual deformation of the arches and walls started to take place on the western side of the tower and spire. It was then decided that this should be supported by splints of timber, hooped together with metal bolts.
Sunday afternoon service was interrupted because of the need to secure the south-west support. Workmen worked round the clock while the piers were caving in. A few days later, crushed mortar began to pour from some of the older cracks.
At the same time flakes of the facing stone and the new braces began to bend.
Work continued into the early hours of the morning. It must have been a terrifying experience working in the Cathedral when gale force winds were blowing off the sea. Seventy courageous men tried everything.
They left the building at noon the next day, but by this time it was clear the fall was inevitable. Warning was given to people near the building. When they returned, they were prevented from re-entering.
Groups stood gazing at the tower and spire and in less than half an hour it fell.
This stained glass window was designed by Marc Chagall.
It was unveiled by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent and dedicated by the Bishop of Chichester in October 1978.
Chichester Cathedral is a wonderful place to explore!