Chichester’s City Walls glow in celebration

An excited Emily Menley, 3,  gets close to one of the glowing lights.''C120537-1 Chi Illuminations  Photo Louise Adams
An excited Emily Menley, 3, gets close to one of the glowing lights.''C120537-1 Chi Illuminations Photo Louise Adams

More than 2,500 people celebrated the restoration of Chichester’s historic City Walls at a free special event.

The event, in the Bishop’s Palace Gardens, was opened with a lantern parade by children from Jessie Younghusband and West Wittering primary schools.

The children, who had made the lanterns especially for the event, were led around the gardens by a local band.

“It was great to see so many people come out and help us celebrate the important history of Chichester’s City Walls.

“They have stood for almost 1,800 years and will continue to be enjoyed by future generations,” says Cllr Eileen Lintill, cabinet member for leisure and wellbeing at Chichester District Council.

“The children and the band started the event off with a bang, dancing along to the theme music from The Jungle Book. The band continued to play music throughout the evening while people enjoyed picnics in Bishop’s Palace Gardens.

“The gardens were beautifully illuminated with lanterns, statues, and special lighting, creating an enchanting atmosphere. From Cinderella-styled coaches to a large butterfly and a unicorn, there were plenty of things to see.

“The walls at Westgate Fields were also lit up using atmospheric lighting to celebrate their unique architecture and history. Throughout the evening a specially-commissioned film about their history was projected onto the face of the walls, which featured local people recalling their memories of the walls over the years.”

The event was held on Saturday, April 14.

The project was awarded £685,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The grant was awarded to Chichester City Walls Partnership; Chichester District Council also contributed £199,000 towards the project.

The walls are a scheduled monument, and at almost 1.5 miles long, they are the most intact circuit of town walls in the south of England.

Photos from the event will appear on the council’s Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/ChichesterDistrictCouncil over the next week.

The film that was projected onto the walls will also appear on the council’s YouTube page (www.YouTube.com/ChichesterDCouncil).