3. History of the Property


3a. The Archaeology

The house sits in one of the two oldest suburbs of Chichester, on a spit of land that stretches along the south coast and is formed from the dust blowing off the face of the glacier in the Ice Age. The Cathedral, and the churches of St Bartholomew without and St Pancras without are all built on this raised platform, a few metres above the flood plain level.

The suburb of St Bartholomew (St Sepulchre as it was known before the Civil War) is outside the walls where the Romans buried their dead and the dirty industries could be found. In our suburb up until quite recently could be found a brewery, a slaughterhouse and a tannery, all using the waters of the Lavant rerouted in Roman times to feed clean water to the city.

The Parliamentary encampment was also on this site and the exact line of the westerly Roman road to Bitterne has never been confirmed. A lot of reasons for the Council to want to dig up our garden! More>>>

3b. The Friths

Canon Frith arrived in Chichester in the 1940s and set up house at no 15 Westgate, known today as the Old Surgery. In the Canon’s time however the big house was known as The Frithery, because a separate flat could be found on the top floor where many a young man stayed while studying any the Theological College next door.

His youngest daughter never married and shortly before his death he got Philip, the young architect son of Canon Powell to convert his stables into a small flat for her to live independently. It was no doubt done as a family favour and in simple materials to keep costs down. It did have several Modernist touches such as a butterfly roof and brightly painted panels, black walls and white interiors. More>>>

3c. The Powells

Canon Powell lived in the area also. His younger son Philip and brother Michael both trained as architects at the Architectural Association and qualified in 1943. Two drawings dating from that year can be found in the library of the RIBA for a pair of single story dwellings on Mount Lane by the Lavant, that the young Philip Powell designed for his father and his sister and her naval officer husband. They were both demolished in the first decade of the 21st Century. More>>>

3d. Frith meets Powell

These so-called bungalows were built in 1949 and must have inspired Canon Frith to make his request for the stable in his garden to be modified into a dwelling for his daughter Barbara. Philip had set up in practice in 1946 with Michael and a fellow student, one Hidalgo Moya, and this property is reputed to have been their first completed contract. More>>>


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