The great interest of the inscription is in that part which refers to Pudens; a controversy raged for a long time during the middle of the last century around the question of the identity of this individual, the results of which seem to favour the connexion between Chichester and the Pudens of St. Paul's second Epistle to Timothy.
The town seems to have been of little importance in South Saxon times, although the modern name dates from that periodó"Cissa's Ceaster." Cissa was one of the sons of Ella who landed on the Selsey peninsula. During the Conqueror's reign Chichester regained some of its former dignity when the seat of the Sussex see was removed hither from Selsey. At the same time the town was presented to Roger Montgomery, Earl of Alencon, together with most of South-west Sussex. The Earl built a castle, but nothing of this remains, though the mound in the Priory Park is said to be the site.
The troops of the Parliamentóled by Sir William Waller, besieged Chichester in 1642; after ten days the city fell and much ill work, especially in the cathedral, followed. Since then its history has been uneventful.
Some days may be spent in this pleasant town without exhausting its interest and charm and the cathedral cannot be seen in one visit without fatigue. As a centre for the exploration of West Sussex Chichester is much better than one of the smaller towns. (I am not now advising that adventurous traveller who, fearing nothing, will trust himself to a remote village hostelry among the Downs.) The South Coast Railway runs in three directions and all high roads converge on the city.
Chichester Cathedral is the second on the site, and much of this building has been added to and altered at various dates. The original cathedral is supposed to have been for a time the adapted church of St. Peter's monastery which stood on or near the south-west corner of the city cross-roads. Bishop Ralph's building, erected in 1107, was destroyed by fire in 1114. The same bishop started to build the older portions of the church which we now see.