Excavations reveal historic track at Chichester school

Excavations of a track at Prebendal School in Chichester
Excavations of a track at Prebendal School in Chichester

EXCAVATIONS revealed a post medieval track way beneath the playing fields of Chichester’s oldest school.

Members of Chichester & District Archaeology Society believed that in association with the strong city walls, the defences of Roman Chichester might have also included an external ditch under The Prebendal School playing fields.

Excavation work was carried out during the Easter holidays by CDAS following a geophysical survey in April 2014 which showed a feature that could have been either a ditch or a later track way. The excavation work confirmed that the feature was a post medieval track way.

A small number of finds were also recovered, and these were more representative of a rural environment than an urban one.

They included a small collection of broken pieces of clay pipe and some small pieces of tiles of various ages.

Trevor Davies, from the Society, said: “The excavation has added a little more knowledge to the history of Chichester. It also confirmed that although it was located close to the city, which is a relatively large settlement with a long history, the playing fields site had never been developed.”

Headmaster of The Prebendal School, Tim Cannell, said: “Chichester has such a long and rich history and it is always interesting to find out more about our land. The Prebendal is the oldest school in Sussex and, as such, has a central part to play in the history of the city.”

This was the third archaeological dig to take place in the school grounds in the last 20 years.