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Chichester Excavations Committee


The Chichester Civic Society Excavations Committee, to give its full title, was established in 1947. Its initial purpose was to explore the early history of the city by taking the opportunity given by the clearance of sites of buildings damaged by enemy action.

It was also foreseen that a good deal of redevelopment was likely to be carried out during the next 20 years. 

Its emphasis on using local labour would prove instrumental in later excavation campaigns and a strong locally aware volunteer workforce was gradually built up.

The Committee excavated a number of major archaeological sites from 1948 to 1984 under a succession of directors, most latterly Alec Down whose contribution cannot be overstated. Important discoveries included the remains of Roman town houses and the site of the Roman baths complex in Tower Street opposite the city library.

In 1979 the link between the Excavations Committee and the Civic Society was finally broken and in 1985 the fieldwork group became Chichester District Archaeology Unit within the District Council.

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