CCDT aims to restore and redevelop Graylingwell Chapel, a Grade II listed building that was once part of the former Graylingwell Hospital in Chichester. Since the closure of the hospital in 2001, the entire site has been transformed into residential housing with the remaining hospital buildings converted to private housing, concealed among the new build houses or demolished. The Chapel remains the only original building still accessible to the public. This project presents a unique opportunity for the conservation and conversion of the Chapel into a multi-purpose space that preserves the site’s heritage through informative displays, engaging activities and opportunities for learning and social interaction.
The restored Graylingwell Chapel will provide the space and facilities for the story of Graylingwell Hospital and its people to be told in a building closely linked to the care of patients. The displays will bring together archival images, photographs, hospital records and objects as well as contemporary oral testimony, while workshops and activities will address health and wellbeing today.
The site of the former Graylingwell Hospital, completed in 1897 as the West Sussex County Asylum, is located to the North of Chichester within 1.5 miles of the town centre. The site area is approximately 15.6 ha (38.5 acres) and contains a complex array of buildings. This includes the late 19th and 20th century former hospital buildings and Chapel, a listed 18th century farmhouse, a well of medieval if not earlier usage, and a scheduled pre-Roman earthwork, all set within an area of registered historic parkland with 472 protected trees. Since closure of the hospital in 2001 the site has been redeveloped as a mix of social and private housing and the original buildings now lie almost hidden in the large contemporary development.
The redevelopment of Graylingwell Chapel draws on the successes and legacy of the Graylingwell Heritage Project and CCDT’s experience of audience and engagement to develop its vision for the Chapel redevelopment. In preparation to take on, for the first time, the management and maintenance of a heritage asset, the Trust secured an HLF Start-Up grant in 2016 that enabled staff and volunteers to make research visits to other similar projects, attend training workshops and get support to develop an HLF Heritage Grants application. The research visits to restoration projects helped the team to clarify the vision, design approach and activity programme for the Chapel. The training and seminars attended highlighted some key elements of designing and delivering heritage projects that also address contemporary and local needs.
Funders & Partners
About The Chichester Community Development Trust (CCDT)
CCDT owns and manages buildings and land, safe-guarding these important spaces for the local communities of Graylingwell Park and Roussillon Park. The transfer of Graylingwell Chapel to CCDT has presented a rare opportunity to build on the Chapel’s heritage and redevelop, refurbish and rejuvenate it into a warm, inviting and welcoming space. The multi-purpose community facility will meet an urgent local need for affordable, accessible local venues for the expanding population of the area. It will also play a pivotal role in delivering CCDT’s aims of “developing skills and supporting projects that create local opportunities, employment and community spirit”, and “improve the quality of life for all residents and the wider Chichester community”.
Volunteers are amazing. They make a massive difference and are an invaluable resource to our organisation. This project needs your support and working as a volunteer can help you gain valuable experience and learn skills whilst making new friends.