West Sussex Record Office

Visiting the Record Office

3 Orchard Street, Chichester, PO19 1DD

How to get to the Record Office, opening times and other information for your visit.

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All the information you need to help you plan your visit to the Record Office, including opening times, contact details, where to park and what to bring with you.


The Record Office is open to anyone who wants to use the archives. Most of the services are free, but we do charge for some additional services and help.

When you visit us you will be asked to sign in to confirm your agreement to abide by a few basic rules, such as using pencils only in the searchroom and handling documents with care.

You will then be able to enter the searchroom to conduct your research.

Visitor information

Car parking

Parking at the Record Office

A limited car park is available on weekdays, which must be booked in advance. A fee of £3.75 is charged for morning or afternoon, or £7.50 for the whole day. On arrival, please pull over in the side road next to the Record Office and collect a token from reception before proceeding to the car park.

There is one allocated space for disabled drivers located directly behind the Record Office. This must be booked before visiting.

Saturday parking

On Saturdays, parking is available on a first-come first-served basis - please pay the car park attendant at the barrier on arrival (cash only).

What to bring

What to bring to the Record Office

  • Reader's ticket - You will need to bring your County Archives Research Network card (CARN).

    If you don’t already have a ticket, please bring proof of identity which includes your address and signature. A driving licence is ideal, or a household utility bill with a debit card. Unfortunately we cannot accept UK passports alone as proof of identity, because they do not show your address. Readers' tickets are issued free of charge.
  • Paper and pencils - We only allow pencils to be used in the searchroom to protect the documents.
  • Laptop - You can use a laptop in the searchroom.
  • Cameras - Cameras can be used, but we charge a daily fee and some collections are subject to restrictions. You will also need to complete a copyright declaration form.


Record Office facilities

Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are available in the visitors' tea room and a small selection of confectionery can be purchased from reception. You are welcome to eat your own food in the visitors' tea room.

We have toilets and baby changing facilities within the Record Office building and free Wi-Fi is available for you to use.

We have a shop in our reception area where you can purchase a wide range of local history material, including books, CDs, DVDs, reproductions of photographs and documents.


Record Office accessibility

  • Access is available to all parts of the building open to the public.
  • Disabled parking booked in advance.
  • Microfilm and fiche readers with large magnification are available in the searchroom, as are large print versions of the searchroom information leaflets.
  • Portable hearing induction loops are available in the reception area and in the searchroom.
  • Seats that can be adjusted in height are available in the searchroom.
  • Disabled toilet.

If there are any other ways we may be of assistance, please contact us before your visit to discuss them.

Additional information

Download our introductory leaflet for additional information:

Video tour

Opening hours

We are unable to produce original documents (including maps) between 12.15pm and 1.30pm. Documents are also not produced after 4.15pm on weekdays and 4.00pm on Saturdays.

Stocktaking and Christmas/New Year closures

Tuesday 5 December to Saturday 16 December 2017 inclusive, reopening on Tuesday 19 December.

Saturday 23 December to Tuesday 26 December 2017 inclusive, reopening on Wednesday 27 December.

Saturday 30 December 2017, reopening on Tuesday 2 January 2018.

Tuesday-Friday9.15am - 4.45pm
Saturday9.15am - 12.30pm
1.30pm - 4.30pm

Additional information


We close on all public holidays and on the Saturday preceding a bank holiday.

We close during the first two weeks of December for stocktaking.

Easter and Spring/Summer Bank Holiday closures

- Friday 30 March to Monday 2 April 2018 (inclusive), reopening on Tuesday 3 April

- Saturday 5 May to Monday 7 May 2018 (inclusive), reopening on Tuesday 8 May

- Saturday 26 May to Monday 28 May 2018 (inclusive), reopening on Tuesday 29 May

- Saturday 25 August to Monday 27 August 2018 (inclusive), reopening on Tuesday 28 August

Contact details

  • Email record.office@westsussex.gov.uk
  • Tel: 01243 753602
  • Address

    3 Orchard Street, Chichester, PO19 1DD
  • Additional information

    Our address for correspondence is: County Archivist, West Sussex Record Office, County Hall, Chichester, PO19 1RN

Find us

By car

We are based in the heart of Chichester, very near to County Hall. The A27 trunk road runs through Chichester for links to Brighton and Portsmouth, while links to London are provided by the A23 and A24. Chichester is approached from the north via the A286 from Midhurst; and the A285 from Petworth.

By train

We are about a 10 minute walk from Chichester train station, which is served by a regular train service from London Victoria. There are also services from Brighton and Portsmouth.

By bus

The closest bus stops are at Orchard Street, West Street (Cathedral) and Avenue de Chartres.