West Sussex Record Office

What's on at the Record Office

3 Orchard Street, Chichester, PO19 1DD

Find out about events coming up at the Record Office.

Tell me more

We hold regular evening talks on Tuesdays and family history workshops on the first Wednesday of each month.

Contact details

  • Email record.office@westsussex.gov.uk
  • Tel: 01243 753602
  • Fax: 01243 533959
  • 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.


About our events

Talks on Tuesday

'Talks on Tuesday' cover a wide range of fascinating subjects presented by our experts. All talks start at 7.00pm and last 1 to 2 hours, including refreshments. Tickets cost £8.00 (non-refundable) for each talk and must be booked in advance from the Record Office.

See below for our current scheduled talks.

Coffee Time Workshops

Our Wednesday Coffee Time Workshops are perfect if you want to research your family tree but don't know where to start. It doesn't matter if you are new to the subject, unsure of computers, or if you want to look beyond the obvious sources, you will be introduced to the incredible range of archive material available at the Record Office.

Each session costs £7.50 (tickets non-refundable) and places are limited. To book a place on any of the sessions please contact us. Workshops are subject to last-minute cancellation if there are insufficient bookings (we will notify you of any change at least the day before).

See below for our current scheduled workshops.

Special events

From open days to exhibitions, you will find details of any special events we are hosting here.


Talks on Tuesday

Sir Patrick Moore: Early life, mentors and notebooks

The talk, by Dr John Mason, will examine the early life of the late astronomer, author and broadcaster Sir Patrick Moore who passed away in 2012. It will look at the first 25 years of his life, before he became a household name as presenter of the BBC's Sky at Night programme, which this year celebrates its 60th anniversary.

This fascinating talk will draw upon Sir Patrick's personal notebooks, recently digitised by West Sussex Record Office and memorabilia recovered from his home at Farthings in Selsey.

Dr John Mason MBE is one of the world's best-known astronomers, a former President of the British Astronomical Association and is Principal Lecturer at the South Downs Planetarium in Chichester. He was a friend of Sir Patrick for nearly 45 years and appeared many times with him on the BBC Sky at Night programme.

Date: Tuesday 27 June 2017

Time: 7.00pm

Tickets: £8.00 (non-refundable) - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.

Sea Sussex - Exploring films of the Sussex coastline

Dr Frank Gray presents a portrait of maritime Sussex with films drawn from the collection of Screen Archive South East.

It provides a record of people and places in the 20th Century and demonstrates the different uses of film within everyday life.

An event which is part of the British Film Institute's Unlocking Film Heritage programme and its Coast & Sea series of events for 2017.

Date: Tuesday 26 September 2017

Time: 7.00pm

Tickets: £8.00 (non-refundable) - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.

Selsey Tram - 'The bumpity bump'

An illustrated talk by Bill Gage.

Date: Tuesday 31 October 2017

Time: 7.00pm

Tickets: £8.00 (non-refundable) - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.

'Shame, scandal and true love' - the church courts of Chichester

An illustrated talk by Peter Wilkinson.

Date: Tuesday 28 November 2017

Time: 7.00pm

Tickets: £8.00 (non-refundable) - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.


Coffee time workshops

Parish records (not just the registers)

Date: Wednesday 5 July 2017

Time: 10.00am

Tickets (non-refundable)£7.50 - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.

Beginners guide to Ancestry.co.uk and Findmypast

Date: Wednesday 6 September 2017

Time: 10.00am

Tickets (non-refundable): £7.50 - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.

How to read old handwriting

Date: Wednesday 4 October 2017

Time: 10.00am

Tickets (non-refundable): £7.50 - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.

Crime and punishment

Date: Wednesday 1 November 2017

Time: 10.00am

Tickets (non-refundable): £7.50 - please book in advance by contacting the Record Office.


Record Office friends

A regular programme of events is also organised by the West Sussex Archives Society. For more information, visit their website.